Mold reproduces by sending tiny spores into the air. If these spores are breathed in, they can cause a nasal allergic reaction. Mold tends to grow in bathrooms, basements, in the soil of houseplants, old books, old magazines, aquariums, damp shoes, rugs in bathrooms, garbage pails and window sills. To control mold growth, drain wet areas of your yard and clean up leaves and weeds before they begin to rot; clean the bathroom regularly with bleach; fix leaky faucets or roof leaks; leave window open or fan on while showering to let moisture escape; encase pillows and mattresses and use dehumidifiers if your house is damp.
Pets such as cats, dogs, birds, horses and rabbits are common causes of nasal allergies. Flakes of skin (dander), saliva left on fur when an animal cleans itself, urine in litter boxes and cages and feathers on birds can all cause nasal allergies. Control pet allergies by keeping your pet outdoors or out of your bedroom, use an air-cleaner with a HEPA filter, washing your hands after you touch your pet, bathing your pet weekly with a dander controlling shampoo to cut down on the allergens they produce.
Food allergies are very common. A food allergy is an abnormal response to food that is triggered by a specific reaction in the immune system and expressed by certain symptoms. Many people think that they have a food allergy which in all actuality they only have a food intolerance. Food intolerance is far more prevalent, occurs in a variety of diseases, and is triggered by several different mechanisms that are distinct from the immunological reaction responsible for food allergy. There are 8 common foods that account for 90% of food allergic reactions. These foods include eggs, peanuts, milk, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, and soy.
HOUSE-DUST MITE ALLERGIES
These bugs are too small to see but they can live in mattresses, blankets, stuffed toys, carpets and curtains. The droppings of these mites are a common cause of indoor nasal allergies. To control dust mite allergens, choose non-fabric upholstery like leather or vinyl, replace horizontal blinds with vertical blinds, have as little carpet as possible, wash your sheets, blankets and mattress pads in hot water every 1-2 weeks, removed dust-collectors (such as stuffed animals, knick knacks and wall-hangings) from the bedroom and vacuum and dust your home every week.
INSECT VENOM ALLERGIES
Some people have high sensitivities to insect venom. It is an acquired trait. This trait is not present at the first exposure to the venom, but can occur during subsequent exposures. Insects are usually classified as having three main body segments, six legs and a pair of sensory antennae. Winged insect species have two sets of wings, such as bees, wasps, and mosquitoes. Other insects include fleas, lice and ants. Some allergic reactions to the venom of insects can be life threatening.
Latex allergy is an allergic reaction to substances in natural latex. Rubber gloves are the main source of allergic reactions, although latex is also used in other products such as medical devices. The cause of the allergy is unknown. About 10% of healthcare workers have some sort of latex allergy.
Plants reproduce by moving tiny grains of pollen from plant to plant. Some pollen is carried by bees and some is blown by the wind. The wind-blown pollen is what causes nasal allergies. The amount of pollen in the air varies from season to season. Help control your exposure to pollen by checking the pollen counts daily and avoid spending time outdoors when counts are high; change your clothes after spending time outside and wash your hair before bed; stay indoors on windy days.
FOOD ALLERGIES – IGG4
Food allergies are an important cause of illness in both children and adults. The number of people suffering from food allergies has increased over the last 20 years.
There are two basic types of food allergies, immediate and delayed. They are also referred to as “obvious” and “hidden” allergies. If someone is exposed to a food and has a reaction instantly or within several hours, it is then considered an “immediate” food allergy.
Sometimes a person will eat a food and not experience any symptoms for hours or even until the next day. This is considered a “delayed” food allergy.
There are two primary antibodies within us that cause food allergies. One is IgE and the other is IgG. Immediate food allergies are caused by the IgE antibody; delayed are caused by the IgG antibody. For the allergic patient, a harmless allergen is introduced to their system, but these antibodies mistake the allergen (food in this case) as a harmful substance. This improper recognition triggers a reaction often resulting in symptoms such as irritable bowels, nausea, stomach pain, headaches, hives, rashes, hyperactivity, inattention, nervousness, depression or even anaphylaxis which can be life threatening.
It is estimated that 3-5% of food allergies are caused by the IgE antibody and that approximately 50% are attributed to IgG antibodies. It is also estimated that IgG4 is responsible for most of the food allergies caused by the “G” antibody. IgG4 against foods indicates that the person has been repeatedly exposed to food proteins recognized as foreign by the immune system. Physicians sometimes perform IgE and IgG4 testing to be thorough.
A person may be able to eat a food they are allergic to occasionally and suffer no symptoms. However, if a person eats the food daily or several times a day, their tolerance can become compromised and symptoms may occur. A common trait of people that have food allergies will crave the food(s) they are most allergic to. This is partially due to the fact that when a food allergy causes stress, the body produces endorphins, which provides comfort and a “feel good” factor.
Whether you have a severe food allergy or suffer from food sensitivity, the experienced staff here at the Acadian Allergy Center are here to help you identify your allergens, as well as treat and manage your symptoms. Call us at (337) 237-0779 to schedule a consultation today.
Your allergy results will indicate the need for allergy injections/immunotherapy. Immunotherapy is a program of regular injections of increasing amounts of extracts of allergens (organic substances which cause allergies) to which you are sensitive. When sufficient relief of your allergy symptoms can not be achieved with environmental controls and medications, immunotherapy can reduce your sensitivities. It is effective for weeds, trees and grass pollens, dust mites, mold spores and some animal danders. Food allergies should be rotated or eliminated in your diet depending on how allergic you are to the food.
Your allergy symptoms are caused by your body producing an excessive amount of allergy antibody when you breathe allergens. Immunotherapy helps your immune system build protective antibodies to the various allergens for which you are being treated. These protective antibodies reduce the allergy reactions and can suppress your system’s tendency to produce excessive allergy antibodies.
Injections are administered weekly until you have achieved your maximum symptom-relieving dose. This takes several months depending on your degree of sensitivity. The test methods indicate a safe starting dose. Each patient is different and the strength of the maintenance dose and frequency of injections is tailored to the individual. The maximum symptom-relieving dose is then repeated weekly until your symptoms have been controlled through at least two consecutive seasons. After that time, an attempt is made to gradually taper your injections. Most people undergo immunotherapy an average of 3 to 5 years. We allow you to take your injections home after reaching the maintenance dosage provided you’ve had no problems and we require you to have a current EpiPen or Auvi-Q. We offer home immunotherapy classes to teach how to self-administer your injections.
RAST TESTING AND TOTAL IGE
Tested by drawing blood in our office and results are received within seven days. Do not have to fast or discontinue antihistamines. No risk in testing if you are pregnant. items that can be tested are dust mites, mold spores, weeds/flowers, trees, grass, epidermals, food, latex testing, certain medications, chemicals, occupationals and insects/venom.
MQT: MODIFIED QUANTITATIVE TESTING
Testing consists of pricks and intradermal needle sticks for inhalants. Testing time is 30-45 minutes, results are immediate. Antihistamines must be discontinued seven days prior to testing.