Do you get itchy or watery eyes for no reason? Are you tired or feeling generally unwell? Here are some reasons why a trip to an allergy specialist might be in order:

What is an allergy? An allergy is essentially your body overreacting to foreign particles, also known as allergens, such as dust or mold. When your body overreacts to these usually harmless substances, it triggers inflammation. It's this inflammation that is the source of most allergy misery. Not everyone reacts to allergens in the same way. 

How do you know if you have an allergy? You may have nothing more than a runny nose, you could have trouble breathing, or an allergy could even trigger symptoms of a heart attack. If you have trouble breathing, the lack of oxygen could also trigger fatigue, headaches and a wide variety of other symptoms. Some allergies cause mild to severe skin rashes that are mistaken for anything from eczema to cellulitis. A visit to an allergy specialist will help confirm whether the general malaise you feel is actually an allergy or whether it's something else entirely.

What can you do if you have an allergy? For some allergies, the simplest thing to do is to try to avoid contact with the allergen as much as possible. For more serious allergies, an allergy specialist may prescribe medicine to help alleviate allergy symptoms. If you have a severe allergy, you may even be given an EpiPen for emergencies. In some cases, your allergy specialist may prescribe immunotherapy shots. These shots have small amounts of the allergen in them. Over time, the allergist gradually increases the allergen content, allowing you to build up a tolerance and potentially curing your allergy.

What is an EpiPen? Your allergy specialist can go over the medical specifics of exactly what an EpiPen does and when it should be used. But, essentially, an EpiPen is an emergency autoinjector syringe device that delivers epinephrine to someone who is having a potentially deadly allergic reaction. Epinephrine can pause or halt the allergic reaction long enough for you to get medical treatment at the hospital.

Because everyone reacts differently to different allergens, if you suspect you might have an allergy, it's important to visit a doctor or allergy specialist as soon as possible so that they can confirm a diagnosis. Mild allergies, especially ones that trigger breathing problems, can become severe or deadly without warning. As a result, it's important to get regular checkups and to take the medicine you're given so that you will stay in optimal health. Talk to your allergist, such as someone from The Regional Allergy Asthma & Immunology Center, PC, for more information.