OIT Services

The Woodlands Allergy Center is the only place in North Houston for children and adults and it is one of a few OIT clinics in the nation. We are here to offer you the chance of living a normal life as a family. Our OIT (oral immunotherapy) services are not the only OIT treatment for food allergies in the Houston area but we are one of the best for a reason. When you or your child’s possibility of living a normal life are on the line, don’t you think you should give them a fair chance?

Our Established Houston OIT Food Allergy Treatments for Children and Adults

  • Peanut Allergy Treatment
  • Egg Allergy Treatment
  • Soy Allergy Treatment
  • Wheat Allergy Treatment
  • Milk Allergy Treatment
  • Tree Nut Allergy Treatment
  • Sesame Allergy Treatment
  • Chickpea Allergy Treatment*

For Infants: FARR (Food Allergy Risk Reduction Program)

The 2015 Learning Early about Peanuts Allergy (LEAP) study showed that giving peanut products early to babies at high risk of peanut allergy dramatically reduced their rate of peanut allergy. This is compared to avoiding peanuts entirely. The LEAP study showed this practice of allergen introduction was safe and effective. Doctors applied the results to other foods, too.

The FARR (Food Allergy Risk Reduction) program is for high-risk infants under the age of 1 year who have not had a reaction to food. Infants whose skin test to the food is negative or mildly positive are given the food in the doctor’s office. If there is no reaction, parents are instructed to administer the food at least three times a week to prevent the development of allergy.

Who is a Candidate for FARR?

At The Woodlands Allergy Center we utilize a Food Allergy Risk Reduction scoring system developed by Dr. Richard Wasserman and colleagues.

Infant FARR Risk Factors:

  • Eczema prior to age 3 months (10 points)
  • Severe eczema beginning after 3 months (7 points)
  • History of food allergy (7 points )
  • Any wheezing illness (3 points)
  • Sibling or parent with food allergy (3 points)
  • Family history of a predisposition toward developing certain allergic hypersensitivity reactions (atopy) but not food allergy (2 points)

Recommendation for FARR by score:

  • 6 – strongly suggest
  • 4 or 5 –  suggest
  • 2 to 3 – neutral
  • 2  – not generally recommended

Other factors to consider:

  • Weekly positive blood food allergy test
  • Parental concerns about food allergy
  • Food allergic siblings or other family members in the home

If you are not sure what to do, call The Woodlands Allergy Center and we can help: 281.713.9011


What Is OIT?

Oral Immunotherapy (OIT) is a treatment for food allergies. The goal of OIT treatment is to reach the point where patients can safely consume foods that once threatened their health.

During OIT immunotherapy treatment, a very small amount of the thing you are allergic to is given to you by mouth. OIT trains your body to tolerate the allergen. Our OIT program provides a long term solution for food allergic patients. It takes about 6 to 12 months to complete OIT procedures.

Our food OIT has been proven to be 85% successful. Severe reactions to OIT are rare and occur in less than 10% of our OIT patients. OIT should work for any type of food allergy.

The Woodlands Allergy Center is one of the few OIT clinics in the nation to deliver oral immunotherapy to foods. Our goal is to treat and substantially improve the quality of life of food allergic children and adults.

We currently have established existing OIT protocols for the following food allergy treatments.

Our Established Houston OIT Food Allergy Treatments

  • Milk Allergy Treatment
  • Egg Allergy Treatment
  • Soy Allergy Treatment
  • Wheat Allergy Treatment
  • Peanut Allergy Treatment
  • Tree Nut Allergy Treatment
  • Sesame Allergy Treatment
  • Chickpea Allergy Treatment

Oral Immunotherapy Services Houston, Texas

Food allergy is not something to be taken lightly. Every year 100-200 people die from allergic reactions to foods. And there are as many as 30,000 episodes of anaphylaxis each year. Anaphylaxis is a serious, sometimes life-threatening medical condition. It can occur within seconds, minutes or hours of exposure to something you’re allergic to.

