Dr. Mery: Take Charge of Your Allergies in 2014

Published On January 16, 2014 | Austin MD, January/February 2014

Dr. Amin Mery – Hill Country Allergy & Asthma

Tips from an allergy expert

By Lauren Bolado

Coughing uncontrollably with a running nose and itchy eyes. Over-the-counter medications can help, but they never seem to completely relieve the symptoms. A board certified allergist can help you determine what allergens affect you and work with you to create a treatment plan that will alleviate those pesky symptoms and make you feel much better.

Our expert, Dr. Amin Mery with Hill Country Allergy & Asthma, has provided {Austin MD} with information about allergies and how to treat them. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and completed his medical degree at the University of Texas Health Science Center- San Antonio. After completing a residency at Brackenridge Hospital of Austin as part of the Austin Medical Education Program, Dr. Mery completed his fellowship in adult and pediatric allergy and immunology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, where he performed research in mast cell biology, a critical component of allergic disease. Dr. Mery enjoys traveling, collecting artwork and spending time with his family during his spare time.

For those affected by allergies, winter is a dreaded time of year. According to Dr. Mery, each season comes with allergens, and those with allergy problems may be affected in different times of the year due to their specific sensitivities. In addition to allergens in the air, allergy symptoms can also be caused by the food you ingest or insects that may sting you.

Allergy problems can be quite intrusive, as we all know. Allergy sufferers may experience, “nasal congestion, a cough, shortness of breath, itchy eyes, runny nose, abdominal symptoms like bloating and diarrhea, itchy skin and rashes, depending on which organ system is involved,” Dr. Mery says.

There are many factors that affect allergies: the weather, geographical location, specific susceptibilities, medications you are taking, your immune system, hobbies and lifestyle, to name a few. Some of these factors are impossible to control like the weather; others, we can. Dr. Mery suggests avoiding to the allergens that affect you can be avoided or modified to reduce exposure. If avoiding triggers is an impractical approach to preventing allergy problems, medications and immunotherapy (better known as allergy shots or sublingual drops) can be a solution to allergy sufferers. Immunotherapy is a more holistic long-term approach to treating allergy related symptoms. With a great success rate, Dr. Mery explains this is many times the best option for those with an underlying illness that causes allergy problems.

To help your body fight off allergens that invade your body, it is important to have a strong and healthy immune system. Measures should be taken to improve your overall health, in order to avoid severe allergy problems. It is not recommended that you ignore your allergy symptoms, as these may get worse over time. In addition, what you are allergic to can always change. People with allergies may develop worse reactions over time, or become allergic to new things.

Allergic reactions can develop into serious health problems like ear or sinus infections, even asthma. It is best to prevent these infections, rather than treat them. Nettie pots or other nasal rinses, Dr. Mery says, are a good way to clear out the sinuses at home to prevent worsening infections. Also, this tactic works to relieve some discomfort from nasal congestion. Over-the-counter medications and nasal rinses are temporary solutions, though. If allergy symptoms are ongoing and disruptive, it is best to get a professional opinion to get the relief you seek.

In a worst-case scenario, life threatening allergic reactions can occur such as anaphylaxis from insect stings or ingesting food one may be allergic to, such as peanuts, so it is important to monitor your allergies and be informed on risk factors.

“Many other types of healthcare providers attempt to treat allergies, such as chiropractors and other types of physicians, but do not treat it appropriately and/or comprehensively,” Dr. Mery says. “Proper identification of triggers by a board certified allergist so they are properly diagnosed and treated is very important.”

[For More Info:] Dr. Amin Mery, a Texas native, is board certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology as well as the American Board of Internal Medicine, and he is a member of American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, and the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. For more information on Hill Country Allergy, visit www.hillcountryallergy.com.

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