• Don’t Let Asthma or Allergies Take the Fun Out of Summer

    Summer is the season for barbecues, picnics, festivals, and camping trips. For individuals who need asthma or allergy treatment, however, this time of year can also mean a worsening of their symptoms. Keep reading for some tips on managing your asthma and allergies so you can get more fun out of summer.

    Don’t Wait for Symptoms

    To stay ahead of your symptoms, allergy doctors recommend that you take your allergy medication before stepping out the door. One reason for this is that if you wait until your symptoms start up, then your medication can be far less effective. Additionally, using your medication in advance can help you enjoy a symptom-free day as you take advantage of the summer weather.

    Cover up Your Eyes

    Many people choose to wear a hat and sunglasses during the summer to improve their comfort and shield their skin from the sun. However, covering up in these ways has added benefits for allergy sufferers, as doing so can help prevent aggravating pollen from getting into their eyes.

    Pay Attention to Alerts

    High pollen counts or poor air quality can both mean trouble for asthma and allergy sufferers. For this reason, you should check for local pollen and ozone alerts before heading outdoors, so you can judge whether to take your allergy medication or carry a quick relief inhaler.

    Be Mindful of Bees

    If you have a bee allergy, then now is the time to be most cautious of these stinging insects. To help avoid bees, keep your distance from uncovered food, do not wear perfume, and do not wear brightly colored clothing. Also, if someone nearby gets stung, then move away from the area, as more bees may soon arrive in response to a chemical that some bees give off after they sting.

    Certified by the board, the allergists and asthma doctors at Allergy & Asthma Specialists SM provide comprehensive and state-of-the-art treatment, including 2 types of immunotherapy. We have offices for allergy treatment in King of Prussia, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Blue Bell, Pottstown, Lansdale, Collegeville, and Doylestown, Pennsylvania. You can schedule your appointment today by calling 1-800-86-COUGH.

  • Could You Be Allergic to Alcoholic Beverages?

    If you suffer from headaches or allergy symptoms when you drink beer, wine, or distilled spirits, then you may be wondering if you’re allergic to alcohol. Watch this video to hear an allergy doctor discuss the range of reactions that people can have to alcoholic beverages.

    Alcoholic drinks can cause many reactions in people, some of which include a runny nose, skin rash, headache, or difficulty breathing. However, a more common reaction to alcohol that some individuals have is to the ethanol itself. Specific ethnic groups lack an enzyme that the body uses to break down ethanol, which can cause skin flushing and redness.

    If you have questions about alcoholic beverages and allergies, then contact the board-certified allergy doctors at Allergy & Asthma Specialists SM by calling 1-800-86-COUGH. Our premier medical practice offers allergy testing in Pottstown, Philadelphia, King of Prussia, Blue Bell, Doylestown, Jenkintown, Collegeville, and Lansdale, Pennsylvania.

  • Address Your Asthma Symptoms with Immunotherapy

    If you’re looking for a way to reduce your asthma symptoms, then your doctor may recommend something called immunotherapy. This option is among the most effective asthma treatments for individuals who also have allergies because it addresses the cause of the allergic reaction. Keep reading to learn more about treating your asthma symptoms with immunotherapy.

    Immunotherapy Overview

    Unlike antihistamines and decongestants, which treat allergy symptoms, immunotherapy is a preventative option for individuals whose allergy or asthma symptoms are triggered by things such as mold, dust mites, pollens, and animal dander. During immunotherapy treatment, the patient receives gradually increasing doses of the allergen to which they have a reaction. Over time, this process helps the patient’s immune system build up a tolerance or immunity to the allergen, which can result in a significant reduction in symptoms.

    Immunotherapy Treatment

    To begin the immunotherapy treatment process, you will undergo an allergy skin test to determine which allergens are triggering your symptoms. Based on the results of this test, your doctor will develop your personalized prescription of carefully calculated doses of allergen extracts, which are substances that are FDA-approved for immunotherapy. Then, you will begin your treatment, which will involve a series of allergen extract administrations.

    Immunotherapy Options

    The most commonly used and effective type of allergy immunotherapy is subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT), which is also known as allergy shots. Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is another option that can address allergies and asthma, and it involves placing drops under the tongue. SCIT begins with 1 to 2 shots per week, while SLIT is taken daily at home. Both options are safe, effective, and can cause your symptoms to begin to subside in 3 to 6 months.

    Allergy & Asthma Specialists SM has a team of asthma doctors and allergists who specialize in diagnostics and immunotherapy in Collegeville, Pottstown, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Blue Bell, Lansdale, and Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Please call 1-800-86-COUGH for more information or to schedule your appointment.

  • A Closer Look at Insect Allergies and Venom Allergy Shots

    Warmer weather correlates with higher numbers of stinging insects, which leads some individuals who have severe insect venom allergies to consider allergy shots. If you’re interested in this option, then continue reading for a closer look at this allergy treatment.

    What are venom allergy shots?

    For the average individual, an insect sting causes a local reaction that involves some redness, swelling, and discomfort at the site. For others, an insect sting can result in a systemic reaction and life-threatening anaphylaxis. Venom allergy shots are used to decrease a person’s sensitivity to insect venom and reduce his or her risk of anaphylaxis.

    How effective are venom allergy shots?

    An estimated 2 million Americans suffer from an allergy to insect stings. For those who are aware of their allergy, a fear of being stung can lead to depression and anxiety. Also, after suffering a severe reaction to an insect sting, many people experience a similar or worse reaction if stung a second time. The good news for these allergy sufferers is that, according to a study being presented by the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI), allergy shots can improve the quality of life for people with insect venom allergies. These shots, which are sometimes referred to as immunotherapy, are incredibly effective in preventing future allergic reactions to insect venom. Additionally, research shows that immunotherapy can decrease depression and anxiety for individuals allergic to ant, bee, and wasp stings.

    Who should consider venom allergy shots?

    If you’ve had a life-threatening reaction to an insect sting in the past, then you may benefit from immunotherapy. Individuals who have suffered normal, localized reactions to insect stings may not need venom allergy shots. If you think that this treatment may be right for you, then speak with an allergy doctor about your options.

    At our state-of-the-art allergy and immunology practice, Allergy & Asthma Specialists℠ offers patients advanced asthma and allergy care. To see one of our doctors about allergy shots in Philadelphia, King of Prussia, Collegeville, Lansdale, Blue Bell, Jenkintown, Pottstown, or Doylestown, Pennsylvania, you can call 1-800-86-COUGH or visit our website.

  • Treatment Options for Immune Deficiency

    Do you suffer from several respiratory infections per year that don’t respond well to treatment are a possible sign of an immune deficiency? If so, then you may benefit from seeing an allergy doctor for an immune deficiency examination. Other signs and symptoms of an immune deficiency include chronic rashes or diarrhea, weight loss or poor growth, an enlarged spleen, swollen lymph glands, and a need for multiple courses of antibiotics to clear infections.

    After taking your medical history, conducting a physical examination, reviewing your living conditions, and, in some cases, performing a panel of skin tests and lab work, your allergy specialist can inform you if you are suffering from an immune deficiency. If diagnosed with this condition, your treatment plan may include addressing conditions like allergic rhinitis, which can predispose you to infection. Antibiotics, antibiotic prophylaxis, and immunological replacement are also treatment options that your doctor may recommend.

    The board-certified allergy doctors at Allergy & Asthma Specialists℠ have advanced training in diagnosing immune deficiency and providing allergy treatment in Doylestown, Pottstown, Jenkintown, Lansdale, Collegeville, Blue Bell, Philadelphia, and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. To schedule your appointment, please visit our website or call 1-800-86-COUGH.