If you’re struggling with allergies and you’re tired of managing them with ineffective over-the-counter treatments, an allergist at Penn Medicine Becker ENT & Allergy in Princeton, NJ, can help.
Here at Becker ENT & Allergy, we have a team of board-certified allergists who will ask you questions about your medical history, diagnose your possible allergies, and create a customized treatment plan that will make you feel better in no time.
Allergies are irritating, distracting, and, in serious cases, life-threatening. If you have allergies, you don’t have to live with the discomfort anymore. Although treatments may not fully cure your allergies, the immunologists and allergy specialists at Penn Medicine Becker ENT & Allergy in Princeton, NJ can help you find significant relief.
Allergy treatments can help reduce the frequency and severity of your reactions and improve any uncomfortable symptoms that your allergies may cause you.
If you suspect that you may have an allergy, but you’re not sure, our doctors can provide you with the answers you seek at our office in Princeton, NJ.
What are Allergies?
People with allergies experience a physical reaction when they come into contact with a food or substance that they are sensitive to. Allergic reactions occur because your immune system senses the allergen and interprets it as a threat, thereby causing the immune system to react and cause one or more of the following symptoms:
- Watering eyes
- Running nose
- Rashes on the skin
- Lung issues
The most common allergens include pet hair, certain foods (milk, shellfish, tree nuts, and peanuts), molds, medicines, dust mites, and pollen.
By visiting an allergy doctor, you can determine whether your allergies are non-seasonal or seasonal. 80% of people who have seasonal allergies (also known as hay fever) start developing symptoms before they are 20 years old. Although most common food allergies are developed during childhood, about 15% of these allergies are diagnosed in adulthood.
What is an Allergic Reaction?
An allergic reaction describes a chain of events that are triggered by an allergen. When you are exposed to a certain allergen, such as a pet dander, your body reacts by producing antibodies. These antibodies locate the allergens in your system and help to remove them. This causes a chemical known as histamine to be produced in the body, causing allergy symptoms.
To most people, these substances are harmless, but for someone with an allergy, they can produce uncomfortable or even dangerous symptoms.
When Should You See an Immunologist?
The best time to visit an immunologist is immediately if you develop any allergy or asthma symptoms that compromise your health. If you have a child who is displaying allergy symptoms, we recommend that you take them to a pediatric allergist or immunologist right away.
Early diagnosis of an allergy can help to minimize the symptoms from worsening, prevent life-threatening reactions, and improve your ability to manage your symptoms over time.
An allergy doctor is similar to an immunologist, as they specialize in asthma, PIDD (Primary immune deficiency disease), and all sorts of allergies.
We highly recommend that you visit an allergy doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms:
- Asthma attacks
- Hay fever
- Difficulty breathing
- Sinus infections (chronic)
- Drowsiness from medications
- Lack of relief from medications
Allergy Shots (Immunotherapy)
Two of the most common allergies have one fortunate thing in common—they can be treated with immunotherapy, also called allergy shots. These specially prescribed injections will help you stay comfortable whenever the symptoms appear.
Seasonal allergies appear in the spring, summer, and autumn when plants are going through their life cycles. Pollen and other plant substances blow everywhere, creating the familiar symptoms of pollen allergy: reddened, itchy, painful eyes; constantly runny nose; and frequent sneezing and coughing.
Dog, cat, and other animal allergies create similar symptoms of itchy, reddened eyes and nose, along with sneezing and coughing.
Allergy drops have proven to be very effective for both seasonal and pet dander allergies. The shots can be combined with appropriate allergy medications for maximum relief of eye allergies and so on.
Allergy Types and Their Treatments
An allergist doctor treats different types of allergies. One of the most common is environmental allergies, but there are more:
An allergic reaction to pollen causes hay fever (seasonal allergic rhinitis). The pollen allergen causes the conjunctiva and the protective lining of the nose to inflame and swell. The symptoms of a pollen allergy can include watering of the mouth, eyes, and nose, sneezing, itchiness, and congestion.
Treatment for Pollen Allergy
An immunology doctor will most likely prescribe nasal steroids, oral antihistamines, nasal cromolyn, and anti-leukotrienes. Your allergy doctor will also advise you to stay aware of pollen-producing plants.
During seasons when pollen counts are high in the atmosphere, your immunology specialist will most likely recommend that you stay indoors as much as possible, turn on the air conditioner, and close the windows. If you suffer from pollen allergy, ask your allergy doctor about allergy shots to help you manage your symptoms.
Dust mites are minute organisms that live in fibers of carpets, mattresses, upholstery, and pillows, especially in humid warm areas. The symptoms of a dust mite allergy are similar to that of a pollen allergy, which include swelling and inflammation of the nose lining and the conjunctiva, watery eyes, atopic dermatitis, and congestion.
