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Current Category: General Allergy

Question: I recently moved back to San Antonio and realized that there have been periods in which I suffer from dry/itchy eyes/throat, extreme fatigue and dandruff from dry scalp. I never considered myself to have allergies but I am now considering attributing my symptoms to them. I have briefly researched the topic and came upon your site. I am currently experiencing these symptoms and noticed that mold has been registering a count since my malady began. I would appreciate any advice you can provide. Thank you in advance. Roland
Answer: Some of the symptoms that you have experienced are consistent with allergic problems including dry/itchy eyes/throat and fatigue. Dandruff, however, is not a sign ot symptom that would be considered consisitent with an allergic etiology.

If these problems continue at a bothersome level, only an allergist can define if mold exposure is playing a role.
Question: Why must I wait in the office after my allergy shot?
Answer: An allergic reaction may occur after your allergy injection since the shot contains the material to which you are allergic. Severe reactions usually occur within a few minutes after the shot and can be very effectively treated in the office. Your allergist will give you very specific guidelines concerning the office policy.

I read that allergy shots have not been sent home for patients to self inject sent 1995. What about Immunotherapy? Is that the same thing? And what are your thoughts on United Allergy Labs?  That is a corporation based in San Antonio who service is Immunotherapy for mold and airbornes.  The patient is tested, medication is based on their reactions then the patient gives their own shots at home.  I’m thinking of going but I’ve heard mixed reviews.


Answer: Please check under the Q&A section for an answer to your query 
Question: Dear expert,

I called a local Internal Medicine physician to book a new patient appointment, I informed them that I thought I had a sinus infection but that my job exposes me to tobacco smoke daily. I was told that their office can skin test for smoke allergy and that if I am allergic, I could get allergy shots to take home. Is this a good idea?
Mark Dewalt , SATX
Answer: Dear Mark,

There is little doubt that tobacco smoke exposure can cause nasal congestion in "sensitive" individuals. To be considered a true allergy, allergic antibodies (IgE) must be responsible for triggering the symptoms. Despite numerous investigations, no one has ever convincingly demonstrated that tobacco smoke triggers the formation of allergic antibodies. For that reason, no trained allergist in San Antonio performs skin testing to tobacco. Skin testing with tobacco extract may cause non-specific irritation to the skin that could be interpreted as a positive test. Tobacco smoke is a well known irritant that can cause non-allergic rhinitis (more information concerning non-allergic rhinitis can be found on this web site).

Taking allergy shots at home is never a good medical practice. In 1995, the FDA issued a "white paper" basically banning the practice of home immunotherapy because of the dangers of death from anaphylaxis. Since that time no trained allergist have practiced in this manner.

Unfortunately, some non-allergist physicians are performing skin testing and immunotherapy without the appropriate medical training necessary to achieve optimal outcomes. These physicians send allergy shots home with patients, however, this practice has no clinical research supporting safety nor efficacy. These non-allergist physicians use a "watered down" serum and make false claims of safety. Truly allergic individuals may experience life-threatening reactions despite the very dilute treatment material.

Therefore, allergy shots to tobacco or tobacco smoke will be ineffective in reducing your sensitivity to smoke. If you are truly allergic to other allergens, immunotherapy at home is a risk to your health. 
Question: How long is Cedar Pollen season ?  December And January only?
Last year after Christmas before New Year  was bad time for me !
THIS YEAR I am in Canton, Texas until after January 4th to avoid 
The "peak counts of 9500 ".  (No cedar problem here in East Texas )
Please tell me when cedar pollen recedes !
      I live in San Antonio - don't have to return to work until Jan 15th !!
                 Thank you for your response !!
                       Cathleen Catania 

Answer: The Mt. Cedar tree begins to pollinate in most years around Christmas. Some years the start may be much earlier, near the 15th of December. The peak of the season is usually from the 1st until the 15th of January with a gradual decline until the 1st - 10th of February. It may continue beyond this time period depending upon rainfall that would wash the pollen from roof tops, tree branches, and other surfaces and soak it into the ground.
Question: Could the very heavy Spring pollens be the cause of dizzy spells that I had a few times over the last few months that have now turned into constant dizziness and hot headaches at times?  I am allergic to Privet and it grows in my yard and has been extremely fragrant.  I've seen an ENT doctor and he is suspecting Vestibular Migraines, but so far is not sure.  Also, should I still get my allergy shots during this time or wait until the dizziness problem improves?
Answer: Heavy allergen exposure may lead to congestion sufficient to cause eustachian tube dysfunction resulting in "dizziness", "lightheadedness",
"floaty feeling", or problems with balance. This same congestion may lead to pressure and pain in the sinus areas.

You should check with your allergist concerning your immunotherapy injections and for a face-to-face discussion of this problem.

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