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Allergies

Allergies

Nearly 20% of all Americans are affected. Allergies occur when your immune system response to a foreign substance. Symptoms include itchy eyes and skin, sneezing, nasal congestion, wheezing, and rash. Seasonal allergies result from grass, weed, tree pollen, or molds. Cat and dog dander allergies are common. Food allergies include peanut or milk. Treatment options: Treatments can vary and can include antihistamines, steroids, and avoiding allergens. Antihistamines, known as H1 blockers, are prescribed to relieve mild allergy symptoms, although they cannot control a severe reaction. Medications in this class include diphendydramine (Benadryl®) and cetirizine (Zyrtec®). An antihistamine should never be given as a substitute for epinephrine. Hay fever (Allergic Rhinitis) is the most common of the allergic diseases and refers to seasonal nasal symptoms that are due to pollens. Year round or perennial allergic rhinitis is usually due to indoor allergens, such as dust mites or molds. Plants produce microscopic round or oval pollen grains to reproduce.

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