If you are allergic to something, your body’s immune system overreacts by releasing chemicals that cause symptoms. Typical symptoms include one or more of the following: an itchy rash, throat or tongue swelling, shortness of breath, vomiting, dizziness, and low blood pressure. A severe reaction can even cause death.

Many people with food allergies are placed on restrictive diets. In some cases, these diets cause malnutrition. In children, malnutrition can cause poor growth and delayed development. But allergies to more than a couple of non-related foods are rare. And in many cases, restrictive diets are not the answer to food allergies.

The most reliable tests for food allergy are skin testing and blood testing. But both tests are falsely positive 40-50% of the time. A positive test must be confirmed to be sure you are actually allergic to the food.

What Food Allergies Can Be Treated With OIT?

OIT should work for any food allergy as long as the allergy is IgE based. IgE is a type of antibody normally found in small amounts in the blood. Antibodies are made by the immune system to protect the body from bacteria, viruses, and allergens. Too much IgE can be a sign that the body overreacts, causing an allergic reaction.

We use different OIT treatments for each food. Each one is built on the same basic idea used for preventing allergic reactions to pretty much anything (pollen, food, medications, etc.). You eat a small amount of the food you are allergic to. We watch for a reaction. You then eat a bigger amount. We continue the process until we reach a level where you can eat the food at a normal level without having an allergic reaction.

There are some questions you must ask before trying OIT:

  • What are you missing out on or avoiding because of your food allergy? Can you afford not to try OIT?
  • Is there potential for significant improvement in your quality of life? Of course, you do not want the cure to be worse than the disease. Anxiety about the procedure, the time involved with the procedure, and even the cost of the procedure should be weighed against the potential to eat the target food without worry.
  • Other factors. Does your family have concerns? What do your religious beliefs say? Are there other concerns that play a role in your decision?

We would love to talk with you about whether OIT is right for you or your child. We currently have OIT treatments for peanut, egg, milk, wheat, soy, sesame seed, shrimp, and tree nuts. But just about any food allergy could be treated with our safe, effective OIT treatment.

Seasonal and Pet Allergies

Seasonal and Pet Allergy Treatment In Houston, Texas

Seasonal and pet allergies are very common. They also run in families. If you have symptoms at certain times of year you may be allergic to pollen from flowers, grass and trees. If you have symptoms after being around or playing with a dog or cat, rabbit or bird, you may have pet allergies.

A pet allergy can contribute to constant allergy symptoms, as exposure can occur at work, school, day care or other environment. This can occur even if a pet is not present. Almost 62% of U.S. households have pets, and more than 161 million of these pets are cats and dogs.

The proteins found in a pet’s dander, skin flakes, saliva and urine can cause an allergic reaction or aggravate asthma symptoms in some people. Also, pet hair or fur can collect pollen, mold spores and other outdoor allergens.

Seasonal and Pet Allergy Symptoms

  • Sneezing
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Facial pain (from nasal congestion)
  • Coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and wheezing
  • Watery, red or itchy eyes
  • Skin rash or hives

Diagnosing Seasonal and Pet Allergies

A skin-prick test is the most common way of diagnosing a seasonal or animal allergy. For this test, a small amount of an extract of allergen is placed on your skin. Your skin is then pricked to allow the liquid to seep under the skin. If you have swelling, redness, itching or other signs of a reaction, you are allergic. Results typically happen within 15 to 20 minutes.

Treatment for Seasonal and Pet Allergies

Staying inside during certain times of year, moving to a different place or giving up a pet in order to prevent allergy symptoms is not necessary. Our allergy treatments for seasonal and pet allergies can help.

For more information or to contact us directly and set up and appointment to discuss treatment call 281.713.9011

Milk Allergies

OIT Oral Immunotherapy Milk Allergy Treatment

Cow’s milk allergy is a common food allergy in babies and toddlers. About 2.5% of kids under three are allergic to milk. If a baby is going to get an allergy to milk, it happens in the first 12 months. Milk allergies can be hard to deal with for little ones. It can make them very sick.

