What are Allergies?
Allergies are one of the most common categories of chronic disease and affect millions of people around the world. The condition is marked by an overreaction of your natural immune response when confronted by certain triggers. If you or your child live with allergies, uncovering the specific substances that trigger your symptoms is essential to finding the treatments and lifestyle adjustments necessary to protect your health.
What Causes Allergies?
Allergies occur when your immune system misinterprets a typically benign substance (known as an allergen) as a threat and releases immunoglobulin E antibodies and histamines to fight off the perceived threat. The antibodies and histamines trigger allergic symptoms such as a stuffy nose, watery eyes, and hives.
Some common allergens include:
- Dust and moldPollen
- Foods including peanuts, shellfish, dairy, and eggs
- Medicines (e.g., penicillin)
- Pet dander
Allergies can develop at any time during your life. Your allergic reactions can also range in severity and change at any time. For example, a mild allergic response could become unexpectedly severe with age.
How Are Allergies Diagnosed?
Allergy testing is a method of isolating substances to identify the exact cause of your symptoms. During this test (sometimes referred to as a scratch test), your provider will make a small scratch on your skin and apply a diluted amount of a suspected allergen. They will then monitor your skin for signs of an allergic reaction. Drs. De Castro and Basit may test for several allergens during the same appointment, making a small grid or row of test sites on your skin.
Allergy testing is safe and carried out under constant supervision. If you show any signs of a severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis, we are on-hand to provide immediate treatment.
How Can Drs. De Castro and Basit Help Me or My Child?
Once your provider has identified your allergens, they will create an individualized treatment plan to help you manage your condition. Avoidance is an essential part of allergy treatment. Drs. De Castro and Basit will suggest lifestyle modifications to limit your risk of coming into contact with your allergen. They can also prescribe medication like antihistamines to reduce and control your symptoms so you can maintain a healthy and active life.
Severe allergies are often treated using emergency epinephrine. Carrying your epinephrine shot with you at all times can save your life if you suffer a severe allergic reaction.
Request an Appointment In Hanford, California
Drs. De Castro and Basit care for their patients wholeheartedly, ensuring they have the best experience possible from start to finish. If you or a member of your family are living with disruptive allergies, call (559) 582-9100 or fill out the form below to get medical care from experienced professionals.