We have many expert allergists and immunologists on staff to help diagnose, treat and manage allergies, asthma and immunologic disorders, including primary immunodeficiency disorders. These conditions can range in both severity and symptoms.
Asthma and other allergic diseases are two of the most common health problems. Approximately 50 million Americans have asthma, hay fever or other allergy-related conditions. There are hundreds of ordinary substances that can trigger allergic reactions. Among the most common are:
- Plant pollens
- Household dust
- Dust mites
- Cleaning products
- Insect stings
Collectively, these triggers are called allergens.
An allergic reaction may occur anywhere in the body, but commonly affects the nose, eyes, lungs, lining of the stomach, sinuses, throat and skin. Sometimes allergies can be controlled with the occasional use of an over-the-counter medication. When allergies interfere with day-to-day activities, decrease the quality of life or become life-threatening, it's important to seek medical attention.
Types of Allergies
There are three primary causes of allergies: contact allergies, food allergies and airborne allergies. The severity of an allergy can range from mild to life-threatening. If you are afraid someone is having an allergic reaction, it is always safest to get them to the nearest emergency room for treatment.
Contact allergies are caused by an allergen coming into contact with a person’s skin. Symptoms associated with a contact allergy range from rashes to blistering. Contact allergies are rarely dangerous, but if there is drainage from a rash, it may be a sign of an infection.
Common contact allergens include:
- Laundry detergent
- Poison ivy
- Nail polish
- Makeup or other cosmetics
Food intolerance, also known as a food allergy, affects an estimated 15 million Americans according to the Food Allergy Research and Education. Reactions to a food allergy range from mild responses like hives to more serious conditions like anaphylactic shock, which could result in death.
Common food allergens include:
If someone you know is in anaphylactic shock, always take them to the emergency room for treatment, even if epinephrine has been successfully administered.
The most common of allergens, inhaled allergies affect millions of Americans every year. Sneezing and watery, itchy eyes are two of the most common symptoms of airborne allergies. Triggers for an allergic reaction can be both man-made and organic. These types of allegories are rarely life-threatening, but can be extremely irritating to live with. Luckily, there are many over- the-counter and prescription medications that can be used to treat symptoms of airborne allergens.
Common airborne allergens include:
- Pet dander
- Air fresheners
- Spray primer or paint
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