Dealing with Allergy Season in Texas: Your Options

Dealing with Allergy Season in Texas: Your Options

Allergies are one of the most irritating conditions on the planet—they’re just severe enough to make you feel awful, and they don’t go away quickly like a common cold might.

If you suspect you have allergies, compare your symptoms to the list below and then explore your options for treatment. Luckily, allergy tests are almost always covered by insurance, so you can get tested very affordably and find out what is causing your symptoms!

Do You Have Allergies?

Allergies are a common problem, affecting more than 50 million people in the United States alone.Allergies occur because the body thinks a dangerous substance has been absorbed, and therefore it reacts self-defensively. These reactions can affect the nasal passages, eyes, skin, lungs, or digestive system. With severe allergies, sometimes the entire body can be affected, causing hives, shortness of breath, and swelling of the throat. The symptoms may be so different between individuals that the condition can be hard to diagnose.

Symptoms of allergies common in Texas can include:

If you have any of these symptoms for longer than the duration of an average common cold (which is 10 days) you may need to be tested for allergies. (A common cold typically involves fever and achiness, which allergies rarely cause.)

Types of Allergies

Seasonal allergies are caused by particles in the air (like dust, pollen, or mold) during seasonal changes. They occur at certain times of the year and then cease. Some seasonal allergens common in Texas can include:

Environmental allergies occur in the environment around you but don’t come and go with the seasons. Some environmental allergens can include:

When people think they have food allergies, they are often misinterpreting non-allergic adverse reactions like gluten intolerance, lactose intolerance, or food poisoning. True food allergies are almost always caused by the following foods:

Good news: Allergy testing is covered by insurance!

Luckily, quick, easy, and accurate testing for allergies is readily available and almost always covered by insurance.

How does it work? The doctor will prick or scratch the skin on your back or forearm with a drop of a liquid version of different allergens. It doesn’t hurt or draw blood—some people even say it tickles—and the extracts used always meet FDA (Food and Drug Administration) requirements. After about 20 minutes of waiting, the results of the tests can be seen directly on the skin. Slight allergies create a bit of redness and more severe allergies create a bump that looks like a mosquito bite. Those that cause raised irritation are severe enough that medical treatment may be necessary.

Blood tests are also available, but the scratch test is quicker, painless and often more reliable.

Allergy Treatment Options

The first step in treating your allergies is to avoid the allergens causing your symptoms. Obviously, this is easier said than done—pollen can travel up to 50 miles and pet dander can stay present for months even after the animal is gone. Therefore, avoidance is at best a supplemental method to bolster medical treatment.

Another option is to use over-the-counter medications. Many people think these are an easy solution, but over the counter medications treat only the symptoms and not the source. Therefore, you have to keep taking them any time you’re exposed to your allergens, which could be every day!

If you are suffering with allergies, it’s best to get medical professionals involved. Doctors can treat your allergies with either allergy shots or allergy drops. Why suffer when a doctor can find the problem and offer relief – and payment is usually covered by insurance?

The drops (also known as sublingual immunotherapy) are administered daily under the tongue. The body absorbs these small amounts of allergens and builds up a tolerance, causing the symptoms to lessen or to disappear completely. Insurance doesn’t cover immunotherapy, as it hasn’t been approved by the FDA, but it still may be more cost-effective than allergy shots. It’s definitely the easier option!

If you prefer an option covered by your insurance, allergy shots are for you. They are administered in a healthcare provider’s office weekly or biweekly. The shots work the same way that allergy drops do—by slowly getting your body used to the allergen.

How are you dealing with your allergies? Are you going to get tested for allergens? Make an appointment today!


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