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Allergies Specialist

Desert Cities Allergy & Otolaryngology

Allergists & Otolaryngology located in Rancho Mirage, CA & La Quinta, CA

Hay fever, just one of many possible allergies, affects 7% of all children and adults. Though many allergies begin in childhood, you can have your first allergy attack at any age. When you need help with allergy symptoms, Majid Torabi, MD, FACS, and Ryan Salvador, MD, at Desert Cities Allergy & Otolaryngology, offer comprehensive diagnostic testing and allergy treatment. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Rancho Mirage or La Quinta, California, or request an appointment online today.

Allergies Q & A

What causes allergies?

Allergies begin when your immune system mistakenly identifies a harmless substance as something that’s bad for your body. With every exposure to the substance, it triggers an immune response that causes your allergy symptoms.

This list gives you an idea of the types of allergies, along with a few examples of their allergens:

  • Airborne allergies, caused by grass, weeds, tree pollen, molds, and dust mites
  • Contact allergies, caused by poison ivy, nickel, and latex
  • Stinging insect allergies, caused by the venom from bees, wasps, and fire ants
  • Food allergies, caused by peanuts, tree nuts, fish, milk, eggs, shellfish, wheat, and soy
  • Drug allergies, caused by penicillin, ibuprofen, and aspirin

Substances in your surroundings cause environmental allergies. This category includes airborne, contact, and insect allergens, as well as others. For example, you may be allergic to horses, cats, dogs, cigarette smoke, or cockroaches.

What symptoms do allergies cause?

The symptoms you experience depend on the type of allergy, but as a group, allergies cause:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Congested nose
  • Red, watery eyes
  • Itchy nose, eye, or mouth
  • Skin rash
  • Hives
  • Swelling
  • Nausea and diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain

Food, insect, latex, and drug allergies may cause anaphylaxis. It is a severe allergic reaction that causes fast and potentially deadly symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, swelling in the tongue and throat, dizziness, and loss of consciousness.

How are allergies diagnosed?

Though your medical history and symptoms often indicate allergies, the only way to determine your specific allergen is with one of these allergy tests:

  • Skin prick test
  • Patch test
  • Intradermal test
  • Blood test
  • Challenge test

The skin prick test is often the main choice to test for most allergens. It produces results in about 20 minutes while you wait in the office at Desert Cities Allergy & Otolaryngology.

How are allergies treated?

Your treatment may begin by avoiding your allergen and taking over-the-counter medications to ease your symptoms. If these steps don’t help or your allergy symptoms are too severe, you may be a good candidate for allergy shots or sublingual immunotherapy.

Allergy shots

Allergy shots are a type of immunotherapy that desensitizes your immune system by injecting regular doses of your allergen. Most patients need 1-2 shots a week for about 3-6 months. Then the schedule slows, and you get 1-2 shots a month for several years, or until you achieve optimum results.

Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT)

If you have an allergy to grass, tree pollen, ragweed, cat dander, or dust mites, your provider may recommend SLIT. This treatment also desensitizes your immune system with regular doses of your allergen.

Instead of shots, SLIT is either a dissolvable tablet or a drop of liquid that goes under your tongue. You take the first dose in the office; then you take the rest of your SLIT doses at home.

If you need relief from the sneezing, congestion, or runny eyes of allergies, call Desert Cities Allergy & Otolaryngology today or request an appointment online.