Allergies can range from bothersome seasonal allergy reactions to more life-threatening issues, so it’s important to see a pulmonary specialist with allergy specific expertise and experience. For optimal diagnosis and allergy treatment whether you suffer from spring hay fever or severe food allergy reactions, the integrated team at University Hospitals can help. We work together to diagnose, treat and manage allergy triggers both for immediate issues and long-term management.
Referrals to Allergists and Pulmonary Specialists
Generally, primary care providers manage a patient’s seasonal allergy flare-ups and other mild-to-moderate allergies with the excellent medications and therapies available today. But patients who don’t respond — or stop responding — to such treatments should see one of the experienced pulmonary specialists at University Hospitals.
Our expert allergists work together with our pulmonary specialists to sort through the patient’s allergy components — especially if the allergen provokes breathing problems. Respiratory-related allergies and reactions include:
- Dust mites: Can cause sneezing, congestion, wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath or asthma.
- Food allergies: Foods such as eggs, nuts and shellfish can cause allergic reactions which may include shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, trouble swallowing, tongue swelling or anaphylaxis shock which is life-threatening shock to the body with trouble breathing.
- Insect stings: Stings from wasps, hornets, fire ants, honeybees or yellow jackets may cause an allergic reaction and, in rare cases, may lead to anaphylaxis, an acute allergic reaction.
- Pets: Pet dander or pet allergies, most commonly dog allergies or cat allergies, can cause sneezing, runny nose, congestion, coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath.
- Drugs: Allergies to certain medications can cause wheezing, difficulty breathing or in rare cases, anaphylaxis, or an acute allergic reaction.
- Latex: An allergic reaction to latex products, such as latex gloves, can cause runny or stuffy nose, wheezing, chest tightness or in rare cases, an acute allergic reaction.
- Mold: Allergies to mold can cause more mild symptoms such as runny or stuffy nose, coughing, wheezing or sneezing, but may also cause more long-term issues and may aggravate asthma.
- Cockroaches: Allergies to insects such as cockroaches can cause coughing, stuffy nose or wheezing.
Once our team identifies the cause of your allergic reactions, we consider numerous interventions specific to the allergen. An allergy treatment and management plan may include allergy medications and allergy shots or immunotherapy.
We may also prescribe household interventions. A patient may find relief simply by minimizing exposure to the allergen. For instance, a severe reaction to a pet may necessitate removing the animal from your household — a difficult decision for any patient. That’s why it’s important to have a specialist pinpoint the exact cause of an allergic reaction.
Specialized Treatment: Desensitization Therapy
Just as medications or antibiotics are necessary for the treatment of particular infections or diseases, a range of treatment options are available for your specific allergic condition. Our team has the expertise to provide the treatment that will best address your conditions, including allergy desensitization therapy, also known as gradual exposure therapy. Our allergists and pulmonary specialists have developed protocols to safely desensitize a patient. We start off with low exposure levels and gradually increase. It’s all done in a controlled setting with a staff of experts trained in managing allergic reactions with appropriate medications.
Learn More About UH Pulmonary Services for Allergies
If you have questions about your history of allergies or specific allergic reaction, talk to one of our allergy specialists. For more information on our allergy services, we can help you find a pulmonary specialist at one of our convenient locations.