Allergy Header
What are Allergies?
If you experience red, itchy eyes when going outside or eat foods that cause you nausea or abdominal pain, then you could be suffering from allergies. Allergies are so common that they affect about 30 percent of adults, and while there isn’t a cure, the ENT doctors at Shoreline Allergy of Connecticut are here to make sure that you get the compassionate and individualized allergy treatment you need to manage your symptoms more effectively.
An allergy develops when the immune system overreacts to a harmless allergen.
Common allergens include:
  • Pollen and Weeds

  • Animal Dander

  • Mold

  • Food

  • Dust Mites

  • Latex

  • Medications

Allergy Symptoms
Having allergies can produce a variety of symptoms from headaches and skin rashes to nausea and sneezing. While many allergies aren’t life threatening there are some that are. An appointment with one of our ENT specialists will help to determine the cause and severity of your allergy symptoms. While avoiding the allergen is key to preventing your symptoms, we know that sometimes this is impossible. Fortunately, there are treatment options out there such as medication and immunotherapy that can provide the relief you’ve been looking for.
What Are Allergy Symptoms?
Allergy symptoms flare-up when your immune system mistakes a harmless substance as something that is potentially dangerous or harmful to the body, causing the immune system to react. This substance is an allergen and unfortunately as many as 50 million Americans are dealing with some type of allergy each year. Allergy symptoms can vary depending on the type and severity of your allergy.
Common allergy symptoms include:
  • Runny or Stuffy Nose

  • Itchy, watery eyes

  • Sneezing, Coughing, or Wheezing

  • Trobule Breathing

  • Rashes

  • Headaches

  • Fatigue

  • Nausea and Vomiting

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above then it’s possible that you are dealing with allergies. Of course, the only way to really be able to tell if allergies are to blame is to come in for the appropriate allergy tests. During your consultation, we will ask you questions regarding the symptoms you are experiencing to get an idea of what type of allergy might be causing your reaction. From there we will determine the best tests to perform to diagnose your allergy.
Once we have determined what’s causing your allergy we can start to formulate a treatment plan that will help alleviate your symptoms. While those with mild or seasonal allergies may find relief from simple over-the-counter medications, we know that many patients are dealing with allergy symptoms that require stronger medications and treatments.
What Are Allergic Reactions?
Are you beginning to think that your runny nose, watery eyes and unrelenting cough are due to allergies? If so, you certainly aren’t alone. Millions of Americans battle with allergies every year. While the allergen itself isn’t actually harmful to your health; unfortunately, your immune system thinks it is. This kicks your immune system into high gear to fight off the allergen, thinking it’s a foreign invader like a virus or bacteria. This overreaction can lead to symptoms such as:
  • Runny or Stuffy Nose

  • Watery, itchy, or red eyes

  • Wheezing or Persistant Cough

  • Headaches

  • Diarrhea

  • Stomach Cramps

  • Nausea and Vomiting

If you are experiencing some of these symptoms then it might be time to turn to our ENT doctors for allergy testing. After all, many people will deal with allergies at some point during their lifetime and allergies don’t necessary occur the moment you are introduced to the allergen. An allergic response may occur over time. For example, maybe your body didn’t really react much to being stung by a bee; however, the next time it happens you notice that the skin is covered in red, itchy welts (also known as hives). This is a telltale sign of an allergy.
Severe allergic reactions can cause additional symptoms such as:
  • Chest Pain and Tightness in the Chest

