Allergies & The Immune System

Allergies are extremely common, affecting roughly one out of every five Americans. Understanding what causes them, along with the particular allergens that are responsible for triggering your symptoms, are keys to successful treatment.

The immune system functions as the body’s first line of defense against germs and bacteria and is essential for maintaining good health and preventing infections. When the immune system encounters a threat, it responds by attacking the foreign substance. Allergies are an exaggerated immune system response to an otherwise harmless substance. They are the result of antibodies that trigger the release of histamines, chemicals that enter the bloodstream and cause swelling, inflammation, itchiness and mucus production – the telltale signs of an allergic response. Rashes or hives may also occur.

Allergies may occur seasonally or year-round. Pollen from trees, grasses and weeds is a common allergen that causes hay fever in many individuals. Year-round allergens include animal dander, dust mites, mold, medications, chemicals and insect bites. Allergy sufferers experience a variety of cold-like symptoms including congestion, runny nose, sneezing, itchiness, postnasal drip, watery eyes and sinus pain or pressure.

While over-the-counter medications such as antihistamines and decongestants bring temporary relief, they are not cures for allergies, and their effectiveness is limited. To discover a long-term solution, we advise you to schedule an appointment with a provider at The Allergy Center at Sacramento ENT. The Allergy Center provides testing to determine the allergen(s) responsible for your symptoms, an important first step in finding a treatment that will work. Immunotherapy (allergy shots) is an effective method that helps reduce the severity of your symptoms over time as your body builds up immunity to the offending substance.

If you wish to control your allergies before your allergies control you, call The Allergy Center at (916) 736-6644 to schedule an appointment. Our expert team is here to help!