The word allergy is derived from the Greek word allegros , which means an unusual or altered reaction. About 15 to 20 percent of the United States population develops this unusual reaction to pollen, molds, house dust, animal danders and chemicals. This happens because of a biological tendency of the immune (defense) system of the body to overreact to these otherwise harmless substances. The body is "overreacting" in an attempt to expel (runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing) substances that it perceives as harmful. This tendency frequently runs in the family.
Because allergies are determined by your genes, there is no complete cure for allergies, but they are controllable with modern treatments. There is no need to suffer from allergy symptoms.
There are three modes of treatment for allergy:
To get the maximum relief from symptoms, patients often need more than one type of treatment. A single mode of treatment is likely to lead to incomplete relief.
Allergy shots have the following major advantages over medication:
Medications do not have any of the above benefits. Medications help you as long as you keep taking them regularly (usually each day) but the benefits from medications stop when you stop taking them. Because allergies are a chronic (i.e. long lasting) problem, most patients have to take medications for a long time.
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO BE AWARE OF THESE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MEDICATIONS AND ALLERGY SHOTS BEFORE MAKING DECISIONS REGARDING YOUR TREATMENT.
An allergist is a physician specially trained to manage and treat allergies and asthma. Becoming an allergist/immunologist requires completion of at least nine years of training:
Medical School (4 years)
Residency in Internal Medicine or Pediatrics (3 years)
Fellowship (specialized training) in Allergy and Immunology (2 years)
Sudip N. Ringwala, DO has an Internal Medicine background and completed his Fellowship in Allergy & Immunology in Florida.
Kulwant S. Dhaliwal, MD has an Internal Medicine background and completed his Fellowship in Allergy & Immunology in Wisconsin.