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Common Conditions

Allergies and Diseases We Treat

When you experience discomfort from allergies or have an unusual reaction to a substance, you’ll get help from Kelsey-Seybold’s board-certified Allergy specialists on a wide range of allergic conditions and immunologic diseases.

Allergic Rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis is a collection of symptoms, mostly in the nose and eyes, which commonly occurs when breathing in an allergen. It can be seasonal or caused by year-round allergens, such as dust mites, animal dander, mold, and pollens. Symptoms include sneezing, itchy eyes, a stuffy or runny nose, and itchy throat.


Asthma is a lung disease in which the airways become inflamed with increased mucous and narrowing of the airways. When people with asthma attempt to take deep breaths, their airways feel constricted, making it harder to breathe.

Symptoms may include a cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. Someone might be experiencing asthma if they've stopped playing or working and can't start again because they are struggling to breathe. They may even have trouble walking or talking.

Asthma symptoms can be triggered by:

  • Being exposed to allergens such as dust mites or pollens
  • Viral or bacterial infections of the lungs and airways
  • Tobacco smoke and other airborne irritants
  • Exercise

If someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, stay calm. If you can, remove the person from the allergy trigger that brought on the attack and help find their inhaler. If the person is still having trouble breathing or their lips or fingernails are turning blue, call 9-1-1.

Chronic Cough

Chronic cough is a cough that doesn’t go away. It isn't a disease, but rather a symptom of another disorder. Some common causes of chronic cough include asthma, allergic rhinitis, sinus problems (such as sinus infection), and esophageal reflux. The underlying cause of a chronic cough can be difficult to detect.

Patients often complain of a "tickle in their throat" and frequent throat clearing. Sometimes special X-rays of the sinuses or lungs may be necessary for diagnosis.


Eczema is a type of skin manifestation of allergy that causes the skin to become inflamed or irritated. The most common type of eczema is known as atopic dermatitis or atopic eczema. Atopic refers to a group of diseases with an inherited tendency to develop other allergic conditions, such as asthma and allergic rhinitis.

Eczema is an itchy, noncontagious inflammation of the skin. In most cases, it begins as intense itching, followed by a patchy rash that is red, inflamed, dry, and scaly. The rash most often affects the face, arms, and legs, as well as the creases of the hands and feet.

Good skin care is essential for treating and preventing the symptoms of eczema. There are many effective treatments available, including a variety of prescription creams and ointments.

Food Allergies

A food allergy is an immune system response, which occurs when the body mistakes an ingredient in food as harmful and creates antibodies against it, resulting in allergy symptoms. Even trace amounts of a food allergen can cause a reaction.

The most common food allergies are peanuts, tree nuts (such as walnuts, pecans, and almonds), fish, shellfish, milk, eggs, soy products, and wheat.

There is no cure for food allergies. They are a growing public health concern in the United States, can be life-threatening, and require constant vigilance. An allergy specialist can help create an action plan for avoiding food allergens and treating allergic reactions.

Hives (Urticaria)

Hives, also known as urticaria, is an outbreak of swollen, red bumps, patches, or welts on the skin that suddenly appear as a result of the immune system’s overreaction to a trigger, such as foods, medications, infections, insect stings or bites, or other substances.

This type of skin allergy usually causes itching but may be followed by a burning or stinging sensation. Hives can appear anywhere on the body and are sometimes accompanied by prolonged, deep swelling, most commonly of the lips or eyelids.

Hives can be acute, lasting anywhere from a few hours to several weeks. In more severe cases, they can last for an indefinite amount of time.

Insect Sting/Bite Allergies

Most people experience a reaction to an insect sting or bite, but when someone is allergic to an insect’s venom, the body’s immune system overreacts to the allergens in the venom and the reaction can include itching, hives, flushing of the skin, tingling or itching inside the mouth, and nausea and vomiting.

The most serious allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis, which can be fatal and may present with difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, swelling of the tongue, dizziness, and fainting.

These types of reactions usually occur within minutes of the sting, but have been known to be delayed for up to 24 hours. Prompt treatment is essential, and emergency help is often needed. A treatment action plan should be developed under the care of an Allergy specialist.

Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal allergies are extremely common and account for more than 17 million outpatient doctor visits – and more than half of all allergy doctor visits – each year.

Seasonal allergies are typically only present for part of the year, such as the spring, but in some climates these allergies can be present year-round. The allergens most often responsible are pollens from trees, weeds, and grasses.

Common symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, itchy and watery eyes, and sinus headache. Seasonal allergies can also lead to allergic rhinitis, sinus disease, and asthma.


Sinusitis (also known as sinus disease) is the inflammation of the lining of the sinus cavities, resulting in swelling and increased mucous. Though not a major disease, it can cause chronic problems with congestion and post-nasal drainage and can contribute to the development of nasal polyps.

Symptoms of sinusitis vary in individuals depending on the sinus cavity affected. Some of the most common symptoms of sinus disease are pain and pressure in the head and face, swelling on the face, and pain in the jaws and teeth. The pain of sinusitis is much more pronounced than with a typical sinus headache. A doctor should be consulted when the symptoms of sinusitis are observed.

Skin Allergies

Skin allergies, also referred to as contact dermatitis, are caused by a person’s skin coming into contact with a substance to which they are allergic or hypersensitive.

The resulting skin reaction can involve swelling, itching, burning, redness, rash, scales, or blisters. Dermatitis, eczema, and hives are the manifestations of different types of skin allergies.

Skin allergies can be caused by a number of substances, but the most common are chemicals, cosmetics, and household products.

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Kelsey-Seybold Clinic makes it easy for adults and children to get allergy testing and treatment in one convenient clinic location. Meet our allergists and schedule an appointment at a clinic near you.

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