Allergy Specialist Washington DC

Allergy Specialist Washington DCTens of thousands of people consult allergy specialist in Washington DC every year.  Allergy specialist Washington DC is a physician with specialized training and expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of allergic and immunological diseases.  Allergic diseases are caused by sensitization to various substances and the subsequent exposure to them.  Our bodies consider these substances as foreign and mount a defensive immunological attack against them.  This process results in undesirable effects on different parts of the body which causes bothersome symptoms.  The most common substances that allergy specialist Washington DC deals with are in the air, food, chemicals, medications, and insect venoms.  Aeroallergens can be indoors (e.g., dust mites, molds, animal dander, cockroach) or outdoors (e.g., tree pollens, grass pollens, weed pollens).

The trees that pollinate in Washington DC include birch, maple, oak, elm, hickory, cedar, and Juniper, to name a few.  In the Washington DC metropolitan area, tree pollination begins in February, peaks in March – April and continues through May.  The grass pollen that allergy specialist Washington DC deals with include Timothy, Rye, Kentucky Blue, and Fescue.  The grasses generally begin to pollinate in late April, peak in May and continue through July. Ragweed pollen is the predominant allergen that allergy specialist Washington DC encounters in the Fall.  The weeds begin their pollination in the middle of August and persist until the first frost which is usually at the end of October.

These indoor and outdoor allergens (i.e., aeroallergens) usually affect the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs of sensitive individuals causing annoying symptoms which prompt allergy sufferers to seek allergy specialist Washington DC.  Sneezing, itchy eyes, watery eyes, red eyes, puffy eyes, nasal congestion, post-nasal drip, runny nose, itchy nose, itchy throat, sinus pressure, sinus headaches, snoring, cough, wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath are some of the symptoms that impact the quality of life negatively in sensitized individuals.  If over-the-counter medications do not give enough relief, patients seek out and consult allergy specialist Washington DC.  The diagnosis is established by allergy specialist Washington DC by a comprehensive history and physical examination in conjunction with focused allergy testing. Tests performed by allergy specialist Washington DC may include skin tests, pulmonary function tests and occasionally laboratory tests (e.g., blood tests).  The allergy specialist Washington DC counsels the patients about proper environmental controls in order to minimize exposure to the offending allergens.  If the symptoms persist, allergy specialist Washington DC prescribes medications which may include oral pills, oral capsules, oral syrups, nasal sprays, eye drops, and occasionally lung inhalers.  If the symptoms continue to bother the individual and/or the patient does not want to take medications, allergy specialist Washington DC may recommend allergen desensitization (i.e., allergy shots, allergy injections, allergy hyposensitization), a process which builds up tolerance to the previously sensitized allergens.  This treatment consists of receiving gradually increasing doses of allergens in the form of an injection under the skin at regular intervals.  This protocol will help prevent the symptoms and minimize the need for medications in the long term.  The average length of treatment is 3-5 years.  Allergy shots are effective in 80-85% of patients and have been given in the U.S. for more than 100 years.

Sometimes our immune systems can also be sensitized to certain foods and can cause undesirable symptoms when we are exposed to these foods, even in small amounts.  The most common foods that are implicated include milk, wheat, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish.  If the sensitivity is severe, the reactions on exposure can be life-threatening and involve multiple organ systems.  The allergy specialist Washington DC can be of immense help in diagnosing and treating food allergies.  The identification of the offending food is accomplished by allergy specialist Washington DC through a comprehensive history and physical examination in combination with skin tests and/or laboratory tests.  In addition to counseling about avoidance of foods, allergy specialist Washington DC will prescribe epinephrine auto-injectors for use in the case of severe reactions (i.e., anaphylaxis) from accidental exposures.  In case of peanut allergy, allergy specialist Washington DC recently began offering oral desensitization.

The board-certified allergy specialists at Black & Kletz Allergy have been diagnosing and treating children and adults with allergies, asthma, and immunologic disorders for over 50 years.  We have office locations in Washington DC, McLean, VA (Tysons Corner, VA), and Manassas, VA.  We have on-site parking at all of our office locations and the Washington, DC and McLean, VA offices are Metro accessible.  There is a complimentary shuttle that runs between the McLean, VA office and the Spring Hill metro station on the silver line.  If you are bothered by allergies, asthma, hives, swelling episodes, sinus problems, and/or immunological conditions, please call our office for an appointment or you can alternatively click Request an Appointment and we will respond within 24 hours by the next business day.  Black & Kletz Allergy prides ourselves in providing high-quality allergy and asthma care in a professional, appealing, and approachable environment.