Medical Solutions and Immunotherapy for Allergies


  • Allergy testing– An allergy is your body’s way of reacting to something you eat, breathe, or touch. Substances that trigger allergic reactions are called allergens. While allergic reactions can be mildly annoying, they can also be life-threatening. Such is the case with some insect stings or bites that can cause anaphylactic shock. Sadly, most people don’t realize how much better they would feel if their symptoms were properly diagnosed and managed by an allergy and immunology specialist or allergist. Allergists start in pediatrics or internal medicine then take at least two more years of specialized training in allergy and immunology. An allergist is your best choice for relief from allergies and asthma.
  • Skin testing– The most common allergy test uses a very small amount of different allergens put into your skin with a pin "prick." If the spot swells, you are allergic to that particular allergen. The spots that remain normal are those allergens you are not allergic to. Reactions typically occur within about 15 minutes. The small hives caused by positive tests will disappear within about 30 minutes. To minimize the risk of rare side effects, you should always have your skin test done in Dr. Applebaum's office.
A sick little girl in bed
  • Spirometry– This test measures how much air you can inhale and exhale and how fast you can exhale. Spirometry is commonly used to test for asthma and other breathing problems such as COPD.

Benefits of Allergy Testing

Allergy testing gives Dr. Applebaum precise information about what you are allergic to. Along with allergy testing, he will do a thorough physical examination and talk to you about your health history and symptoms. Combined with his specialized knowledge, allergy testing can reveal if you’re really allergic to a family pet or dust mites.

  • Allergies– There are many types of allergies: food allergies, seasonal allergies, pet allergies, insect sting allergies, plant allergies, allergic rhinitis (hay fever), hives, pollen allergy, mold allergies, and more. Dr. Applebaum follows patients closely with regular face-to-face visits until your allergy problem is solved.

If you suspect allergies, get tested. Dr. Applebaum can easily diagnose all kinds of allergies and treat them with today’s most effective techniques. Armed with this knowledge, he will create a more effective treatment plan for you.

Testing and Treatment

  • Prick and Intradermal Testing: Purified extracts with environmental and food allergens are placed on or under the skin and are observed for a localized allergic reaction.
  • Food and Drug Challenges: Increasing amounts of a suspected food or medication are administered under close monitoring and observation for any possible adverse reaction.
  • Immunotherapy: The administration of “allergy shots” involves gradually increasing treatment with specific customized environmental allergen vaccines to decrease allergic sensitivity over time. Often misunderstood as "medication", this therapy works with your own immune system to induce immunologic tolerance to the environmental allergens in the vaccine.
An allergy skin test being conducted
  • Spirometry: Computerized testing of pulmonary function to both diagnose and monitor the status Asthma, COPD and other Pulmonary Diseases.

Environmental Allergies

Triggers of allergies
Environmental triggers may be found indoors and outdoors and may be present during certain times of the year or year-round. These triggers include, but are not limited to:

  • Tree Pollen: Seen beginning early Spring, typically late March through mid June.
  • Grass Pollen: Seen in late Spring, usually in late May through early July.
  • Weed Pollen: Some are seen in late Spring and early Summer, at the same time as Grass pollen, while most are seen in late Summer, in mid August and early Fall, until first frost.
  • Mold and Mildew: Present outdoors throughout the year, with increased levels associated with damp weather and increased humidity. Are also seen indoors and are associated with increased levels of humidity, damp or wet spaces, houseplants, leaks, and flooding.
  • Animals: Include not only cats and dogs, but can also seen to all rodents, mammals and birds. Elevated levels may be found in homes, schools, and workplaces, even without animals present, due to transport on other persons clothing.
  • House Dust Mites: Seen in all environments and seasons. With elevated levels associated with increased temperatures and humidity. Greatest exposure is usually during sleep through mattresses, bedding, and pillows. Increased levels also found in carpeted areas, heavy drapes, clutter, and even stuffed animals.
A dusting mop
  • Pests: Includes cockroaches, mites, and rats. Most common in schools, workplaces, apartments, and condominiums; these small amounts of allergens can affect anyone, even when the pest is unseen.

Other sources of environmental triggers include workplace exposures and occupational allergens, feathers, tobacco and marijuana smoke, fragrances, fireplaces, cleaning products, and scented products including candles

Various nuts and a jar of peanut butter

Food Allergies

Food allergies are more common than you think and are growing rapidly in frequency, nature and intensity.
Food allergies are often mischaracterized as intolerances or sensitivities. Food allergies may be manifested not only by hives, eczema, or anaphylaxis, but also by gastrointestinal distress, urinary abnormalities, headaches, coughing, shortness of breath, nasal congestion, fatigue, and persistent skin conditions.
Food allergies have been identified in children and adults of all ages. While several foods have been identified as common triggers in the population, food allergies have been demonstrated to be associated with virtually any food, common or not. People are unaware that the vitamins, food supplements, and medications they may currently be using may contain food allergens they may be allergic to.

Insect Allergies

Signs and symptoms
Venom allergies include, but are not limited to, Honey Bees, Wasps, Yellow jackets, Hornets and Fire Ants. Biting Insects including Mosquitos and Flies can also produce Allergic Reactions. Reactions to the stings or bites can initially present as both localized and generalized life-threatening reactions, including:

• both isolated and generalized rash or hives
• swelling
• respiratory changes
• dizziness
• nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
• loss of consciousness

If you suffer from any of these symptoms associated with bites or stings from any insect, please contact our office for further information.

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Pediatric Allergies

Helping children avoid suffering from allergies, asthma, and more
Allergies are extremely common among children. As their young immune systems develop, children are exposed to many allergens in their diet and environment. But while they are still children, the best thing parents can do for them is help identify their allergic triggers and begin treatment ASAP to prevent further sensitization and progression of Allergic Disease.
There are dozens of over-the-counter (OTC) allergy medications, some of them can make your child sleepy or cause other side effects. Also, such medications do not treat the underlying allergic problem but merely control symptoms, allowing the underlying problem to progress over time.

Parents can help control indoor allergies

Parents can also take steps to control the sources of indoor allergies – mold, pet dander, and dust mites – by limiting exposure or by eliminating those allergens from the environment.
While parents are often hesitant and concerned that treatment options may be "too much" for young children, long-term studies have shown that the sooner the treatment begins, the more effective it is, and in turn, the child's quality of life is much improved. Untreated underlying allergic disease/asthma can interfere with daily activities, including school performance, appetite, growth, attitude, and sleep.