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Allergies

Allergies are common. Do you, or does someone you know, suffer from an allergy? Our evidence-based information will help you better understand how to manage various allergic conditions including hay fever, food allergies, atopic dermatitis, allergic asthma and anaphylaxis. Find out more about allergy symptoms and treatments including the use of medications such as antihistamines and steroids below.

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  • Evidence Summary

    Saline irrigation for allergic rhinitis.

    Cochrane Database Syst Rev (2018)
  • Web Resource Rating

    Which medications can relieve allergic rhinitis?

    Informed Health Online
    If you have allergic rhinitis, there are medications you can purchase as tablets, nose drops or sprays. These include: antihistamines, steroids, leukotriene receptor antagonists, chromones, and decongestants. Research shows these are all effective treatments.
  • Patient Decision Aid

    Allergies: Should I Take Shots for Insect Sting Allergies?

    OHRI
    This patient decision aid helps people allergic to insect stings decide on whether or not to take shots for insect sting allergies by comparing the benefits, risks and side effects of both options. It includes alternative options such as avoiding stinging insects and carrying an allergy kit to deal with the risk of a severe allergic reaction.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Patient education: Using an epinephrine autoinjector (Beyond the Basics)

    UpToDate - patient information
    This resource explains how to use an epinephrine injector for a severe allergic reaction. Call 911 immediately after using this medication.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Patient education: Oral allergy syndrome (Beyond the Basics)

    UpToDate - patient information
    Oral allergy syndrome is a type of food allergy caused by uncooked fruits, raw vegetables and nuts. The most common symptom is itching of the mouth and throat. In most cases avoiding the foods that cause symptoms is the best treatment.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Patient education: Hives (urticaria) (Beyond the Basics)

    UpToDate - patient information
    Hives are raised, itchy bumps that are red in colour. Hives usually appear suddenly and last a few days to a week or two. Treatment can include antihistamines, oral steroids, and avoiding allergens or other triggers. See a doctor immediately if your hives appear with serious allergy symptoms such as trouble breathing, vomiting or passing out.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Patient education: Food allergy symptoms and diagnosis (Beyond the Basics)

    UpToDate - patient information
    Difficulty breathing, lightheadedness, and vomiting are symptoms of a food allergy. Get emergency medical help if you suddenly experience these symptoms after eating.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Patient education: Trigger avoidance in allergic rhinitis (Beyond the Basics)

    UpToDate - patient information
    Allergic rhinitis can be caused by outdoor and indoor allergens, including pollens, insects, animals and molds. Tracking your symptoms and referral to an allergy specialist can help to identify - and avoid - triggers.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Patient education: Bee and insect stings (Beyond the Basics)

    UpToDate - patient information
    After being stung by an insect, try and remove the stinger quickly. Common reactions include pain and swelling. Ice, antihistamines and pain relievers can help. Nausea, vomiting or difficulty breathing are signs of an allergic reaction: call 911 immediately.
  • Evidence Summary

    Short-course oral steroids alone for chronic rhinosinusitis.

    Cochrane Database Syst Rev (2016)
  • Web Resource Rating

    Patient education: Trigger avoidance in asthma (Beyond the Basics)

    UpToDate - patient information
    Avoid triggers to prevent an asthma reaction. This resource describes many different types of triggers that might make your asthma worse. Pay attention to your symptoms to find and avoid things that are triggers for you.
  • Evidence Summary

    Systemic and topical antibiotics for chronic rhinosinusitis.

    Cochrane Database Syst Rev (2016)
  • Evidence Summary

    Different types of intranasal steroids for chronic rhinosinusitis.

    Cochrane Database Syst Rev (2016)
  • Web Resource Rating

    Anaphylaxis symptoms and diagnosis

    UpToDate - patient information
    Anaphylaxis is a severe and life-threatening allergy most often caused by foods, medications or insect stings. Common symptoms are difficulty breathing, flushed skin, vomiting and dizziness.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Anaphylaxis treatment and prevention of recurrences

    UpToDate - patient information
    A severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) requires urgent help. Give epinephrine first if possible and go to the hospital right away. See an allergist and identify triggers to prevent reactions.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Hay fever

    Informed Health Online
    Hay fever is an allergy to pollen in the air. You may sneeze a lot, have a runny nose and itchy eyes, or wheeze when you breathe. Try nose and eye drops, allergy medications, and keep your windows closed.
  • Patient Decision Aid

    Allergies: Should I Take Allergy Shots?

    OHRI
    This patient decision aid helps people (over the age of 5) with allergic rhinitis (hay fever) or allergic asthma decide on whether or not to take allergy shots by comparing the benefits, risks, and side effects of both options.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Patient education: Significance of negative penicillin allergy skin testing (Beyond the Basics)

    UpToDate - patient information
    A penicillin skin test is used to see if a person is allergic to penicillin. Negative results mean there is likely no allergy. Allergic reactions to penicillin can include fever, muscle pain and even death.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Hay fever and dust mite allergies: Allergen-specific immunotherapy

    Informed Health Online
    Allergen-specific immunotherapy is designed to reduce allergy symptoms in the medium to long term by repeatedly exposing the person to an allergy extract over a long period of time. Research has shown it is effective for treating hay fever and year-round (perennial) allergic rhinitis. Talk with your doctor to see if allergen-specific immunotherapy is right for you.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Patient education: Food allergen avoidance (Beyond the Basics)

    UpToDate - patient information
    Food allergies can cause serious or even life-threatening reactions. Adults and parents of kids with food allergies can learn how to read food labels to avoid eating these foods. Read this resource for other tips to avoid allergic reactions from food.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Allergy to penicillin and related antibiotics

    UpToDate - patient information
    People may have allergic and nonallergic reactions to penicillin. Allergic reactions can be severe and life-threatening. Non-allergic reactions include stomach upset and diarrhea. A skin test before using pencillin can determine if you are allergic.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Dust mite allergy

    Mayo Clinic
    Dust mites are not visible, but can cause an allergic reaction such as runny nose, itchy eyes and wheezing. Keep your bedding and home free of dust. More tips and questions to ask your doctor in this resource.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Imported fire ants

    UpToDate - patient information
    Fire ants can sting and cause an allergic reaction. Kill the ant and wash the sting site with soap and cool water. Antihistamines can help reduce itching. Get emergency treatment if you show signs of anaphylaxis (trouble breathing or swallowing, fainting).
  • Web Resource Rating

    Acute sinusitis

    Mayo Clinic
    To relieve symptoms of sinusitis your doctor may suggest nasal sprays, decongestants, and pain relievers. Antibiotics and immunotherapy are other treatment options in certain cases.
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