The type of sickness from milk could be mild, such as hives. The reaction could also be very bad, including anaphylaxis. This is a serious allergic reaction that comes on fast and can be life-threatening. Anaphylaxis can give you an itchy rash, throat or tongue swelling, shortness of breath, vomiting, lightheadedness, and low blood pressure. These problems typically come on over minutes to hours.

People with a milk allergy should keep an epinephrine auto-injector (such as an EpiPen®, Auvi-Q™ or Adrenaclick®) with them at all times. Epinephrine is the best treatment for a milk allergy reaction.

The good news is there is an answer for allergy to milk: oral immunotherapy treatment (OIT).

Milk Allergies Can Destroy Quality Of Life

If a person can’t drink milk, they are missing an important part of their diet. This also means they can not eat food like ice cream, cheese, butter and other foods made with milk.

Avoid foods that contain milk or any of these ingredients:

  • Butter, butter fat, butter oil, butter acid, butter ester(s)
  • Buttermilk
  • Casein
  • Casein hydrolysate
  • Caseinates (in all forms)
  • Cheese
  • Cottage cheese
  • Cream
  • Curds
  • Custard
  • Diacetyl
  • Ghee
  • Half-and-half
  • Lactalbumin, lactalbumin phosphate
  • Lactoferrin
  • Lactose
  • Lactulose
  • Milk (in all forms including condensed, derivative, dry, evaporated, goat’s milk and milk from other animals, low-fat, malted, milkfat, non-fat, powder, protein, skimmed, solids, whole)
  • Milk protein hydrolysate
  • Pudding
  • Recaldent(R)
  • Rennet casein
  • Sour cream, sour cream solids
  • Sour milk solids
  • Tagatose
  • Whey (in all forms)
  • Whey protein hydrolysate
  • Yogurt

Other possible sources of milk:

  • Artificial butter flavor
  • Baked goods
  • Caramel and candies
  • Chocolate
  • Dulce de leche
  • Lactic acid starter culture and other bacterial cultures
  • Luncheon meat, hot dogs and sausages, which may use the milk protein casein as a binder. Also, deli meat slicers are often used for both meat and cheese products, leading to cross-contact.
  • Margarine
  • Nisin
  • Non-dairy products, as many contain casein
  • Nougat
  • Shellfish is sometimes dipped in milk to reduce the fishy odor. Ask questions when buying shellfish.
  • Tuna fish, as some brands contain casein
  • Some specialty products made with milk substitutes (i.e., soy-, nut- or rice-based dairy products) are manufactured on equipment shared with milk.
  • Many restaurants put butter on grilled steaks to add extra flavor. You can’t see the butter after it melts.
  • Some medications contain milk protein.

As you can see the list of foods containing milk is long. We offer an answer to milk allergies. For the best OIT treatment results call The Woodlands Allergy Center today 281.713.9011

Peanut Allergies

OIT Oral Immunotherapy Peanut Allergy Treatment

One of the most common forms of food allergies are peanut allergies. Peanuts grow underground and are part of the legume plant family. Other examples of legumes include beans, peas, lentils and soybeans. However, being allergic to peanuts does not mean you are allergic to another legume.

Peanut allergy is different from tree nut allergies. Peanuts are not the same as tree nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, etc.). Tree nuts grow on trees.

But being allergic to peanuts means you have a 25-40% higher chance of being allergic to tree nuts. Also, peanuts and tree nuts often touch one another during manufacturing and serving processes. Discuss with our board-certified allergist whether you should also avoid tree nuts.

Peanuts must be listed on all packaged foods sold in the United States. This is a federal mandate as peanuts are one of 8 major allergens.

When People Have Allergic Reactions To Peanuts

If someone is allergic to peanuts, they could have a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). These types of allergic reactions can be unpredictable. Even very small amounts of peanut can cause death to those with peanut allergy.

Skin contact is less likely to trigger a severe reaction. But contact can become a problem if the affected area then touches the eyes, nose or mouth. For example, a child who has peanut butter on his or her fingers may rub their eyes or nose. They can then have a reaction.

If you have a peanut allergy, keep an epinephrine auto-injector (such as an EpiPen®, Auvi-Q™ or Adrenaclick®) with you at all times. Epinephrine is the best treatment for anaphylaxis.

