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While the sneezing, nasal congestion and fatigue of environmental allergies may seem like an unavoidable part of life, it doesn't have to be. Immunotherapy, through allergy shots or other methods, is a proven way to change your immune system with the goal of eliminating your symptoms.
At the University of Maryland Medical Center, we can diagnose and treat environmental allergies in adults. Please call 410-328-6866 to make an appointment with one of our allergy specialists at our downtown Baltimore location.
For food and environmental allergies in children, you'll see our pediatric pulmonology, allergy and sleep medicine team.
Our Allergy Doctors
We have a few different strategies for treating allergies:
Immunotherapy for Allergies
We can dramatically reduce your allergy symptoms using immunotherapy, through allergy shots or oral formulations. Immunotherapy takes a major commitment from the patient because treatment typically lasts 3-5 years.
Instead of treating the symptoms, we alter your immune system so that you are no longer affected by the things that caused your allergies.
Allergies we can treat include:
- Animals (cats, dogs and others)
- Dust mites
We will either use shots, tablets or drops under the tongue.
Immunotherapy medicines are given over the course of 3-5 years. For allergy shots, initially we'll give you the medicine every week. Over time we can start spreading it out, at first to every two weeks and then possibly once a month, depending on how you respond to the treatments. Tablets/droplets are done daily in the convenience of your own home.
Allergy testing helps to identify what you are allergic to. In doing so, we can educate you on how to best avoid these allergens. Though often difficult to do, avoidance of your allergy trigger can prevent symptoms.
There are many over the counter and prescription medications that can help with allergy symptoms. We will discuss these options and help you decide on the best treatment for you.
Before we can treat you with allergy shots, we will need to confirm what your allergies are. We can test your allergies in two ways:
- On-site skin test: With detailed testing that is very well tolerated, we'll be able to give you immediate results.
- Blood test: You can go at your convenience to a lab to get blood drawn. We will review the results with you in our office
Allergies or Cold: Which Is It?
It can be difficult to know if your symptoms are because of a cold or allergies. Each requires different treatment, so it's important to know which you are experiencing.
Both can cause:
- Difficulty breathing through your nose
- Runny nose
One distinction of a allergies is that they can make your eyes and nose feel itchy, which doesn't happen with colds. Seasonal allergies usually occur at the same time every year.
You can start with over-the-counter allergy medicine to see if it makes you feel better. If you are unsure, schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor, who can help to diagnose if you are experiencing allergies or a cold.