People sometimes believe they are allergic to cigarette smoke because they react to its presence with unpleasant symptoms. Tobacco smoke is not considered an allergen, but it can aggravate existing allergies that the person may not consider much of a problem. A little hay fever in late summer, for instance, might become a full-blown attack of sneezing, wheezing and coughing when encountering cigarette smoke. An allergist in Elizabethtown KY can perform testing to identify the substances that are the actual allergens causing the underlying problem.
There are certain advantages to this identification. First, the patient may be able to avoid the allergens, at least to a certain extent. It may be possible to avoid strolling through a field with ragweed and goldenrod in August, for example. Eliminating pollen-producing weeds on the residential property can help. A second advantage would be receiving immunotherapy injections from an allergist in Elizabethtown KY. The shots, which contain tiny amounts of the allergen, help the immune system become accustomed to the substance and not react as strongly to it. This therapy does not eliminate or cure the allergy, but it is nevertheless very effective.
Tobacco smoke can cause additional problems because it irritates the respiratory system, even as second-hand or third-hand smoke. Once an individual understands that he or she has an allergy to pollen or some other substance, it becomes clearer why staying away from a smoky environment is important. It may be possible to avoid the need for allergy medication coming in contact with the allergen, but the combination of both substances may be too much for the body to handle without more extreme negative reactions. People may also find that campfire or fireplace smoke makes their allergy symptoms flare up or become worse.
Interestingly, exposure to cigarette smoke also increases the likelihood that someone will develop hay fever in the first place. Exposure to this smoke is a risk factor for the development of asthma too. These are essential considerations for anyone with children or planning to have children. Visit Accredited Asthma Allergy & Food Intolerance Center to consult a physician about symptoms, testing and treatment.