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Frequently Asked Questions

A brief, question and answer format of the most commonly asked questions about allergic diseases. These questions are some of the most common questions I am asked in my allergy clinic. The answers are brief, but in many cases have a link to a full-length article on the subject if more information is needed.

Does a Woman's Asthma Get Worse During the Menstrual Period?
Learn why a woman's asthma may get worse around the time of her menstrual period.

Should I Get an Air Cleaner for My Allergies?
For some people, the use of an air cleaner has been shown to reduce allergy and asthma symptoms. But who should purchase an air cleaner to help with their allergies? While anyone who wishes to reduce the amount of indoor airborne particles can purchase an air filter, I typically only recommend a few of my patients to incur the cost of an air filter, which can be quite expensive.

Christmas tree allergy -- What to do about your Christmas tree allergy
Think you might be allergic to your Christmas tree? You might be right. Learn about why having an indoor Christmas tree can worsen your allergies.

Does Pesticide Exposure Cause Children to Develop Allergies and Asthma?
Learn how certain pesticides can affect the development of allergies and asthma in children.

Should I Get a Pet to Help Prevent My Child From Getting Allergies?
Learn if getting a pet will help prevent your child from getting allergies.

I Have a Vaccine Allergy Due to Foods. Can I Still Get Vaccinated?
Learn about vaccine allergy and how desensitization can allow a person to receive a vaccine.

Should I Get the H1N1 Nasal Flu Vaccine if I Have Asthma?
Learn why you shouldn't get the H1N1 nasal spray vaccine if you have asthma.

Can I Get the H1N1 Swine Flu Vaccine if I’m Allergic to Eggs?
Learn why you shouldn't get the H1N1 swine flu vaccine if you have an egg allergy.

Swine Flu Vaccine -- Do You Intend to Get the Swine Flu Vaccine?
Do you intend to receive, or have your children receive, the swine flu vaccine? Share your thoughts on whether you think the swine flu vaccine is worth getting, and why you are or aren't getting it.

Does Watching Television Cause Asthma in Children?
Learn how excessive television watching can lead to the development of asthma in young children.

Methacholine Challenge
Learn what a methacholine challenge test is and what it is used for.

How Do I Know Is My Job Worsens My Asthma?
Learn how to determine if your job is causing or worsening your asthma.

If sleep apnea makes asthma worse, does treatment with CPAP make asthma better?
Learn how the use of CPAP for the treatment of sleep apnea helps improve asthma symptoms

Can Thunderstorms Cause Asthma Attacks?
Learn why asthma can get a lot worse during thunderstorms.

Could I Be Allergic to my Christmas Tree?
Learn how you can be allergic to an indoor Christmas tree.

Can bleach help to reduce the amount of allergens in the home?
Learn how using a dilute household bleach cleaner can help the symptoms of asthma and allergies.

What causes nasal congestion when a person doesn't have allergies?
Find out what can cause nasal congestion besides allergies.

Are Natural Food Colorings Better for People with Allergies?
Learn about allergies to natural food colorings.

Can I Experience an Allergic Reaction to a Tongue Piercing?
Find out the symptoms you may have if you are allergic to your body piercing.

How Can I Prevent Asthma Exacerbations?
Learn some techniques to prevent asthma attacks and to stay healthy during the cold and flu season.

Why do I get an itchy rash on my face after using my cell phone too long?
Find out why over-using your cell phone could give you an itchy rash on your face.

I’m Allergic to Aspirin. Can I Be Desensitized?
Learn about desensitization for aspirin allergy.

Why do I get an itchy rash around my mouth after eating mangoes?
Do you experience an itchy, red rash around your mouth if you eat mangoes? Find out why this reaction might be related to poison oak rashes.

Can I be allergic to toothpaste?
Think you might be allergic to toothpaste? Find out about the various chemicals within toothpaste that might be causing the problem, and brands of toothpaste that you might be able to use.

Could I be allergic to my joint replacement?
Learn about allergies to artificial joints.

I've had severe swelling from bee stings and mosquito bites. Am I allergic?
Learn why localized swelling at the sites of mosquito bites and insect stings may not be of major concern.

Why don't allergists test for allergies to flowers?
Learn why being allergic to colorful flowers is not all that common.

Can I Be Allergic to Skin Creams?
Not all skin creams are appropriate for all. Some may have specific ingredients that can cause contact dermatitis, an allergic reaction of the skin. Learn about the various ingredients in skin creams that can cause allergic reactions.

Why Don't I Get a Rash on My Scalp if I'm Allergic to Hair Dye?
Many people with an allergy to hair dye don't ever get a rash on their scalp. Find out why.

Is There a Relationship Between Asthma and Obesity?
Find out why obesity can worsen asthma, and how weight loss can improve asthma symptoms.

Should I Be Concerned About Bug Bites and Stings in the Summertime?
Summer is the time of the year when insect allergies are most likely to occur. Find out what types of insects cause problems and the types of reactions that can occur.

