My Blog

Posts for tag: Allergies

By The Allergy Center, PA
February 01, 2021
Category: Medical
Allergies and Nasal IrrigationDealing with a stuffy nose and congestion due to allergies? If so, you may simply be trying over-the-counter medications to help alleviate your symptoms; however, instead of just resorting to medications, you may be looking for a natural and medicine-free approach to treating your allergy symptoms. If so, an at-home nasal irrigation system could help.

Can a sinus rinse help with my allergies? How?

After all, your body is reacting to the offending allergen because it may still be lingering in your nasal passages. Fortunately, whether you are dealing with year-round allergies or seasonal allergies, the reason you’re dealing with them in the first place is that there is something in the environment that is triggering an immune response. Your body is reacting to the offending allergen because it may still be lingering in your nasal passages.

Fortunately, by rinsing out the sinuses with a saline solution (or a saltwater solution that you make yourself), you can rinse away those allergens. Plus, this solution can ease inflamed, painful sinuses, and provide you with relief without having to turn to medications.

If there is any mucus buildup present within the sinuses, this can increase your risk for bacterial infections within the nasal cavity. If you find yourself dealing with frequent sinus problems, then a sinus rinse can help clear out the mucus bacteria to prevent future infections.

How does nasal irrigation work?

You can find nasal irrigation systems at your local drugstore. One of the most commonly used nasal irrigation systems is a Neti pot, a small ceramic pot that typically comes with saline solution (however, it is easy to make your own: simply add ½ teaspoon of sea salt to 16 ounces of distilled water).

Place the solution into the Neti Pot, tilt your head to the side and then place the spout of the Neti pot directly into the nostril before letting the stream of solution go through the nasal passages. Blow your nose after and repeat with the other nostril. We know that the Neti pot can be a bit messy, so it’s best to do it over the bathroom sink so that it can catch the leftover saline solution or salt-water.

If the Neti pot just isn’t for you, this doesn’t mean you’re just out of luck! There are nasal sprays that you can find in your local drugstore that contain the saline solution. These can also flush out allergens and help alleviate your symptoms.

If you find that home remedies just aren’t cutting it, or you’re having to use your Neti pot regularly all year long, then it’s time to talk with a qualified allergist for a customized treatment plan. Talk to an allergist today and get your allergies under control.
By The Allergy Center, PA
August 21, 2020
Category: Allergy
Child for AllergiesYou aren’t the only one who may deal with allergy symptoms. Even your kids can! Childhood allergies are on the rise, according to the World Allergy Organization. From food allergies to hay fever, childhood allergies can become a problem. Wondering whether your children should undergo allergy testing?
 
When to Test

Sometimes allergies are minor and not something you’ll need to worry about; however, sometimes childhood allergies can become serious and potentially dangerous. This is more common in food allergies, which is also one of the most common causes of anaphylaxis, a severe and dangerous allergic reaction that requires urgent medical attention.

While the occasional sneezing or watery eyes may not be enough to warrant getting your children tested for allergies, you may want to consider it if:
  • They are dealing with severe and persistent allergy symptoms
  • They develop hives or a severe reaction after eating certain foods
  • Their sleep is affected by their allergies
  • They have trouble concentrating in school or have had to miss days of school because of their allergy symptoms
  • The sooner you can find out what’s causing your child’s symptoms the sooner you can help them better manage their symptoms.
What to Expect

A skin prick test is the most common method to test children for allergies. Before the test is performed your allergist will ask you questions about your child’s symptoms. From there, a trace amount of the allergen is placed directly under the skin to see how the skin reacts. Usually, symptoms such as itching, swelling, and redness appear within the first 15-20 minutes.

The type of allergies and the severity of your child’s allergies will also dictate which type of allergy tests to perform. Other types of allergy tests include:
  • Skin patch test
  • Simple blood test
  • Intradermal skin test
  • Food challenge test
Your child’s symptoms combined with a positive allergy test will confirm what they are allergic to. From there, our allergists can work with you to create an effective treatment plan to help control your child’s allergy symptoms through lifestyle changes and medication.

Whether you want to schedule allergy testing for your children or you want to discuss your child’s allergy symptoms, schedule a consultation with your asthma and allergist specialist to find out the next steps to help your child better manage their symptoms.
By The Allergy Center, PA
May 21, 2020
Category: Allergy
Tags: Allergies   Cold  

Your alarm goes off in the morning and you get up to start your day. Yet right away, something doesn’t feel right. Your nose is runny, your sinuses congested, and your eyes are itchy and red. Time to ask yourself: Is this a cold or allergies? For many patients, this distinction isn’t clear. That’s why it’s important to schedule an appointment with your local allergist. These are trained medical professionals dedicated to knowing the difference. Learn more about how to tell if you have a cold or a simple case of allergies. 

Allergies vs. a Cold

These are two fundamentally different conditions even though they create the same result. Contracting a virus causes your body to have a cold. Allergies are the immune system's response to an allergen like pollen or dander. Your body identifies this substance as a threat and kickstarts a response. There is a wide range of allergens and everyone reacts differently to them. 

Allergy Symptoms

  • Pay attention to the color of your mucus. It seems gross, but it’s important. Allergies cause your snot to be clear and runny. Yellow or green mucus indicates an infection or cold. 
  • Red or itchy eyes aren’t a cold symptom. This is a key identifying factor between a cold and allergies. 
  • When you have a cold, you eventually start to feel better. Allergies create the same symptoms at the same threshold every day. You won’t get better or worse. 
  • How long have you been feeling sick? A cold clears up within two weeks. On the other hand, allergies can last for a whole season if left untreated. 
  • Spring and fall are the worst times for allergies. If you find yourself sneezing more in certain times of the year or situations, consider the possibility of allergies. 

