Allergies Specialist

Kansas Medical Associates, PA

Internists & Pediatricians located in Andover, KS

Allergies are a problem some people live with year round and for many they pop up every spring and summer. Now there is no reason to suffer with allergy symptoms because Kansas Medical Associates, in Wichita, Kansas, is here to help manage your allergies and improve your quality of life. Whether you suffer from an occasional allergy attack or struggle to get through every allergy season, the right treatment can offer relief. Contact Kansas Medical Associates today and make your allergy symptoms a thing of the past.

Allergies Q&A

What is an allergy?

Allergies are a malfunction of the immune system. By design, this is the system that protects the body from foreign invaders that threaten it. One way it manages that is by flagging these dangers with antibodies. The antibodies float around and send an alert every time they come in contact with threatening substances. This is how vaccines work. A vaccine introduces an inactive version of a dangerous pathogen like polio and the body responds by creating antibodies to fight off future attacks.

An allergy happens when the immune system mistakenly tags a harmless substance with an antibody. This means every time you come in contact with that harmless substance, your body issues an immune system response, usually in the form of inflammation.

What are some common allergens?

Technically, you can develop an allergy to anything, but some substances do seem to be more susceptible, such as:

  • Pollen
  • Animal dander
  • Dust mites
  • Mold
  • Nuts
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Shellfish
  • Eggs
  • Cow's milk
  • Bee stings
  • Penicillin
  • Latex

No one knows why some people have allergies but they do appear to have a genetic connection as they tend to run in families.

How are allergies diagnosed?

It is not always easy to figure what is causing allergy symptoms. At Kansas Medical Associates you can go through a series of tests to pinpoint allergens. For example, the environmental allergy skin testing procedure introduces 80 different antigens — toxins or known allergens — in a controlled manner to see which one causes the reaction.

Skin tests are the most common screening tool for patients with allergies, but there are blood tests available, as well.

What happens if you have severe allergies?

It's important to seek treatment for severe allergies. The allergy service at Kansas Medical Associates starts with allergy testing to properly identify your specific allergens.

Your provider may order a lung function test (spirometry) to rule out conditions like asthma and COPD, too.

If traditional treatments like avoidance or antihistamines don't help control an allergy, they might look at other options like immunotherapy allergy injections or allergy drops. This introduces a very small amount of the allergen into the body over years to help the patient build a resistance to an allergy.