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Stoneleigh Medical Group

Gastroenterology & Internal Medicine located in Brewster, NY & Jefferson Valley, NY

Whether you have seasonal allergies such as hay fever or life-threatening allergies to foods such as peanuts and shellfish, finding ways to minimize the symptoms and prevent serious illness should be a priority. The internal medicine team at Stoneleigh Medical Group can provide comprehensive allergy testing services and effective treatment options for a whole range of allergies. Call the office in Carmel, Brewster, Pawling, Yorktown Heightsor Jefferson Valley, New York, or request an appointment online today. 

Allergies Q&A

What causes allergies?

Allergies are caused by a dysfunction of your immune system that makes you react to substances that aren’t harmful, such as certain foods, or overreact to substances that are mildly harmful, such as insect venom.

The immune system does a vital job of protecting you from infections and healing wounds, producing antibodies that identify and attack anything that could pose a threat. Your immune system is very good at targeting invaders in the system, but sometimes, for reasons that aren’t fully understood, the immune system produces antibodies when it doesn’t need to. 

Allergens are substances that commonly cause allergies, such as:

  • Peanuts
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Fish and shellfish
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Pollen
  • Animal dander
  • Dust mites
  • Mold
  • Insect stings
  • Penicillin and related medications
  • Latex 

Some people who have allergies experience mild but highly annoying symptoms, while others may suffer an extreme reaction called anaphylaxis that can be life-threatening.

What symptoms do allergies cause?

The symptoms you experience if you have an allergy vary, so you may have respiratory symptoms from allergens you inhale or skin reactions from touching something you’re allergic to. Symptoms could include:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Congestion
  • Red, watering eyes
  • Swollen face, tongue, and lips
  • Tingling in your mouth
  • Hives
  • Throat tightening
  • Red, itchy skin 
  • Flaking or peeling skin
  • Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis can cause breathing difficulties, nausea and vomiting, a weak, rapid pulse, and loss of consciousness. Anaphylactic shock is a medical emergency, and if you have an allergy that may cause anaphylaxis, you should always carry an epinephrine auto-injector.

How are allergies diagnosed and treated?

If you have the symptoms of an allergy, you may be able to identify what triggers the allergic response by keeping a record of what you were doing and where you were when you experienced the symptoms. 

At Stoneleigh Medical Group, your provider may also take blood and carry out specific allergy tests, such as the skin prick, which involves testing minute amounts of possible allergens on your skin to see if there’s any reaction.

Treatment depends on the cause of your allergy and how the symptoms affect you. Avoiding the trigger for allergies plays a significant role in preventing allergic reactions and is critical if you’re liable to experience anaphylaxis.

Your internal medicine specialist can also help with medications to ease your symptoms and reduce the severity of the allergic response.

Find out more about managing allergies effectively by calling Stoneleigh Medical Group or booking an appointment online today.