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Posts for tag: Allergy

By The Allergy Center, PA
August 11, 2021
Category: Allergy
Tags: Allergy   Allergy Blood Test  
Blood TestIf you suspect that you might have allergies, the first thing you’ll want to do is consult with an allergist. You must have a qualified medical professional go through your medical history and perform an exam to determine whether or not your symptoms are due to allergies. While there are certain types of allergy tests that you can find at your local drugstores these days, these tests aren’t comprehensive and may even cause a false positive. This is why you should always turn to an allergist.

When to Get an Allergy Blood Test

You probably know that there are a couple of different tests that can be used to diagnose allergies. One of the most common types is a skin prick test; however, sometimes blood testing is the best strategy. So, when might you need a blood test to diagnose allergies?
  • If you have certain skin conditions such as dermatitis or severe eczema, which can affect the results of the test
  • If you are taking certain medications such as antidepressants or antihistamines
  • If you are prone to severe allergic reactions (known as anaphylaxis), which can be dangerous and even life-threatening
If you are dealing with one or more of these scenarios, then an allergist may recommend an allergy blood test over the traditional skin prick test.

Reasons for Allergy Blood Testing

If you think your symptoms are due to allergies this may have brought you into an allergist’s office; however, not everyone recognizes the signs and symptoms of allergies. It may be a good idea to undergo an allergy blood test (also referred to as an allergen-specific IgE antibody test) if you are dealing with any of these symptoms:
  • Asthma
  • Trouble breathing
  • Chest tightness
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sneezing and coughing
  • Tingling or itchy mouth
  • Dermatitis
  • Eczema
  • Hives
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
If you are currently undergoing immunotherapy (aka allergy shots), your allergist may also recommend getting periodic allergy blood testing to be able to monitor the effectiveness of your treatment.

If you are dealing with allergies and you’re not sure what’s causing your symptoms then allergy testing may be the best option for you. Turn to an allergist to learn more about allergy testing and to get your allergy symptoms under control.
By The Allergy Center, PA
July 30, 2021
Category: Allergy
Allergy
With outdoor air pollution comes problems with allergies. All you have to do is go outside and suddenly the stuffy nose and watery eyes start happening. Outdoor pollutants come in the form of smoke, dust, ozone, and even emissions from vehicles and buildings that can lead to poor air quality. This is particularly common in cities. If you are an asthma or allergy sufferer, you also know that poor air quality only makes your symptoms worse. Here’s what you can do about it.

Protect Yourself from Outdoor Air Pollution

Ozone and particle pollution are two of the worst things for someone with allergies. If you aren’t sure what your outdoor allergy triggers are, an allergist can perform the proper tests to identify triggers. It’s important to know what aggravates your asthma or allergies so you can avoid them. Here are some helpful tips for how to protect yourself:
  • Ozone peaks between 2 pm-7 pm, so plan your outdoor activities for either later in the evening or first thing in the morning. Particle pollution (aka smoke or dust) is worse in the morning and the evening when people are returning home from work.
  • If you plan to run or workout outside, you may want to change up the type of activity or at least lessen the intensity on days where air quality is bad (or simply move your workout indoors).
  • If you have been prescribed a rescue inhaler, make sure to bring it with you just in case you might need it.
  • Keep all windows closed, whether you’re sitting at home or in your car (opt for the AC, instead).
Protect Your Home from Bad Air Quality

Unfortunately, if you step outside on a day where the air quality is poor you could track smoke and other pollutants on your clothes and into your home. This can also exacerbate your symptoms and make being in your house just as rough as being outdoors. Combine this with cleaning sprays and chemicals, perfumes, and other scents and you may be dealing with a pretty brutal bout of allergy symptoms. To reduce allergens and improve air quality in your home, here’s what you should do:
  • Remove your clothes immediately when you come inside (make sure to toss clothes directly in the washer)
  • Keep pets out of the bedroom
  • Remove candles and other scented items from your home
  • Wash your hair at night before going to bed to remove trapped pollen
  • Wash bedding at least once a week in hot water
  • Use an air purifier with a HEPA filter to help remove bacteria and germs from the air
  • Vacuum at least once a week and make sure to disinfect and dust surfaces daily
If you’re dealing with poor indoor or outdoor air quality and you’re having trouble getting your allergies under control, an asthma and allergy specialist is going to be the first doctor you should turn to for care. Call an allergist today.
 
By The Allergy Center, PA
June 02, 2021
Category: Allergy
Tags: Allergy   Spring Allergies  
AllergiesThe longer days and warmer weather that come with spring are certainly marvelous; however, the watery eyes, sneezing, and runny nose aren’t. If you battle allergies every spring, you are not alone. Allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the US. If the spring has you hiding inside and feeling exhausted, an allergist is going to become your new best friend.

What are the symptoms of spring allergies?

If you are dealing with spring allergies, you’re most likely to experience these symptoms,
  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Dark undereye circles
  • Cough
What causes springtime allergies?

Wondering what to blame for your dark circles, sneezing, and runny nose? It’s most likely due to pollen. This includes trees, grasses, and weeds. It can also be caused by mold. If you aren’t sure what’s causing your allergies, it’s best to see an allergist for testing.

How can I treat spring allergies?

