Environmental Allergies

How do we test for Environmental Allergies at AIWC?

 This test goes by the name of skin prick test, puncture test, or scratch test. By scratching the skin lightly and then applying a small amount of the suspected allergen (most commonly pollen, mold, pet dander, and dust mites) on to the area, we can assess to see if a small itchy raised bump presents itself. If one or more allergen tests positive, either injections or sublingual drops can treat it. This can reduce and even eliminate reactions long term.

What is an Environmental Allergy?

This is the immune systems overreaction to a substance in the environment such as dust mites, pollen, pet dander, etc.  The immune system receives information from your external environment and produces an adaptive response. Its main purpose is to recognize any threats and foreign invaders such as bacteria, parasites and then launch an attack to neutralize the threat of an infection. This occurs through a very complex process that produces millions of unique antibodies that serve as first responders, which in turn can trigger an immune response.

After an antibody becomes activated through the identification/interaction with a foreign protein, it is then mass-produced by the immune cells. These immune cells then circulate the body to form an immunological memory. During production by the immune system, these antibodies are supposed to be edited to remove ones that attack the self and also non-threatening proteins. In cases where this does not occur then the body can attack itself (autoimmune disorders, ie. Multiple Sclerosis), or create allergies to grass pollen, etc. In general terms it can be thought of as a spectrum of inappropriate immune responses, with allergies on one end and autoimmune disorders on the other.

Symptoms for Environmental Allergies can be, but not limited to:

Mild Symptoms

Sneezing, often accompanied by a running nose Watering eyes
Coughing and postnasal drip Conjunctivitis (an inflammation of the membrane that lines the eyes causing red-rimmed, swollen eyes and crusting of the eyelids)
Itching eyes, nose and/or throat Skin rashes or hives
Allergic shiners (dark circles under the eyes caused by an increase of flow near sinuses)

“Sinus” symptoms- headache, feeling of pressure behind the eye, pain above the cheekbones and on the lower forehead, and/or aching teeth.

Moderate Symptoms

Includes symptoms that spread to another part of the body- itchiness Difficulty breathing

Severe Symptoms

Anaphylaxis, rare and life-threatening reaction that affects the whole body. Can start with itching of the eyes or have a quick onset of abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, trouble breathing, mental confusion and dizziness.

Why can we have Environmental Allergies?

 Allergies and autoimmune disorders occur because the immune system becomes conditioned to react to an inappropriate target. If it attacks the body it is an autoimmune disorder and if a harmless environmental protein alarms it, than it is an environmental allergy. Some allergies can start from childhood and others can have a later onset due to reasons not entirely known.

What do we test for at Aumakua Integrative Wellness Clinic?

  • Standard Grass Mix: Timothy, Orchard, June, Red Top, Sweet Vernal
  • Tree 10 Mix: Alder, White Ash, American Beech, Black Birch, American Elm, Shagbark, Sugar Maple, White Oak, White Poplar, American Sycamore
  • Mould Mix: Alternaria, Aspergillus, Cladosproium, Penicillium
  • Dust Mite: Mixed mites
  • Dog: Dog epithelium
  • Weed Mix: Cocklebur, Rough Marsh Elder, English Plantain, Lamb Quarters
  • Cat: Cat Pelt

If you are suffering with environmental allergies and are having trouble pin-pointing what exactly the irritant is, we would love to help you here at AIWC. The test is easy, non-invasive and very informative. We can help you figure out how to strengthen your immune system to create a more appropriate immune response to environmental substances.

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