Posts for category: Allergist
Dealing with chronic hives? Here’s what could be going on.
If you’re dealing with allergies, then you may deal with persistent or recurring hives. Hives, or urticaria, causes red, itchy raised welts to appear on the body. Everything from food allergies to stress can lead to hives; however, if you are dealing with chronic hives then it’s worth turning to our Metairie, LA, allergy doctor Dr. Alan Sheen to find out why this is happening and how to get it under control.
What causes hives?
Hives appear as a result of a histamine reaction in the body often due to,
- An allergic reaction
- Insect bites or stings
- Exposure to certain chemicals
- Skincare products
Unfortunately, it isn’t always possible to pinpoint the cause. While many cases of hives are acute, if you’ve been dealing with symptoms that last more than six weeks then you’re dealing with chronic hives. It’s time to see our Metairie, LA, allergy doctor to find out how to best get your hives under control.
What happens when I come into the office?
First, we will go through your medical history and ask you questions about your symptoms, your diet, activities and any medications or supplements you’re taking. We will also examine the rash to make sure that you are dealing with hives. If we suspect that your hives are caused by allergies, we will recommend performing skin or blood allergy testing.
How are hives treated?
If you suspect that your hives are the result of an allergy the best treatment is to avoid the allergen whenever possible. If it’s a food allergy then this simply means not eating that food; however, when you’re allergic to something outside or in your home, it can be a bit trickier to prevent exposure. In this case, there are several treatment options that our allergist will offer including,
Antihistamines: This is the standard treatment for those dealing with an allergic reaction, as antihistamines prevent the body from releasing histamines. Depending on the severity of your hives, you may simply be able to take an over-the-counter antihistamine such as Benadryl or our team will recommend a stronger antihistamine for more severe reactions.
H-2 blockers: If you find that antihistamines alone do not provide you with relief, Dr. Sheen may recommend H-2 blockers, which are taken either as a pill or injected into the body.
Corticosteroids: These medications are great for treating swelling and redness associated with hives. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, oral or topical steroids may help ease these symptoms.
Asthma medication: While it might sound odd, studies have found that a certain prescription medication used to treat severe forms of allergic asthma may also alleviate symptoms of chronic hives.
Are you looking for an experienced, knowledgeable and friendly allergy doctor here in Metairie and Covington, LA? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Dr. Sheen has been providing allergy care to patients of all ages for more than 35 years. To discuss your allergy treatment options with a professional, call Dr. Sheen at his Metairie office at (504) 456-1999 or at his Covington office at (985) 246-6077.
Just as people can be allergic to pollen, soaps, pet dander, or other substances, we can also have allergies to foods, ranging from minor to severe.
While some food allergies may be easily diagnosed, such as those to peanuts or shellfish, which can result in visible facial swelling and potentially dangerous swelling of the throat, others are harder to pinpoint, causing symptoms such as bloating, abdominal distress, or eczema.
Dr. Alan E. Sheen, with offices in Metairie and Covington, LA can help you determine the source of your food allergies and develop a diet that suits your needs.
What are the types of food allergies?
Food allergies can be either fixed or cyclic, with the former both more obvious and more dangerous. Common fixed food allergies include nuts and fish, and they can cause severe reactions such as difficulty breathing or intense swelling.
Cyclic food allergies are less rare but can be hard to diagnose unless your diet is very limited, to begin with. Dairy, wheat, soy, and eggs are common food allergens. Allergic reactions may intensify if you consume larger or more frequent amounts of the trigger food, and some cyclic food allergies can be outgrown.
How do you diagnose food allergies?
Your doctor at our Metairie or Covington office can use a blood test to determine if your food allergy is fixed and if so you will need to avoid the trigger foods and may need an Epipen or other medication for quick intervention if you accidentally consume the food.
For cyclic food allergies, your doctor at our Metairie or Covington office may ask you to keep a journal of everything you eat, and will then guide you through a food elimination process, in which you pull potential trigger foods from your diet and slowly add them back in, one at a time, to see if it causes a reaction. This can be a long process, and eventually, you can try eating small amounts of the foods again on occasion
If food allergies are causing you discomfort, call our Metairie office at 504-456-1999 or our Covington office at 985-246-6077 today.
According to statistics, approximately five percent of children under the age of five suffer from a food allergy. The incidence of food allergies in children has grown in the last few decades, but some food allergies are later outgrown in adulthood depending on the type. Dr. Alan Sheen, an allergy doctor in Metairie and Covington, LA, offers testing and treatment for food-related and environmental allergies.
Food Allergy Diagnosis and Treatment
Food allergies can be hard to predict in advance, so doctors recommend that parents become familiar with the symptoms of an allergic reaction, which can kick in within minutes to an hour after a child has ingested the allergen. The most common signs of an allergic reaction include:
- Congestion and/or a runny nose
- Swelling (tongue, lips, face)
- Vomiting and nausea
- Shortness of breath and trouble breathing
Some allergic reactions can be life-threatening and require emergency treatment. Seek emergency medical attention right away if your child turns blue, has trouble breathing or swallowing, complains of chest pains, experiences dizziness, or loses consciousness.
