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Family Health: Allergy Problems

Pinpointing the exact cause can be difficult for millions of people.
Arkansas is one of the worst states for allergy sufferers.

Allergies are one of the most nagging, annoying problems.

In fact, more than 50 million Americans suffer with them.

The big problem is pinpointing the exact cause. Doctors say you should consider many factors when you're trying to get a diagnosis.

"We diagnose an allergy based on history, based on an individual having nasal symptoms that either occur in certain seasons or year-round and are worse in certain times of the year," says one doctor.

Doctors can test for allergies by doing a blood or skin test.

Allergy testing is handy - and when combined with a complete medical history - an allergist has a good idea of what's causing your symptoms.

One thing is for certain, if allergy symptoms, like a runny nose, itchy eyes, or sneezing, last longer than a couple of weeks - despite taking over the counter allergy medications - you might need an expert.

"You have sleep disruption, you're not able to do the things you want to do in terms of desired activities, miss school, miss work, then it's time to see an allergist and undergo the appropriate testing to see what you are allergic to so that you can avoid it," one expert says.

The most common allergens include: pollen and dust mites.

There is no cure for allergies - but with proper avoidance and medication, you can stay symptom-free.
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