Avoiding peanuts can be hard if you are allergic. Preventing a reaction is key. Avoiding peanuts and peanut products at all costs is necessary. Always read food labels to identify hidden peanut ingredients.

The best way to modify or prevent peanut allergy is oral immunotherapy treatment, or OIT.

Avoid foods that contain peanuts or any of these ingredients:

  • Arachis oil (another name for peanut oil)
  • Artificial nuts
  • Beer nuts
  • Cold-pressed, expelled or extruded peanut oil*
  • Goobers
  • Ground nuts
  • Lupin (or lupine)—which is becoming a common flour substitute in gluten-free food. A study shows a strong possibility of cross-reaction between peanuts and this legume, unlike other legumes.
  • Mandelonas (peanuts soaked in almond flavoring)
  • Mixed nuts
  • Monkey nuts
  • Nut meat
  • Nut pieces
  • Peanut butter
  • Peanut flour
  • Peanut protein hydrolysate

*Highly refined peanut oil is not required to be labeled as an allergen. Studies show that most people with peanut allergy can safely eat this kind of peanut oil.

If you are allergic to peanuts, consider OIT treatment for your food allergies. Call The Woodlands Allergy Center today 281.713.9011

Egg Allergies

Oral Immunotherapy (OIT) Egg Allergy Treatment

Egg allergies are the second most common allergies in children and adults. Living with egg allergies can be difficult. Eggs are a common food. They are also a common ingredient in other foods.

Why are people allergic to eggs? The white portion of an egg contains proteins that trigger allergic reactions. It is impossible to separate the egg white completely from the yolk. People allergic to eggs cannot eat any part of the egg.

Egg allergy reactions can be mild, such as hives. Reactions can also be severe and include anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical treatment. If you have an egg allergy, keep an epinephrine auto-injector (like EpiPen®, Auvi-Q™ or Adrenaclick®) with you at all times. This is the best defense against anaphylaxis.

If you are seeking relief from your egg allergies, call Dr. Anna George, our board-certified allergist. We are here to help people with egg allergies and other food allergies. Dr. Anna George has helped many patients overcome their food allergies. They are now able to live a normal life without fear of eggs or foods containing eggs.

Foods To Avoid Until Your OIT Treatment Begins

Avoid foods that contain eggs or any of these ingredients:

  • Albumin (also spelled albumen)
  • Egg (dried, powdered, solids, white, yolk)
  • Eggnog
  • Lysozyme
  • Mayonnaise
  • Meringue or meringue powder
  • Ovalbumin
  • Surimi (crab substitute – may have egg in it)

Eggs are sometimes found in the following:

  • Baked goods (although some people can tolerate baked goods – consult with your allergist)
  • Egg substitutes
  • Ice cream
  • Lecithin
  • Marzipan
  • Marshmallows
  • Nougat
  • Pasta
  • Pretzels
  • Specialty coffee drinks
  • Some alcoholic beverages

Getting the right help at the right time can be crucial in an egg allergy situation. Call The Woodlands Allergy Center today (281).713.9011

Hives and Swelling

Hives and Swelling

What to do when antihistamines are not enough?

Hives & Swelling - Common Causes, Symptoms, & TreatmentHives, also known as urticaria, affect about 20% of people sometime in their life. They appear as raised itchy bumps caused by small blood vessel leaking when the immune system releases histamine. There are two kinds of hives, acute and chronic. Acute hives occur after coming in contact with a particular trigger: food, insect sting, medication, latex, infection, pet dander, pollen or plants (i.e. poison ivy). It can also be triggered by non-allergic causes such as heat, cold, pressure or exercise. Chronic hives, on the other hand, are rarely caused by specific outside triggers. They can be frustrating lasting months to years and allergy testing is usually not helpful. With the approval of Xolair (Omalizumab) in 2014, patients now have a fast and very well tolerated option for treating chronic hives replacing high dose antihistamines (that can be sedating) or other more toxic therapies (cyclosporine or steroids).

