Welcome to the Patient Education Library of Texas Medical Institute
An allergic reaction occurs when the immune system overreacts to a normally nonthreatening substance. There are many types, causes, and symptoms of allergic reactions. Different areas of the body can be affected depending on the allergic trigger. Some allergic reactions can be life threatening and require emergency medical attention. Allergy treatments include avoiding the triggers of an allergic reaction, medications, and desensitizing shots.
Your doctor can diagnose allergies or you may be referred to a doctor that specializes in allergies. An allergist can perform tests to find out what you are allergic to and how severe your allergic reaction is. The doctor will make several minor scratches on your skin and apply a small sample of a possible allergen. If you are allergic to the allergen, your skin will react to form a small itchy red bump. Your blood may be tested for antibodies.
Am I at Risk
Risk factors may increase your likelihood of developing allergies, although some people that develop the condition do not have any risk factors. You should tell your doctor about your risk factors and discuss your concerns.
Risk factors for allergies:
_____ Some people are born with a family tendency for allergies. If your parents or close relatives have allergies, you have an increased risk for developing them.
_____ If you have one allergic trigger, you are more likely to have another.
_____ You may be at risk for allergies if you have certain medical conditions including asthma, eczema, lung problems, and nasal polyps.
_____ Frequent ear, respiratory, and sinus infections are associated with an increased risk of allergies.
_____ If you have sensitive skin you may have an increased risk for allergies.
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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.
The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on April 13th, 2016. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit www.iHealthSpot.com.