Types of Food Allergies
In addition to peanut and tree nut allergies, other common food allergies to look out for include:
- Milk and eggs
Childhood allergies to foods like shellfish, soy, wheat, and dairy often clear up in adulthood, while nut allergies are more likely to persist into adulthood. If you suspect that your child has a food allergy, Dr. Sheen will perform a series of tests to help determine the source of the allergy and the best course of treatment.
Food allergies are typically treated by avoiding the food the child is allergic to, but accidents happen and sometimes it can be difficult to know every ingredient in the food we eat. Mild allergic reactions can usually be managed with antihistamines, and more severe reactions are usually treated with a dose of epinephrine, the active ingredient in the EpiPen.
Find an Allergy Doctor in Metairie and Covington, LA
For more information about managing and treating your child's allergy to food or other triggers, contact our office today by calling 504-456-1999 for an appointment at our Metairie location, or 985-246-6077 for our Covington office.
Are your allergy symptoms driving you crazy?
Have red, itchy eyes become the norm? Do you find yourself sneezing your head off whenever you walk outside? Are those over-the-counter medications just not cutting it when it comes to managing your allergies? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then it might be time to take a little trip to see our allergy doctor, Dr. Alan Sheen, practicing in both Metairie and Covington, LA.
Allergies are one of the most common chronic conditions affecting people across the globe with symptoms ranging from mild to potentially life-threatening. Common allergens that can trigger an allergic reaction include:
- Insect stings or bites
- Pet dander
How is an allergy diagnosed?
If you or a loved one is dealing with allergy symptoms, our Metairie allergist can help provide a definitive diagnosis so that you know what is causing your symptoms and how to best treat the issue. Our very own Dr. Sheen has received advanced and specialized training to be able to diagnose and help manage your allergy symptoms, no matter how serious they may be.
When you come into our office, your evaluation will consist of three important parts: a review of your medical history, a physical exam, and an administration of the proper allergy tests. Going through your medical history is important for us to better understand what might be triggering your symptoms. Our allergist may additionally recommend both a blood and skin test to check for sensitivities to common allergens.
The allergy skin test can be performed for pollen, mold, dust, pet dander, insect stings, and food allergies, while a blood test may be recommended if your skin is too sensitive for a skin test or if you are taking certain medications that could affect your test results.
What are my treatment options?
The treatment plan we create for you will depend on the type of allergy you are experiencing and how severe your symptoms are. The most obvious recommendation is to avoid the allergen whenever possible. Of course, you may also be prescribed certain allergy medications such as antihistamines, nasal sprays, eye drops, or decongestants.
We will also provide you with lifestyle modifications that can greatly reduce flare-ups. For example, we may recommend wearing a face mask while doing yard work, or using a HEPA air filter to remove allergens from your home. With proper medication and lifestyle changes, we can help you finally get your allergy symptoms under control.
Contact us today!
If you are living in the Metairie or Covington, LA, area and want to talk to our allergy specialist about more long-term and effective methods for tackling your allergy symptoms, call one of our offices today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sheen: (504) 456-1999 for Metairie and (985) 246-6077 for Covington.
Noticing unpleasant symptoms whenever you eat a certain food? You could be allergic!
If you are a professed foodie then you may not even want to entertain the possibility that you might have a food allergy; however, a whopping 15 million Americans have food allergies. So, if you are noticing that a certain food is suddenly causing some gastrointestinal distress, you may just want to visit our Metairie, LA, allergy specialist, Dr. Alan Sheen for answers.
What are the different kinds of food allergies?
According to Food Allergy Research & Education, there are about 170 foods that have been reported to cause allergic reactions. Of course, the most common food allergies include:
- Tree nuts
Symptoms of a food allergy can range from mild to severe. Severe food allergies can result in throat tightening or trouble breathing. If you experience these symptoms it’s important that you seek immediate medical attention.
What are the warning signs of a food allergy?
The most common causes of a food allergy include:
- Itching mouth/tingling lips
- Facial swelling (this can include the lips and throat)
- Trouble breathing
- Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain
- Dizziness or fainting
Symptoms usually develop within a few minutes of consuming the problematic food; however, symptoms can appear up to 2 hours after. If you are experiencing symptoms it’s a good idea to call our Metairie, LA, allergy doctor to determine if your symptoms are due to a food allergy.
How do you treat a food allergy?
While it might be obvious, the most common treatment for a food allergy is to just stay away from the offending food. This is a surefire way to prevent symptoms from manifesting. Of course, sometimes other treatment options can be helpful. For example, if you have lactose intolerance you may benefit from taking medication before consuming dairy products. Certain over-the-counter or prescription medications are designed for those with lactose intolerance to make it easier to consume these foods without issues.
Those who have a severe allergic reaction to certain foods may be given an EpiPen, an injection of epinephrine. This device should only be used during severe, emergency situations and this is an injection you will give yourself.
If you are living in Metairie, LA, and suspect that you might have a food allergy it’s important that you call our very own Dr. Sheen to schedule a consultation. Let’s help you figure out what’s going on and how to stop it from happening so you can go back to enjoying your daily meals.