• Identifying Food Allergies

    Food allergies can range from mildly annoying to life threatening, so identifying them as soon as possible is essential. If you or your child is experiencing the symptoms of food allergies, your physician may refer to you an allergy specialist for diagnosis and care. Here are some of the steps involved in identifying food allergies.

    Spotting the Symptoms

    Food allergy symptoms vary. Some people experience hives, eczema, gastrointestinal problems, and itchy ear canals. Others may have sneezing, nasal congestion, and a dry cough. With severe reactions, people experience swelling in the throat, lips, or tongue that interferes with breathing. There may also be a drop in blood pressure, persistent shortness of breath, and loss of consciousness. Sometimes, there is an impending sense of doom before a severe allergic reaction occurs.

    Diagnosing the Allergies

    An allergy doctor can use a variety of different tests to diagnose a food allergy. One test is a skin prick test, in which a drop of liquid that contains the allergy trigger is introduced to your system via a prick in your skin. If a mark called a wheal appears, it indicates that you are sensitive to that food. A blood test may also be used. In some cases, eliminating suspected triggers from your diet for two to four weeks to see if your symptoms disappear is the most effective way to identify a food allergy. An oral food challenge, in which you eat a measured amount of the suspected trigger food, is the most accurate diagnostic tool. However, this test must be performed strictly under the watch of an allergy doctor, as it could cause a dangerous reaction.

    Diagnosing and treating food allergies is possible with help from an allergy doctor. The fellowship-trained, board-certified allergists and immunologists at Allergy & Asthma Specialists provide comprehensive allergy and asthma diagnostics, including testing for food allergies in King of Prussia, Philadelphia, Blue Bell, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, and Collegeville, PA. You can schedule an appointment today online or at 1-800-86COUGH, option 2.

  • The Truth about Hypoallergenic Pets

    Many people have misconceptions about allergies. One major myth about allergies is the myth of the hypoallergenic pet. Can any animal really be safe for those with allergies?

    Despite the advertisements, no animals are hypoallergenic. Any pet can trigger the need for allergy treatment. However, it is possible for people to be allergic to one breed within a species but not others, which is why many people believe that their dog or other pet is non-allergenic.

    Fellowship trained, board certified allergists/immunologists comprise the entire physician staff of Allergy & Asthma Specialists. Allergy doctors at this premier medical practice provide comprehensive allergy and asthma diagnostics and state of the art treatment, including three types of immunotherapy, at offices located in center city Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Schedule today online at www.AllergyandAsthmaWellness.com or by calling 1-800-86COUGH, option 2.

  • How Does Immunotherapy Work?

    If you suffer from allergies, immunotherapy is one treatment your allergy doctor may recommend. Immunotherapy isn’t a cure for allergies, but it does help increase your tolerance to triggers so that you may experience symptoms less often. There are three types of immunotherapy (IT). Subcutaneous IT, or allergy injections, sublingual IT, allergy drops under your tongue, and sublingual tablets. Is subcutaneous immunotherapy right for you, and what should you expect from this allergy treatment? Here is what you need to know.

    Allergy Shots - Allergy & Asthma Specialists

    Immunotherapy Candidates

    The first step in getting this allergy treatment is finding out if you’re a good candidate. Subcutaneous immunotherapy—or allergy injections, as the treatment is sometimes called—tends to work well for allergies to pet dander, dust mites, mold, pollen, and bee stings. Typically, those with food allergies or drug allergies aren’t treated using subcutaneous immunotherapy. However, your allergy doctor will work with you to consider your symptoms and decide if you should try this treatment.

    Treatment Process

    For the first few months of subcutaneous immunotherapy, you will see your allergy doctor one to two times per week to receive an injection. Each injection contains a small amount of an allergen, and the dose gradually increases. After the initial round of treatment, you will receive maintenance doses every two to four weeks for up to five months and then once monthly for three to five years. Over the course of treatment, your allergy symptoms should improve. If you don’t have any improvement in the first year, your allergy doctor may suggest different treatments.

    Injection Recovery

    Your allergist will observe you for about 30 minutes after each immunotherapy injection to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction. Aside from a potential allergic reaction, the only side effects patients might experience are minor redness, pain, and swelling at the injection site.

    Fellowship trained, board certified allergists/immunologists comprise the entire physician staff of Allergy & Asthma Specialists. Allergy doctors at this premier medical practice provide comprehensive allergy and asthma diagnostics and state of the art treatment, including three types of immunotherapy, at offices located in center city Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Schedule today online at www.AllergyandAsthmaWellness.com or by calling 1-800-86COUGH, option 2.

  • Stinging Insect Allergies

    For most people, getting stung by an insect involves pain and swelling at the site of the injury. However, for up to 3 percent of people in the U.S., an insect sting could be deadly. If you have a stinging insect allergy, discuss your treatment plan with your allergy doctor.

    The symptoms of stinging insect allergies can range from mild to severe. For some people, an insect sting can lead to swelling beyond the site of the sting as well as persistent pain. Other people experience hives. Most dangerously, some people have anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction that requires immediate treatment. Your allergist may prescribe a medication for you to carry at all times if you are at risk for anaphylaxis.

    Fellowship trained, board certified allergists/immunologists comprise the entire physician staff of Allergy & Asthma Specialists. Allergy doctors at this premier medical practice provide comprehensive allergy and asthma diagnostics and state of the art treatment, including three types of immunotherapy, at offices located in center city Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Schedule today online at www.AllergyandAsthmaWellness.com or by calling 1-800-86COUGH, option 2.