Asthma – Asthma is a common chronic lung condition due to inflammation and tightening of the airways causing episodic symptoms such as cough, wheeze, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. Allergies are often the underlying problem.
Nasal Allergies/Sinusitis – Allergic rhinitis is inflammation of the nasal passages leading to congestion, sneezing, itching, runny nose and post-nasal drainage. This can lead to chronic sinusitis and ear problems. Rhinitis and sinusitis frequently have a big negative impact on quality of life affecting sleep, concentration, and energy level.
Allergic Skin Conditions – Environmental allergens like pets and dust or contact allergens such as a chemical preservative in a cream trigger skin inflammation. These allergic reactions contribute to several types of rashes:
Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis) – red, itchy, dry, scaly patches of skin
Hives – red, raised, itchy welts that come and go
Angioedema – focal areas of swelling such as the lip, tongue, or face
Food Allergy – Food reactions most often occur right after eating the triggering item and may be life-threatening. Food allergy can also contribute to eczema and some gastrointestinal conditions.
Stinging Insect Allergy – Reactions to stinging insects, like bees, can be life-threatening. Allergy injections decrease the risk of these severe reactions by at least 97%.
Medication Allergy – Medicines may cause a wide variety of allergic and intolerant reactions.
Immunodeficiency – Abnormalities in the immune system can lead to recurrent infections.
Office Testing may include:
Skin Tests – Specialized small plastic devices with allergy extracts are used to scratch the skin. Results are read in 15-20 minutes, and a hive-like reaction indicates the presence of the specific allergic antibody to the extract used at that site. This is usually well tolerated in patients of most ages. Occasionally, higher sensitivity tests (with small needles injecting small amount of allergen into top layers of skin of the arm) are required.
Spirometry – This breathing test measures airflow by having a patient blow into a computerized device.
Patch Tests – This involves placing standardized samples of common topical sensitizers on the skin with monitoring of reactions a few days later. Patch tests are used for Contact Dermatitis and some forms of food allergy.