Allergy Clinic In Chapel Hill NCAllergy Clinic in Chapel Hill

Allergies are on the rise. Organizations like the WHO and the CDC have published studies reporting a marked increase in skin and food allergies, as well as allergic rhinitis, particularly among children. Worse, while up to 40% of children have allergic rhinitis today, only about 5.6% of those children have been properly diagnosed and treated. It is clear that better access to allergy diagnostics and treatment is critical, which is why we have created a dedicated allergy clinic.

At the allergy clinic in Chapel Hill, patients have access to proper diagnosis of their allergies, treatment, management, and the latest medical technologies and advances in the field.

Allergy Testing and Diagnoses

Research suggests that as many as 8 out of 10 sufferers of allergic rhinitis go undiagnosed, suffering the symptoms of allergies without ever confirming what they are allergic to, or developing a treatment plan to manage their symptoms.

Skin Testing: An allergy skin test is a simple, painless and accurate way to identify the cause of your symptoms, so that you can take steps to avoid allergens and manage your response. Allergy testing is done in your doctor’s office, and involves placing small amounts of common allergens on the skin, and measuring the reaction to them.

Food Allergies: Skin testing is not only for rhinitis or contact allergies, either. This type of test can be a safe and accurate way of diagnosing food allergies, too. While there are fewer treatment options for this type of allergy, it can be lifesaving information that helps you to make informed food choices. Since food allergies can have life-threatening reactions, it’s always worth knowing which foods to avoid.

Allergy Treatments

Once your allergy triggers have been identified, the next step is to develop a treatment plan to help you avoid or manage your symptoms. The treatment plan will depend largely on the cause of your allergic responses.

In some cases, such as pollen allergies, where it is impossible to avoid the allergen completely, treatment may simply be anti-histamines when symptoms flare up. In other cases, there may be several other options, including:

  • Avoiding the cause of your allergic reactions. For instance, if you are allergic to a particular type of food, or to pets, you could eliminate those things from your environment.
  • Prescription medications to manage allergy symptoms.
  • Immunotherapy, which involves a series of injections or direct exposure to the allergen in question in a controlled environment, and is designed to retrain the body to stop reacting to the allergen as a threat.

Each case is different, however, many patients benefit from a combination of various types of treatment, and a trained professional can help to develop a holistic and comprehensive treatment and management plan.

Integrative Medicine Options

In many ways, allergies are a lifestyle condition, in that they impact on our lives, and are a direct result of our lives. It makes sense, therefore, that treatment for allergies takes our lifestyles into account, and integrative medicine is one way to do just that. It makes sense that while you treat your allergic symptoms, you also make positive changes to your habits, mindset and other elements of your life.

Outlook and Ongoing Management

In many cases, allergic symptoms can be greatly reduced or eliminated by a combination of conventional medication, immunotherapy and a holistic lifestyle approach. Many patients will find that their symptoms virtually disappear over time.

Some types of allergies may not respond as well to these types of treatment, but in case like those, diagnosing the cause of the reaction and creating a treatment plan that may include emergency measures like epi-pens for accidental exposure can offer peace of mind.

In all cases, however, a visit to the allergy clinic in Chapel Hill can provide a better quality of life. Take control of your allergies, identify the causes, and start living a better, healthier life free of allergy symptoms.

Types of Allergies

There are several distinct types of allergy that may affect patients, including:

  • Pet allergy
  • Food allergy
  • Mold allergy
  • Allergic rhinitis or hay fever
  • Mold allergy
  • Dust allergy
  • Skin allergy

Patients may have one or more of these types of allergies, and they may be allergic to several different substances. Allergies can also range from mild to moderate or severe, with reactions ranging from mild irritation to life threatening. There are also many comorbidities that often accompany certain types of allergy, including asthma, sinusitis and even migraine headaches.

Causes of Allergies

All allergies have triggers known as allergens, however, the true cause of allergic reactions are not the allergens themselves, but rather your own body’s immune response to those substances. In people with allergies, the immune system becomes confused about the threat from a particular substance, over reacts, and essentially begins an all-out assault on the allergen, and at the same time, the body itself.

It is also worth noting that while many people develop allergies to particular substances early on, the body can develop an allergic immune response to any allergen at any time, which means that even if you are not allergic to something as a child, you can become allergic as a teenager or an adult.

Symptoms of Allergies

Typical allergy symptoms experienced by patients depend on the type of allergy and the severity of the reaction. Some people may develop hives or contact dermatitis when they touch an allergen, others may suffer from classic hay fever symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, wheezing or difficulty breathing. Some may even experience a potentially life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis, which is where the airway swells, spasms and closes completely, making breathing impossible and requiring immediate emergency care.

Although children sometimes outgrow their allergies, in most cases the reaction that patients experience will worsen over time, and there’s a tendency for patients who are allergic to one substance to develop allergies to others too.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment and start getting relief from your allergy symptoms.