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Allergies Summary

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Reviewed By: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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As you have seen from this presentation, millions of people are affected by allergies.
Allergic rhinitis is the most common allergic condition. It is caused by allergens in the air, such as pollen. In a person with allergies, the immune system mistakes these harmless substances for a potential threat. When the immune system attacks the allergens, it causes symptoms such as sneezing; an itchy, runny nose; and red, itchy, watery eyes.
Doctors split allergic rhinitis into two general types - seasonal allergies and year-round allergies. As the names imply, seasonal allergies are those that occur or get worse during a particular time of year. Year-round allergies, on the other hand, are allergies that can occur all-year long.
Your healthcare provider can often diagnose allergies just by having you describe your symptoms and doing a quick physical exam. In some cases, skin testing and/or other tests may be recommended to help diagnose whether a person has allergies and what they are allergic to.
Treatment for allergies involves both allergen avoidance and medicine. Which medicine is best for your situation is usually based on how severe the symptoms are and your own personal preference.
We hope you have found this presentation helpful. If you would like to learn more about allergies and their treatment options, talk to your healthcare provider and visit the allergies health channel on eMedTV at allergies.emedtv.com.

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