Cold Symptoms

  • A low-grade fever, headache, body pains, and a cough are not signs of allergies. Every cold creates different symptoms, so pay attention to how you’re feeling. 
  • As mentioned before, when your body is fighting a cold or infection, your mucus changes color. Your immune cells transform your snot into a thick, green, yellow substance. 
  • Are your symptoms changing every few days? When you're sick, your condition will change. You may have a stuffy nose one day and a sore throat the next. This change is caused by both the virus progressing and your immune system responding to it. 

What Should I Do Now? 

If you suspect that you have allergies, contact your local allergist right away. Easy and advanced testing identifies what you’re allergic to. From there, your allergist works with you to find an appropriate treatment. If you have a fever over 101 F or symptoms that don’t improve after ten days, schedule an appointment with your doctor. Your body might need something stronger to fight off the infection. 

By The Allergy Center, PA
April 15, 2020
Category: Allergy
Tags: Allergies  

Allergies can show up at the worst of times: When you visit your best friend’s home (and meet her dog for the first time). When you take those first few bites of a beautiful dinner at that restaurant you’ve been dying to try (and your stomach protests). When you’ve been dying to join your friends for brunch on the patio (but your red, watery eyes beat out the need for a mimosa). If you are tired of catering to your allergies, your allergist is here to provide some insight into the most common allergies and what you can do to reduce your symptoms.

Here are some of the most common allergy triggers we see:

  • Food
  • Pollen and mold
  • Dust mites
  • Pet dander
  • Insect Stings
  • Medication

Over-the-counter nasal sprays, antihistamines and decongestants might do the trick for those with only mild to moderate symptoms. Of course, if you experience severe allergy attacks, then it’s time to talk to us about prescription-strength medications. Allergy shots may also be a good option to consider.

Besides taking medications, your specialists offer up some lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your allergen encounters.

If you are allergic to pollen…

Check the pollen count and if it’s high or it’s a blustery day, it’s a good idea to stay indoors as much as possible. Even if the warm weather beckons, keep windows closed and opt for air conditioning to cool off.

If you are allergic to dust mites…

Make sure to wash sheets at least once a week in hot water. Consider getting dust mite covers to protect your bedding and opt for hypoallergenic pillows.

If you are allergic to mold…

Make sure to keep showers and other moist areas clean so it doesn’t breed mold. If there are any leaks in your home, make sure those are patched up. And if you have a green thumb, you may just want to keep plants in a garden outside, as the soil could contain mold.

If you are allergic to pet dander…

While avoiding these animals is the best option, if you are a pet owner make sure your pets get a weekly bath. Make sure to keep your bedroom a pet-free zone and keep all furniture and carpeting that pets touch as clean as possible.

If you are allergic to insect stings…

Avoid wearing perfume or brightly colored clothing, which naturally attract bugs. Also, come armed with some insecticide if you are planning to venture into the great outdoors.

If you are allergic to certain foods…

The best thing you can do is avoid these foods as much as possible. If it’s a serious allergy, talk to us about whether you should carry an EpiPen with you.

Contact your allergist today to discuss testing and treatments for your allergies!

By The Allergy Center, PA
March 13, 2020
Category: Allergy

If you have allergies, then you are likely all too familiar with antihistamines, decongestants, and even allergy shots; however, what do you know about allergy drops? Allergy drops, or sublingual immunotherapy, is another way to treat allergy symptoms and can be a friendlier alternative to allergy shots.

When you get injectable immunotherapy (allergy shots) this exposes the body to small doses of the allergen to help the body produce the antibodies needed to fight the allergen over time. Instead of injecting the allergen under your skin, your allergist may provide you with allergy drops, which can be taken orally—read on to learn more.

Allergy Testing

In order to find out if you are right for sublingual immunotherapy, an allergist will need to perform the proper allergy testing. After all, allergy drops are not designed to treat all allergies. Currently, the FDA has only approved allergy drops for four types of allergens:

  • Dust mites
  • Ragweed
  • Timothy grass
  • Certain grasses

Sublingual Immunotherapy seems to be effective for treatment allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis, and even allergic asthma.

Getting Sublingual Immunotherapy

One of the major benefits of allergy drops is that it provides the patients with the treatment they need to protect against allergy symptoms from the comfort and convenience of their own home. With allergy shots, the patient has to come into the office regularly for treatment, but a patient can administer allergy drops on their own as directed by their doctor.

Allergy drops come in either a liquid or tablet form. Your allergist will administer the first dose at their office to show you how it should be done. The tablet is placed under the tongue until it dissolves. It’s important that you wait one minute after the tablet has dissolved to swallow and up to five minutes to eat or drink anything. Once the first dose is administered in your doctor’s office, you will receive the drops to administer yourself at home.

In the majority of cases, allergy drops are used every few days for up to three years. If you have seasonal allergies, you’ll begin taking the allergy drops a few months prior to the allergy season and stop the medication once the season ends; however, if you experience year-round allergies, you’ll continue to take these drops all year long. You should start to experience relief from your allergy symptoms within a few months of continued use, with most people seeing a significant improvement in just one year.

Contact Us

Dealing with allergic rhinitis? Need allergy testing to find out if you are allergic to dust mites, grass, or ragweed? If so, an allergist can perform the proper testing and determine whether you are a good candidate for sublingual immunotherapy.