Some people deal with allergies for years before deciding to see a doctor. Some people deal with allergies for life and never see a doctor. For whatever reason, there seems to be a stigma around allergies — that allergies just “aren’t that bad.”

That might be true for some people, but Kimberley Shine, MD, of Shine Health and Wellness knows that allergies really can be “that bad.” In fact, allergies can cause severe symptoms that keep you from living a healthy, productive life.

The good news is that if you suffer from allergies, treatment options abound. The first step is knowing when to seek help. Here are four big signs that you should see a doctor about your allergies.

1. Over-the-counter medication fails to help

Many people have minor allergies they can self-treat with over-the-counter medications. However, if your usual drugstore allergy pills aren’t doing the trick, you may need to consult an allergy specialist. Prescription medications tailored to your specific allergies, symptoms, and needs can be the key to a symptom-free life.

2. Your symptoms interrupt your life

Any condition that prevents you from doing things you want to do is worth a visit to the doctor. For instance, if you love playing baseball and your allergy symptoms don’t allow you to get out on the field, that’s reason enough to see a doctor about allergies. Likewise, if your allergy symptoms get so severe that you can’t handle basic day-to-day tasks, such as grocery shopping, seeking medical treatment is the best route.

3. You have severe, anaphylaxis-like symptoms

Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening medical emergency. This occurs when your immune system mounts a large-scale, intense response to an allergen, and it can cause you to go into shock. It most often happens in response to food allergens, but it can happen in response to environmental allergens, too. Anaphylaxis symptoms include lightheadedness, sudden nausea, skin reactions — such as hives — a weak and rapid pulse, constriction of your airways, low blood pressure, dizziness, and fainting.

4. You feel like you’re always sick

If you always feel like you have a low-grade cold, you might actually have persistent allergies. These minor symptoms might not feel like they’re enough to prompt you to seek medical treatment, but they can really interfere with day-to-day living. For example, a minor but chronic headache can lower your productivity at work, and constant sneezing and coughing might discourage you from socializing.

Treatment options for allergies

Treatment for allergies depends on what you’re allergic to and how severe your allergies are. The first step to getting treated is getting tested. You may not even need a prescription allergy medication as some patients find relief simply by modifying their environment, which may include buying an air filter or keeping pets to certain rooms.

To pinpoint what you’re allergic to, Dr. Shine can give you a comprehensive allergy test. Then she can help you decide on the best course of action.

If you have allergies, Dr. Shine can help you take control of them so you can lead a productive life. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Shine Health and Wellness today.

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