ENT Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Center
1725 Hickory Street, Abilene, TX 79601

Call (325) 437-3600

Allergy Education

Affecting as much as 50 million Americans, allergies pose a major health concerns in the United States. Allergies are defined as your own body’s immune system treating a foreign object coming in contact with your body as an invading organism or chemical compound. As a result, your body releases a wide range of chemicals to defend itself against the perceived invasion. Your allergic symptoms are caused by the chemicals your body releases. Symptoms vary from mere annoyances to fatal reactions.

Allergy Symptoms Impact Different Parts Of Your Body

Depending on the allergen (the foreign particle your body is allergic to), your allergy symptoms can impact your intestines, stomach, skin, lungs, eyes, throat, or nose, among other body parts. In rare situations, certain allergens can trigger reactions that affect your whole body.

How Allergy Symptoms Manifest

Since different allergens impact different parts of your body differently, your allergy symptoms vary quite a bit depending on the allergen and body part impacted. Symptoms fall within a range of effects from itchiness, redness, inflammation, or sweating.

Generally Speaking, Allergy Symptoms Can Be Classified Into The Following Groupings:

Stinging insect allergies (including bee, wasp, hornet, and fire ant stings)

Drug allergies – allergic reactions to chemical compounds included in medication

Eye allergies – heightened sensitivity to fine particles that impact the eyes

Food allergies – rashes, mouth irritation, vomiting, and inflammation caused by certain food items like peanuts or certain seafood. Latex allergy – hives, trouble breathing, and other symptoms due to exposure to latex gloves or latex paint and other common items containing latex.

Mold allergies – sneezing and runny eyes due to the presence of mold spores. Pet allergies – sneezing, coughing, irritated eyes and skin due to the presence of pet dander.

Skin allergies – a wide category of allergies that produce pronounced skin symptoms like rashes, itchiness, and hives. Rhinitis, sinusitis, and other nose-related allergies – a wide range of allergic symptoms that produce sinus effects including sneezing, post nasal drainage, and a runny nose.

Dealing With Allergy Symptoms

The most crucial part of dealing with your allergy symptoms is getting tested to determine the type of allergy you have. An allergy specialist will prick your skin to many different compounds. After contact, it will be very easy to see which compounds you are allergic to. Once you are aware of what you are allergic to and the type of allergy you have, you will be then given advice on how to avoid such allergens as well as what to do in case you have another allergic episode.

The first thing your allergist will ask you is to outline your symptoms. Additionally, your allergist will also review your medical record to see your history. A physical exam will follow so the specialist can size up your symptoms.

Depending on the type of allergy you have, your immunologist-allergist can also order up specialized tests like lung function tests to see the extent of your allergies. Often, you will undergo allergy blood tests or skin tests to determine which compounds you are allergic to.

Once the specialist has all the details of your history, physical exams, tests, and evaluations, your doctor will make a specific diagnosis.

What If Your Allergy Tests Come Out Negative?

Sometimes, even if your body isn’t allergic to certain allergens, your body can still exhibit allergy-like reactions due to frequent infections, drug side effects, other causes of rhinitis, and asthma. Even if your allergy tests come out negative, an allergist has the expertise to determine which nonallergenic reactions you may have.

Allergists and immunologists will treat your symptoms using a holistic approach. You need to follow this regimen to minimize the frequency or severity of your allergic episodes as well as treat the actual symptoms when they appear. A holistic allergy treatment regimen involves three parts: prevention, medication, and immunotherapy.

Prevention: Once your doctor has identified the probable causes of your allergy symptoms, you will be given advice on how to either remove these compounds from your daily activities and experiences or, at worst, minimize their impact. For example, if you have an allergy to wheat or nuts, you will not only be advised to not just avoid these foods but also given tips on possible alternatives. Similarly, if you are allergic to cat dander, your doctor will outline options you have in living with your pet that allows you to keep your pet while keeping your allergy attacks down.

Unfortunately, there are certain allergies like dust mites, molds, and pollen which are harder to avoid or eliminated. In such a case, your allergist will give you advice on controlling your environment.

Medication for allergy symptoms: Assuming your preventive measures fail, your doctor will prescribe medication that treats your symptoms and boosts your quality of life. The good news is that the latest wave of allergy treatments are more effective while having fewer side effects.

Allergy Immunotherapy: Assuming your allergy can’t be adequately treated with medication and can’t be avoided or prevented, your doctor can give you allergy shots to control or even totally wipe out your symptoms. If this seems drastic, don’t worry-immunotherapy shots have been around since 1911 and have seen dramatic improvements through the decades. These shots involve trace amounts of items you’re allergic to and prime your immune system against these allergens.

 

Patient Information
Office Hours

Normal Office Hours:
Monday – Tuesday 8:30-5:00
Wednesday Closed
Thursday – Friday 8:30-5:00
Closed Daily for Lunch from 12:00 – 1:00

Shot Hours:
Monday – Tuesday 8:30-11:30 and 1:30- 4:30
Wednesday NO SHOTS
Thursday – Friday 8:30 -11:30 and 1:30- 4:30

Future Office Closings:
01/24/22-01/27/22  – Closed
01/24/22 & 01/27/22 – Shots in AM Only
02/18/22  – Closed
04/15/22 (GOOD FRIDAY)  – Closed
04/21/22-04/22/22  – Closed
04/28/22-04/29/22  – Closed
05/30/22 (MEMORIAL DAY)  – Closed
06/23/22-06/27/22  – Closed
07/04/22 (INDEPENDENCE DAY)  – Closed

Please plan ahead for your allergy injections