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Allergies

Riviera Allergy Medical Center

Ulrike Ziegner, MD, PhD

Allergist & Immunologist located in South Bay, Redondo Beach, CA

More than 50 million people in the United States suffer from some form of an allergy. If your immune system reacts to something that does not bother most other people, call or make an appointment online today with Dr. Ulrike Ziegner at Riviera Allergy Medical Center in Redondo Beach, California.

Allergies Q & A

What are allergies?

Allergies are an overreaction of your immune system to foreign substances that usually do not affect others. This causes your immune system to produce antibodies. Your immune system identifies a particular material as harmful, even though it isn't. Afterwards, when you come into contact with the item, your immune system's reaction inflames your skin, sinuses, airways or digestive system.

Allergy severities vary from person to person. Your body’s reaction ranges from minor irritation to anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening emergency immune overreaction. There is no cure for most allergies. However, treatments help relieve your symptoms.

Some of the more common allergies include:

  • Food, including nuts
  • Dust
  • Insect sting
  • Pet dander
  • Drugs
  • Latex
  • Mold
  • Cockroaches

What are the symptoms of allergies?

Allergies affect your airways, sinuses and nasal passages, skin, and digestive system. How your body reacts to the substance, known as an allergen, depends on what it is. Allergic symptoms include:

  • Runny, stuffy nose, sneezing
  • Rash
  • Wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and Vomiting

How are allergies diagnosed?

Dr. Ziegner uses a variety of methods to diagnose your allergies. Dr. Ziegner begins with a review of your symptoms and medical history, followed by a physical exam. Dr. Ziegner may ask you to keep a diary of symptoms and possible allergens.

Dr. Ziegner also uses blood and skin tests. Skin tests require Dr. Ziegner to prick your skin and expose you to small amounts of the proteins found in potential allergens. If you're allergic, you'll develop a hive at the test site location.

Blood tests call for Dr. Ziegner to send a blood sample to a medical laboratory so a measurement of the amount of allergy-causing antibodies in your bloodstream can be determined. The lab also tests your blood for evidence of sensitivity to possible allergens.

How are allergies treated?

Avoiding your triggers is the best and most important way to treat allergies. Dr. Ziegner also prescribes medications and immunotherapy. Medications come in the form of:

  • Pills
  • Liquids
  • Nasal sprays
  • Eye drops

Dr. Ziegner determines whether you should use over-the-counter or prescription medication. Immunotherapy includes a series of injections of purified allergen extracts. There are also some dissolvable tablets. These therapies often go on for years.

If your immune system reacts to something that does not bother most other people, call or make an appointment online today with Dr. Ulrike Ziegner at Riviera Allergy Medical Center in Redondo Beach, California.