Urgent Care for Allergy Treatment?

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, more than 50 million Americans experience some type of allergy each year. An allergic reaction occurs when your immune system overreacts to things in your surroundings that are normally harmless. Most often, symptoms are relatively mild and can be managed with over-the-counter medication. But there are times when the reaction is severe and even life-threatening. It’s important to understand when to seek urgent care for allergies.

 

What causes an allergic reaction?

The job of your immune system is to defend your body from harmful foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses. When your body reacts to everyday substances that it shouldn’t, it’s considered an allergic response. It’s not yet known why some people experience environmental allergies while others do not.

 

Types of Allergies

People are allergic to a wide variety of substances, but the most common types of allergies include:

  • Seasonal: Pollen is the most common seasonal allergen along with dust, grass, and oak. Florida’s moderate climate means that pollen can be present the entire year resulting in an extended seasonal allergy season. In Jacksonville, tree pollens are typically present from February – May while grass and weed pollen are present the entire year.
  • Food: Many people are allergic to certain foods such as shellfish and nuts. A true food allergy provokes an immune system response resulting in symptoms like a rash, vomiting or difficulty breathing. A food sensitivity is not an allergy. A sensitivity occurs when the body lacks an enzyme needed to break down a certain protein such as lactose which causes a dairy intolerance.
  • Animals: Cats and dog allergies are very common and are caused by the dander in the animal’s skin. There are several steps that can be taken to manage a pet allergy including bathing your pet weekly, using HEPA air filters, keeping pets out of the bedroom, over-the-counter allergy medication and allergy shots.
  • Mold & Mildew: The high humidity in Florida makes mold a very common allergen in our area.  Mold spores can be found both inside and outside of the home. To help reduce your indoor exposure, use a dehumidifier to decrease the humidity in your home, use HEPA air filters and limit the number of indoor plants.
  • Insect bites and stings: Bees, wasps, hornets, and fire ants are the insects most likely to cause an allergic reaction. The reaction to an insect sting can be very severe with symptoms like swelling around the lips, eyes, and tongue; difficulty breathing; severe numbness; and dizziness or lack of consciousness.

 

Common Symptoms

Allergy symptoms can range from mild to severe depending on how your immune system reacts to the trigger. Mild reactions can be treated and managed with over-the-counter or prescription medications and topical creams. Symptoms may include:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Itchy skin or a rash

 

Severe allergic reactions, such as an anaphylactic reaction, should be treated in an emergency room. Anaphylactic symptoms develop quickly and are life-threatening. Signs of anaphylaxis can include:

  • Swelling
  • Tightness in the throat
  • Tingling hands
  • Shortness of breath
  • Vomiting
  • Low blood pressure

 

If you are experiencing dangerous symptoms such as anaphylactic reaction, call 9-1-1 or seek treatment at an emergency room.

 

When to Visit MedOne Urgent Care

Our trained staff at MedOne can help you diagnose your allergy and treat mild to moderate symptoms without the inconvenience of having to schedule and wait for a doctor’s appointment. We are conveniently open 9 AM – 6 PM weekdays and 9 AM – 5 PM weekends, no appointment necessary.

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