Food allergies affect 6-8% of children under 3 and up to 3% of adults. While there’s no cure for food allergies, some children outgrow their food allergies. Treatment can reduce symptoms and desensitize the body. ENT & Allergy Specialists of VA, PC in Ashburn, Virginia, offers allergy testing and food allergies treatment. Call the practice today or book an appointment online to get started.
Food allergies are allergic reactions to foods your immune system considers harmful. If you have a food allergy, the food that triggers the allergic reaction is an allergen. When you consume or sometimes just come into contact with a food that your body thinks is harmful, your immune system creates antibodies to fight against it, causing an allergic reaction.
The most common food allergies include:
Food allergies can cause minor reactions like eczema or hives, or you can experience severe, life-threatening allergic reactions like anaphylaxis that require immediate medical treatment. Food allergies symptoms usually appear within a few minutes to two hours after you eat.
People usually find out they are allergic to food after consuming or touching the allergen and experiencing a reaction. Just the smallest amount of allergy-causing food can trigger symptoms like hives, digestive problems, and swollen airways.
It’s easy to confuse food allergies with food intolerance. If you have a food intolerance, you might still have symptoms after eating or touching certain foods. But it’s much less serious because it doesn’t trigger an immune system response like a food allergy.
If possible, see your doctor when you are experiencing the symptoms of a food allergy. Call 911 or go to a hospital emergency room immediately if you develop any symptoms of anaphylaxis, including:
ENT & Allergy Specialists of VA, PC uses blood tests, skin prick testing, patch testing, and food challenge testing to diagnose food allergies. Call the office today or schedule an appointment online to find out if you have a food intolerance or allergy.
Several treatments are available if your allergy testing reveals that you have food allergies. ENT & Allergy Specialists of VA, PC use a combination of approaches, starting with avoiding the allergen to reduce the symptoms and prevent reactions.
But since it is sometimes difficult to avoid all allergens, medications can be prescribed to reduce symptoms, including:
The best long-term treatment for food allergies involves immunotherapy to desensitize your body to the allergens over 3-5 years. Immunotherapy treatment involves weekly or bi-weekly allergy shots at the office. You can also take allergy drops underneath your tongue at home.
Call ENT & Allergy Specialists of VA, PC today or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment to find out if you have food allergies and start treatment.