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Allergies and irritants: is there danger of over-medicating the symptoms?

Author: Ann Bailey
Published: Mar 27 2013

If you suffer from allergies, you already know how the unpleasant symptoms can mess up your life. Sneezing, watery eyes, runny noses and coughing are all allergy symptoms, but allergies can manifest other symptoms as well, such as stomach aches, chills, confusion, headaches or skin rashes. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you may be tempted to take allergy medication, which is usually fine in moderation. However, allergy medications, especially if over-prescribed, can sometimes cause side effects and may lead to problems. At the least, they may make you feel comfortable being around the allergens more than you should.

Allergies, sneezing

Prolonged Allergen Exposure Can Cause Serious Problems

No matter how much you medicate the symptoms, your allergic reactions are causing your body damage. Not only can prolonged exposure to allergens make your body inflamed and irritated, but it can also worsen your allergies over time. Studies have shown that many people, especially those with food allergies, often develop more serious symptoms the longer they are exposed to their allergens. The reverse effect has also been seen when people completely eliminate contact with an allergen for a long period of time. Years later, these people will often find that they no longer suffer from the allergy.

Allergy Medications Make Exposure Tolerable, Not Acceptable

Depending on your individual allergies, avoiding exposure may not be an option. If you are allergic to pollen, for example, you are probably not going to be able to stop going outside during the entire spring season. In this case, the use of allergy medications may be necessary on particularly bad days. However, in cases of food allergies or allergies to things that can easily be avoided, steering clear of the allergen is always the best option. The trouble with allergy medications is that they treat the symptoms well enough to make being around the allergen tolerable, which is exactly what you want to avoid. Over a long enough period of time, repeated exposure to allergens or irritants can cause skin, lung and sinus infections, not to mention more serious conditions such as lung disease or cancer.

Are Doctors are Over-Medicating at Your Expense?

As much as you want to trust your doctor, it's always a good idea to do your own research. These days, many doctors are over-medicating their patients, sometimes to the point of being dangerous. As reminded by the Maryland injury lawyers at Price Benowitz LLP, "...the Institute for Healthcare Improvement estimates 15 million occurrences of medical injury each year." If you feel that you have suffered health consequences due to being prescribed unnecessary allergy medication or being directed to use allergy medication more than you feel was safe, contact a medical malpractice attorney today. A qualified attorney will be able to tell you whether or not you have a case and possibly even help you receive compensation for your pain and suffering.

As unfortunate as it is, there is currently no known cure for allergies, other than avoiding the allergen itself. Being sensitive to certain substances can make life difficult, but over-medicating and repeatedly exposing yourself to your allergens could potentially be deadly. The best method for dealing with allergies is always avoidance.

A writer with family members having seasonal allergies, Ann Bailey posts these warnings for all allergy sufferers. The medical malpractice attorneys at Price Benowitz LLP research all aspects of their clients' cases to help them recover any damages for malpractice injuries that may be warranted.

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