How do I know which kind of insect I was stung by?
Have you been stung by an insect recently? Was it a bee, wasp or hornet? Maybe it was a yellow-jacket? How do you know? Learn some of the common characteristics of the stinging insects to help identify the type.

I keep getting thrush from my inhaled steroids. What can I do to prevent this?
Some people get oral thrush from using inhaled steroids, even if good mouth rinsing and tooth brushing techniques are followed. Find out other ways to prevent thrush for people that seem predisposed to this common condition.

Is it Safe For My Child to Use Nasal Steroids to Treat Her Allergies?
Many parents are concerned about the safety of nasal steroids for the treatment of allergies in children. Find out the surprising answer about the safety of these common allergy medicines.

Is it safe for my child to use inhaled steroids for his asthma?
Many parents are concerned about their kids using inhaled steroids to treat their asthma. Find out about the possible side effects of inhaled steroids, and why most concerns about inhaled steroids are blown out of proportion.

Ive heard of a 3-month allergy shot. Is this safe for treatment of allergies?
Many people get a once a season "allergy shot" for their allergy symptoms. This therapy is not a true allergy shot, but rather a steroid injection that may have serious short-term and long-term side effects. Find out more why a "3-month allergy shot" may not be in your best interest.

If I Have an Allergy to Sulfites, Can I Use an Epi-Pen?
Can people with sulfite allergy use an Epi-Pen or Twin-Ject? Find out the surprising answer.

I get an itchy throat after eating raw tomatoes, but not with pasta sauce. Why?
Do you get an itchy tongue, mouth or throat after eating a fresh tomato, but don't have symptoms after eating tomato sauce? You may have an oral allergy syndrome to tomatoes, which is related to grass pollen allergy.

My tongue itches and feels swollen after eating fresh melon. Am I allergic?
Does eating fresh watermelon make your mouth itch? Does cantaloupe cause your throat to feel irritated or swollen? Will honeydew melon result in a burning of the tongue? You may have an oral allergy syndrome to melons, which is related to ragweed pollen allergy.

Does Echinacea Prevent or Treat Symptoms of the Common Cold?
Do you take Echinacea to prevent or treat symptoms of a cold? You're not alone -- but if you take this common herb in order to prevent from getting a cold, you could be wasting your money.

Why Did My Albuterol Inhaler Change?
Learn about the new asthma inhalers and why you may not like the new albuterol that is available.

Do Allergy Nasal Sprays Treat Allergic Eye Symptoms?
Have you heard the news that some topical steroid nasal sprays actually treat allergic eye symptoms? Find out if this effect is unique to certain medications, and how these nose sprays may be able to treat eye allergies.

Why Does My Nose Run After Eating Certain Foods, Especially Spicy Foods?
Have you ever had a runny nose after eating spicy foods? You may have experienced gustatory rhinitis. Learn about this common form of non-allergic rhinitis, and how it can be treated.

Can I Use Steroid or Other Anti-Itch Creams on My Face?
Ever wonder if you should be using steroid creams on the face? You might be surprised about the kinds of side effects that can occur from over-using topical steroids on the face. Find out which medications can be safely used on the face for eczema and other allergic rashes.

Does Singulair Cause Behavioral Changes or Suicidal Thoughts?
Does Singulair, a medication used to treat asthma and seasonal allergies, cause a person to have behavioral changes or suicidal thoughts? Should you or your child take Singulair? Find out the answers to these questions and more.

Do Allergies Affect Your Mood or Energy Level?
Did you know that allergies can also affect your mood, energy level and ability to concentrate? Find out more about the effects of allergies on your behavior, and what can be done about it.

Do Allergies Cause Ear Infections?
Ear infections and allergies are common reasons why children visit the doctor. Could there be a link between the two? Find out if allergies predispose a child to ear infections, and what allergy treatments can help.

Do Home Cleaning Chemicals Cause Asthma?
Have you ever coughed or had shortness of breath after breathing in fumes from household cleaners? If you use home cleaning sprays frequently, you may be at risk for developing asthma.

Is There an Association Between Peanut and Treenut Allergies?
Did you know that being allergic to peanuts or to one type of treenut places you at risk for being allergic to other types of treenuts? If you're allergic to any type of nut, find out the risks for other nut allergies and what should be done to prevent them.

My child is allergic to wheat. Does he need to avoid other cereal grains?
Learn why most people with grass pollen allergies or an allergy to a single cereal grain, such as wheat, can eat other cereal grains without problems. This is true even if a person has positive allergy tests to multiple food cereal grains.

I’m allergic to peanuts. Do I need to avoid other legumes?
Find out if having an allergy to one type of legume (such as peanuts, soy, beans, lentils and lupine) means that you should avoid eating other legumes.

My Child Is Allergic to Milk. When Might He Outgrow His Food Allergy?
Does your child have an allergy to milk? Ever wonder if, and when, your child will outgrow this food allergy? Find out about the latest research about predictors for outgrowing milk allergy.

My Child is Allergic to Eggs. When Might She Outgrow Her Food Allergy?
Does your child have an allergy to egg? Ever wonder if, and when, your child will outgrow this food allergy? Find out about the latest research about predictors for outgrowing egg allergy.