Swelling in deep layers of the skin is called angioedema. It is often seen together with urticaria. Acute angioedema is commonly caused by an allergic reaction to foods, insect stings or medications. Chronic recurrent angioedema, just like chronic urticaria, typically does not have an identifiable cause.

Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is caused by a deficient or improperly functioning protein called the C1 inhibitor. HAE is a rare but serious condition that usually runs in the families. It causes rapid swelling (without itching or hives), particularly of the face and airway. Evaluation by an allergist is critical as preventative and acute treatments are available.

Procedures Offered

What Types Of OIT Treatment Do We Offer?

Peanut Allergy OIT / treatment / desensitization

Egg Allergy OIT / treatment / desensitization

Milk Allergy OIT / treatment / desensitization

Tree Nut Allergy OIT / treatment / desensitization

Soy Allergy OIT / treatment / desensitization

Wheat Allergy OIT / treatment / desensitization

Food Allergy OIT / treatment / desensitization

Other Types Of Treatment We Offer:

  • Allergy skin testing for pollens, indoor allergens, insects, drugs, and foodsAllergy Testing & Diagnosis in The Woodlands, Texas
  • Patch testing for contact dermatitis and delayed hypersensitivity reactions
  • Spirometry (breathing tests)
  • Screening for immunodeficiency
  • Evaluation of allergic skin diseases such as eczema, chronic hives, and swelling
  • Oral challenges to food, drugs, and vaccines
  • Desensitization to aspirin and other drugs
  • Injection immunotherapy (allergy shots): traditional and accelerated schedules
  • Sublingual immunotherapy
  • Counseling on the use of inhaled medications and epinephrine auto-injectors
  • Screening for mast cell disorders, nasal polyps, vocal cord dysfunction, hereditary angioedema

Preparation for Allergy Testing (PDF)



The immune system fails to prevent infections.

Immunodeficiency Disorders - Causes, Symptoms, Prevention & TreatmentThe immune system is made up of lymphoid tissue that includes the bone marrow, tonsils, and lymph nodes. These organs help to protect the body from harmful substances such as bacteria, virus, toxins and cancer cells. Immunodeficiency disorders may affect any part of the immune system and may be inherited or acquired later in life. The most common type of primary immunodeficiency is when the body does not produce enough or normally functioning antibodies, which are specialized proteins that destroy harmful substances. In addition, other causes such as chemotherapy, infections or severe burns may cause a secondary immunodeficiency. The typical symptoms of immunodeficiency are recurrent infections such as sinusitis, pneumonia, ear, skin and gastrointestinal infections. Immunologists evaluate your ability to fight infections, devise a plan for you to prevent exposures and treat some forms of immunodeficiency with therapies such as replacement immunoglobulin.

Medication Allergies

Medication Allergies

Most patients labeled allergic will test negative for penicillin.

Medication Allergies - Diagnosis, Symptoms, & TreatmentAll medications have the potential to cause side effects, but only about 5 to 10% of adverse reactions to drugs are allergic. The most common medications to produce allergic reactions include antibiotics (such as penicillin), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (such as aspirin and ibuprofen), anticonvulsants, monoclonal antibody therapy and chemotherapy. It can be a challenge to identify the cause of a drug rash in patients on multiple chronic medications. Obtaining a detailed history and timeline is essential in piecing together the story to establish the true cause of symptoms. As an example, penicillin allergy is incorrectly diagnosed in many patients. Studies have shown that more than 90% of patients who believed to be allergic to penicillin tested negative for penicillin allergy. Such false belief that one is allergic to penicillin limits antibiotic choices. The alternatives may cause resistance, side effects, be more expensive or less effective. Testing to penicillin becomes important to determine an accurate diagnosis for future medical care. Allergists are also trained in desensitizing patients to medication (such as aspirin causing hives but needed for cardiovascular disease prevention) and administering medications or vaccines in graded doses in the safe environment of their office.

Insect Allergies

Insect Allergies

Venom immunotherapy is a successful and lifesaving treatment option.

