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If you have a cold or cough that won’t go away, you could be among the 1 in 5 Americans suffering from allergies. The team at West Shore ENT & Allergy in Norton Shores, Grand Haven, Fremont, Ludington, and Muskegon, Michigan, can pinpoint the specific cause of your allergies, offer you relief from your symptoms, and help you develop a treatment plan to prevent future attacks. If you seem to have a never-ending cold, call the office or use the online scheduling tool to make an appointment at West Shore ENT & Allergy.
Allergies happen when your body’s immune system attacks a foreign substance even when that substance is harmless. Substances you are sensitive to don’t affect most people the same way and that’s why you’re said to be allergic to them.
Many of the common, usually harmless, substances that trigger allergies include:
Many of these triggers are present year-round and are difficult to avoid, but the team at West Shore ENT & Allergy can help you manage your symptoms.
Symptoms of allergic reactions vary widely because they depend on what you’re allergic to.
Nasal allergies brought on by airborne allergens cause:
Food allergies cause:
Insect sting allergies cause:
Some people experience an extreme allergic reaction to certain foods and insect bites called anaphylaxis. This is a life-threatening medical emergency and its symptoms include:
Most allergic reactions go away by themselves, but severe reactions like anaphylaxis will need immediate medical attention.
At West Shore ENT & Allergy, the team effectively treats allergies by identifying what triggers your allergic reaction. Your doctor could recommend the following tests to identify your specific allergens:
Your provider pricks you with a series of tiny needles that contain a small number of known allergens. If your skin develops a red bump at the site, you’re likely allergic to that substance.
Your doctor takes a blood sample to test your sensitivity to known allergens.
After determining what you’re allergic to, your doctor can prescribe one or a combination of the following treatments:
After identifying your type of allergen, your doctor works with you to come up with ways to avoid that particular substance.
If your allergen can’t be avoided, your doctor prescribes medication that helps control your symptoms. Decongestants provide relief from stuffy, runny, sneezing, and itching noses. Antihistamines relieve your symptoms by preventing the release of chemicals in your body that allergic reactions.
You can train your body to become less allergic through immunotherapy, which gives your body small but gradually increasing doses of your allergen. The slow increase causes your body’s immune system to become less sensitive to the allergen until symptoms are completely reduced.
West Shore ENT & Allergy offers immunotherapy using injections and sublingual drops.
If you think you have an allergy or that you need help managing your allergy symptoms, call the office or use the online scheduling tool to make an appointment to be tested and diagnosed at West Shore ENT & Allergy.