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Allergies Specialist

J. Wesley Earley, MD, MBA -  - Direct Primary Care

Cornerstone Family Medicine

J. Wesley Earley, MD, MBA

Direct Primary Care located in Washington, NC

When allergies keep you from participating in activities, you don’t have to suffer in silence. Family care physician J. Wesley Earley, MD, and his team at Cornerstone Family Medicine can help you identify allergy triggers, reduce uncomfortable symptoms, and ensure you have a plan in place for severe reactions that can become life-threatening. To schedule an allergy consultation, call the office in Washington, North Carolina to request an appointment today.

Allergies Q & A

What are allergies?

Your immune system is designed to protect your body from harmful invaders like bacteria and viruses. When you have allergies, your immune system attacks invading substances that aren’t actually dangerous. 

Some of the most common things that can trigger an allergic reaction include:

  • Grasses and tree pollen
  • Mold
  • Dust mites
  • Animal dander
  • Insect bites
  • Foods like shellfish, dairy, or peanuts

Many allergies only cause mild discomfort, such as itching and wheezing. However, a severe allergic reaction can cause a life-threatening condition called anaphylaxis. 

What symptoms occur with allergies?

Allergy symptoms differ depending on the specific trigger. They can range from mild to severe, and may include:

  • Sneezing
  • Congestion
  • Watering eyes
  • Coughing
  • Itching
  • Hives
  • Dry skin
  • Red skin
  • Scaly skin
  • Wheezing

Anaphylaxis symptoms include difficulty breathing, severe swelling, vomiting, and loss of consciousness. When signs of anaphylaxis are present, seek emergency medical care immediately.

Why do people develop allergies?

If there’s a history of allergies in your family or you have asthma, you’re more likely to develop allergies. Aging, hormonal changes, stress, and exposure to toxins can also contribute to the development of new allergies. 

What treatments can improve my allergies?

When you visit Dr. Earley for allergy symptoms, he performs tests to determine which substances are causing an allergic reaction. He may also perform breathing tests to check for asthma and other respiratory conditions.

Once he’s determined the exact cause of your symptoms, Dr. Earley designs a personalized plan to help you manage your allergies. Your plan may include:

Allergen avoidance

Removing mold from your house, using special covers on your pillows and mattress, and taking other steps can limit your exposure to allergens. This is the most effective way to address most allergies. 

Medications

Over-the-counter and prescription medications can reduce allergy symptoms. Dr. Earley may recommend antihistamines, inhaled nebulizer mists, or another medicine, depending on the type of allergy. 

Immunotherapy 

Immunotherapy involves controlled exposure to purified allergen extracts administered over a period of 2-3 years. This is most commonly administered as a series of injections, but sublingual drops are also an option.

If you have allergies that can cause a dangerous reaction, you must carry emergency epinephrine, such as an EpiPen®, to halt severe symptoms and prevent anaphylaxis.

To put an end to uncomfortable allergy symptoms, schedule a consultation at Cornerstone Family Medicine. Call the office today.