Allergy Specialist Washington, DC

Allergy Specialist Washington, DCIf you believe your child has an animal allergy, you may need the help of a Washington, DC allergy specialist from Black & Kletz Allergy. Finding out your child is allergic to the family pet can be very upsetting. Unfortunately, this discovery is not uncommon with up to 30 percent of people who have allergies are allergic to cats and dogs. Twice as many people are allergic to cats than dogs. 

Contrary to what you might have heard or read, it is not the animals’ hair that is the cause of the symptoms. Rather the symptoms come from proteins which are found in pet dander, urine, or saliva. These proteins can stick to clothing, furniture, and walls, and they can stay there for a very long time. It is also possible for an animal to bring outside allergens, like pollen, into the house. 

An allergist might tell you that if you are allergic to something, you should try to avoid it. When the allergen is a beloved pet, this may be difficult. If the allergens are severe, a Washington, DC allergy specialist may recommend finding a new home for your pet. 

A child allergic to an animal might suffer from a stuffy nose, watery or itchy eyes, and wheezing. If the symptoms worsen, it could cause an asthma attack. If you notice these symptoms, you should have your child tested as soon as possible. 

How You Can Reduce Pet Allergies

As long as your child’s pet allergies are not severe, it may be possible to reduce their symptoms and keep your pet. 

Keep Your Pet Out of Your Child’s Bedroom – Your child’s room should be pet-free. It should also be kept very clean and have a quality air purifier and air filter inside. The filters should be cleaned frequently. 

Use Extra Protection on Your Child’s Bed – Dust mite covers are available for mattresses, pillows, and blankets. Dust mites are an allergy trigger and can be carried around by pets. These covers not only help to keep the dust mites away, but they can also help with pet dander. Stuffed animals should also be kept out of the bed. 

Opt for Hard Surfaces – Whenever you can, try to replace any upholstered surfaces with hard surfaces or those that can be washed easily. Pet dander can stick to upholstery, curtains, carpet, rugs, and drapes. It is less likely to stick to wood, tile, or vinyl. Plus hard surfaces are much easier to clean. 

If your child’s room has carpet, it should be cleaned on a regular basis. Ideally, a HEPA vacuum cleaner or steam cleaner will be used on this surface. 

Bathe Your Pet – A weekly bath can reduce pet dander. Ask a non-allergic member of the family to bathe the pet and ensure their clothes are thoroughly washed after. You should make sure the shampoo is okay for your pet. Bare in mind that bathing a pet too frequently can actually cause more pet dander. 

Wash Your Hands – Try to teach your child how to wash his or her hands with soap and water after touching the pet. This can prevent them from spreading the allergens to their nose, mouth, and eyes. 

Discuss Treatment Options with a Washington, DC Allergy Specialist – There are allergy medications for pet dander, but not all are equal. You should talk with an allergist about the best possible form of treatment. 

Consult a Veterinarian – A diet rich in certain nutrients can help your pet to retain moisture and reduce pet dander. Omega 3 and Omega 6’s are ideal for pets. 

Tens 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.

Set up Your Appointment With a Washington, DC Allergy Specialist

For a consultation with a Washington, DC allergy specialist from Black & Kletz Allergy, call our office today.