The Iowa Clinic Allergy Department specializes in the testing, diagnosis and treatment of allergies. We have a team approach, offering an Allergist and Clinical Immunologist along with our board certified ENT specialists (Otolaryngologists). The physicians and staff in our allergy center are committed to helping you manage your reactions with proper prevention and treatment.
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What Are Allergies?
Allergies involve a strong response of the body’s immune system. The immune system is a complex system that functions to protect the body from foreign invaders like viruses and bacteria. Allergens are foreign to the body so they oftentimes cause allergic reactions. Such a response occurs as a result of exposure to common substances like pollen, mold, animal dander, dust mites or food. The body’s response is exaggerated as it actively recognizes the substance as being foreign. Consequently, an arm of its immune system automatically generates what it deems to be the appropriate response. Unfortunately, this response often causes significant discomfort.
Should I Be Worried About Allergies?
About two in ten adults suffers from allergies. Overall, between ten and thirty percent of the total population of the industrialized world is negatively impacted by allergic conditions. Unfortunately, this number has increased over time and is likely to continue increasing in the future. While some people outgrow their allergies over time, it is possible for allergies to develop at any age. Even older adults can develop an allergy that they did not suffer from during their childhood, teenage or young adult years. While one’s environment typically dictates allergy development, the risk of an allergic condition is heightened if one has a family history of allergies. Those with parents or siblings who suffer from allergies are especially prone.
If you fail to obtain professional treatment for your allergies, you could end up suffering from a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. When this occurs, the entire body suffers an allergic reaction that causes wheezing/shortness of breath, a hoarse or tight throat, itching all over the body, hives or tingling along the hands, feet, scalp and lips. Anaphylaxis can lead to death in the most extreme situations.
Don’t run the risk of an anaphylactic episode that results in a trip to the emergency room or worse. Consult with our allergy professionals today to develop an allergy treatment plan that relieves your pain and discomfort.
Types of Allergies
In terms of specific allergies, nasal allergies called allergic rhinitis impact about twenty percent of all Americans. This common problem leads to an incredible economic strain. When the costs of prescriptions, visits to physicians and missed days of school and work are added up, the cost of allergic disease tops $3 billion per year. Asthma impacts around ten percent of the United States’ population. Food allergies are on the rise. They currently affect about five percent of all children in the United States. Overall, food allergies impact only 2 percent of adults within the country.