Allergies

Fairfield Family Health

Integrative Medicine Clinic & Lyme Disease Specialists located in Fairfield, CT

Allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the United States. Some of the most common allergies, like hay fever, eczema, dermatitis, and allergic sinusitis can be alleviated with the exceptional treatment available at Fairfield Family Health. The team of naturopathic doctors has extensive experience identifying your allergens and developing a treatment that effectively relieves your allergy symptoms. If you suffer from allergies, book an appointment online or call the office in Fairfield, Connecticut.

Allergies Q & A

What causes allergies?

Allergies develop when your immune system identifies a harmless substance as something dangerous to your health. Once an allergen is tagged, your immune system overreacts every time you encounter the substance.

Environmental allergies are triggered by substances you come into contact within your surroundings, such as:

  • Airborne allergens: Pollen, dust mites, pet dander, and mold
  • Contact allergens: Poison ivy, poison oak, and latex
  • Chemical allergens: Preservatives, ingredients in products like soaps and fragrances, and chemicals in your workplace
  • Insect stings: Bee, wasp, and hornet allergies

 

You may also be allergic to medications, such as penicillin, sulfa drugs, aspirin, and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications.

What should I know about food allergies?

Food allergies occur when your immune system identifies a food protein as harmful for your body. Any food that contains protein can cause a problem, but the eight most common allergens are:

  • Peanuts
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Tree nuts
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Fish
  • Shellfish

 

Your chances of developing a food allergy are higher if you have a family history of eczema, asthma, or hay fever.

What is eczema?

Eczema refers to a group of inflammatory skin conditions that includes atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, and seborrheic dermatitis. Most patients with eczema have intense itching; otherwise, the symptoms vary.

Your skin may appear red and swollen or scaly. You may have a lot of bumps or blisters that ooze, then scab over. Eczema symptoms flare up in response to certain triggers. If you have allergies, your allergens are likely to trigger eczema.

What symptoms develop due to allergies?

The symptoms you have are closely associated with the type of allergen. For example, airborne allergens affect your eyes and nose. As a group, allergies cause symptoms such as:

  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Itchy mouth, nose, or eyes
  • Skin rashes, hives, or eczema
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Abdominal pain, nausea, or diarrhea (food allergies)

 

Food, latex, and medication allergies can cause a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis. An anaphylactic reaction occurs quickly, causing shortness of breath, trouble swallowing, and making you feel weak or faint. This is a medical emergency — use your epinephrine pen if you have one and call 911.

How are allergies treated?

After running tests to identify your specific allergens, your doctor at Fairfield Family Health recommends treatment based on the type and severity of your allergy.

You may receive sublingual immunotherapy, low-dose immunotherapy, or homeopathic treatment. Food sensitivities may be identified and supported through those treatments in addition to dietary changes. If you have a food allergy, you must avoid that food.

If you have allergy symptoms, help is available at Fairfield Family Health. Call or use the online booking feature.