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Allergies Specialist

Spring Valley Internal Medicine

Internal Medicine located in Washington, DC & Bethesda, MD

More than 50 million Americans have allergies and live with symptoms ranging from a runny nose to painful, itchy rashes and hives. The team at Spring Valley Internal Medicine in Washington, DC, and Bethesda, Maryland, provides state-of-the-art allergy testing and personalized treatment plans to relieve your symptoms and restore your health. Call Spring Valley Internal Medicine or make an appointment online for expert allergy treatment.

Allergies Q & A

What are allergies?

Allergies are one of the most common chronic conditions in the United States. Allergies occur when your immune system malfunctions and identifies a typically benign substance such as pollen or peanuts as a threat and releases antibodies to fight off the perceived danger.

Common allergens — substances that trigger allergies — include:

  • Pollen
  • Pet dander
  • Pet saliva
  • Insect venom
  • Mold
  • Latex
  • Medications

Many people have food allergies. Tree nuts, soy, milk, peanuts, and shellfish are common food allergens. 

What are the typical allergy symptoms?

Allergies cause various symptoms that range in severity and depend on how you came into contact with the allergen. Some common allergy symptoms are:

  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Sneezing or an itchy nose
  • Rashes and hives
  • Swelling (edema)
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Stomach cramps
  • Vomiting and diarrhea

Anaphylaxis is a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. It affects several body systems and occurs rapidly. It can cause swelling in your mouth or throat, shortness of breath, and trouble breathing. Your blood pressure might drop, and you could feel dizzy or faint.

Anaphylaxis requires immediate medical attention. If you have an epinephrine auto-injector (EpiPen®), use it right away and call 911. 

When should I talk to a doctor about allergies?

Allergy symptoms can evolve over time. For example, many children outgrow food allergies. However, it’s also possible for your allergy symptoms to become more severe. An early diagnosis can help you avoid severe allergic reactions and complications.

How do you diagnose allergies?

The team at Spring Valley Internal Medicine provides thorough exams and comprehensive testing to identify allergies. Your provider begins by reviewing your symptoms and medical history. 

The team offers blood tests and allergy testing to confirm your condition and identify your specific allergy. Identifying your particular allergy is critical to creating an effective treatment plan.

During allergy testing, your provider applies a small amount of a diluted allergen to your skin and watches for a reaction. They can test for several suspected allergies at the same time. Your provider stays with you throughout the test for your safety and comfort.

How are allergies treated?

The team at Spring Valley Internal Medicine creates a customized treatment plan to address your specific needs. They can prescribe medication to block your allergic response and help you generate avoidance strategies to limit your exposure to allergens. 

Your provider might also recommend immunotherapy, a long-term treatment that teaches your body to recognize that allergens aren’t a threat. 

If you think you have an allergy, call Spring Valley Internal Medicine or make an appointment online for expert diagnosis and personalized treatment.