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Allergy season has just begun in North Carolina, but will continue through the spring and summer months. For allergy sufferers, these months may be spent dealing with sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes, itchy skin, and potentially more dangerous side effects such as anaphylaxis. If you find yourself suffering from allergies, knowing the following facts may help you get a handle on your situation.

Allergies Are an Immune Response

Allergies are actually an overreaction of the immune system to a substance that isn’t harmful. Pollens from various plants are the most common allergens, but dust mites, pet dander, and certain foods are also common allergens. When an allergy sufferer comes in contact with an allergen, the body releases antibodies and histamine. This causes inflammation throughout the body and mucus to form in the nose and throat.

Allergies Can Develop at Any Age

Some people develop allergies at young ages, while other people develop allergies as they grow older. Adult onset allergies are not uncommon and can surprise unsuspecting people that have never suffered from allergies before. If you have recently begun suffering from respiratory issues, consider checking in with your doctor to see if you may have allergies.

Gut Health Can Contribute to Allergy Symptoms

The reason that certain allergens affect some people and not others isn’t well understood, but gut health has been linked to allergies. The gut contains about 80 percent of the body’s immune cells, so any issues with gut microbes and health can contribute to allergy symptoms and potentially cause allergies to develop. Leaky gut syndrome, in which dietary proteins leave the gut and enter the bloodstream, has shown to produce allergy symptoms.

An Allergist May Be Able to Help

An allergist will be better able to diagnose allergies and help you figure out a treatment plan than a general practitioner. Many health insurance plans will cover the services of an allergist with a recommendation from a doctor. To diagnose the specific type of allergens that cause your symptoms, an allergist will ask about family history, perform an examination, and perform a blood or skin test.

After the results of any diagnostic testing come back, an allergist can help you devise a treatment plan to minimize allergy symptoms. Depending on the cause of allergies, the doctor may recommend avoiding pets, foods, or airborne allergens by staying indoors or obtaining certain filtration symptoms. Medications that are prescribed to reduce symptoms may be covered in full or part by health insurance.

If you need health insurance to help pay for diagnosis and treatment of your allergy symptoms, call 407-527-4220 today!