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What are Allergies? What we commonly call allergies are actually groups of common symptoms affecting the upper respiratory tract such as runny nose, nasal congestion, sniffles, post nasal drip, itchy nose, sneezing and so on and other symptoms affecting the lower respiratory tract such as cough, throat clearing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, frequent bronchitis, wheezing and such. These symptoms may manifest themselves in any combination and have various triggers. Sometimes they are present all year round and sometimes only in certain seasons and are respectively referred to as either “perennial” or “seasonal”. They affect about 1520% of the population and cause more time lost from work and school than any other reason. Billions of dollars are spent yearly on over-the-counter remedies and prescription drugs that infrequently work as advertised. Despite research and increased awareness of these conditions little more is known now about their cause or treatment than 30 years ago. In fact, the incidence of nasal allergies and allergic asthma has been rising for the past 15-20 years and in some circumstances, so has the death rate from allergic asthma! Now allergy symptoms have been shown to be the result of the action of the allergic antibodies on inhaled antigens toward which they are aimed at and the subsequent chronic and acute inflammation in the respiratory epithelium or mucous membranes is the result. The allergic inflamma-

tion causes the mucous membranes to be “hyper-reactive” to stimuli that rarely cause problems for non-allergic individuals. Many non-allergenic stimuli such as, temperature swings, air pressure changes, chemicals, strong odors, emotions, infections and so on adversely affect allergic individuals. It is important to note that most patients with such symptoms can be successfully treated despite any problems identifying specific offending agents. All adults and children with chronic debilitating symptoms affecting their upper and/or lower respiratory systems, eyes, skin, sinuses, throat, nose or ears or having reactions to foods, medications or workplace chemicals should seek out a Board Certified Allergy Asthma and Immunology specialist for professional allergy testing and subsequent diagnosis and treatment! Almost all allergy problems will yeild to some sort of diagnosis and treatment that your Board Certified Allergy Specialist is best prepared to furnish to you! The Allergy & Asthma Clinics of Fox Valley, S.C. have treated over 20,000 satisfied patients since 1974 by our double board certified physician, Dr. Ronald Wolfson, and Advance Practice Nurse, Carole Wolfson. They offer extensive treatment options to children and adults and they are currently accepting new patients. They have two locations: 1315 N. Highland, Aurora, 630-859-3877; 1705 South Street, Geneva, 630-208-3980.

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KCC Medical Guide 2013  
KCC Medical Guide 2013