House Call: Allergies – Signs, Symptoms and Screening
While spring time reintroduces us to warmer weather and pretty, blooming plants each year, it also marks a spike in allergy symptoms and complications.
When allergy symptoms are triggered by the pollen in the air, the condition is called seasonal allergic rhinitis, commonly referred to as hay fever. Hay fever can affect your quality of life; often leading to sinus infections, disrupting your sleep and affecting your ability to learn at school or perform at work.
Common symptom of seasonal allergic rhinitis include itching in the nose, roof of the mouth, throat and/or eyes, sneezing, stuffy nose (congestion), runny nose, tearing eyes and dark circles under the eyes. Aside from pollen, other common allergens that often trigger allergic reactions include dust, certain types of food, animal dander, mold, latex, certain medications and insect stings.
It is important to know the signs that indicate an allergic reaction may be turning into a life-threatening situation; which include difficulty breathing, wheezing, a harsh bark-like sound in the throat heard when breathing, loss of color around the lips and unconsciousness.
If you or someone you know has been experiencing the symptoms common to seasonal allergy rhinitis or other allergic reactions, it is important to get tested for allergies. Allergy specialists will administer a skin test, challenge test and/or blood test to properly diagnose a patient’s condition and directly pinpoint what is triggering their symptoms.
Cone Health has a network of allergy/immunology specialists and related healthcare providers dedicated to treating allergies and improving the quality of life of those who suffer from the condition.
Dr. Jose Bardelas is a board-certified allergy and immunology specialist and member of the Cone Health Medical Staff. Dr. Bardelas is a 1973 graduate of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He completed his residency in Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and his fellowship in Allergy and Immunology at University of Colorado National Jewish Hospital.