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ALL ABOUT ALLERGIES

Capitol Breathe Free: Allergist Washington, DC

Do you suffer from the miserable symptoms of year-round allergies? Why continue to live a decreased quality of life when you can get help? The team at Capitol Breathe Free can help determine the precise cause of your allergy symptoms and get you on the path to breathing freely again.

What is an Allergic Reaction?

An allergic reaction is when your immune system mistakes a typically harmless substance for a dangerous one. The immune system will produce antibodies to fight the allergen which causes the miserable symptoms commonly associated with allergies. Exposure to an allergen can cause increased blood flow, tissue swelling, and mucus membrane irritation. People can be exposed to allergens by touching, swallowing, or inhaling the substance that causes the reaction.

Common Allergies 2

Any substance can cause an allergic reaction; however, the most common allergens include:

  • Food – many foods can cause allergy symptoms. The eight most common food allergies are peanuts, milk, eggs, treat nuts, soy, wheat, fish, and shellfish.
  • Insects – stings from bees and wasps produce an allergic response. People can also have allergy issues from being around insects like roaches and dust mites.
  • Drugs – certain drugs like penicillin, sulfa, and insulin are common allergens.
  • Chemicals – chemicals can cause a skin rash when you encounter them. Latex, plants, soap, cosmetics, and jewelry can create adverse skin reactions.
  • Pets – our beloved fur babies can make us feel miserable. But don’t resign to the idea of never having a dog again, immunotherapy can help.
  • Environmental factors – we can’t forget to mention trees, grass, pollen, and molds that are ever-present in our lives.
Outdoor pollen can trigger allergic symptoms that we can help treat.Outdoor pollen can trigger allergic symptoms that we can help treat.

Common Allergy Symptoms 3

No two people will react the same to an allergen, but there are some common reactions typical of many allergens. These include:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Swelling
  • Water eye
  • Hives and itching
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing
  • In severe cases, anaphylaxis

diagnosing & testing for allergies

When you have had enough with your allergy symptoms, a board-certified physician should always complete your allergy testing. There is more to allergy testing than a simple skin prick test which pop-up allergy clinics will perform, give you a prescription, and then send you on your way. To determine the true cause of your allergies and gain long-term relief, your medical history must be considered.

Things your doctor should take into consideration when coming up with an allergy treatment plan should include:

  • A detailed account of symptoms
  • Structured questions to gain precise information on previous allergic diseases from childhood like eczema, hay fever, and asthma
  • The severity, duration, and seasonal occurrence of symptoms including trigger factors, life-threatening events, and success of avoidance measures
  • Details about diet, food exclusion, and intolerance to medications, preservatives, and additives
  • Family history
  • Home, school/work, and outdoor environmental risk factors
  • Past/current treatment and medications used

The details provided within a thorough medical history evaluation, a skin prick test, and a physical exam will allow your physician to determine the best treatment plan for your allergies.

Allergy Skin Testing provides the clues to what really causes your allergies.

Treating your allergies

Avoidance is the best way to eliminate allergy symptoms, but this is not always possible. Medications such as antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal rinses can also be prescribed. However, the best way to achieve long-term allergy symptom relief is through immunotherapy.

You have probably heard of allergy shots, but there is an alternative to needles and constant office visits. Sublingual Immunotherapy (S.L.I.T.) is the convenient allergy therapy self-administered under the tongue from the convenience of your home. Sublingual allergy drops are extremely safe and effective for treating allergies. You can find more information about allergy shots versus allergy drops here.

Medication can control allergies

Common Questions about Peanut Allergies

A peanut allergy can occur when peanuts are touched or eaten. In severe cases, being nearby peanuts can cause complications. A peanut allergy should be diagnosed by a board-certified physician. When you schedule an appointment with Capitol Breathe Free for allergy testing, you can rest assured that your examination will be thorough and you will get the best possible treatment plan for your or your child’s peanut allergy. Depending on the severity of the allergy, avoidance may be the best solution. If it is more severe, immunotherapy may be recommended. A prescription for an EpiPen may also be provided if deemed necessary by your physician. Peanut allergies can be deadly. If someone is experiencing anaphylaxis, call 911 immediately.

Medication can control allergies

Common Drug Allergies

Many people can experience allergies or sensitivities to drugs. These two are very different. In the case of drug sensitivity, a patient may undergo desensitization if deemed appropriate by their physician. For drug allergies, avoidance is the best possible treatment option. Your physician may prescribe an EpiPen if the allergy is severe and may also recommend a medic-alert bracelet.

If you have any questions or concerns about allergies and the treatment options provided by Capitol Breathe Free, contact our office for more information.

Medication can control allergies

what our ENT patients are saying...

Run don't walk to see Dr. Khanna. Hands down one of the best doctors ever!

- L.S.

I like how Dr. Wall explains things and gives me the knowledge to take care of myself (rather than just diagnose and treat!)

- M.P.

Dr. Khanna is an excellent doctor. He is highly skilled and professional.

- K in Alexandria, VA

Really liked him, great bedside manner, very personal, caring, direct and informative. Takes time to explain everything and options. Would highly recommend him.

-  Patient

Dr. Wall was courteous, professional, and understanding. I immediately felt at ease and confident in his knowledge and skill.

- J.S.

Dr. Khanna has excellent bedside manners and he listens. He goes out of his way to assist his patients. He is honest with his patients if he has to make referral.

-  Patient

Dr. Khanna is intelligent, respectful and genuine. He's always up-to-date on the latest medical breakthroughs. Me, my husband and daughter are all patients of Dr. Khanna, and always will be.

- B.A.

I came in with an unending sore throat, and was in to see the Doctor and left with a diagnosis in record time. Dr. Khanna and his staff were professional and efficient. I will definitely come back if I have any other sinus issues and highly recommend.

- S.S.

Dr. Stephen Wall was so professional, friendly, and fast. Great experience.

- M.H.

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