How Allergies Impact Your Whole Body

How Allergies Impact Your Whole Body

If you’ve been living with poorly controlled allergies for a while, you may expect to sneeze, sniffle, and itch your way through certain seasons.

Did you know, though, that any allergy can make you feel tired and achy all over?

The allergy team at Petoskey Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists, with offices in Petoskey, Gaylord, and St. Ignace, Michigan, explains the impact allergies have on your overall health and how allergy treatments can help.

Your immune response to allergens

Your immune system is a complex network of cells, organs, proteins (antibodies), and other chemicals whose sole purpose is to keep you healthy by identifying and destroying invading bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that can make you ill.

This bodywide infection-fighting system includes your:

Allergic reactions occur when white cells that move throughout your blood and tissues mistakenly identify certain substances (allergens) for potentially dangerous germs.

This triggers your white blood cells to launch a defense against the “invaders” by releasing histamine and other inflammatory chemicals that, as they concentrate to get rid of the perceived threat, cause your allergy symptoms.

Allergy symptoms and inflammation

Your body’s reaction to inflammation plays a key role in how you feel during and after an allergy attack.

A research review published by the National Institutes of Health in 2019 indicated that chronic (long-term) inflammation related to poorly treated allergies can have a significant impact on your overall health and often plays a role in asthma, chronic pain, and other serious conditions. 

Certain symptoms associated with allergy-driven inflammation may be localized to a specific area, such as:

These symptoms often resolve relatively quickly with use of an antihistamine or other allergy medication.

However, inflammation linked to allergies can also cause lingering symptoms that may affect your entire body, including:

Note that anaphylaxis is an acute (sudden) and system-wide inflammatory response to an allergen that can quickly become life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention.

Treating allergies

Effective allergy treatment begins with a physical exam and careful review of your medical history and symptoms. 

Depending on the results of your evaluation, we may also recommend allergy testing to identify the substances causing your symptoms.

Your treatment strategy may include avoidance of the substances triggering your symptoms as well as oral medications to help control your allergic reaction.

You may also benefit from immunotherapy, which essentially trains your immune system to ignore the allergen(s) it’s mistakenly identified as potentially dangerous germs or toxins.

Schedule your evaluation today for more information about allergy care or any of the services we offer at Petoskey Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists. 

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