From the springtime sniffles to uncomfortable rashes, allergies take toll on millions of people worldwide. MainStreet Family Care has all the details on common allergies, what causes them and how we can help!

What are Allergies?

Allergies happen when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance that isn’t usually harmful. These substances are commonly called “allergens” and can range from things like pollen and dust to medicines to foods. 

Some of the most common allergies that people deal with are:

  • Seasonal allergies
  • Food allergies
  • Medicine allergies
  • Insect sting allergies
  • Skin allergies 

According to Medicine Plus, common allergens include:

  • Pollen
  • Dust mites
  • Mold spores
  • Pet dander
  • Latex
  • Chemicals in laundry detergent and other soaps

Symptoms and Treatment of Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal allergies are also referred to as rhinitis or “hay fever” – even though the hay isn’t the real culprit of these reactions! As temperatures change in both the spring and fall, many people experience allergic reactions to their environment, specifically to pollen from trees, grasses and weeds. In fact, most people’s allergy flare ups correspond to times of year when pollen counts are high.

Typical symptoms of seasonal allergies consist of:

  • Sneezing
  • Sniffing
  • Congestion
  • Swollen, red and watery eyes
  • Itching

Mold spores, dust mites and pet dander also cause similar symptoms.

While there’s no surefire way to get rid of seasonal allergies for good, you can treat and reduce your symptoms by:

  • Taking over-the-counter allergy medications like Zyrtec or Allegra
  • Using eye drops
  • Avoiding the outdoors when pollen counts are high
  • Changing your air filters regularly and ensuring you have a clean air conditioning unit
  • Dusting frequently to avoid excess dust mites and pet dander build up

Fighting a bad case of seasonal sniffles? MainStreet can help! We treat allergies in our urgent care services.

Causes and Symptoms of Food Allergies

Food allergies are extremely common and cause stress for millions of people. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America states that a whopping 20 million people dealt with food allergies in 2021.

The most common causes of food allergies are:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Soy
  • Peanuts and tree nuts (almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, pine nuts, etc.)
  • Sesame
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Wheat

Allergic reactions to food can range from non-severe symptoms like hives and nausea to severe symptoms like anaphylaxis. While certain types of foods, such as peanuts, can be treated with injections, the best practice to reduce your risk of a severe allergic reaction to a specific food is to avoid it entirely.

Cause and Symptoms of Medicine Allergies

Allergies to medication can be extremely dangerous and should always be taken seriously. The most common drug allergies are penicillin and other antibiotic medications.

Symptoms of medicine allergies include:

  • Wheezing
  • Hives
  • Itchy skin
  • Swelling of the face
  • Rash
  • Anaphylaxis (in severe cases)

If you know that you have an allergy to certain medications, be sure to list it in your medical history and always discuss it with your provider.

Symptoms and Treatment of Insect Allergies

Insect allergies are no fun to deal with, especially if you’re outside often during the spring and summer months. Wasps, bees, mosquitoes and ants are typical perpetrators for allergic reactions to insect stings or bites. 

Symptoms of an allergy to insect stings and bites include itching or swelling in the area around the bite or sting. In cases of severe insect allergies, people may experience coughing, tightness of the chest, wheezing, and even anaphylaxis. 

If you’re having a mild reaction to an insect sting or bite, try these treatment methods: 

  • Remove stinger if stung.
  • Use topical ointments on the bite/sting site.
  • Take antihistamines such as Benadryl. 
  • Use a cold compress on the site.

Turn To MainStreet Family Care

Dealing with a nasty case of allergies? MainStreet is here to help you heal and feel better fast!

To visit a clinic, register online. You will be able to wait from anywhere while we get ready to see you! We’ll send you a text when it’s time to head to the clinic. 

Forgot to register online? No worries! MainStreet accepts walk-ins each and every day. However, we highly recommend using our online registration system as it reduces in-clinic wait times. Walk-ins are added to the same queue as those who register online.