An allergy occurs when an external substance comes in contact with your body and triggers an overreaction by the immune system. There are many types of common allergies. Some are caused by the change in seasons, whereas others are year-round. GoHealth can help diagnose and treat:
Urgent Care for common allergies
Diagnose your allergy
Determine if you are experiencing seasonal, environmental, or other types of allergies.
Our providers can offer immediate relief from uncomfortable allergy symptoms, like a runny nose or itchy eyes.
Create a treatment plan
We work with you to create a treatment plan that offers both immediate and long-term relief from your symptoms.
Most of us are familiar with the common symptoms of allergies. These include:
- Rashy, red or raised skin
- Red, itchy, watery eyes
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Sore throat
- Stomach pain, vomiting or diarrhea
- Swollen lips, tongue, face or eyes
- Wheezing or chest tightness
The trigger of the allergic reaction is exposure to an allergen or a substance you are allergic to. An allergen is usually a benign substance, like pollen or dust, that causes a reaction in certain people. Symptoms can develop within a few minutes of being exposed to an allergen or over a period of a few hours. Most allergic reactions are mild, but can occasionally result in a severe reaction called anaphylaxis.
If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, you might be having an allergic reaction. Rarely, an allergic reaction can become life-threatening. If you begin to experience throat tightness or difficulty breathing you should seek immediate medical attention at an emergency room or by calling 911.
Common allergies and types of allergies
Certain foods can trigger an allergic reaction or other symptoms.
While dust mites and cockroaches don’t sting, they can still cause allergic reactions.
Some people are allergic to certain medications or allergic reactions can be a side effect of the medication.
Bites and stings from insects like bed bugs, bees, wasps, ants and hornets can cause allergic reactions and may require immediate treatment.
8 food allergens
Food allergies are caused by allergic reactions to certain proteins in foods. When you have an allergy to a food, your reaction to consuming the food can be mild, like hives or a food allergy can cause severe life-threatening anaphylaxis.
While you can develop an allergy to any food, most people are allergic to one or more of the 8 most common food allergens. The allergens are:
- Tree nuts
If you think you are allergic to one or more of these foods, it is essential to speak to a healthcare provider for allergy testing.
Environmental allergies are caused by the body’s reaction to a benign substance in the environment. Common environmental allergies include:
- Cigarette smoke: Smoke of any kind is irritating to the respiratory symptoms and may trigger allergies.
- Dust mites: Tiny bugs that live in furniture and are one of the most common indoor allergens.
- Mold: Mold grows in humid environments and mold spores can cause severe allergic reactions.
- Pet dander: Animals with fur shed tiny bits of skin and hair, which can cause an allergic reaction in some people.
- Pollen: If you have pollen allergies, your symptoms might be worse in the spring or fall.
If you believe you have an environmental allergy, it is important to get the right diagnosis and speak to a knowledgeable provider to develop a treatment plan.
Allergies to drugs
A drug allergy is a reaction of your immune system to a medication. Any medication can cause an allergic reaction- over-the-counter, prescription, or even dietary supplements. Symptoms may include a rash, hives, or a fever, but drugs can also trigger severe anaphylaxis.
Certain medications, like some antibiotics, are more likely to cause allergic reactions. If you have had an allergic reaction to a medication in the past, it is essential to tell your healthcare provider at every visit. They can work with you and offer alternative medications or treatment options.
Insect bite allergies
Many different insect bites can cause allergic reactions. Most allergic reactions are caused by stinging or biting insects.
Stinging insects include fire ants, bees, wasps and hornets. These bugs inject a toxic substance when they sting, which can trigger an allergic reaction in some people. The reaction can vary from mild to severe.
Biting insects, like mosquitos, bedbugs, fleas and flies can also cause allergic reactions. Symptoms can include pain, stinging, swelling and redness. Life-threatening reactions to biting insects are less common.
If you are experiencing an abnormal reaction to an insect bite, it is important to seek immediate medical attention.
While many believe that spring is the prime season for allergies, seasonal allergy symptoms can pop up at any time.
Allergies in winter are commonly triggered by animals, dust mites or mold and can be exacerbated by dryness in the air.
Fall & spring allergies
Pollen in the spring and fall can cause a wide variety of allergy symptoms, such as sneezing, wheezing or itchy eyes.
Spending time outdoors in warmer weather can put you in contact with certain plants like poison ivy that cause allergic reactions.
Types of seasonal allergies
Types of winter allergies
In the winter, most of us tend to spend more time indoors, which increases exposure to indoor allergens. Cold weather and dry air can exacerbate respiratory allergy symptoms in the winter months. Common winter allergy triggers include dust mites, mold, pet dander, or insect droppings.
Types of fall & spring allergies
Pollen from plants is the most common cause of both fall and spring allergies. While most plants begin to pollinate in the spring months, ragweed is a common allergen that pollinates in the late summer and fall. If you are allergic to pollen from plants you can experience similar fall and spring allergy symptoms such as coughing, sneezing and watery eyes during both seasons.
Types of summer allergies
Since we spend more time outdoors in the summer, allergies may be triggered by pollen from trees, grass, or other plants. Allergies to certain kinds of plant pollens may also cause an allergy to related fruits and vegetables. For example, if you are allergic to ragweed, you may also have a
Allergy treatment options
The first step to developing a successful treatment for allergies is to determine the underlying cause. When you visit our urgent care for allergies, we can begin the evaluation via a virtual or in-person visit. If we determine you need to be tested for allergies, there are two main types of tests that help diagnose allergies. We can refer you to a local allergist who can help with these types of tests.
Depending on the results of your evaluation and diagnostic tests, you may need treatment for your allergies. There are several types of allergic reaction treatments available:
Antihistamines, decongestants and corticosteroids are the most commonly used medications for allergies.
Nebulizer or Inhaler
If you are having difficulty breathing or cannot take certain medications orally, a breathing treatment can help.
Allergy shots use gradual exposure to allergens that can help your immune system desensitize to the trigger. Although we don’t offer shots at GoHealth Urgent Care, we can refer you to a specialist who does.
If you are having an anaphylactic reaction, you may require an injection of epinephrine (Epi Pen) which we can provide at GoHealth UC either for immediate use or to carry with you when you need it.
Visit GoHealth Urgent Care for other conditions
At GoHealth Urgent Care, we can help you fight the right treatment for seasonal or acute allergies. We can also help treat related conditions such as:
Frequently asked questions
Frequently asked questions
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