  • Trouble Swallowing

  • Swelling of the Tongue or Face

  • Heart Palpitations

  • Anxiety

  • Facial Flushing

  • Dizziness

  • Trouble Breathing

Anaphylaxis is a serious a life-threatening allergic reaction that requires urgent medical attention. This is when the airways begin to swelling, making it difficult to breathe. As a result blood pressure may drop and you may feel lightheaded or dizzy. Anaphylaxis will not go away by itself and must be treated immediately.
When an Allergic Reaction Needs Medical Attention
An allergic reaction can range from mild to life-threatening so it’s important that you understand not only what is causing your symptoms but also how to handle your allergies when they flare-up. This is why it’s important to turn to an allergist so that you can better educate yourself on how to handle your condition. Sometimes mild symptoms can be managed with simple over-the-counter allergy medications including oral antihistamines or nasal sprays. If your symptoms are more persistent and aren’t responding to over-the-counter products then our ENT specialists will prescribe a stronger medication. Those patients who experience severe allergic reactions will be given an emergency medication commercially known as an EpiPen®, which is an auto-injector of epinephrine that the person will administer to themselves if they are experiencing a severe allergic reaction. This is not used to treat day-to-day symptoms; this medication should only be used during an emergency.
Skin Allergies
Everything You Need To Know About Skin Allergies
Overwhelmed with a skin allergy? An allergy involves an overreaction by your immune system, often to harmless substances. Shoreline Allergy of Connecticut, which has an office in Branford, CT offers state-of-the-art treatments for skin allergies. Here’s everything you’ve ever wanted to know about skin allergies.
What Causes Skin Allergies?
Allergies are your body’s overreaction to harmless substances. A skin allergy occurs when your skin touches something that your immune system believes is dangerous — even though it isn’t. Causes can include contact with latex, perfume, dyes, cosmetics, topical medications, detergent, poison ivy, and some metals. You can narrow down what triggers your skin allergies if you pay attention to when you have a reaction.
What Are The Signs of Skin Allergies?
Skin allergies occur when the skin becomes inflamed because of direct contact with allergens. Skin allergies can show up anywhere on the body. In someone with a skin allergy, the skin may turn rough, dry, and scaly. It may develop a reddish color, swell into hives, or even ooze and crack as a result of irritation. Until the allergen is removed, the skin will get worse, and the patient will usually experience discomfort as the skin can be painful and itchy.
Who Can Treat My Skin Allergies?
If allergy symptoms continue to bother you and at-home treatments fail to work, then it’s time to see an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist for an evaluation. There are several types of allergy medications available to treat and ease your allergy symptoms. These allergy medications include antihistamines, decongestants, combination drugs, and others. Allergy shots help your body get used to the substances that trigger an allergic reaction. Each allergy shot contains a small amount of the substances that are causing your allergy symptoms.
How Do They Make The Diagnosis?
Your doctor will ask you questions to get a complete understanding of your symptoms and their possible causes. If your doctor thinks you have an allergy, he or she will pay close attention to your eyes, ears, nose, throat, chest and skin during the exam. You may also need an X-ray of your sinuses or lungs. Your doctor may do a blood test, patch test, or skin test. Test results are just one of many tools available to assist your doctor in making a diagnosis.
Food Allergies
What Are Food Allergies?
While anyone can have food allergies it’s most common for babies and children to develop an allergy to a specific type of food. According to the CDC, around 4-6 percent of children have food allergies. It’s important to understand what symptoms to look out for to determine whether you or your child might have food allergies. Luckily, our allergists Dr. Paul Alberti and Dr. Agnes Czibulka and medical team can help you get your food allergies under control.
Symptoms of Food Allergies
Food allergy symptoms differ from patient to patient. Some people may only experience mild symptoms while others may experience severe symptoms that affect their daily life. It’s important that food allergies are properly addressed even if they are only mild. After all, even mild symptoms can end up becoming more serious over time. Food allergy symptoms include:
  • Nausea and Vomiting

  • Stomach Cramps

  • Wheezing

  • Persistant Cough

  • Shortness of Breath

  • Swelling on the tounge

  • Rash

Symptoms can take minutes to appear and usually occur within two hours after ingesting the offending food. Children who are more likely to develop a rash (eczema) as a result of a food allergy may have a delay in symptoms. If symptoms include trouble breathing, swollen tongue, dizziness or chest pain it’s important that you seek immediate medical attention (these are signs of anaphylaxis, a severe and dangerous allergic reaction).
Common Food Allergies
There are some foods that are more likely to cause allergies than others even though just about any food can cause an allergy. If you suspect that you or your child may have a specific food allergy it’s a good idea to avoid the food until you can schedule a consultation with an allergist. Common food allergies include:
  • Milk (Common in children)

  • Eggs

  • Peanuts and Tree Nuts

  • Shell Fish (More common in adults)

