Understanding what allergies are and how they work is the first step toward finding lasting relief. Your body’s immune system is an amazing and complex network of organs, cells, and proteins that protect you every day of your life. Parts of your immune system are inherent at birth and other parts develop over time as you are exposed to things like bacteria, germs, and other foreign substances.
When the body comes in contact with a substance that the immune system recognizes as harmful, it responds in various ways to protect from illness. When the immune system is working properly, the body can defend itself from a lot of potential dangers. There are times when the immune system is triggered and responds to a substance that is not dangerous. When the immune system attacks an otherwise harmless substance (allergen), that is known as an allergy attack.
Richmond is a city that has a very high percentage of known allergens. In 2020, the Allergy and Asthma Foundation named Richmond as the Capital City for seasonal allergies, ranking it #1 in the United States for allergy issues. So many of the features that make this a wonderful place to live also make the River City difficult for those who struggle with allergies. Our mild temperatures and lush vegetation produce high levels of allergens such as:
Other common allergens may also include:
More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies and many of them have allergic reactions to multiple allergens. In fact, it is possible to be exposed to multiple allergens in your home, at work, and outside as you seek fresh air. As your body responds to these substances, you will experience symptoms such as:
The good news is that allergy treatment options are available. Modern solutions are safe, effective, affordable, and available right here at Richmond Breathe Free Sinus and Allergy Centers.Set an Appointment today!
Richmond Breathe Free ENT Pollen Tracker
Allergy Testing: Understanding Your Unique Allergy Profile
Your body is unique and so is your immune system. You have a unique allergy profile that is based on your genetics, your environment, and your individual health conditions. The first step toward finding allergy relief is to understand exactly what allergens your body responds to and how you are exposed to these allergens each day.
Whether you have indoor, outdoor, environmental, food, or animal allergies, a comprehensive allergy testing plan will help you understand your allergy issues. It is important that allergy testing is done by a professional in order to provide for your safety and get accurate results. Your overall treatment plan is only as good as your test results. The board-certified professionals at Richmond Breathe Free have the knowledge, skill, and procedures to ensure that you receive the highest quality allergy testing.
We also take a comprehensive look at your entire health profile. This includes health history, other known conditions, medication interactions, and other issues that may contribute to or impact your allergy testing or treatment. This is a critical step that can only be done by a physician that understands how your complicated immune system works with the rest of your body.
Once testing is completed, health history is reviewed, and results are understood then our team of professionals will work with you to explain all of your treatment options. We listen to your goals and customize all treatment plans to meet your unique needs. We know that the best treatment plan is the one that works for you. Take a look at treatment options that you may want to consider.
Allergy Treatment: You Have Options
Don’t settle for someone else’s allergy treatment plan! When it comes to allergy treatment, it is important to find a physician who will listen and respond to your individual treatment goals. Your treatment plan should take into consideration issues such as:
- Unique Allergy Profile - Whether you are looking for seasonal allergy treatments, animal allergy treatments, or food allergy treatments your plan should address all of your allergy issues.
- Medical History - understanding that your allergy treatment plan must work in conjunction with other known medical conditions and medications that you are taking.
- Long Term Goals - Are you looking to simply manage symptoms or would you like to achieve long term allergy relief?
- Budget - Treatment must be affordable and should factor in your health insurance cost and other financial needs.
- Schedule - Your treatment plan should work around your life rather than your life having to work around your treatment plan.
Our team will listen, explain, and provide options to keep you in control of your allergy treatment plan. Some of the most common treatment plans involve a customized blend of the following treatment options.
Medication & Symptom Control
Your allergy symptoms are not the primary problem, but they are the part of allergies that makes life so difficult. Allergy medications do not address your underlying allergy problems, but they can be a helpful tool in controlling the symptoms.
Medications can help the body quickly respond to allergy attacks and they can reduce the frequency and severity of symptoms. They are often used in conjunction with other allergy treatments to provide a comprehensive solution. Allergy medication comes in many forms, including:
They can be used to relieve congestion (decongestants), reduce inflammation (corticosteroids), and block histamine (antihistamines). Modern treatment has given us safe, effective, and targeted medicine that can work to help you achieve your goals. Allergy medications are affordable and can be used seasonally or as part of a long-term treatment plan. It is important to consult with a doctor before starting any allergy medication. Even over-the-counter allergy treatment medicine can interact with other health issues and cause significant medical problems.
Our team will help you understand how medications can fit into your custom treatment plan.
Long Term Relief
Symptom control can be helpful, but it is far from perfect. If you are looking to go beyond symptoms to treat your underlying allergies then you should consider immunotherapy for allergies. This is a safe process that has been used for more than a century to help retrain the body’s immune system. It can quickly reduce symptoms and even has the potential to eliminate allergies.
Immunotherapy works by slowly exposing the body to safe amounts of the allergens that your body responds to. Over time, the body learns to respond to these allergens normally and allergy attacks reduce in frequency and severity.
There are two methods for delivering safe and effective allergy immunotherapy.
Allergy shots have been used for generations to provide safe and effective allergy relief. Weekly shots are given which include a treatment solution that is designed for your specific allergy profile. Shots are given in the doctor’s office and are closely monitored for your safety. They are delivered through a tiny needle which results in very little discomfort.
With allergy shots, you may experience symptom relief very quickly and as you continue treatment you will find that your allergies are significantly reduced or eliminated.
Allergy drops work just like allergy shots except that the treatment solution is a liquid drop that is placed under the tongue for 1 - 2 minutes and then swallowed. This treatment plan is so safe that you can deliver the treatment yourself rather than having to go to the doctor’s office. Many patients are discovering the benefits of allergy drops and it is becoming a more popular treatment option. These benefits include: Convenient - treatment is done when and where you choose Safe - no need to worry about adverse reactions Comfortable - no pain or discomfort Effective - allergy drops are highly effective in treating most allergies