• Get the Truth Behind Common Myths About Food Allergies

    Sometimes, the food we eat isn’t always agreeable with our bodies, and adverse reactions occur. Food intolerances, such as the lactose in milk, can be physically uncomfortable but are not allergies. However, a milk allergy can cause a life-threatening reaction.  Allergic reactions to specific foods occur when the immune system mistakenly identifies a food as a harmful substance and triggers an immune response in the body. Unfortunately, food allergies can often go undiagnosed and misunderstood, posing a significant health threat to those who suffer from them. Here we’ll take a look at some common myths about food allergies so that you have the right information to guide your allergy treatment.

    Myth: Food allergies are all in the mind.

    These days, it seems that everyone has some type of dietary restriction, from avoiding gluten to lactose intolerance to not eating meat. While some of these dietary limitations have medical causes, others are brought on by nutrition fads. Food allergies do sometimes get lumped in with diet fads, so people assume that they aren’t a real concern because they are all in the mind. However, the symptoms of food allergies are all too real, and they won’t go away with just a strong will.

    Myth: Artificial foods are responsible for most food allergies.

    Another common misconception about food allergies is that they can be avoided by simply following an all-natural diet free of artificial flavoring agents and food dyes. In reality, most food allergies are caused by proteins in foods, so even whole, natural foods can be problematic. About 90% of food allergies are caused by these common foods:

    • Peanuts
    • Soy
    • Wheat
    • Cow’s milk
    • Eggs
    • Tree nuts
    • Fish
    • Shellfish

    Myth: Food allergies are always severe.

    Like any other type of allergies, food allergies range in severity. The quantity of the allergenic food consumed will affect the reaction, and for some people food allergies will actually go away or worsen over time, so the severity of a reaction is not always predictable.

    Symptoms of Food Allergy can be sudden and severe and commonly include one or more of the following:

    • Hives or swelling
    • Tingling in the mouth
    • Swelling of the tongue and throat
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Abdominal Cramps
    • Vomiting or diarrhea
    • Eczema or Rash
    • Coughing or wheezing
    • Loss of consciousness
    • Dizziness

    Food allergy symptoms typically begin immediately but may be delayed up to 2 hours of ingestion of the offending food.

    Living with food allergies can be scary, especially with so much misinformation out there. The allergists of Allergy & Asthma Specialists are the region’s authority on food allergy testing and challenges. Our offices serve the communities of center city Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and you can reach us for an appointment online or at 1-800-86COUGH.

  • Could You Be Suffering from Oral Allergy Syndrome?

    Have you ever felt as if your throat were raw or sore after eating? If so, there’s a possibility that you might have a condition known as oral allergy syndrome. If you suspect that you have any of the symptoms of an allergy, it’s important to consult a board certified allergist. Here is what you need to know about oral allergy syndrome—and how you can tell if you might have it.

    What is oral allergy syndrome?
    Oral allergy syndrome is a condition characterized by an immune reaction to the proteins in certain foods, or in pollen. It is most frequently found in older children, teenagers, and younger adults. People who already have allergic reactions to pollen are more likely to be diagnosed with oral allergy syndrome.

    What foods can trigger oral allergy syndrome?
    The types of foods that can cause allergic reactions differ depending on what type of pollen a person is allergic to. Individuals who have a ragweed allergy may also be allergic to bananas, zucchini, and sunflower seeds, while people with an allergy to grass may react badly to peaches, melons, or tomatoes. Finally, those who are allergic to birch pollen may have allergic reactions to foods such as celery, carrots, and almonds.

    How is oral allergy syndrome treated?
    For many people, the best option is to avoid trigger foods as much as possible. In many cases, cooking the foods will stop them from acting as allergens, as the heat affects the proteins. The physicians of Allergy & Asthma Specialists can evaluate and test you for oral allergy syndrome and advise you as to how you can best treat the condition.

    If you believe that you may have undiagnosed allergies that are affecting your life, Allergy & Asthma Specialists SM can help. Offices are located in Center City Philadelphia, Doylestown, Lansdale, King of Prussia, Blue Bell, Jenkintown, Collegeville, and Pottstown. Schedule an appointment online at our website or call 800-86COUGH, extension 2.

