When to see a doctor for allergies

By Edo Paz, MD
Medically reviewed checkmarkMedically reviewed
December 30, 2020

There are some serious allergies which require urgent evaluation by a doctor. If you experience swelling in your lips, mouth or throat, trouble breathing, or lightheadedness after consuming food, taking medication, or touching a certain material, go see a doctor as soon as possible.

You should also speak with your doctor about potential allergies if you experience a pattern of cold-like symptoms (runny nose, sneezing) or rash (itchy red or skin-colored bumps called hives):

  • When you are in contact with a specific animal, plant, food, medicine, or material
  • When you are in a particular environment, such as inside your home or at your office, that seem to disappear as soon as you are out of that environment
  • During a specific time of year

For symptomatic treatment of allergies, we recommend antihistamines like Claritin or Zyrtec. For treatment of a cold, the over-the-counter medication depends on your symptoms. For example, Tylenol Cold and Flu Severe contains acetaminophen (which relieves pain and reduces a fever), dextromethorphan (suppresses a cough), phenylephrine (reduces nasal congestion), and guaifenesin (clears mucus). These active ingredients are available in many brands and products in different combinations, so you can look for the active ingredients that are most relevant to your symptoms.

If symptoms persist or worsen, text with a doctor and continue the conversation with K Health.

K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

Edo Paz, MD

Edo Paz is the VP of Medical at K Health. Dr. Paz has two degrees in chemistry from Harvard and earned his medical degree from Columbia University. He did his medical training in internal medicine and cardiology at New York-Presbyterian. In addition to his work at K Health, Dr. Paz is a cardiologist at White Plains Hospital, part of the Montefiore Health System.