Seasonal allergies are miserable. Food allergies can be fatal. For people living in San Marcos, Texas, help is available from the experienced doctors at San Marcos Family Medicine. At San Marcos Family Medicine, patients in Central Texas can receive allergy testing, advice about allergy medication, immunotherapy allergy shots, and sublingual drops to help reduce the allergic responses so that patients can breathe freely, even at the height of allergy season.

Allergies Q & A

What causes allergies?

Allergies occur when the immune system reacts to a usually harmless substance, like food or pollen. The immune system reaction creates antibodies that keep an eye out for the allergen. Repeated exposure causes the antibodies to release immune system chemicals, including histamine, which creates the symptoms associated with the allergy reaction.

What types of allergies are there?

Allergies fall into several different categories. These are:

  • Allergic rhinitis (hay fever)
  • Food allergies
  • Insect bite or sting allergies
  • Drug allergies
  • Eczema
  • Anaphylaxis

What are the symptoms of allergic rhinitis?

Allergic rhinitis is the most common condition people think of when they think of seasonal allergies. This is an immune system reaction to pollen and other allergens in the air that causes sneezing, itching of the nose, eyes, or mouth, runny nose, and watery, red eyes.

How can someone tell if they have a food allergy?

Food allergies cause:

  • Swelling of the face, mouth, tongue, or lips
  • Tingling in the mouth
  • Hives
  • Anaphylaxis

This reaction happens quickly after eating the food. Because most foods are eaten in combination with other foods, patients often struggle to find the actual cause of the reaction on their own. The doctors at San Marcos Family Medicine offer allergy testing to help determine food allergies. Because of the risk of anaphylaxis, once a food allergy has been identified, the patient needs to avoid it at all costs.

What is anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis is a severe reaction to an allergen that’s a life-threatening emergency. People experiencing anaphylaxis will:

  • Have shortness of breath
  • Experience a drop in blood pressure
  • Lose consciousness
  • Develop a skin rash
  • Feel lightheaded
  • Have a rapid, weak pulse
  • Experience nausea and vomiting

Signs of anaphylaxis mean an immediate trip to the emergency room because this condition can cause the body to go into shock. Without proper treatment, patients experiencing anaphylaxis can die.

When should a patient see a doctor about allergies?

Severe allergic reactions require a trip to the emergency room, but mild allergy symptoms are something the team at San Marcos Family Medicine help with all the time. Patients should make an appointment if they suspect they may have allergies to discuss their symptoms and potential treatment with one of the doctors and to schedule allergy testing. With proper treatment, including immunotherapy shots and sublingual drops, allergy season doesn’t have to be miserable anymore.