  • Wheat

  • Soybeans

The only way to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid the food altogether; however, we know that this isn’t always possible, especially when going out to eat. It’s important that you tell restaurants about any allergies you or a loved one has to reduce the likelihood for contamination. Mild-to-moderate symptoms such as a rash or hives can often be treated with an oral antihistamine or allergy drops. Severe symptoms and symptoms of anaphylaxis will require an immediate epinephrine injection, which you will administer yourself when these severe symptoms occur.
Taking The First Step To Relieving Your Allergies
Allergies are caused by foreign substances constantly bombarding your body – such as dander, pollen, dust, mold, chemicals, and certain foods. In response, your body has developed an immune system that produces antibodies to protect you. But sometimes immune systems overreact, producing in excess a certain antibody known as IgE, which causes allergic reactions.
What Are My Testing Options?
The first step in treating an allergy is to find out what is causing the reaction. By meeting with one of our Allergist we can determine if you are a candidate for allergy testing. Modified Quantitative Testing (MQT) is a state-of-the-art method. It combines both intradermal testing and skin-prick testing. This allow us to precisely identify the degree of reactivity with fewer shots. This is our preferred method and it allows us to develop a treatment plan all in one visit.
Ways To Manage Your Allergies
1. Avoid the allergen(s)
While this may work in some situations, some substances such as pollen are hard to avoid
2. Treat the symptoms
Medication can provide you a measure of relief from your allergy symptoms, but it does nothing to address the root of the problem.
3. Use Immunotherapy
Alter the body’s reaction to the allergen(s). Building a resistance to the effect an allergen has on you is the only treatment method know to cure your allergies.
What Is Immunotherapy?
By exposing your body to small doses of things you are allergic to, your immune system will gradually develop a resistance to their harmful effects. Unlike other treatment options immunotherapy targets the cause of the underlying condition rather than treating the symptoms thus reducing the effects of your allergies and improving your overall health.
This is the only disease altering course of action Think of your immune system as a team of bodyguards dedicated to guarding your health. They do a great job repelling common riffraff like germs and bacteria, but sometimes a harmless substance sets off a false alarm and convinces them to go on the attack, which results in itching, inflammation, and a host of other symptoms. This is an allergic reaction. Immunotherapy trains the body to reduce these false alarms. By exposing your immune system to increasingly stronger doses of things which you are allergic to, your team of tiny bodyguards will gradually learn the difference between flower pollen and an actual health hazard. The effects of immunotherapy can last 5-10 years or longer after treatment, allowing you to enjoy daily activities outdoors or enjoy the company of pets without watery eyes or a scratchy throat affecting your quality of life.
What Are My Treatment Options?
Shots vs. Drops
Both drops and shots have been proven effective and safe. The big difference between the two is time and commitment. Whether you choose shots or drops, your allergy specialist will be closely monitoring your condition. If you can free up time in your schedule to visit the clinic each week you may decide that injections (also known as SCIT Subcutaneous Immunotherapy) are right for you. The injections are administered in our office and appointments usually take about 30 minutes.
Additionally, many insurance companies cover the cost associated with injections. Drops (also known as SLIT Sublingual Immunotherapy) could appeal to patients who can’t commit to frequent clinic visits. Instead of shots, you’ll receive a vial of specially formulated drops to be taken orally three times a day. SLIT works similar to allergy shots by gradually helping your body build tolerances to the substance(s) that cause your allergies. SLIT is a vial that is consisted of each of the allergens you tested positive for during testing. The difference is that the antigen is placed under your tongue in a liquid form.
Drops are not covered by insurance plans but may be covered by your Health Spending Account (HSA). The area under the tongue has the highest concentration of antigen/allergen presenting cells found in the body. By delivering daily allergy drops consistently to this cell, the body begins to tolerate things that cause allergic reactions.
What To Expect From SLIT SubLingual Immunotherapy Treatment
Each patient and treatment plan is unique, but many patients report an improvement in allergy symptoms in as little as three to six months. Continuing treatment is necessary to help you stay symptom-free. As your immune system develops a tolerance for allergens, you will no longer experience the uncomfortable side effects of allergy symptoms. Best of all, studies have determined that immunotherapy may strengthen the immune system. Studies also show immunotherapy may prevent the onset of other allergies, the development of asthma and other poor health conditions following treatment. You may experience side effects from either treatment including itching, redness, and swelling at the injection site, but these are generally minor, and serious reactions are rare.
More About The Benefits Of Allergy Drops
Many people with mild to severe allergies look to sublingual immunotherapy, or allergy drops, when avoidance and medications don’t work or become too bothersome. Allergy drops have been around the world for more than 100 years with many studies showing that allergy drops are safe and effective. In addition to being able to treat patients of all ages safely and effectively, there are other advantages to customers allergy drops including: therapy treats the cause, not just the temporary symptoms affordable and convenient less medication better quality of life
3 Phases Of Allergy Drops
Phase 1: Initial Oral Tolerance (0 – 3 months) During this phase, your body adjusts to treatment and symptoms improve.
Phase 2: Symptom Relief (3 months – 2 years) As symptoms decrease, your body takes steps toward changing your allergen tolerance. You might feel tempted to stop your treatment because you feel better but don’t. By continuing treatment, your body learns long-term tolerance.
Phase 3: Long-Term Tolerance (2 – 5 years) As symptoms continue to improve, your body increases its allergy tolerance. This long-term learning is need for you to stay symptom-free long after treatment is done. Depending upon severity of your allergies, our physicians and clinical nurses will monitor, adjust and retest to determine the final length of treatment which varies between patients.
Tips For Success
Be Persistent: Immunotherapy works best when patients adhere to a treatment schedule.
Be Committed: If the treatment process seems daunting, just remind yourself immunotherapy offers long lasting, life-changing results.
Be Patient: Your body is unique and will react to treatment on its own schedule. Be Involved: Notify us if you have any reactions.
Call For an Appointment
Website by Laser Lead Marketing

© 2022 Shoreline Allergy of Connecticut. All rights reserved.