Get Free from Your Allergies
Over 25% of Americans now have allergies, according to the American Association of Asthama and Immunology. Allergies can develop at any age and lead to a long list of symptoms, from asthma to serial infections.
An allergy is an overreaction of the immune system to an inappropriate stimulus, such as dust, pollen, grass, pet dander, mold, etc. The immune system believes it is being invaded by a parasite rather than a harmless allergen in the environment, and therefore it rallies its defenses to fight off the enemy.
Typical Symptoms Include:
- Conjunctivitis (eye irritation)
- Puffy eyes
- Blurred vision
- Red eyes
- Watery, itchy eyes
- Respiratory effects, including frequent colds, chronic cough, recurrent bronchitis
There are many things in the environment that can cause allergies, many of which are airborne. These typically fall into four general categories:
- Animal dander — from dogs, cats and others
- Mold and mildew
- Dust mites
- Pollen — from trees, grass and weeds
… And Solutions!
At Miller Eye Center, our eye doctors will first evaluate your symptoms, and then work to diagnose the cause so that an effective treatment can be prescribed. Allergy testing at Miller Eye Center starts with an easy, painless 15 minute allergy skin test. Here’s how it works: the skin test introduces small samples of particles from the environment in droplet form to the skin on your arm. These particles, called antigens, are most likely causing your symptoms. The test covers 64 of the most common allergic sources found in Illinois. If you are allergic to the antigens in the droplets, small bumps will appear on your skin in the test area, and that spot will feel itchy and irritated.
With the testing over and results determined, the antigens are removed and your skin quickly returns to normal. Based on the test results, the eye doctor will recommend the best possible treatment options, including:
Avoidance: This is always the first course of action – but it’s not always practical or desirable. Pollen, for example, can travel up to 50 miles, so you are always vulnerable to trees, flowers and weeds in the surrounding areas. Animals that cause allergies can be removed, but their dander can remain in a home for up to six months. Miller Eye Center can recommend air filter technologies to improve your indoor air quality and remove dust mites, mold spores and pet allergens, but this may be only part of the solution.
Immunotherapy: It’s a natural process that desensitizes your body to allergens by introducing them to your body, via serum, in small doses. As treatment progresses, the amount of these allergens (also known as antigens) in the serum increases so your immune system learns to tolerate and then ignore them.
There are two types of immunotherapy: shots and sublingual (under the tongue) drops. Both are effective, but allergy drops have these added benefits:
- Natural and extremely safe with rare, mild side effects
- Noticeable relief within just two months of starting treatment; many patients improve in as little as a few weeks
- Painless — no shots or needles
- Eliminate the need for excess trips to the doctor’s office, thus saving lots of time and money
- Effective for everyone from young children to seniors
- Long-lasting results — possibly for your entire life
Medication: Prescription and over-the-counter allergy medications are availalble to stop allergy symptoms temporarily, but will not ultimately treat the cause.