SYLACAUGA, Ala. – Each year, 50 million people go to war. The enemy? Allergens.

The human body is constantly defending itself from these attacks. Dust, mold, and pollen wage war by eliciting very unpleasant reactions within the body. Allergy victims suffer through watery eyes, sneezing, headaches, congestion and much more.

One of the marvels of the human body is that it can defend itself against harmful invaders such as viruses or bacteria. In some people, the body reacts to harmless substances such as dust, mold or pollen by producing an antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE). These patients may experience an exaggerated reaction to an otherwise harmless substance in the environment causing the immune system to go into attack mode.

When patients with an allergy are exposed to these certain substances, the immune system then rallies its defenses, launching a host of complex chemical weapons to attack and destroy the supposed enemy. In the process, some unpleasant and, in extreme cases, life-threatening symptoms may be experienced.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S. with an annual cost in excess of $18 billion. More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year.

MainStreet Family Urgent Care provided a list of the most common allergy causes. Allergies can be triggered by mold, tree, grass, and weed pollen all of which rear their heads during the spring time and continue through the early summer as different plants begin growing and producing pollen. An allergic reaction may occur anywhere in the body, but usually appears in the skin, eyes, lining of the stomach, nose, sinuses, throat and lungs.

Allergy symptoms can include a runny or stuffy nose, headaches, fatigue, rashes, fevers, wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, sneezing, and nausea.

The most common allergic diseases include hay fever, asthma, conjunctivitis, hives, eczema, dermatitis and sinusitis.

Many of these symptoms can be treated after being evaluated by a MainStreet Family Urgent Care provider who can then decide the best way to treat those symptoms and get you back to enjoying the warm weather. Treatment options include nasal corticosteroids, injected corticosteroids or extra-strength allergy pills, some of which can be purchased on-site with MainStreet’s Pre-Pak pharmacy, which eliminates the need for an extra trip to the pharmacy.

Visit MainStreet Family Urgent Care, open seven days a week with extended hours, to help you Feel Better, FAST!

For more information, www.mainstreetfamilycare.com, like the Facebook page, or e-mail info@mainstreetfamilycare.com.

*MainStreet Family Urgent Care is committed to helping their patients heal better and feel better, FAST! Headquartered in Birmingham, MainStreet Family Urgent Care serves rural communities in Alabama by providing quality healthcare with hometown convenience, compassion, and cost-effectiveness. In addition to a full-range of urgent care services, MainStreet Family Urgent Care also delivers a variety of preventative, wellness and occupational health services. MainStreet currently has sixteen locations throughout Alabama including the state’s first pediatric urgent care clinics. More information about MainStreet Family Urgent Care can be found online at www.mainstreetfamilycare.com.

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