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FAQs

There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding allergies and asthma.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions.

Question:

At what age can someone be allergy tested?

Answer:

Allergy testing can be done at any age. That said, what is tested depends upon that specific patient’s history and physical findings and the goals of testing. Get more information!

Question:

At what age can a patient start allergy shots?

Answer:

Most patients are 8 or older. By that age the normal needle phobia is better and the idea of doing the allergy shots so you feel so much better is understood. Get more information!

Question:

What is the best method for allergy testing?

Answer:

Skin testing is preferred as it is better at correctly picking up an allergy for half to a third the cost. We use the most up to date and reliable allergy blood test method when the patient is unable to be off interfering medications and with certain skin diseases. Only IgE based allergy testing should be done.  Get more information!

Question:

Can constipation be caused by an allergy?

Answer:

No.

Question:

Can migraines or other headache types be caused by allergies?

Answer:

Basically they cannot cause headaches directly. If your nasal allergies are not controlled, you feel sick and don’t sleep well and then your headaches can be more frequent and severe. Food allergy doesn’t cause headaches. Rather, some chemicals in foods can worsen some folk’s migraines. Allergy testing can’t help identify that type of triggering.

Question:

Are there hypoallergenic pets?

Answer:

No. Studies have shown that the reported hypoallergenic breeds are at least as allergenic as the other breeds. The differences are more animal to animal and can vary up to eight fold within the same litter. For cats—males do on average have higher allergen levels.

Question:

What are the differences between a cold and allergies?

Answer:

Allergies normally itch! Allergy symptoms start soon after exposure to an animal, not the next day. Allergies don’t cause a fever. The pollen or mold seasons are more than the 1 or 2 weeks of a cold.

Question:

Can behavioral issues be caused by allergies?

Answer:

Not directly. If your hayfever or asthma is out of control you are sick and may not be as alert, pleasant, or cooperative as you could be if you were well. The older antihistamines like Benadryl or hydroxyzine clearly have effects on everyone!

Question:

What is the difference between food allergies and having gluten or lactose intolerance?

Answer:

Food allergy is mediated by the antibody IgE and can lead to anaphylaxis. Within minutes the patient gets itchy, the throat can swell, often vomiting and diarrhea hit, shortness of breath with coughing and in particularly bad cases the blood pressure drops and even death may occur. Allergy testing can help confirm the cause the history points to. Avoidance can be life saving.

The intolerances will not cause anaphylaxis. They generally give the bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea that make patients miserable. Allergy testing is not helpful.

Question:

Can nasal allergy be caused by food allergies?

Answer:

Not really. A stuffy nose is often seen during an anaphylactic reaction from a food, but isolated nasal reactions do not happen unless an allergenic food is placed directly into the nose. In reality, inhaled allergens lead to our nasal allergy symptoms.

Question:

Why should I see a board certified allergist about my allergies?

Answer:

Only board certified allergists have proven a mastery of diagnosing and treating allergic conditions. They can only be certified by the American Board of Allergy & Immunology after completing medical school, then a residency in internal medicine or pediatrics, followed by at least a 2 year fellowship in adult and pediatric allergy.  At the end they must then satisfactorily pass the board examination and recertify every 10 years.