An allergy is the result of the interaction between your immune system and an external stimulus (termed allergen). These include dust mites, pets, pollen, foods, insects and drugs. Symptoms can involve several organ systems, the most common being nose (congestion, runny nose, sneezing), eyes (itchy, watery, red and swollen), lungs (asthma) and skin (hives, rash, eczema).
We see patients with allergies (environmental, foods, drugs, insect), asthma, sinus problems, hives, eczema and other allergic skin conditions.
Allergies are diagnosed by history, physical exam and allergy testing. This is done either by skin testing or blood testing. Results of skin testing are available in a few minutes and blood testing usually takes a few days.
Environmental allergens can be seasonal or year-round. Common seasonal allergens are tree pollen (March-June), grass pollen (May-July) and Ragweed (August-October). Year-round allergens are usually indoors. These include pets, dust mites, cockroaches and molds.
Allergies have been shown to be associated with sinus problems, asthma, eczema and hives among other conditions.
Immunotherapy is one of the methods of treatment for allergies and asthma. It consists of a series of injections given once or twice a week initially during the build-up phase and once every 2-4 weeks during the maintenance phase. It modifies the immune system so that it is better able to deal with the allergens. It usually lasts 3-5 years. It has been proven to be effective for allergies, allergic asthma and insect sting reactions, but not for foods. The injections are given under the skin (subcutaneously). Click here for more information regarding allergy shots. Sublingual (drops put under the tongue) immunotherapy is being studied.
After a history and physical examination, testing may include skin prick testing for allergies and lung function testing for asthma. Skin testing is a relatively painless, faster and less expensive (than blood testing) procedure. Blood tests may also be required depending on the situation. The visit may last 1-2 hours.
Asthma is an inflammatory lung condition which is usually reversible but can be irreversible in the later stages. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness and coughing. It can be triggered by multiple stimuli including exercise, cold weather, allergies and upper respiratory infections.
This is done by history, physical exam and lung function testing, also called spirometry. This is done in the office or in an outpatient setting.
With a combination of patient education, environmental control for allergens, medications (antihistamines, nasal steroids and steroid inhalers to name a few) and allergy shots or injections (if you have allergies).
Yes. Estimated risk for a child with one parent with allergies is 35-50% and is over 50% when both parents have allergies. Similar risks are also seen with asthma.
The chances of a child outgrowing asthma are improved when it is not allergen induced, if the child does not have eczema and if there is no history of asthma in the parents.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding the conditions we treat or regarding our practice.