Q. What are allergies?

A. Allergies are a reaction from your immune system. Patients with allergies have a hyper-alert immune system, which overreacts to an allergen in the environment.

Q. Who suffers from allergies?

A. An estimated 35-40 million Americans (15-20 percent of the population) suffer from some type of allergy, and in most people, these allergies first appear during infancy or childhood.

Q. What are some symptoms of allergies found in children?

A. Allergies are the most common cause of chronic nasal congestion in children. Allergies can cause earaches as well as ear itching, popping and congestion.

Q. What happens during an allergic reaction?

A. Reactions occur in the eyes, lungs and nose when the allergen is in the air. Reactions can also occur in the mouth, stomach and intestines when the allergen is ingested.

Q. What does a pollen count mean?

A. This is a measure of how much pollen is in the air. Usually, pollen counts are measured in mold spores and grasses/trees/weeds. The count is a representation of the concentration of pollen in the air at a specific time. Pollen counts are measured at absent, low, medium or high.

  • "Low" - Only affects those that are extremely sensitive to pollen.
  • "Medium" - Symptomatic to many people with sensitivity to pollen.
  • "High" - Most people with any sensitivity to pollen will be affected.

Q. What does it mean when a product is "Hypoallergenic"?

A. The product is less likely to set off an allergic reaction.

Q. Can allergies be cured?

A. No. However, their symptoms can be controlled with the proper treatment. Injections are a method of controlling the symptoms; not a cure.

Q. What is Sinusitis?

A. Sinusitis is an inflammation or infection of any of the four groups of air sinus cavities in the skull, which open into the nasal passages.

Q. What causes Rhinitis?

A. Rhinitis lasting less than six weeks is called acute rhinitis and persistent symptoms are called chronic rhinitis. Acute rhinitis is usually caused by infections of chemical irritations. Chronic rhinitis may be caused by allergy or a variety of other factors.

Q. What are Allergens?

A. Common allergens are tree, grass, and weed pollens, molds, animal hair and dander, and house dust mites. In general, pollen (and sometimes mold) allergy causes symptoms at certain times of the year, while mold, animal dander, and dust mites cause symptoms year-round.

Q. What trees can be known to cause poison plant allergy?

A. Poison ivy, oak, and sumac are three of the most common causes of allergic contact dermatitis in North America.

Q. What is the best type of treatment for poison plant allergy?

A. The first and most essential part of the treatment is prompt use of soap and water to wash away the urushoil from the skin.

Q. What is a food allergy?

A. A food allergy is an immune system response. It occurs when the body mistakes an ingredient in food, usually a protein, as harmful and creates a defense system to fight it. Allergy symptoms develop when the antibodies are battling the "invading" food. The most common food allergies in adults are shellfish, peanuts, fish and eggs. The most common food allergies in children are milk, soy products, peanuts and shellfish.

Q. What is food intolerance?

A. Food intolerance is a digestive system response rather than an immune system response. It occurs when something in food irritates a person's digestive system or when a person is unable to properly digest, or break down, the food. Intolerance to lactose, which is found in milk and other dairy products, is the most common food intolerance.

Q. What are the symptoms of food allergies?

A. Symptoms of a food allergy can range from mild to severe, and the amount of food necessary to trigger a reaction varies from person to person. Symptoms may include:

  • Rash or Hives- Nausea
  • Stomach Pain- Diarrhea
  • Itchy Skin
  • Shortness of Breath- Chest Pain
  • Swelling of the Airways to the Lungs - Anaphylaxis

Q. What is Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)?

A. Atopic Dermatitis, also known as Eczema, is an allergic skin condition that is hereditary and often associated with food allergies, asthma, and/or allergic rhinitis.

Q. Who is most commonly affected by Atopic Dermatitis?

A. Eczema can affect all age groups, but is most often seen in young children.

Q. What causes Eczema?

A. The exact cause of Eczema is unknown, but the disease seems to result from a combination of genetic (hereditary) and environmental factors.