Allergies and Allergy Symptoms
The word allergy is synonymous with hypersensitivity. Being allergic basically means that your immune system works too well – and you react to substances in the environment that don’t affect others. This hypersensitivity can begin at any time in your life, and often follows a heavy exposure to a specific allergen. Once an allergy begins, your immune system is on heightened alert and sensitivities can spread to other allergic substances, or even to chemicals and fragrances. Allergies are an underlying problem for up to half the patients in our clinic.
Allergic substances affect your body primarily by being either inhaled or ingested. Less often they can affect you through your skin, by either simple contact (jewelry or poison ivy) or by injection (an intravenous medication or a bee sting). The upper respiratory tract, particularly the nasal and sinus passages, is the most frequent target for any allergy. Allergies can cause a myriad of problems, such as:
- nasal congestion
- itchy, watery eyes
- runny nose
- recurring sinus infections
Midwest Ear, Nose & Throat offers many options for treating allergies, from medicine to immunotherapy to surgery.