Allergies occur when your immune system recognizes a harmless substance as something threatening and causes an immune response. When this happens, the body overreacts and produces immunoglobulin E antibodies, which in turn release histamine, causing an allergic reaction.
This reaction leads to symptoms in the:
Sometimes these symptoms are mildly uncomfortable, like a stuffy nose, and at other times they are life-threatening.
During an initial allergy consultation, Dr. McDow may give you an allergy test to determine what allergens you have and their severity. He then develops a comprehensive treatment plan that involves immunotherapy, commonly called “allergy shots.” These injections may lower the body’s immune response to specific allergens, reducing the allergy symptoms you experience.
Some of the most common allergens Dr. McDow treats include:
Dr. McDow also educates you on ways to reduce exposure to allergens and on what to do when having an allergic reaction. If allergies are severe or life-threatening, he may discuss anaphylaxis and how to use an epinephrine injection like an EpiPenⓇ.
Asthma is a chronic condition that occurs when airways become inflamed. When inflamed, the muscles surrounding the airways tighten, and breathing becomes difficult. Those with asthma experience a range of symptoms, including:
Asthma is sometimes aggravated by physical activity and can be made worse by certain irritants like tobacco smoke or strong odors. The symptoms may also get worse when you breathe in dry, cold air or when you’re anxious or stressed.
There is no cure for asthma, but Dr. McDow can help you treat its symptoms. Depending on the severity of your asthma, he may recommend an inhaled corticosteroid, which reduces airway swelling. Some patients take multiple medications, such as a daily inhaler (for long-term control) paired with a bronchodilator “rescue medication” (for quick relief when breathing becomes difficult).
If you’re suffering from allergies, asthma, or both, it’s time to find relief. Contact Dr. McDow today to schedule your initial consultation.