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Allergies Specialist

Comprehensive Allergy and Asthma Associates

Cathy Green, MD

Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Specialist located in Brentwood, Los Angeles, CA

You’re not alone if you suffer from allergy symptoms. Allergies are the sixth-leading cause of chronic illness in the United States, affecting more than 50 million Americans. At Comprehensive Allergy and Asthma Associates, Cathy Green, MD, offers comprehensive testing and treatment for patients with complex and everyday allergies. To get the help you need from one of the top specialists in the field, call the office in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles, or schedule an appointment online today.

Allergies Q & A

What are the different types of allergies?

One of the most common allergies, allergic rhinitis, also called hay fever, is caused by airborne allergens. But there are many different types of allergies triggered by a variety of substances.

Seasonal allergies and other airborne allergies include:

  • Pollen (trees, weeds, grasses)
  • Dust mites
  • Pet dander
  • Mold spores

Contact allergies:

  • Poison ivy, oak, and sumac
  • Nickel and gold (in jewelry)
  • Latex or rubber
  • Perfumes and perfumed products
  • Cleaning products and soaps

Stinging insect allergies:

  • Bees
  • Wasps
  • Hornets
  • Yellowjackets
  • Fire ants

Medication allergies:

  • Penicillin
  • Antibiotics containing sulfonamides
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Chemotherapy drugs
  • Aspirin, ibuprofen, and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Food allergies are usually caused by peanuts, eggs, milk, tree nuts, soy, fish, or shellfish.

What symptoms develop due to allergies?

The symptoms you develop are related to the type of allergy. For example, airborne allergens affect your nose and eyes, while contact allergens cause skin rashes and reactions.

As a group, allergies cause these symptoms:

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

Allergies to food, insect venom, and latex can cause a severe reaction called anaphylaxis. When this happens, symptoms such as difficulty breathing, dizziness, and a swollen tongue or throat develop very rapidly.

An anaphylactic reaction is an emergency that can quickly lead to loss of consciousness and even death. If you’re at risk, Dr. Green explains the symptoms you may experience and prescribes an epinephrine pen to use at the first sign of an anaphylactic reaction.  

How do you diagnose and treat allergies?

Dr. Green may be able to diagnose an allergy based on your symptoms, but the only way to identify your specific allergen is with allergy testing. During a skin test, Dr. Green places a small amount of each potential allergen on your skin and gently pricks the skin so the allergen can get through. If you’re allergic to one of the substances, you develop a rash within 10-15 minutes.

Treating allergies typically begins with over-the-counter medications and a plan to help you avoid your allergens. If your symptoms don’t improve, or if they’re already severe, Dr. Green recommends allergy shots. The shots introduce small doses of your allergen into your body, allowing your immune system to build up immunity and stop reacting to the substance.

If you suffer from allergy symptoms, call Comprehensive Allergy and Asthma Associates or schedule an appointment online.