When patients say the word "allergy" they usually are thinking about itching, sneezing, dripping, or wheezing.

Allergic reactions typically affect the nose, eyes, lungs, skin and bowels.

The most dramatic and serious allergic reaction is full-blown anaphylaxis in which the patient can go into shock and die.

Some of the more common allergy problems are listed below: medications and some natural remedies can provide symptomatic relief and avoidance and desensitization provide longer-term protection.

Allergic reactions represent an exaggerated response of the body to the environment. They most often occur with exposure to dust mites, pollens, pet danders, mold spores, foods, medications, latex and insect stings.

Diagnosis: We can help you find out what you are allergic to. Often times the history of strong reactions after exposure leaves no question as to what you are sensitive to. Blood tests and skin tests usually further help pinpoint the triggers. At times, complex combinations of immediate and delayed allergies along with atypical sensitivities make the evaluation challenging: specialized skin testing techniques may be required to draw out less obvious allergies and sensitivities.

Treatments include avoiding exposures, eating healthy, and desensitizing your body. Medications can help with symptom control and are frequently used early on.

A person can choose from several types of desensitization:

Allergies are nothing to sneeze at. Not only are they uncomfortable but they cut into job and school performance. Look for both short-term and long-term solutions for your allergies.

Remember too that other symptoms not always thought of as "allergy" can exist alongside the typical symptoms: These include plugging of the ears, recurrent ear infections, sinus pressure or infection, generalized fatigue, diarrhea, migraine headaches, muscle pain, and even sluggish thinking.