If you have allergies, even if they're mild, continuing to tough it out not only is unnecessary, it can have health consequences, too. First, allergies affect your quality of life. Untreated allergies can lead to sleep problems, concentration difficulties, decreased learning ability, halitosis, and orthodontic problems. Allergy sufferers often miss days at work or school. And, last but not least, constant allergies can make you feel tired and worn out. You can't function optimally when you feel miserable; decreased concentration can lead to an accident or injury.
Second, untreated allergies can lead to serious health problems. It's common for those with allergies to develop infections in the sinuses (sinusitis), throat, and ears. Tonsils and adenoids may become enlarged and diseased. Polyps, which are translucent, gelatinous growths in the nasal passages, can develop from the continuous nasal irritation and swelling that accompany allergies. Polyps are not that serious but will predispose you to future sinus infections, and they can cause nasal obstruction.
Allergies can also predispose you to developing sleep apnea (a potentially life-threatening disorder that causes a person o stop breathing during sleep). Untreated allergies can also result in other chronic respiratory problems, such as asthma, or skin problems, such as eczema and hives. Food allergies, drug allergies, and insect-sting allergies can even cause life-threatening anaphylactic shock.
Now that you've decided to see a doctor for your problem, it's time to address an area that keeps many people from seeing an allergist -- medical costs.
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