How Are Allergies Cured?
Allergy is a chronic condition. That means your symptoms can be controlled or the disease can be modified or reduced, but it cannot be cured. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get relief from your allergies. Relief comes when you get your allergies under control.
Successful allergy control begins with identifying the proteins that are triggering the allergic reaction. This is done through allergy testing. Allergy testing can take the following forms:
- Skin Prick Test
- Skin Patch Test
- Blood Tests
Once the triggering proteins are identified an effective allergy control plan can be developed. This plan includes allergen avoidance, immunotherapy, and medication. Your allergy control plan is tailored for your specific needs.
Avoidance. Once you know what makes you sick, you can avoid it. For food allergies this means eliminating certain foods from your diet. For pollen allergies you will need to be aware of pollen counts and take measures to protect yourself on high pollen count days. For dust mite allergies, you will need to make changes to your bedroom and other rooms in the house. Your avoidance plan is your first line of defense. Those proteins can’t make you sick if you aren’t exposed to them.
Medication. Medication may be prescribed to minimize or prevent symptoms. These may take the form of oral medications, nasal sprays, or topical ointments. It is very important that you follow the instructions for medication dose and frequency. If your allergies are life-threatening you will be prescribed an epinephrine injector to carry at all times. Be sure you know how to use this autoinjector if it is prescribed.
Immunotherapy. For many allergies, immunotherapy can provide long-lasting relief. The goal of immunotherapy is to build up the immune system’s sensitivity to a protein. This means you can tolerate more and more of the protein before it triggers a reaction. Standard immunotherapy is delivered by injection, but you might have heard of it referred to as “allergy shots”.
Allergic asthma, or allergy-induced asthma is the most common form of asthma. If your asthma is allergic your symptoms are most often triggered by inhaling allergens such as dust mites, pet dander, pollen or mold. Knowing if your asthma is allergic is essential for taking control of your condition. Studies have shown that Allergy immunotherapy decreases development of allergic asthma.