Dallas Family Medical & Aesthetics

Family Medicine & Aesthetics located in Addison, TX

Did you know that more than 50 million Americans have allergies? If you’re one of them, don’t wait to seek professional medical help. Regular appointments can minimize symptoms, alert you to triggers, and improve your overall quality of life. At Dallas Family Medical & Aesthetics in Addison, Texas, Julie Reihsen, MD, and her skilled team specialize in treating allergies. To schedule your appointment, call the office or book a consultation online today.

Allergies Q&A

What are allergies?

Allergies occur when your body identifies a substance, such as pet dander, pollen, or a type of food, as a harmful invader. This causes your immune system to create extra antibodies, a process that triggers inflammation in various parts of the body, including your digestive tract, respiratory system, and sinuses.

The severity of allergies varies from person to person. For some, allergies are a minor annoyance; for others, they result in a life-threatening emergency called anaphylaxis.

What are the symptoms of allergies?

The symptoms of allergies vary, depending on the underlying cause and severity of the allergic reactions. Common indications of allergies include:

  • Sneezing
  • Watery or swollen eyes
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Hives
  • Cough
  • Chest tightness
  • Facial swelling
  • Red skin
  • Itchy skin

If you have a severe allergic reaction, you might experience anaphylaxis. This is a life-threatening medical emergency that can cause you to go into shock. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include loss of consciousness, severe shortness of breath, nausea, and vomiting.

How are allergies diagnosed?

To diagnose allergies, your Dallas Family Medical & Aesthetics provider conducts a physical exam, reviews your medical history, and asks you about the symptoms you’re experiencing. Your provider also orders two different tests:

Skin test

During an allergy skin test, your Dallas Family Medical & Aesthetics provider pricks your skin and exposes you to small amounts of the proteins found in various allergens. If you’re allergic to a particular allergen, your skin develops a red bump or hive.

Blood test

An allergy blood test, or specific IgE test, measures the amount of allergy-causing antibodies in your bloodstream. During this type of test, your provider draws a sample of blood and sends it to a laboratory. The laboratory tests the sample for sensitivity to certain allergens.

How are allergies treated?

At Dallas Family Medical & Aesthetics, the team treats allergies with a combination of healthy lifestyle changes and immunotherapy through United Allergy Services.

To prevent allergy-related symptoms, it’s important to avoid triggers. This step alone can significantly lower your risk of complications and improve your quality of life. If necessary, your provider might recommend you keep a diary of the foods or substances that trigger an allergic reaction.

Immunotherapy through United Allergy Services uses a treatment protocol developed by board-certified allergist Frederick M. Schaffer, MD. These treatments expose your immune system to small amounts of allergens, so your body builds immunity. Studies show that 3-5 years of immunotherapy can alleviate allergy symptoms almost entirely.

To explore your treatment options for allergies, schedule an appointment at Dallas Family Medical & Aesthetics. Call the office or book a consultation online today.