You come home after a day away, step into the house, and the symptoms hit: Watery eyes, scratchy throat, congestion. Could it be indoor allergies?
Allergies are very common. An estimated 50 million Americans are allergic to everything from dust and dander, to mold and mites.
But what about you? How can you be sure you have indoor allergies -- and pinpoint what’s causing them? To help you understand what’s behind your allergy symptoms, WebMD got tips from experts on how to recognize common allergy...
It's better to see an allergist than to try to diagnose a food allergy yourself. Why?
You’ll miss out. If you think you're allergic to a certain food, you’ll take it off the menu. But if you skip something you don’t have to -- like nuts -- you’ll deprive yourself of important nutrients.
You could be wrong. The doctor can figure out if you have a food intolerance -- meaning you can’t digest certain things -- or if you’re really allergic. That difference is important. Intolerances can be uncomfortable and hard to live with. But allergies can be life-threatening. Your doctor can offer advice on how to feel better. It may take more than one test to get a diagnosis.
You could have a worse reaction next time. Mild itching or tingling in your mouth could evolve into more serious problems. Your doctor can prescribe medications to treat symptoms. This may include an epinephrine injector, which can stop a life-threatening reaction. Always carry two shots with you if your doctor prescribes them. Don’t wait to use the device, even if your symptoms don’t seem to be allergy-related. Using it as a precaution won’t hurt you.