Living With Allergies

By Rosa Kincaid, M.D.

All of us are allergic to something. We have gotten so used to the symptoms that we don’t even realize it. With eye drops that “get the red” out and over-the counter anti-histamines, self-treatment is the norm. We no longer really want to go to the doctor for these things. When things get really bad, the phone-in requests for stronger allergy capsules, nasal inhalers and even antibiotics go way up.

So, to most people, self-diagnosis comes with familiarity of the common symptoms of allergy, which may include: itchy eyes and ears, sneezing, runny nose and itchy rash. Those who suffer with allergies to dusts, pollens and molds will often be “mouth breathers” or have dark circles around their eyes (raccoon eyes) due to chronic nasal congestion. If your nose is getting clogged up or you can’t breathe due to substances or allergens in the air, this can be a life-threatening situation.

If your nose runs like a faucet in April and you’re doing a lot of sneezing in September, this is a no-brainer. But, what if you have migraines in May or severe nausea in November? Did you know that this could also be due to allergies? The same moist “mucosa” present in your nose and respiratory system is also present in the gastrointestinal system. So a similar inflammatory reaction can extend throughout the entire gut causing pain, nausea, bloating and other unpleasant symptoms.

The person with allergies is not well-adapted to their environment. Things they eat, breathe and put on their skin are challenging their immune system. For a medical condition so common, and with our increased exposures to chemicals, fumes and other toxins in our environment, the treatment has not advanced with the increasing number of the population suffering with allergies. Treatment, for the most part, consists of suppressing symptoms with antihistamines, that can be sedating, steroids, that can have medically adverse side effects and even nasal surgery.

When allergies become severe or even life-threatening, as in triggering asthma or anaphylaxis (collapse of the circulation) immunotherapy is rendered. Some people who have been treated with desensitization in the past continue to have symptoms and have resumed the use of various eye drops, inhalers and tablets. In many cases patients get burned-out on the monthly visits to the doctor to receive their allergy shot and basically, stop showing up for them. The partial –treatment of allergies is the most probable cause of failure and continued symptoms. It is easy to get burned- out over allergy symptoms.

If you or a loved one has severe headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, rashes, itchy watery eyes or other symptoms that heave responded poorly to prescription medication or have difficulty dealing with the side-effects of these medicines, consider getting tested and treated at Kincaid Medical Associates. Diagnosis and treatment is covered by most insurance. It is painless and convenient. You have nothing to lose but your allergies.

Rosa Kincaid, M.D.
Kincaid Medical Center, 3016 Locust, Suite 104, www.drrosakincaid.com 314-531-0008.