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Allergy

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Patient Information

The Iowa Clinic Allergy/Immunology Department specializes in testing, diagnosis, and treatment of allergies, asthma, allergic rashes, and immunodeficiency. We have a team approach, offering board-certified Allergy/Immunology specialists alongside 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.

Patient Form: Allergy Serum Reorder

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. Allergies occur when the body has an inappropriate response upon 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, which causes classic signs and symptoms.

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.

Some allergies can cause a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. When this occurs, the entire body suffers an allergic reaction that causes wheezing/shortness of breath, throat closing, itching/hives all over the body, swelling, vomiting/diarrhea, and dizziness/lightheadedness. 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

Allergic rhinitis (nasal allergies): Impacts 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. There are many options for treatment. Patients should know they do not have to suffer.

Eye allergies (conjunctivitis): Pollens, mold, pet dander, and dust mites can also cause symptoms on the membrane covering the eye. This can cause itching, watering, and burning. Evaluation is the same as for nasal allergies.

Food allergies: 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.

Stinging insect allergies: Anaphylactic symptoms after a sting should be evaluated for true stinging insect allergy. Patients should know that there are options for long-term management. 

Skin allergies (i.e. contact dermatitis, hives, swelling, eczema): Depending on the different types of skin allergies, different types of testing may be indicated to help identify the cause and treat appropriately.  

Medication allergies: Discussion of reaction and/or testing can help identify which drug allergies need to be on a patients list and which ones may not be true medication allergies.

Anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction): Any patient who has required an EpiPen to treat a reaction should be evaluated to identify the underlying cause.

Other conditions

Asthma: Coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath may be due to asthma and requires evaluation and management. Allergists/Immunologists have special training in injectable medications that treat severe asthma.

Immunodeficiency: If there are low numbers or low function in an area of the immune system, it can cause recurrent infections or especially bad infections requiring hospitalizations. Allergists/Immunologists can evaluate and treat these disorders.

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