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Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Are allergies hereditary?
  2. Our child has peanut allergy. Is there a risk of similar allergies in our other children?
  3. I have sinus problems. Can allergies be causing this?
  4. I have migraine headaches. Can allergies cause migraine?
  5. My child has been diagnosed with asthma. Should I have him or her checked for allergies?
  6. Myself or my child is allergic to our cats and dogs. Should we get rid of them?
  7. What are allergy shots? How young can they be started?
  8. How about allergy drops? How do they compare to allergy shots?
  9. How young can you test for allergies?
  10. How about allergy blood vs skin test?

Answer 1:

Yes. Studies have shown that the chance of a child developing allergy if one parent has allergies is about 30%. That risk goes up to 70% if both parents have allergies.

Answer 2:

Although allergies have a hereditary component and there might be some increased risk, we are not aware of clusters of peanut or similar food allergies in siblings of the patients we have seen. Our recommendation would be to be prudent and have further discussion and possible evaluation of siblings by your allergist.

Answer 3:

Recurrent sinus infections have been linked to underlying allergies in up to 50% of cases in some studies. We recommend further evaluation for possible allergies for anyone who is having recurrent sinus infection.

Answer 4:

Migraines have many triggers. Allergies are certainly a trigger for migraine headaches. Treating our allergies can have significant effect in reducing your headache episodes. You should discuss this with your allergist.

Answer 5:

Asthma in children is commonly caused or triggered by allergies. At times, controlling the allergies, like seasonal allergies and cat and dog allergies can mean a cure for asthma! Talk to your allergist..

Answer 6:

Absolutely not! Cat and dog allergen can be detected up to 5 years after the animal is gone! Studies also haveshown that classrooms have the equivalent of 1-3 cats (from hair brought in by classmates who have pets at home). So, even with the animal gone from home, the exposure will continue. Further, there are very effective treatment options including allergen immunotherapy that can make you or your child non-allergic to your pet. Ask your allergist for more info.

Answer 7:

Allergy shots, or also o known as allergen immunotherapy are a natural method of getting someone desensitized to what they are allergic to. They are highly effective for seasonal allergies as well as cat, dog, dust mites, and mold allergy. There are no shots or other medically safe and proven methods for food allergies at this time. Ask your allergist fro more info.

Answer 8:

Allergy drops ( also known as SLIT for Sub-Lingual [tongue] ImmunoTherapy) are not FDA approved for use in the United States. Studies are showing promising effect. However, safety and effectiveness especially for treatment of multiple allergens remain to be seen. Allergy shots have been in use for close to a 100 years and have a proven track record in terms of efficacy and safety. Talk to your allergist if you need additional information.

Answer 9:

Allergy skin testing can be performed at any age. Of course, it is much more limited for younger children. For example, we would only skin test a newborn for milk and soybean. If performed by an experienced staff, allergy tests can be minimally uncomfortable and well tolerated (We test children of all ages all the time in our practice and they always leave the office happy and smiling!).

Answer 10:

Blood test for allergies (IgE type only, not IgG), can be a good screening tool for allergies. They are slightly less sensitive than skin testing. Skin testing on the other hand offers immediate results and shows how the body would react to a suspected allergen. Further, skin testing is also more reliable in patients who show multiple strong positives on blood test. This is inherent to the method the blood tests are performed; a high level of allergen can cause false positives due to high background noise. Talk to your allergist for more info