What is Cedar Fever?
Find out what types of trees cause cedar fever, and when you might experience these symptoms.

What types of anti-itch creams are good to use?
Find out which types of anti-itch creams should be avoided, and which types are safe to use.

I Have Eye Allergies. Can I Just Use an Over-the-Counter Eye Drop?
Find out why using over-the-counter eye drops for eye allergies may not be a good idea.

Is it Possible to Be Allergic to Odors or Vapors Emitted from Foods?
Learn about food allergies occurring from smelling or inhaling odors from cooking foods.

How Can I Tell if My Symptoms Are Due to Allergies or a Cold?
Find out how to determine if your nasal symptoms are due to allergies or caused by the common cold.

How Do I Know if my Asthma is Controlled?
How to determine if your asthma is controlled.

Can Acupuncture Help Treat Asthma?
Find out if acupuncture can help treat asthma.

What is the best medication for asthma?
Have you ever wondered what the best medication is for asthma? It may not be the one that you're currently taking.

Is There a Link Between Pollen Allergy and Herbal Supplements?
Find out how having pollen allergies may cause allergic reactions to certain popular herbal remedies.

My Child is Allergic to Eggs. Can She Get the MMR Vaccine?
Find out why getting the MMR vaccine appears to be safe for children with egg allergy.

My Child Is Allergic to Eggs. Can He Get the Flu Vaccine?
If you're allergic to eggs, find out why you might not be able to get the flu shot.

I've heard bad news about Advair. Should I use this medicine for my asthma?
Many people with asthma are concerned about the safety of Advair, and whether they should continue to take this medication.

Why are allergies becoming more common?
Find out the reason why allergies are becoming more common.

Could I Be Allergic to Barbeque Smoke?
Feel funny after you eat that barbeque chicken? Find out if your allergy and asthma symptoms at the neighborhood barbecue are related to the type of wood that was burned.

Does an allergy to mold predispose a person to food or medication allergy?
Find out if mold allergy predisposes you to penicillin or food allergies.

Why do I sneeze and get a stuffy nose when I smell perfume or cigarette smoke?
Find out what's causing you to sneeze and get a stuffy nose when you smell perfume, strong odors and cigarette smoke.

I sneeze when I go outside on a sunny day. Am I allergic to sunlight?
Can you be allergic to sunlight? Find out why you may sneeze when exposed to bright sunlight.

Can I be allergic to one type of dog but not another?
Ever wonder if you can be allergic to one kind or type of dog but not another? Learn more about the intricacies of dog allergies.

Is There an Association Between IV Dye and Shellfish Allergy?
The association between IV dye allergy and shellfish allergy is just a myth.

I’m Allergic to Shrimp. Can I Eat Lobster?
If you're allergic to one kind of shellfish, you might be allergic to all types of shellfish.

My child is allergic to cow’s milk. Can I give him goat’s milk?
Find out if a person with milk allergy can drink goat's milk or a variety of other milks.

Could I Be Allergic to Alcoholic Beverages?
Find out if the symptoms you're experiencing after drinking an alcoholic beverage could be an allergy.

I was prescribed a nasal spray for allergies. Can these be addictive?
Find out what type of allergy nasal sprays may be addictive.

How is Singulair different than an anthistamine for the treatment of allergies?
How Singulair is different from antihistamines for the treatment of allergies.

What's causing my hives?
Find out what may be causing your hives.

I’m allergic to my pet. Does this mean I have to get rid of it?
If you're allergic to your pet, you may not have to get rid of your furry friend. Here are some tips to follow to reduce your allergy symptoms.

At what age can my child be skin tested? Does skin testing hurt?
Find out what age skin testing can be performed in children, and if skin testing is painful.

I Have Trouble Smelling and Tasting Things. Could This Be Due to Allergies?
Find out how allergic rhinitis and sinus disease can cause trouble with smelling and tasting.

Will My Child Outgrow a Food Allergy?
Find out the ways to determine if your child has outgrown his or her food allergy.

What is the best medication for allergies?
Ever wonder what the best medicine is to treat allergies?

When my allergies get worse, why do I get dark circles under my eyes?
Why dark circles under the eyes occur with allergies.

Why does my mouth itch when eating fresh apples, but not with applesauce?
Ever wondered why eating fresh apples sometimes causes your mouth to be itchy? It's called oral allergy syndrome.

My child has rough, dry bumps on her upper arms that dont itch. Is this ...
Do you have a sandpaper-like rash on your upper arms, thighs or face that doesn't itch? It may not be eczema, but keratosis pilaris.

Do I Need Vitamin D Supplements, or Is Sun Exposure Enough?
Learn if you can get enough vitamin D from the sun, or if you may need vitamin D supplements.

Is There an Allergy Cure?
Learn whether there is an allergy cure available.

How Electronic Cigarettes Could Affect Allergies and Asthma
Learn about e-cigarettes, and whether these devices are safe for people with allergies and asthma.

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