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Learn More About Allergies & Asthma

Allergy symptoms can be more than bothersome or irritating; they can interfere with your day-to-day activities and sleep. Allergies can also result in loss of productivity, missed work or school, and an overall poor quality of life. At Frederick Allergy & Asthma Center, we help you get control of your allergies and begin enjoying the simple things in life. We are board-certified specialists in allergies, asthma, and other allergy-related illnesses. We diagnose and treat both children and adults. If you suffer from hay fever, food allergies, insect allergies, asthma, eczema, hives, or other related problems, we can help. Call and set up an appointment today.

Understanding Food Allergies

Food allergies occur when your body views certain foods as harmful. Nearly 2 million people in the U.S. have food allergies. Ninety percent of people who suffer from food allergies are allergic to one or more of eight specific foods: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat. Symptoms of a food allergy include a tingling sensation in the mouth, swelling of the tongue and throat, difficulty breathing, hives, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, a drop in blood pressure, loss of consciousness and death.

Your allergist may conduct a skin or blood test to determine if you have any food allergies. The best treatment is to avoid eating - and in some cases even contacting - those foods. An EpiPen® will be prescribed for accidental ingestion or contact. Unfortunately, no cure for food allergies has been found, though some progress is being made with slowly reintroducing the triggering foods into your diet. Such steps should be done only under the supervision of an allergist.
Reference: 2007: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

Understanding Insect Allergies

People's reactions to a stinging insect will vary. Most people react locally, meaning the site of the sting becomes painful, swells and turns red. If you have a local reaction, simply clean the area, apply ice and take an antihistamine. Anything other than a local reaction should be seen immediately by a doctor due to the possibility of an anaphylaxis reaction or future intensified sting reactions. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction. Symptoms may include tightness in the chest and difficulty breathing, swelling of the tongue, dizziness, unconsciousness or cardiac arrest. You can lower your chances of an insect sting by using caution and recognizing stinging insects and their nests in order to avoid them. If you believe you may be allergic to stinging insects, see an allergist. He or she may suggest that you carry an EpiPen® for emergencies.
Reference: 2007, American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Insect Allergies

Understanding Asthma

An estimated 20 million people live in the U.S. with self-reported asthma. Asthma is a chronic disease marked by wheezing, chest tightness and/or shortness of breath. Allergens, irritants, respiratory infections and/or exercise can trigger asthma symptoms. To determine if you have asthma, an allergist may ask you to use a spirometry, which is a type of pulmonary function test. The spirometry allows your allergist to determine how much airflow is moving in and out of the lungs. If your score is low, you may have asthma. Treatment includes avoiding behavior or situations that would trigger asthma, treating known allergies and carrying an emergency inhaler if prescribed.
Reference: 2007: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

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Understanding Sinusitis

Sinusitis means "inflamed sinuses." The inflammation is typically caused by some type of infection. The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology reports that each year over 31 million adults and children have sinusitis. Sinusitis usually follows respiratory infections, such as colds, or an allergic reaction. The classic symptoms of sinusitis usually include a stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, headache, toothache, facial tenderness, cough, fever, bad breath or loss of smell, fatigue, and generally not feeling well. Your doctor can diagnose sinusitis with a CT scan. The treatment may include nasal sprays, an antibiotic, or use of a humidifier or surgery.

Understanding Immunotherapy

Allergy shots, also referred to as allergy injections or immunotherapy, are a series of injections that act as a vaccine. Immunotherapy contains traces of your specific allergens - the very things that trigger an allergic reaction from your immune system. By gradually increasing the doses of your allergen, your body develops an immunity and/or tolerance to that allergen. In essence, allergy shots turn off an inappropriate immune response - your allergic reaction to a plant, tree, pet or mold - while still allowing your immune system to respond normally to infectious agents, especially viruses. During immunotherapy, you will gradually develop a stronger tolerance to your allergens. With allergy shots, allergy symptoms can be decreased, minimized or even eliminated.

Clustered rush allergen immunotherapy and clustered rush venom immunotherapy are available for individuals who are motivated to do therapy but are restricted by their schedules. Please inquire further with our office at (301) 360-0776.