Allergies

Family Medical Associates of Delaware

Board Certified Family Medicine located in Wilmington, DE

Allergies are very common, affecting over 50 million Americans every year. If you or a loved one experience symptoms of allergies, Family Medical Associates of Delaware in Wilmington, Delaware, provides accurate allergy testing and effective treatment. The practice is led by board-certified physician Anna Layosa-Magat, MD, and provides high-quality medical care to patients of all ages. To schedule your appointment, call the office today.

Allergies Q & A

What causes allergies?

Allergies occur when your immune system has a reaction to a substance that’s typically harmless, like pollen or eggs. This incorrect immune response can result in inflammation of the sinuses, airways, skin, and digestive system. 

Patients with allergies experience a wide range of symptoms ranging from mild irritation to anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening reaction that causes severe symptoms like vomiting, shortness of breath, and unconsciousness. 

Symptoms also depend on the substance that causes your allergies, known as an allergen. There are a number of common allergens that trigger allergy symptoms, including:

  • Insect stings
  • Peanuts
  • Soy
  • Fish
  • Pet dander
  • Medications (like penicillin)
  • Pollen
  • Mold
  • Dust mites

What are the symptoms of allergies?

Common allergy symptoms include:

  • Itchy, watery, or swollen eyes
  • Stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Hives
  • Swelling of the lips, face, or throat
  • Wheezing
  • Rash
  • Itchy skin

If you experience symptoms, Family Medical Associates of Delaware provides allergy testing to help determine the allergen causing them. 

What is allergy testing?

Allergy testing is used to evaluate your sensitivity to certain allergens. There are two main types of allergy tests:

Skin test

A skin test, or prick test, is a method used to diagnose allergies by triggering a small allergic response on the surface of your skin. 

To perform the skin test, your provider pricks your skin with a small amount of a possible allergen. If your skin reacts to a certain allergen, it’s likely the cause of your symptoms. 

Skin tests check your reaction to as many as 40 different substances at once. 

Blood test

A blood test is used to check the levels of allergy-causing antibodies in your bloodstream. It’s also used to check for sensitivity to possible allergens. 

How are allergies treated?

The most effective way to avoid allergy symptoms is to avoid your allergens. Once your doctor diagnoses your condition, they help you develop ways to avoid your triggers and reduce or even eliminate your symptoms. 

In addition to allergen avoidance, treatment for your allergies may include:

  • Immunotherapy
  • Nasal sprays 
  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants

Patients at risk of anaphylaxis may need epinephrine, a premeasured injectable device that can relieve the symptoms of a severe allergic reaction. 

To speak with a doctor about your condition, schedule an appointment at Family Medical Associates of Delaware by phone today.