  • Identifying Common Household Asthma Triggers

    For asthma sufferers, triggers can be anywhere. Identifying what triggers your symptoms will help you and your asthma specialist make treatment decisions to keep your condition under control. A surprising number of asthma triggers can lurk inside your home, and by controlling your exposure to them, you can reduce the number and severity of the symptoms you experience. Here are some common triggers that could be in your home right now.

    Secondhand Smoke

    One of the most dangerous triggers for people with asthma is smoke. Secondhand smoke is extremely aggravating and can not only intensify symptoms like wheezing but can also lead to an asthma attack. Don’t allow anyone to smoke in your home, ever. Anyone who lives in the household who smokes should do so outside or talk to his or her doctor about quitting. Other types of smoke, such as that generated by wood fires, can also trigger asthma symptoms, so avoid wood burning fireplaces.

    Scented Products

    Anything that contains scent can be problematic for people who have asthma. This can include things like scented candles, hand soaps, laundry detergent, and cleaning products. When you choose room deodorizers and cleaning products, pick unscented varieties. Some people with asthma are able to tolerate certain scented products or only react to specific scents. If you know which products work and which don’t, then you can choose accordingly if you prefer to use products with scents.

    Dust

    Dust is a major contributor to asthma symptoms. Vacuum rugs and upholstered furniture regularly, or even better, remove carpeting and have hardwood floors instead. Wood furniture and other surfaces should be dusted at least weekly. Dust can also be trapped in your HVAC system and circulated throughout the home. Change air filters regularly to reduce the amount of dust in your indoor air.

    Mold

    Molds can trigger asthma. Molds are microscopic organisms that thrive in moist, damp places. The most common indoor sites of mold growth are bathroom walls and shower curtains, window moldings, basements and carpets.

    Let an asthma specialist at Allergy & Asthma Specialists SM help you get better control of your symptoms by identifying your triggers and learning environmental control measures for alleviating those triggers. Making an appointment is easy. Please visit us online or call 1(800) 86-COUGH to make an appointment with an asthma doctor in Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, or Collegeville, Pennsylvania.

  • How Allergens Affect Your Body

    Everyone is familiar with allergies, but most people don’t really know how allergens cause the reactions that they do. When you see an allergy doctor, he or she provides treatment that stops the way your body reacts to an allergen. Watch this video to learn more.

    When you have an allergy, your body sees the allergen as an invader that must be neutralized to protect your health. Among the substances released by the immune system to deal with the allergen is histamine, which can cause runny eyes and nose, atopic dermatitis, and other symptoms. For this reason, antihistamines are a popular allergy treatment.

    Don’t let your allergen stop you from enjoying life. Get the treatment you need at Allergy & Asthma Specialists℠. Find an allergy doctor across the area in Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, or Collegeville, by visiting www.AllergyandAsthmaWellness.com or calling Allergy & Asthma Specialists℠ at 1-800-86COUGH, extension 2.

  • What Are the Symptoms of a Wheat Allergy?

    Wheat allergies are not common. When many people think of wheat allergies, they think of gluten allergies. Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat, and when people are sensitive to it, they develop celiac disease. Celiac disease can cause symptoms similar to an allergic reaction, but it is not the same thing as a wheat allergy. Your allergy doctor will determine if you have a true wheat allergy or if you could have celiac disease.

    The symptoms of wheat allergies are similar to those of other food allergies. They include digestive symptoms, itching, swelling in the mouth, hives, and headache. Wheat allergies can also cause anaphylaxis, a serious allergic reaction that causes breathing difficulties, chest tightness, and a fast heartbeat. Anaphylaxis requires immediate emergency treatment. The most effective allergy treatment for wheat allergies is usually avoiding wheat or undergoing immunotherapy.

    Get solutions to your allergy symptoms by scheduling a consultation at Allergy & Asthma Specialists SM . To see an allergy doctor near Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, or Collegeville, please visit 86cough.com or call 1-800-86COUGH, extension 2.

  • What Is a Local Pollen Count?

