Sugarland Primary Care Physicians

Allergy Q&A

Primary Care Physician & Internist located in Sugarland, TX

Allergy services offered in Sugarland, TX

Allergies are common and frustrating health problems that cause various unpleasant symptoms and can sometimes trigger life-threatening anaphylaxis. If you have an allergy, experienced primary care physician Chinwe Okafor, MD, offers exceptional allergy management services at Sugarland Primary Care Physicians in Sugarland, Texas. With her help, you can keep your symptoms under control and avoid anaphylaxis. To schedule an allergy consultation, call Sugarland Primary Care Physicians today or book an appointment online.

Allergy Q&A

What is an allergy?

An allergy is a reaction your body has to a trigger substance that causes inflammation and unpleasant symptoms like:

  • Excessive sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Red, watery eyes
  • Scratchy throat
  • Coughing
  • Nasal congestion
  • Itchiness
  • Hives or a rash
  • Trouble breathing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • A swollen tongue
  • Difficulty swallowing

Some allergies, like hay fever, cause cold-like symptoms when you breathe in substances like dust, pollen, pet dander, or mold. Allergies to things you touch, like latex, cause rashes, while food allergies cause digestive problems.

Food allergies and allergies to substances like insect venom and penicillin sometimes cause anaphylaxis. This extreme reaction can affect your breathing, lower your blood pressure, and cause you to lose consciousness. Without urgent treatment, anaphylaxis is potentially fatal.

What causes allergies?

It’s unclear what causes the immune system overreaction that leads to allergies developing. It could be something in your genes that makes you susceptible, combined with your environment.

Your immune system protects you from disease by identifying potential dangers such as viruses and bacteria in your body. It attacks the invading microorganisms and destroys them, ending the threat to your health.

Sometimes this vital function goes wrong, so your immune system targets other, harmless cells. This malfunction can cause autoimmune disorders like Type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, where the immune system destroys healthy cells in your body. With an allergy, your immune system overreacts to mainly harmless substances (allergens).

What is allergy management?

Allergies aren’t curable, but with Dr. Okafor’s skill in allergy management, you can keep the effects of your allergies to a minimum.

Prevention is an essential part of your allergy management plan. First, Dr. Okafor performs allergy testing to isolate anything that triggers an allergic reaction. Then you can take steps to avoid contact with these substances as far as possible.

That might mean ensuring you don’t eat anything containing a food allergy trigger, like peanuts, shellfish, or wheat. You need to check labels carefully because these products can often be in processed foods without you realizing it.

If you have an allergy like hay fever, wear a face mask if you have to go outside, but stay in with closed windows and doors when the pollen count is high. Wear a medical alert bracelet so that medical personnel knows you have allergies, even if you’re unconscious. If you’re at risk of anaphylaxis, keep an epinephrine injector on you.

To find out more about effective allergy management, call Sugarland Primary Care Physicians today or book an appointment online.