Allergies occur when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance such as pollen, bee venom or pet dander or a food that doesn’t cause a reaction in most people. Your immune system produces substances known as antibodies. When you have allergies, your immune system makes antibodies that identify a particular allergen as harmful, even though it isn’t. When you come into contact with the allergen, your immune system’s reaction can inflame your skin, sinuses, airways or digestive system. The severity of allergies varies from person to person and can range from minor irritation to anaphylaxis which is a potentially life-threatening emergency. While most allergies can’t be cured, treatments can help relieve your allergy symptoms.

Allergy symptoms, which depend on the substance involved, can affect your airways, sinuses and nasal passages, skin, and digestive system. Allergic reactions can range from mild to severe. In some severe cases, allergies can trigger a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis.

Hay fever, also called allergic rhinitis, can cause:

• Sneezing

• Itching of the nose, eyes or roof of the mouth

• Runny, stuffy nose

• Watery, red or swollen eyes (conjunctivitis)

• A food allergy can cause:

• Tingling in the mouth

• Swelling of the lips, tongue, face or throat

• Hives

• Anaphylaxis

• An insect sting allergy can cause: A large area of swelling (edema) at the sting site

• Itching or hives all over the body

• Cough, chest tightness, wheezing or shortness of breath

If you think you are having allergy problems or if you have already been diagnosed with allergies Dr. Whiteley encourages you to schedule an appointment to have your case evaluated.   Arrangements can be made to customize your care for your personal needs.