Allergies Specialist

International Medical Clinics (IMC)

Family Medicine & OBGYNs located in Atlanta, GA

If you’re in the 30% of American adults with some form of allergies, you want to identify them so you can avoid your allergens and manage your symptoms if they arise. At International Medical Clinics (IMC) in Atlanta, the expert team of providers can help diagnose your allergies and create a strategy to manage them. If you suspect that you have allergies to something, call IMC, or schedule an appointment online for more information today.

Allergies Q & A

What are allergies?

Allergies are a long-term condition that causes your immune system to overreact when you come into contact with certain foods or substances. 

The things to which you’re allergic, called allergens, typically aren’t inherently dangerous. 

However, your immune system treats them like invaders and triggers a protective response that comes in the form of irritating symptoms. 

What substances can cause allergic reactions?

You can be allergic to nearly anything: Particles in the air, certain foods, and product ingredients are all common allergens that can cause reactions when you ingest, inhale, or touch them. 

Some of the most common allergens are:

  • Pollen
  • Dust
  • Animal dander
  • Insect stings
  • Mold
  • Latex
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Shellfish
  • Nuts

If you aren’t sure what caused an allergic reaction, your provider at IMC can perform tests to identify your allergen. 

What are the symptoms of an allergic reaction?

Allergic reactions can vary greatly in their type and severity depending on what you’re allergic to and how you came into contact with it. 

Common symptoms of allergic reactions are:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Trouble breathing
  • Itchy and watery eyes
  • Skin rash
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Chest tightness
  • Itchiness
  • Swelling

In extreme cases of allergic reactions, you may experience a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis. If you notice that your tongue and throat are swelling, you can’t breathe, or that you feel dizzy, you need to get medical help immediately.

How can I manage my allergies?

Allergy management varies on a case-by-case basis, but the best way to manage your allergies is to avoid your allergens altogether. 

In some cases, avoiding the allergen is impossible or unreasonable. Your doctor might prescribe or suggest:

Antihistamines

Histamines are a compound that your cells release to trigger your immune system’s response. Antihistamine drugs block histamines from taking action.

Steroid sprays

Steroid sprays reduce nasal congestion and inflammation from an allergic reaction when you spray them up your nose. This opens your airways for easier breathing.

Decongestants

Decongestants are medications for short-term use only. They unblock your air passages to help you breathe after you become congested from an allergic reaction.

Immunotherapy

Your doctor may suggest immunotherapy to gradually expose your body to your allergen and increase your tolerance of it. This method of treatment is reserved for only severe allergies.

Having allergic reactions and consciously avoiding your allergens can disrupt your life. To explore treatments and management strategies, call IMC, or book a visit online today.