Allergies can affect patients of all ages, causing an array of symptoms that can interfere with daily activities. At Health One Family Medicine in Irving, Texas, Dr. Shalin Parikh offers state-of-the-art allergy testing aimed at helping patients identify the cause of allergic reactions as well as treatments to prevent them from occurring.
Allergies occur when the immune system overreacts to a trigger, resulting in coughing, sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, rashes, hives or other reactions. Reactions can be caused by inhaling triggers like mold or pet dander, from ingesting certain foods or medications, or from coming in physical contact with a trigger like a detergent, plant or insect. Some triggers like foods and medications also can cause upset stomach, cramps and other gastrointestinal symptoms.
Some allergies can be determined simply by a review of symptoms and the events that led up to the reaction, but often, allergy testing needs to be performed to identify the specific cause. During allergy testing, very small amounts of different allergens are placed on the skin or injected under the upper layer of the skin and then covered with patches for a specified period of time. After the time has elapsed, the patches are removed and the skin is evaluated to determine which substances caused reactions.
Once the causes of allergic reactions have been determined, the first step in treating allergies is to prevent reactions by avoiding the triggers whenever possible. Sometimes, treatment will focus on relieving the symptoms, like using antihistamines or other medications either taken orally or applied to the skin to relieve itching, sneezing, watery eyes and other allergic reactions. Patients with more moderate to severe reactions may benefit from immunotherapy, which uses a series of injections or oral medications to help the body build up its tolerance to allergens over time so reactions are avoided or lessened. In immunotherapy, allergens are administered at very small and dilute doses initially, with dosing gradually increasing to enable the body to build up a tolerance.
Anaphylactic shock is a severe allergic reaction that can cause shock and interfere with breathing. People with severe allergic reactions to triggers like peanuts, bee stings and other triggers must carry a special pen-like device to administer a medication designed to stop the allergic reaction until emergency care can be provided.
At Health One Family Medicine, we value the health of every family member and want to make sure that our services are affordable for every patient. For that reason, we accept a wide variety of insurances. If you have any questions about the type of insurances we accept, please call our office. There will be a $25 charge for any missed appointments that are not cancelled 24 hours in advance.