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Allergy Services

blobid0.jpgWhile allergies are generally more common in children, they can affect anyone, regardless of age. A first-time occurrence can happen at any age, or recur after many years of remission. Crozer Health allergists help adults and children throughout Delaware County to diagnose, treat and manage seasonal, perennial or food allergies.

Approximately 40 million people in the US have some type of seasonal allergy, which results when the body’s immune system reacts to an allergen (such as tree pollen) as if it were a foreign protein or invader in the body that it’s trying to get rid of. The most common is allergic rhinitis, which includes seasonal hay fever and year-round allergies to dust, pollen, animal dander and mold.

The following are the most common symptoms of allergic rhinitis. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Sneezing
  • Congestion
  • A runny nose
  • Itchy nose, throat, eyes, and ears
  • Nosebleeds
  • Clear drainage from the nose

Some patients may be reluctant to see a doctor because they have a runny or itchy nose, while they see patients with more ‘serious’ conditions in the waiting room. But allergic rhinitis is important. If these symptoms go untreated they can become debilitating, since they can make it difficult to breathe, and even lead to asthma.

If you’re concerned that you might have allergies or can’t find relief with avoidance techniques or over-the-counter medications, be sure to speak with a Crozer Health allergist.

Food Allergies

A food allergy is when your immune system has a bad reaction to a certain food. This is different from food intolerance, which does not affect the immune system. This is true even though some of the same signs may be present.

Eight foods or food groups cause about 90 percent of food allergies. These include:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Tree nuts
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Peanuts

Symptoms of Food Allergies

Allergic symptoms may begin within minutes to an hour after eating the food. The following are the most common symptoms of a food allergy. However, each person may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Swelling, itching of lips and mouth
  • Tightness in the throat or hoarse voice
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea and cramps
  • Hives, or itchy, raised bums
  • Swelling of the skin
  • Itching

The symptoms of a food allergy may look like other medical conditions or problems. Always talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.