Allergies are a common problem that affect more than 50 million Americans. When left untreated, allergies can affect your ability to work, exercise, or spend time outside. At the office of Richard L. Nass, M.D., F.A.C.S., Dr. Nass and his team specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of allergies. To make an appointment at the practice in Midtown East, Manhattan, or East Hampton, New York, call the nearest office or schedule online today.
Allergies occur when your immune system overreacts to a benign substance like dirt, pet hair, or pollen. If your immune system identifies a particular substance as harmful, it produces antibodies –– proteins that attack invaders like viruses, bacteria, and fungi.
The increase in antibodies triggers an allergic reaction, causing various body systems, like your sinuses or digestive tract, to become inflamed. This inflammation affects everyone differently. For some, allergies are a minor annoyance, but for others, they result in potentially serious complications.
Common symptoms of allergies include:
If you experience anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction, you might also experience extreme shortness of breath, lightheadedness, or loss of consciousness.
Often, mild and moderate allergies respond to conservative, at-home measures of care like avoiding specific triggers and taking over-the-counter medication. If your symptoms persist, worsen, or interfere with your daily life, make an appointment with Dr. Nass right away.
To diagnose allergies, Dr. Nass conducts a physical exam and asks about your symptoms, including when they started, their severity, and if certain activities, like spending time outdoors, make them worse.
Afterward, Dr. Nass orders several tests, including:
During a skin prick test, Dr. Nass exposes you to small amounts of proteins found in potential allergens. If your skin swells up or turns red, it means you’re allergic to that particular substance.
A specific IgE test analyzes your blood for the presence of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies, the proteins that cause an allergic reaction. The higher your levels of IgE, the more likely you are to experience allergy-related symptoms.
Treatment of allergies depends on your individual triggers, the severity of your symptoms, and their effect on your daily life. Dr. Nass and the team usually recommend conservative measures of care, including:
If you’re severely allergic to a specific substance, Dr. Nass might also prescribe emergency epinephrine. Epinephrine provides life-saving medication in the event of anaphylaxis (a potentially life-threatening reaction).
To learn more about the treatment of allergies, make an appointment with Richard L. Nass, M.D., by calling the nearest office or scheduling online today.