    Have you been diagnosed with seasonal allergies by your allergy doctor? If so, then knowing about and monitoring local pollen counts can be important for managing your condition and promoting your comfort.

    A local pollen count is an estimate of expected pollen levels in a specific area. These estimates are typically updated daily and calculated using a combination of current pollen reports and historical pollen indexes. Checking the pollen count each day can alert you to whether you should take or increase your allergy medication before going outdoors. For this reason, allergists often advise their patients to keep track of local pollen counts.

    Allergy & Asthma Specialists℠ provides diagnosis and treatment for a broad range of allergies.

    If you’re looking for allergy testing in Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, or Collegeville, Pennsylvania, then please call 1(800)86-COUGH or visit us online to schedule your appointment with one of our allergy doctors.

  • Why Women Should See an Allergist During Pregnancy

    Allergies and asthma are serious conditions, and about a third of all pregnant women experience a worsening of their allergy symptoms. If you’re pregnant, then watch this video to learn why you should visit an allergy doctor.

    To promote the health of yourself and your child, keeping your asthma and allergies under control during pregnancy is important. Because you are breathing for 2, you should visit an allergy specialist to learn what you can do to help manage your symptoms during this time.

    At Allergy & Asthma Specialists℠, our allergists are experienced in treating a wide range of allergy conditions. Please call 1(800)86-COUGH or visit our website to make your appointment with one of our allergy doctors in Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, or Collegeville, Pennsylvania.

  • The Basics of Food Allergies

    Food allergies are quite common and typically involve allergic reactions to peanuts, milk, eggs, shellfish, soy, or wheat, although other foods can also be allergens. An allergic reaction is essentially an overreaction by the immune system to a food; the immune system identifies the harmless substance as being a foreign invader.

    You can watch this video or consult an allergy doctor to hear about the chemical changes in the body that occur during an allergic reaction. This video explains how a type of antibody called immunoglobulin E binds to immune cells. In the presence of the food allergen, immunoglobulin E triggers the immune cells to release histamine, which causes allergy symptoms. Anaphylaxis, a severe reaction, may also occur.

    If you have food allergies, you can call Allergy & Asthma Specialists℠ at 1(800)86-COUGH to schedule an appointment with an allergist in Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, or Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Our allergy specialists look forward to helping you live life well.

  • When Should You Schedule Allergy Skin Testing?

    If you suspect you might have allergies, such as pollen, mold, dust mite, or animal dander, food allergies, or drug allergies, the sooner you schedule skin testing, the sooner you can get your condition under control. It is not necessary to wait until you experience an allergic reaction to call the allergy doctor. This is especially true for patients with possible seasonal allergies. If this applies to you, it’s best to schedule skin testing with an allergy doctor at least three to six months before the time during which you typically experience symptoms. This allows you to get started on your immunotherapy treatment before your symptoms occur.

    When you schedule your allergy skin test, be sure to ask the allergist if you can continue taking your medications up to your appointment. Medications containing antihistamines such as Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra and Benadryl can interfere with the results of the test. If you currently take antihistamines, you may not be able to have allergy skin testing performed until you have been off the medications for at least 5 days.

    To schedule your allergy skin test, you can call Allergy & Asthma Specialists ℠ at 1(800)86-COUGH. Our allergy doctors are available in Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania.

  • Beverage Safety Tips for People with Food Allergies

    Today, many people have an awareness of what they eat and strive to avoid foods that cause them allergy issues. However, if your allergy doctor has diagnosed you with food sensitivities or allergies, then it’s also important to remain vigilant about beverages.

    When going out for drinks or food at a restaurant, it’s important to be aware of the ingredients in your beverage when your order. Piña coladas, for example, can contain milk and may cause symptoms for people who are allergic to dairy. Another potential problem to be aware of is the consumption of sulfites. Found in many beers, wines, ciders, and drink mixes, sulfites can aggravate asthma and allergies in sensitive individuals.

    If you’re wondering if you suffer from food allergies, then call the allergy specialists at Allergy & Asthma Specialists℠ today at 1(800)86-COUGH. Our allergy doctors specialize in treating and testing for food allergies in Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, and Collegeville.