CENTERVILLE MEDICAL CENTER
Chuck Osuagwu, MD
Internal Medicine & Adult Care and Primary Care located in Garland, TX
Researchers estimate more than 50 million Americans experience allergies. Though common, without intervention and treatment, allergies can affect your ability to work, exercise, or spend time outdoors. At Centerville Medical Center, internal medicine physician Chuck Osuagwu, MD, offers various treatments, including immunotherapy, to manage allergies. To make an appointment at the practice in Garland, Texas, call the office, or click the online booking tool today.
Allergies Q & A
What are allergies?
Allergies occur when your body’s immune system overreacts to harmless environmental substances, like dirt, pollen, or pet dander. If you’re allergic to a particular substance, your body overproduces antibodies, proteins that fight off viruses and bacteria. The overproduction of antibodies triggers a variety of side effects that can affect your quality of life.
Allergies vary in severity. For some people, they’re a minor annoyance that responds to over-the-counter medication. For others, they trigger a potentially life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis.
What are the symptoms of allergies?
Common symptoms of allergies include:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Watery or itchy eyes
- Sinus headaches
- Frequent ear infections
- Difficulty breathing
- Weight gain
- Digestive issues
When left untreated, allergies can also affect your cognitive function. For example, you might feel foggy-headed, confused, or have difficulty remembering things.
Is there any way to prevent allergies?
There’s no way to prevent allergies entirely, but you can significantly lower your risk of a negative reaction by avoiding certain triggers. The triggers you need to avoid depends on the type of allergies you have, but common triggers include pet dander, bug bites, certain medications, and substances like latex.
How are allergies diagnosed?
To diagnose allergies, your Centerville Medical Center provider conducts a physical exam and asks about your symptoms, including when they started, their severity, and if any activities like exercise make them worse.
Next, your provider orders a series of blood tests. After drawing a few samples of blood, they’re sent to a laboratory for analysis. The technicians at the laboratory analyze your blood for the presence of allergen-specific antibodies. The amount of antibodies in your blood helps your provider determine the source and severity of your allergic reactions.
How are allergies treated?
At Centerville Medical Center, treatment of allergies involves reducing the severity of your symptoms. Your provider develops a custom care plan based on the results of your physical exam and laboratory tests.
Most allergy treatment plans involve a multi-faceted approach. Common recommendations include avoidance of certain triggers, environmental and lifestyle modifications, and prescription medication. If your symptoms worsen or fail to improve, your provider might recommend allergy immunotherapy.
During allergy immunotherapy, you’re exposed to specific allergy triggers. Over time, your body adjusts, reducing the incidence of uncomfortable side effects. In some cases, immunotherapy eliminates the allergy altogether.
To learn more about the treatment of allergies, make an appointment at Centerville Medical Center by calling the office, or clicking the online booking tool today.