If you are looking for the most effective relief from symptoms, then it’s best to turn to an allergist who can single out what’s causing your symptoms and provide you with a comprehensive treatment plan to get your allergies under control. Some ways to treat spring allergies include,
  • Prescription-strength antihistamines
  • Nasal sprays
  • Allergy shots (for more severe allergy symptoms)
There are also ways to reduce pollen and other allergens from coming into your home and kicking up symptoms. Here are some simple lifestyle changes and strategies to improve living with springtime allergies,
  • Keep windows and doors closed
  • If you have central AC, make sure that it contains an allergy-friendly filter
  • Remove all clothes and shoes immediately when coming inside and put clothes into the laundry
  • Don’t put clothes on the line to dry (put them in the dryer instead)
  • Use a Neti pot daily to flush out allergens, bacteria, and germs from nasal passages
  • Bathe the family pet at least once a week (and towel them off whenever they come inside)
  • Vacuum all carpets, rugs, and furniture regularly
  • Disinfect surfaces and prevent dust from accumulating
  • Wash bedding at least once a week in hot water
Don’t let allergies have you feeling exhausted or in hiding. If over-the-counter treatment options just aren’t cutting it, turn to an allergist today for a more effective treatment plan.
By The Allergy Center, PA
March 25, 2021
Category: Allergy
Tags: Allergy   Latex Allergy  
Latex AllergyDealing with hives, a raised red itchy rash, in a localized area? If so, your skin certainly came in contact with something it didn’t like. Hives are a common allergic reaction and could be a sign of a latex allergy. Symptoms of a latex allergy range from minor skin irritation to anaphylaxis, a serious and life-threatening allergic reaction that requires emergency medical care. If you suspect that you might have a latex allergy, an allergist can provide you with the answers, diagnosis, and treatment you need.
 
What are the symptoms of a latex allergy?

Hives are usually the most common sign of a latex allergy, but there are other symptoms, including,
  • Flushed skin
  • Itchy skin
  • Swelling
  • Runny nose
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Persistent cough
  • Chest tightness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
If you experience hives in combination with any of these symptoms this could be a sign of a serious and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that will require immediate medical attention.
 
What products contain latex?

Since there is no cure for latex allergy, one of the best things you can do is educate yourself on what products contain latex so you can avoid them. Most people know that disposable gloves often contain latex (which is why it’s important to always tell your doctor that you have a latex allergy before coming into the office). Other products that may contain latex include,
  • Pacifiers
  • Bottle nipples
  • Condoms
  • Some adhesive bandages
  • Spandex
  • Rubber bands
  • Shoe soles
  • Blood pressure cuffs
  • The buttons of an ATM
  • Balloons
How do you treat a latex allergy?

While latex might seem like it’s in a lot of everyday things, there are definitely replacements and alternatives. For example, mylar balloons do not contain any latex, unlike their rubber equivalent. Talk with your doctor or any medical practice about your allergy before coming into the office, and also call restaurants or salons to let them know about your allergy. Not sure whether or not a product might contain latex? Check the label. It should tell you.
 
Of course, avoidance is only one part of the treatment process. An allergist may also prescribe medications to alleviate your symptoms. For milder symptoms, an antihistamine may be recommended, while those who deal with severe and dangerous allergic reactions may be prescribed a shot of epinephrine, also known as an EpiPen.
 
If you suspect that you might have a latex allergy or any type of allergy, an allergist will be able to perform the appropriate allergy tests to find out what’s causing your symptoms and how to best manage them.
By The Allergy Center, PA
February 23, 2021
Category: Allergy
Tags: Allergy   Bug Bite  

Bug Bite and Allergies

Chances are fairly good that you’ve already dealt with an insect bite or sting at some point. For many, these bug bites may be a little annoying, but they go away in a couple of days; however, other people can have serious allergic reactions to bug bites and stings. It’s important to understand more about the different types of bites and stings, the types of allergic reactions that can occur, and when you should see an allergist for care.

Insects that Bite

There are a variety of insects that can bite and cause allergic reactions. The most common types include,
  • Bedbugs
  • Mosquitoes
  • Fleas
  • Certain types of flies
While bug bites can be a nuisance, they rarely cause serious or life-threatening allergic reactions.

Insects that Sting

The most common types of insects that sting include,
  • Yellowjacket
  • Hornets
  • Bees
  • Wasps
  • Fire ants
Unlike bug bites, which typically do not cause serious allergic reactions, venom from some insects can cause anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction that requires immediate medical attention.

Signs of an Allergic Reaction

A normal reaction to a bug bite is to experience a little pain, swelling, itching, or redness near the area. Symptoms may last a few hours or a couple of days, but usually aren’t anything to worry about. This is a normal reaction, and not considered an allergic reaction.

However, a severe allergic reaction (aka anaphylaxis) can be deadly, so you must be able to recognize the symptoms in yourself or others so you can seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction include,
  • Hives or blotchy skin that spreads all over the body
  • Swelling of the lips or tongue
  • Trouble breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
Allergies to household pests that don’t bite or sting (think, dust mites) can lead to allergy symptoms such as a runny nose, itchy eyes, coughing, and sneezing. If these are symptoms you’ve been experiencing for weeks on end, you may have indoor allergies. This is when you may wish to see an allergist find out whether you may have an allergy to cockroaches or dust mites.
While severe allergic reactions to bug bites and stings will require emergency medical attention, our allergists can still provide you with ways to manage your allergy symptoms and non-life-threatening allergic reactions. Talk to your allergist today.