An immunology specialist will likely advise you that the best way to manage the allergy is by using airtight cases over box springs, mattresses, and pillows. If you suffer from this allergy, we recommend that you vacuum frequently using a vacuum cleaner with a high-efficiency filter.
Treatment Dust mites Allergy
An allergy doctor will prescribe medication that will help to control the chest, nasal, and eye problems. If the medication is not very effective, the immunologist may use immunotherapy to treat the allergy.
Molds are among the most common allergy triggers, alongside pollen and peanuts. The tiny fungi can be found in damp areas indoors such as the bathroom, kitchen, or basement. Molds can also be found in damp outdoor areas such as grass, mulch, or leaf piles. During humid hot weather, the mold spores multiply rapidly.
Treatment for Molds Allergy
Just like other forms of allergies, an allergy doctor will probably recommend medications to control eye, chest, and nasal symptoms. If the medication fails to control the symptoms adequately, the immunology expert may recommend immunotherapy.
Proteins in the saliva, as well as those secreted by sweat glands, are what make pet dander such common allergens. If you are allergic to pet dander, the best solution is to avoid keeping pets.
What happens if your partner or children want to keep a pet? In that case, your best option would be to keep the pet away from the bedroom, ensure that the pet is washed frequently, and use air purifiers that have HEPA filtration.
Treatment Pet Dander Allergy
The best course of treatment for pet dander allergy is prescribed medication from an immunology expert. Allergy shots may also help.
Food allergies are a serious medical condition that can cause a range of symptoms from itchy eyes and rash to difficulty breathing. Eating certain raw fruits or vegetables that share similar proteins can cause oral allergy syndrome (OAS). People who suffer from OAS may experience itching, tingling, or even swelling in their mouth and throat.
Treatment for Food Allergies
Treatment for OAS usually involves avoiding the foods that trigger the reaction, as well as taking antihistamines to reduce symptoms.
Latex allergies, drug allergies, and stinging insect allergies are all serious medical conditions that require proper diagnosis and follow-up care.
Latex allergies occur when the body has an adverse reaction to latex proteins found in rubber gloves, balloons, condoms, and other products. A variety of medications such as antibiotics, painkillers, and antihistamines can cause drug allergies. Stinging insect allergies are triggered by the venom of bees, wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets. All three types of allergies require prompt medical attention as they can cause severe reactions such as anaphylaxis.
An allergist will be able to diagnose the allergy through skin condition tests or blood tests and provide appropriate treatment options such as medications or immunotherapy. Follow-up care is also important to ensure that symptoms do not worsen or recur.
Your Allergy Consultation with a Specialist
If you are looking for an allergy specialist with a caring attitude in Princeton, NJ, Penn Medicine Becker ENT & Allergy is a great option. The experienced team of allergists and immunologists can provide a diagnosis of allergies and other health conditions. They will work with you to create an individualized treatment plan that fits your needs and lifestyle after an allergy screening. Their wide range of services includes skin tests, blood tests, immunotherapy, medications, and follow-up care to ensure that symptoms do not worsen or recur.
Allergist Frequently asked questions
At Penn Medicine Becker ENT & Allergy in Princeton, NJ, an immunologist will administer one or more of the tests below depending on your type of allergy and medical history:
• Prick testing – used to identify seasonal, food, pollen, dander, and dust mite allergies.
• Blood testing – used in patients with a long history of food allergies.
• Patch testing – used to determine if recurrent rashes are a symptom of an allergy.
• Pulmonary function testing – used to carry out tests in the lungs.
Allergy testing administered by an immunologist is typically not painful but may be slightly uncomfortable. Although some itching may occur, it is short-lived and will disappear almost as fast as it comes.
There are people who have been able to outgrow their allergies as they grow older. In fact, 90% of children outgrow egg and milk allergies. However, other types of food allergies, such as reactions to tree nuts, peanuts, and shellfish tend to last longer and may be permanent.
Rhinitis is an inflammation of the nasal passages that causes symptoms such as a stuffy nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes. Allergies are one of the most common causes of rhinitis, but other factors such as colds, sinus infections, and environmental irritants can also trigger it. An allergist specialist can help diagnose the cause of your rhinitis and provide appropriate treatment options such as medications or immunotherapy.
Our office is located at 256 Bunn Dr Unit A, Princeton, NJ 08540.
- Take the Airpark Road to US-206 S then turn right onto US-206 S.
- Turn left onto Herrontown Road.
- Turn right onto Mt. Lucas Road.
- Turn left onto Poor Farm Road.
- Proceed to turn right onto Bunn Drive.
- Take a right into the parking lot.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
Are you ready to get your allergies under control? Visit Penn Medicine Becker ENT & Allergy in Princeton today and let our board-certified allergy doctors take good care of you. Call us today at 609-430-9200 to book a consultation.