Allergies Specialist

Night & Day Medical

Family Medicine Practice located in Midtown East & Washington Heights, New York, NY

Allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the United States, causing symptoms that range from mildly annoying to life-threatening. Dr. Cluny Lefevre and Dr. Joseph Ahram at Night and Day Medical have helped many patients get relief from their allergies with allergy testing and individualized treatment, including immunotherapy via allergy shots. If you have questions about your allergies or would like to schedule an appointment, use online booking or call one of the offices in the Midtown East and Washington Heights neighborhoods in New York City.

Allergies Q & A

What are the most common allergies?

Allergies occur when your immune system identifies a safe substance as something that can harm your body. That substance becomes an “allergen” for you, and it causes your symptoms. The most common allergens and their associated allergies include:

Airborne allergens

Seasonal allergic rhinitis or hay fever is caused by pollen from trees, grasses, and ragweed, while year-round allergies usually develop from molds and dust mites.

Contact allergens

Allergic dermatitis is a skin reaction resulting from contact with many substances including poison ivy, latex, and certain chemical and metals.

Food allergies

About 90% of all food allergies are caused by:

  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Wheat
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Soy

Insect stings

Most insect allergies are caused by bees, wasps, yellow jackets, and fire ants.

Medications

You can have an allergy to many medications but the most common is penicillin.

What symptoms occur during an allergic reaction?

Your symptoms depend on the type of allergy, but common symptoms include:

  • Runny or congested nose
  • Itchy mouth, nose, or eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Skin rashes and hives

Food allergies can cause gastrointestinal symptoms like an upset stomach and diarrhea. Medication allergies often lead to wheezing, swelling under your skin (angioedema), and dizziness.

Food, medication, and latex allergies can cause a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis. Symptoms such as difficulty breathing and swelling of your lips, tongue, or throat occur quickly and need immediate treatment to prevent loss of consciousness and even death.

What is allergy testing?

Allergy testing reveals your specific allergens, which is necessary to determine your treatment. Two common allergy tests are:

  • Skin prick test: suspected allergens are placed on your skin. If you develop a skin reaction you’re allergic to the allergen
  • Blood test: shows whether you have high levels of antibodies that are produced by your immune system in response to allergens

How are allergies treated?

The only treatment currently available for a food allergy is removing the food from your diet. Your doctor may also prescribe a self-injectable epinephrine pen for treating severe allergic reactions.

Treatment for mild allergies includes limiting your exposure to allergens as well as medications to relieve your symptoms, such as antihistamines, decongestants, and topical corticosteroids.

Immunotherapy can significantly relieve or eliminate your allergic reaction. During immunotherapy treatment, you get regular injections containing a small amount of your allergens.

Your treatment begins with a very small dose, then the dose is gradually increased. Over time, you become less sensitive to the allergen.

When you have symptoms of allergies, expert treatment is available at Night and Day Medical. Call the office or use online booking to schedule an appointment.