Allergy and Immunology can help you manage recurrent infections, immune deficiencies, and hypersensitive or immune system reactions to specific substances.
Ask us about allergy screening and vaccinations. We offer extensive testing for suspected allergies, and we focus on allergy treatment for all aspects of the immune system.
Some of the common conditions for which we offer allergy treatment include but are not limited to:
- Food allergies
- Allergic skin conditions
What Are Allergies?
Allergies are a reaction of the body’s immune system to normally harmless substances. The allergy-causing substances are called allergens.
Your immune system is your body’s natural defense against infection and other foreign material. Before you can have a reaction to a particular substance, your immune system must first be sensitized to it. This means your body has been exposed to the substance at least once before. Once sensitized, your body will react every time you have contact with that substance. Although many substances can cause an allergic reaction, the most common are:
- Animal dander
- Dust and dust mites
- Certain medicines
- Insect stings
Allergens can cause different kinds of allergic reactions. The most common allergic conditions are hay fever, asthma, skin allergies, and eczema. Airborne allergens such as mold and the pollen of trees, grasses, and weeds cause hay fever.
Pollens, molds, house dust, animal dander, and medicines also can trigger asthma attacks.
Allergic reactions of the skin can have many possible causes. Examples of irritants that can cause allergic reactions when they touch your skin are products for hair or skin care, nickel in jewelry and belt buckles, dyes in leather or fabric, and poison ivy or poison oak.
Eczema is a skin condition that may be caused by allergens. It often occurs in people who are prone to allergies and asthma. Eczema causes itching, dryness, fine scales or flaking, and sometimes mild redness. The specific cause of eczema is usually not known.
It also is possible to have an allergic reaction to sunlight or temperature extremes.
Common foods that may cause allergy symptoms are shellfish, eggs, milk, nuts, and peanuts. Food allergies often occur in children, who may outgrow them.
If You Need Allergy Treatment
If you are hypersensitive to a substance or have a condition that affects your immune system, you might want to consult your primary provider first. He or she can decide which specialists and allergy screenings are necessary.
Our Pediatric Pulmonology service specializes in diagnosing and treating a wide range of breathing problems, including diseases of the lungs and respiratory tract in infants, children, and adolescents to age 21.
Live Well, Stay Well Tip
Food and environmental allergies affect at least 2 in every 10 Americans, including children, adolescents, and adults. The tendency to be allergic is passed from parents to their children. For example, when one parent is allergic, his or her child has a 35% chance of having allergies. Risk for allergies is 70% if both parents have allergies.