Allergies: Discovering What Allergens Affect You
|Peter Nhan Huynh, MD
Allergy and Immunology
Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics
Keck School of Medicine
University of Southern California
Are you one of 50 million Americans who suffer from allergies? Allergies can significantly affect your quality of life, aggravate other chronic illnesses, and can place a tremendous financial burden if left untreated. For adults, untreated allergies can result in lost work and reduced workplace productivity. For children, allergies can result in school absences and reduced school learning.
Allergies are the result of an overzealous immune system. Normally, your immune system controls how your body defends itself. Sometimes the immune system becomes too aggressive and reacts to harmless substances. This results in an allergic reaction. There are many different substances that can trigger an allergic reaction. These substances are called “allergens.” Some of the most common allergens include pollens, dust mites, molds, cockroaches, pets, foods, medicines and insect stings. Avoidance of these allergens can effectively reduce allergy symptoms. That is why it is important to know what you are allergic to and to take steps to treat or avoid the allergen.
If you or your child has allergy symptoms, an allergist can help you feel better. Many allergy sufferers are not aware of how much better they can feel once their symptoms are properly diagnosed and managed by an allergy specialist. An allergist has advanced training and experience to help identify your allergic triggers, diagnose your condition, and navigate the best treatment course.
The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology Find an Allergist is a great resource to find an allergy specialist close to home.