What are allergies?
An allergy is an abnormal or exaggerated reaction of the immune system to a substance, which, in the majority of people causes no symptoms at all. The substance that triggers the allergy is known as an allergen. Common allergens include pollens, pet dander, molds, dust mites, foods, insect venoms and drugs. There are different types of allergic mechanisms. Some can be immediate and some can be delayed. Allergic reactions can affect your nose, throat, eyes, lungs, skin, stomach or intestines. Rarely, they can affect the whole body. Whenever you are exposed to something you are allergic to, your body will trigger an allergic response again. That is why it's important to know what you are allergic to and take steps to treat or avoid a reaction.
Different types of allergies include allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis (eye allergies) food allergies, insect venom allergies, latex allergies, contact dermatitis (skin allergies) and drug allergies. Asthma, eczema (atopic dermatitis) and hives can be associated with allergies.
How are allergies diagnosed?
The diagnosis of allergy can be complicated and involves the combination of a thorough history and appropriate allergy testing. A good history is very important and is one reason we have such a thorough new patient questionnaire form. There are different types of allergy tests depending on the type of allergy symptoms you are having.
How are allergies treated?
Once we have identified the allergens that are causing your symptoms, an effective treatment plan can be recommended. These treatment plans include:
American Academy of Alleryg, Asthma and Immunology, allergy information
American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, allergy information
World Allergy Organization, Allergic Disease Resource Center
Recommended food allergy websites:
Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network
Kids With Food Allergies
The Allergy Menu
Types of AllergiesAllergic Rhinitis