More than 50 million Americans have allergies, making them one of the most common causes of chronic illness today. At Allergy & Asthma Clinic of Maryland in Silver Spring, Maryland, experienced allergist Vasif Kalfa, MD, provides patient-centered care for all types of allergies, including food, environmental, and skin allergies as well as connected conditions like asthma. Call the office or use the online booking link to make your appointment.
Allergies are a common chronic condition in both children and adults. When you have an allergy, your immune system overreacts to a normally harmless substance. There are many different allergens, with each causing different reactions.
Allergies can cause a variety of uncomfortable issues, such as runny nose and itchy eyes. Some allergies cause skin symptoms (allergic contact dermatitis) while others cause breathing difficulties or even anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction.
Some common types of allergies include:
Pollen allergies, also called seasonal allergic rhinitis or hay fever, are a reaction to trees, weeds, and grasses that release microscopic pollen grains. Grasses are the No. 1 source of pollen allergies.
Pet allergies can occur when you're around a pet with fur, usually a cat or dog. Nearly one-third of Americans have pet allergies.
Eggs, peanuts, milk, wheat, soy, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish are some of the most common food allergies. Food allergies are more common in children, but adults can have food allergies too. Up to 5% of children younger than 5 have food allergies.
Mold allergies occur when you inhale tiny mold spores. Because mold grows both indoors and outside, you may have mold allergies all the time or only occasionally.
Insect allergies include stinging insects like bees, biting insects like mosquitoes, and household pests such as dust mites and cockroaches. Household pest allergies are the most common of these.
Latex allergies cause reactions when you touch any rubber product, such as latex gloves or balloons.
Drug allergies occur when you react to a specific medication, such as penicillin. This type of allergy is rare, but many people experience side effects, drug interactions, or indirect effects that they confuse with drug allergies.
Many people have several types of allergies, and allergies and asthma frequently occur together.
At Allergy & Asthma Clinic of Maryland, Dr. Kalfa uses the most effective methods, including intradermal skin testing. In this test, he injects a tiny amount of the suspected allergen under your skin to gauge your reaction in a controlled environment. The test takes 10-15 minutes.
Dr. Kalfa also performs skin prick tests, patch testing, blood tests, and oral food challenges. He tailors your testing for the allergy type and your particular needs.
After diagnosis, Dr. Kalfa can create a customized allergy management plan for you, which may include medication, immunotherapy, avoiding your triggers, food allergy desensitization, and other effective strategies.
Put your allergies behind you by calling Allergy & Asthma Clinic of Maryland or booking an appointment online.