What We Treat

Food Allergies
Asthma & Nasal/Eye Allergies
Skin Allergies

Food Allergies

Sometimes after I eat, a rash appears on my skin. I also have occasional diarrhea.

Your immune system may be reacting to something that you have eaten – this is called a food allergy. Your body makes antibodies when you eat something to which you are allergic. These antibodies try to fight the “invasion” in your body by releasing lots of histamine. Histamine can affect your respiratory system, digestive tract, skin, and heart and blood vessels.

We can tell you if you have a food allergy or food intolerance/sensitivity.  We can then guide you on how to keep a food diary and possibly do a food elimination diet. We can also expose you to various foods under our supervision. We can even see how many antibodies your body makes after you have eaten certain foods. Through these various methods, we will figure out what food you need to eliminate & be able to guide you on how to have a nutritionally-balanced diet without those foods being a part of it.

Possible Solutions:

  • Allergy Testing
  • Food Avoidance
  • Food Challenge

Asthma & Nasal/Eye Allergies

I have coughing, wheezing, & chest-tightness. Do I have asthma?

Around 90% of kids & 50% of adults with asthma have allergies. Allergic asthma is the most common type of asthma. The same allergens that cause some people to sneeze and have watery eyes can cause an asthma attack in others. The symptoms that go along with allergic asthma show up after you breathe things called allergens like pollen, dust mites, or mold. It usually gets worse after you exercise in cold air or after breathing smoke, dust, or fumes. In some cases, a powerful smell can even set it off.

We perform spirometry to confirm the diagnosis of asthma. We administer skin & blood tests to confirm diagnosis of asthma triggers. Once diagnosed, we can guide you on how to control your allergens so that your respiratory symptoms will improve. We will also set you up with the appropriate medication in case an attack occurs. You will leave our office feeling educated and prepared.

Nasal/Eye Allergies:

Nasal and eye allergies or allergic rhinoconjunctivitis can be caused by both indoor (cats, dogs, dust mites, mold) and outdoor (pollens and mold) allergens. Perennial allergens are present year round and seasonal allergens are present during select times of the year. If your symptoms are suspicious for allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, we will perform allergy testing to identify triggers. Treatment of allergic rhinoconjunctivitis includes: avoidance of identified allergens, medications, and, in some cases, allergy shots.

Possible Solutions:

  • Allergy testing to identify triggers

  • Spirometry breathing test to screen and monitor asthma

  • Medications to control asthma symptoms

  • Allergy shots

Skin Allergies

I have a red, itchy rash that will not go away.

This could be a number of things but most commonly we see atopic dermatitis (eczema), contact dermatitis, or urticaria (hives).  Depending on what you have diagnostic testing and management plans are different.  Diagnostic testing could involve allergy scratch testing, blood testing, or patch testing.  For contact dermatitis your skin can come into contact with something & your immune system will think it’s under attack. It overreacts, sends antibodies to help fight the invader (allergen), and the result is a red, itchy rash where the substance landed. This is called contact dermatitis.

We can test you over several days & put you in contact with possible allergens – the allergen that you are sensitive to will be revealed. Once we figure out what you have come into contact with that is causing the reaction (i.e. shampoo, medications, plant, fragrances), we can treat and help you eliminate it from your life.

Possible Solutions:

  • Allergy testing to identify triggers (skin prick testing or patch testing)

  • Avoidance of identified allergens

  • Topical or by mouth medications to control skin allergies

  • Allergy shots

Immune Disorders
Drug Allergies
Stinging Insect Allergies

Immune Disorders

Why do I have to come to an allergist for an autoimmune disease?

We diagnose and manage both immune and autoimmune disease.  The immune system’s purpose is to defend itself and keep microorganisms (i.e. certain bacteria, viruses, and fungi) out of the body, as well as to destroy any infectious microorganisms that do invade the body. It protects the body from infection. Sometimes patient’s immune systems do not function properly and as a result they cannot fight off infections like they should.  Autoimmune disease is the last stage adaptation to an over-active immune response. When the immune system is over-stimulated in the initial stages, it manifests with allergies. If the root source of these allergies is not found and corrected, then the allergies will eventually become chronic and can transform into autoimmune disease.  We will evaluate your immune system, which may be low, compromised, or turned against itself. We can define whether or not you have an immune disease or findings more consistent with an autoimmune disease.  We will get you the intervention and management you need to improve.

Possible Solutions:

  •  Diagnostic laboratory testing and interpretation

  • Vaccinations

  • Replacement immunoglobulin or prophylactic antibiotics

Drug Allergies

My daughter has been taking penicillin for 6 days. Her eyes & ears just started swelling. She also has hives all over her body. Is she allergic to the penicillin?

Drug allergies can occur right after the drug has been administered or they can take days or weeks to develop. A drug allergy happens when your immune system wrongly thinks a drug is a harmful substance, as if it were a viral or bacterial infection.

In most cases, a drug allergy develops when your immune system has become sensitive to the drug. This means that the first time you take the drug, your immune system detects it as a harmful substance and develops an antibody specific to the drug. The next time you take the drug, these antibodies recognize the drug and tell the immune system to attack the substance. Chemicals released by this activity cause the signs and symptoms associated with an allergic reaction.

We can confirm whether there is an allergy to penicillin, as well as treat the symptoms from the allergy.

Possible Solutions:

  • Diagnostic skin testing and oral challenges

  • Drug desensitization

Stinging Insect Allergies

How do you know if you are allergic to bee stings?

There are varying levels of allergic reactions to bee stings. If you have never had a severe reaction to a sting before, and you just have itching, redness, and swelling right around the site of the sting, you are probably not allergic. The best thing to do would be to indirectly ice the area (10 minutes on, 10 minutes off), and raise the area of the sting to reduce swelling. You should also take an antihistamine and apply a hydrocortisone cream to the area to ease the swelling & itching.

Some people get severe swelling at the site of the sting. A few have life-threatening symptoms, even if they have never previously had an allergic reaction to a bee sting. The riskiest symptoms to watch for are itching, hives, or swelling over a large part of your body, trouble breathing, dizziness, stomach cramps, and nausea or diarrhea. If you have had these symptoms, you will need to come into our office so that we can prescribe medication for you to have on hand if you get stung again. You may also need to undergo skin testing to stinging insects, and if positive, allergy shots to prevent future allergic reactions.  Our goal is to make sure that you are educated & prepared.

Possible Solutions:

  • Diagnostic skin and laboratory testing

  • Insect avoidance

  • Auto injectable epinephrine for severe allergic reactions

  • Stinging insect allergy shots