Allergy Symptoms and Management

Dr. Linda Jando, BSc., MD, CCFP, Family Physician, discusses allergies and how to best manage them.

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Dr. Linda Jando, BSc., MD, CCFP, Family Physician, discusses allergies and how to best manage them.
Video transcript

An allergy is a hypersensitive reaction to a chemical or an agent in the environment that you are exposed to. t might include inhaling the substance or it might contact your skin.

It might be a sting from an insect, for example. There’s many different ways that you can be exposed to this allergen.

And symptoms have, there’s a broad range. It could be mild, like a runny nose or watery eyes. Tree pollens and grasses do that to some people.

It may be a localized reaction. If, for example, a metal containing nickel and, can touch your skin and cause itchy rash and sometimes even blister.

And then there are more serious reactions. Some people with foods have symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, hives, and sometimes even life-threatening anaphylaxis. Some people present with anaphylaxis with shortness of breath, wheezing, hives, and sometimes abdominal pain or vomiting.

For example, if you know you have an allergy to bee stings and you get stung, you should take your epinephrine, which your doctor would’ve prescribed, and call 911. If you don’t know if you’re allergic but you start feeling symptoms in your throat or affecting your breathing or causing wheezing, you should call 911 immediately and suspect that you have an allergy.

So if you believe that you have an allergy, please contact your doctor. Through discussion, they can try to figure out what it is that you’re allergic to. Your doctor may send you for some testing, either skin testing or blood work, to see if there’s a specific allergen that can be identified.

And from there, the treatment options depend on what it is you’re allergic to and how severe your symptoms are. The best preventative way to deal with an allergy is avoid exposure to it.

It’s common to have seasonal allergies, where people get watery eyes, runny nose, mild symptoms. Treatment for that may include antihistamines or your doctor may prescribe medications, such as a prescription eye drop or a prescription nasal spray.

If you think you’re having an allergy or you have any questions, please contact your family physician.

Presenter: Dr. Linda Jando, Family Doctor, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Family Doctor

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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