As spring sets in, primary care physicians can expect to see a litany of patients with allergy complaints. These may include the obvious symptoms such as sneezing, red and itchy eyes, a runny or stuffed-up nose, and hives. But allergies can extend well beyond the basic symptoms and affect many different body symptoms.
Allergies can also contribute to:
- Headaches. Many patients with hay fever also complain of headaches. Head pain can result from sinus pain and pressure, but it may also be linked to allergic inflammation in the neck muscles or blood vessels in the head.
- Fatigue. Allergy symptoms can keep patients up at night, causing them to wake up feeling tired. Allergy medications can exacerbate the problem. Certain antihistamines can make you drowsy and some decongestants can make it difficult to fall asleep. Both are capable of derailing regular sleep patterns. Besides all of this, some experts theorize that the efforts the immune system is expending in the internal war against allergens can deplete patients’ energy reserves.
- Asthma. Allergies inflame the airways and keep people from breathing normally, leading to asthma. There are some good medications for addressing the symptoms of asthma, but until the underlying allergy is treated, patients will continue to struggle.
- Gastrointestinal distress. If patients have food allergies (which often accompany environmental allergies), they may develop gut problems that include flatulence, diarrhea, bloating, and cramps. Food allergy treatment may be in order.
- Coughing. Allergies cause post-nasal drip, which irritates the lining of the airways and causes coughing. Most coughs subside in a week or so, but if your patients cough chronically, allergies may be at the root of the problem.
- Eczema. It’s common to refer patients with eczema to a dermatologist, but allergies often cause the skin condition. Eczema sufferers may cycle through a litany of prescription skin cream in search of lasting relief, but the only enduring solution is to fix the underlying allergy itself.
If you’re treating patients with allergies, you can start with prescription medications such as antihistamines, but remember that these drugs only address the side effects—not the underlying allergy. If patients suffer from symptoms for more than a few months of the year, or if their symptoms are shorter-term but severe enough to significantly compromise their quality of life, they might benefit from allergy immunotherapy.
You can incorporate a turnkey allergy treatment program into your practice, allowing you to serve your patients better while increasing your medical practice revenue. As part of the program, you can order an easy-to-administer allergy test kit for physicians. If patients test positive, you can then prescribe subcutaneous immunotherapy (allergy shots) or sublingual immunotherapy (under-the-tongue oral drops).
At AllergyEasy, we can help you increase your medical practice profits while maintaining better continuity of care. Don’t just treat your patients’ symptoms. Get to the root of the problem by prescribing allergy immunotherapy for lasting relief. You can be up and running with the allergy treatment program with just a few hours of training.