Allergist in Saint Leo, FL
What Is an Allergist?
Asthma and allergies are among the most common chronic health conditions in the world, affecting over 50 million people in the U.S. alone. They can strike anyone anywhere, regardless of age, gender or race, and greatly interfere with your quality of life.
An allergist is a trained physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of both allergies and asthma , as well as other medical conditions resulting in an inappropriate immune response. An asthma and allergy specialist receives special training in the science of identifying specific substances that can trigger your symptoms and overall immune reaction. With this information in hand, allergists then help you to prevent or treat your allergy symptoms. Understanding your medical history and the complex issues impacting your health—and particularly your immune system—is an essential part of an allergist's job.
If you believe you are suffering from allergies, asthma or other immune-based condition, it's important to seek care from an allergies specialist to prevent more serious complications. To schedule a consultation with an allergist in Saint Leo who can help identify the root cause of symptoms, call (813) 536-3212 or contact Dr. Christopher Van Benschoten online.
When Should You See An Allergist?
Understanding the allergic response is key to knowing when to see an allergist. Allergies can be seasonal—like pollen in the spring—or be constant. Common allergens that trigger an allergic reaction may include foods like peanuts, shellfish, grains or gluten; weeds, hay, and pollen; mold, dust mites or animal dander in your home; harsh chemical detergents or perfumes. When you come into contact with a substance you have developed an allergy to, your immune system overreacts as though it were a danger to you and releases a chemical called histamine to counteract the trigger. The release of histamine causes a wide variety of symptoms, including:
- Skin rash
- Runny nose
- Chronic sinus infections
- Nasal congestion
- Difficulty breathing
You should see an allergist if you are experiencing these symptoms or if any of the following situations apply:
- Your asthma or allergies are impacting your quality of life
- Asthma or allergies are interfering with your ability to manage day-to-day responsibilities and activities
- You experience warning signs of asthma (e.g. you sometimes cannot catch your breath, feel short of breath or have a tightness in your chest, and you wheeze or cough after exercise or sports activity or at night)
- You experience frequent asthma attacks even though you have been diagnosed with asthma and are taking asthma medication
- Antihistamines and other over-the-counter medications do not control your allergy symptoms or create side effects, such as drowsiness, that prevent you from functioning properly
What Conditions Can Be Treated by an Allergies Specialist?
There is a wide spectrum of disorders that an allergy doctor is equipped to treat, including:
- Allergic rhinitis (commonly known as hay fever or seasonal allergies)
- Occupational asthma
- Childhood asthma
- Allergic asthma
- Contact dermatitis or skin allergies
- Food allergies
- Food sensitivities
- Food Protein Induced Enterocolitis (FPIES)
- Drug allergies
- Latex allergies
- Pet allergies
- Insect stings (e.g., allergies to bee stings)
- Angioedema or swelling
- Systemic mast cell disorders
- Inhibitor deficiency syndromes
- Common variable immunodeficiency or other complex immune system disorders
What Treatments are Offered at an Allergy Clinic?
Your first visit to an allergy clinic will be centered around getting to know you, your medical history, your overall health, immunity issues—and of course the symptoms that brought you to an allergy doctor in the first place. That's when the real detective work begins. Allergy testing will probably be first on the list. The most frequently used allergy tests include:
- Pulmonary function tests
- Blood tests
- Challenge tests
Once your specific allergen(s) has been isolated through comprehensive testing, allergy and asthma treatment can take various forms, including:
- Prevention education to help you avoid exposure to your allergens and irritants
- Medication to treat your symptoms including antihistamines and decongestants for allergies and inhalers for asthma
- Immunotherapy or allergy shots
- Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) administration
- Drug desensitization
- Biologic agents for asthma, dermatitis or urticaria
- Lifestyle modifications including changes to your diet and activity level
If you are experiencing what you believe may be asthma or an allergic reaction, schedule a consultation with a qualified allergist in Saint Leo who specializes in treating asthma and allergies. Call (813) 536-3212 or contact Dr. Christopher Van Benschoten online.
Address4691 Van Dyke Road
Lutz, FL 33558
7:00 am - 4:00 pm
Tue: 7:00 am - 4:00 pm
Thu: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Fri: 7:00 am - 4:00 pm