Allergies Specialist

Did you know that allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the United States? Hay fever alone affects nearly 8% of all adults. If you struggle with allergies, you’ll receive exceptional care from Ike Eni, MD, Heather Mathews FNP, and Krista Bingham FNP at ENIHEALTHCARE in The Woodlands, Texas. They offer comprehensive care for allergies, including diagnostic tests and immunotherapy. To learn more about allergy treatment, call the office or book a consultation online today.

What causes allergies?

You develop an allergy when your immune system identifies a harmless substance as something that’s dangerous to your health. When you encounter that substance, your immune system launches chemicals to fight the invader, some of which cause your allergy symptoms.

The different types of allergies include:

  • Seasonal allergies, caused by pollen, mold, and dust mites
  • Contact allergies, caused by poison ivy, poison oak, latex, and nickel
  • Stinging insect allergies, caused by venom from bees, wasps, and fire ants
  • Food allergies, caused by peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish
  • Drug allergies, caused by penicillin, ibuprofen, and aspirin

This list isn’t comprehensive; it only includes a few of the possible allergens in each category.

What symptoms develop due to allergies?

Allergies cause symptoms such as:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Congested nose
  • Red, watery eyes
  • Itchy nose, eyes, or mouth
  • Skin rash
  • Hives
  • Swelling
  • Nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain (food allergies)

If you have an allergy to foods, insect venom, latex, or drugs, you’re at risk of developing a sudden life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis causes difficulty breathing, dizziness, swelling in your tongue and throat, and loss of consciousness.

How are allergies diagnosed?

The team at ENIHEALTHCARE diagnoses allergies using a skin prick test on the inside of your arm. They apply a small drop of allergen in one spot and gently prick the skin in that area, allowing it to get under the surface. 

The same procedure is repeated in different spots using a variety of allergens that could cause your symptoms. You wait in the office for 15 minutes, and then your provider checks your arm. If you’re allergic to any of the allergens, you develop a red itchy bump on your skin.

How are allergies treated?

Allergy treatment begins with medications to relieve your symptoms and a plan to avoid your allergens. If your symptoms are severe or don’t improve with medications, you may be a good candidate for immunotherapy.

Immunotherapy involves allergy shots or sublingual immunotherapy, a medication you place under your tongue. Both types of immunotherapy contain small doses of your allergen. 

As you keep taking the medication, your immune system becomes desensitized. As a result, it stops reacting to the allergen and your symptoms improve.

You may also need immunotherapy if you have an allergy that increases your risk for an anaphylactic reaction. Your provider also prescribes an epinephrine pen that you can use to counteract anaphylaxis.

To get treatment for allergies, call ENIHEALTHCARE or book an appointment online today.