Allergies Specialist

West Plano Medical Associates -  - Internal Medicine

West Plano Medical Associates

Internal Medicine located in Plano, TX

Whether you’re allergic to a food or an airborne substance, allergies can restrict your options when it comes to activities and meals. At West Plano Medical Associates, Safoora Harandi, MD, Sarah Guido-NP, and Julie Ramus-NP, offers allergy testing and treatment with immunotherapy to help you reduce your symptoms significantly. To make an appointment and get your allergies under control, call the office in Plano, Texas, or book online today.

Allergies Q & A

What are allergies?

Allergies involve a problem with your immune system, which normally keeps you safe from viruses, bacteria, and other sources of illness. 

If you have an allergy, your immune system reacts to the allergen — the source of your allergy — as if it’s dangerous to your health. 

In reality, an allergen is something harmless to most people. When you come into contact with it, you get troublesome symptoms and can even experience a life-threatening reaction. 

Common allergens include:

  • Pollen
  • Pet dander
  • Mold
  • Dust mites
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts
  • Soy
  • Milk and dairy products
  • Eggs
  • Shellfish

Any symptoms resulting from contact with your allergen depend on the type and severity of your allergy. For example, airborne allergens like pollen or pet dander tend to cause sniffling, sneezing, and watery eyes. Food allergies cause symptoms like mouth-tingling or itching, abdominal pain, and facial swelling. 

Anaphylaxis, a serious and life-threatening reaction, can occur if your allergy is particularly severe. 

How are allergies diagnosed?

If you get allergic symptoms but aren’t sure of the underlying allergen, West Plano Medical Associates offers allergy testing to identify the allergen quickly. 

Allergy tests expose you to tiny amounts of potential allergens that cause a mild reaction. The providers at West Plano Medical Associates monitor you closely during the test to ensure your reaction isn’t severe. There are three main types of allergy tests available:

Skin tests

You can get a scratch test, patch test, or intradermal test to cause a reaction on your skin. Your provider monitors the area of skin exposed to each allergen to locate and measure reactions. 

Blood tests

If a skin test is too risky, your provider might advise you to get a blood test instead. They draw a sample of your blood and look for antibodies to certain allergens in a lab.

Elimination diets

If you have a suspected food allergy, your provider works with you to eliminate certain foods from your diet before gradually reintroducing them. 

Are my allergies permanent?

Living with allergies can be particularly difficult. Even if you do your best to stay out of contact with your allergen, trace amounts of it can still affect you when you least expect it. 

Managing your allergic reactions with antihistamines or epinephrine autoinjectors can be inconvenient, and they treat the symptoms rather than the allergy itself. 

Fortunately, your allergies don’t necessarily have to affect you permanently. To treat them, West Plano Medical Associates offers immunotherapy with allergy shots. Allergy shots can greatly reduce your allergic reactions. 

During immunotherapy, your provider gives you injections that contain tiny amounts of an allergen so your body can build immunity to it over time. They gradually increase your dose throughout a 3-6-month build-up phase, followed by a maintenance phase with a consistent dose. 

To schedule allergy testing or a consultation for allergy injection services, call West Plano Medical Associates or book online today.

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