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Apopka Medical Center

Dean Behner, MD

Internal Medicine located in Apopka, FL

If you’re living with allergies symptoms — itchy watery eyes, a runny nose, or a persistent skin rash — they can disrupt your life. If you live in or around Apopka, Florida, Dr. Dean Behner offers expert allergy management services at Apopka Medical Center. You don’t have to put up with allergy symptoms. Call the office or schedule an appointment online today for expert treatment to reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

Allergies Q & A

What are allergies?

Allergies are one of the most common health issues in America today. Allergies develop when your immune system mistakenly identifies a typically benign substance as a threat and responds to fight off the perceived danger by producing a chemical called immunoglobulin E (IgE). IgE causes the symptoms you recognize as allergic reactions.

The substances your body misinterprets as a threat are known as allergens. You might touch, inhale, or consume an allergen and experience an allergic reaction. Common allergy symptoms include:

  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Wheezing or shortness of breath
  • Skin rash or hives
  • Tongue swelling

If you experience any of these symptoms on a regular basis and don’t have a cold or other illness, make an appointment for allergy screening and treatment.

What are common allergens?

A variety of common substances trigger allergic reactions. Some common allergens include:

  • Pollen
  • Dust
  • Pet dander
  • Foods, including but not limited to peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, eggs, shellfish
  • Medications, such as penicillin
  • Insect bites or stings
  • Latex
  • Mold

Identifying your specific allergen is sometimes challenging, as your reaction can be delayed.

How are allergies diagnosed?

Allergies are diagnosed after a comprehensive exam and thorough allergy testing. Dr. Behner talks to you about your symptoms and suspected triggers and reviews your medical history. He examines any signs of allergic reactions, like rashes or inflammation in your sinuses.

Dr. Behner may also use blood tests or a skin patch test to confirm your diagnosis. If you have IgE in your blood, it proves you’re having an allergic reaction. He uses skin patch tests or prick tests to identify specific allergies.

How are allergies treated?

A number of techniques are used to treat allergies, with the simplest being avoidance. Dr. Behner gives you advice on lifestyle modifications to limit your exposure to your allergens to reduce your chances of an allergic reaction. He also prescribes medications, such as antihistamines or corticosteroids, if you need them to control your symptoms.

Dr. Behner also offers immunotherapy, which is a long-term treatment where you’re regularly exposed to tiny amounts of an allergen. This controlled exposure helps your body become less sensitive to the substance. Immunotherapy is available as an allergy shot or as a sublingual treatment that dissolves under your tongue.

Call Apopka Medical Center or make an appointment online to get effective treatment for allergies.