Insect stings cause at least 50 known deaths each year. Most of us develop redness and swelling at the site of an insect bite. However, if you are allergic to stinging insect venom you are at a risk of anaphylaxis. Most serious reactions are caused by five types of insects: fire ants, honey bees, yellow jackets, wasps, and hornets. An accurate diagnosis and treatment can decrease anxiety and bring peace of mind. Allergy immunotherapy is the only treatment known to modify and prevent disease progression and can be life-saving for those affected. Immunotherapy has been shown to be 97% effective in preventing a life-threatening reaction to an insect sting.

Food Allergies

Food-related allergies are some of the worst kinds of allergies a person can experience. Usually, major food allergies begin early in life. They often begin when infants and babies are introduced to solid food. Small children also experience food allergies, although they can happen to anyone at any point in life.

We offer oral immunotherapy (OIT) services for peanut allergies, milk allergies, wheat allergies and egg allergies. These are the most common food allergies. We also see and treat people for other types of food allergies. This is a more complete list of the types of OIT treatment options available.

Regardless of the type of food allergy you have, you will find yourself and your loved ones in good hands with Dr. Anna George and The Woodlands Allergy Center. We are the only oral immunotherapy center treating food allergies in Houston, Texas and surrounding areas of Houston. Oral immunotherapy gives infants, babies, young people and adults the ability to start eating foods that would have made them sick before, or had to be completely off limits.

Do you need to carry a self-injectable epinephrine for your symptoms?

Food Allergies - Symptoms & Treatment in The Woodlands, TexasFood allergies affect 4 to 6 percent of children and 4 percent of adults. They are most common in young children, but allergies to food can appear at any age and to any food. There are eight types of foods responsible for 90% of all reactions. Those are milk, eggs, soy, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish. Symptoms of food allergy can be unpredictable and vary from mild to severe between reactions. The most severe symptom is anaphylaxis, a life-threatening whole-body reaction that can impair breathing, affect heart rate and cause a dramatic drop in your blood pressure within minutes of exposure to the trigger food. This reaction can be fatal and must be treated quickly with an injection of epinephrine.

Many adults with allergic rhinitis experience oral allergy syndrome. This type of food allergy occurs due to cross-reactivity between the proteins of plants and typically causes isolated mouth itching and swelling. An example would be ragweed allergy causing sensitivity to melons. Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome (FPIES) often develops in infancy when a baby is introduced to formula or food. FPIES can be severe and cause vomiting, diarrhea and even shock due to severe dehydration. Most common triggers are cow milk, soy, and grains. Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE) is an allergic condition where certain food proteins cause inflammation of the esophagus. Young children usually present with recurrent abdominal pain or vomiting, while teenagers and adults most often have difficulty swallowing. EoE is diagnosed with an endoscopy and biopsy of the esophagus. Allergists and gastroenterologists work together to help these patients.

Many people who have symptoms with foods have food intolerance rather than food allergy. Being evaluated by an allergist and understanding the difference between the two is very important.



A typical progression of allergic diseases begins with eczema in early life.

Eczema Symptoms & Treatment in The Woodlands, TexasAtopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, is a chronic skin condition that causes recurrent episodes of itchy red rashes. It often begins in the first years of life and is often an indication that the child will develop other allergic diseases such as asthma, allergic rhinitis or food allergies. Symptoms of eczema include patches of red skin, itching and dry cracked or scaly skin especially inside the folds of the elbows and knees. Allergy testing can be helpful to identify the triggers. Treatment includes good skin care, prevention of scratching and avoidance of known triggers such as pet dander, dust mite or food. Bleach baths are now part of the standard regimen for eczema as they decrease inflammation and prevent skin superinfection by bacteria. Medicated non-steroidal creams can also be used as prevention.



Knowing triggers and understanding prevention is the key to symptom control.

Asthma Causes, Symptoms, Prevention, & TreatmentAsthma is a chronic disease of the lungs and affects about 26 million Americans. The disease causes inflammation and narrowing of the bronchial tubes with symptoms such as wheezing, cough, shortness of breath and chest tightness. Asthma can be allergic – caused by exposure to an allergen such as pet dander, and non-allergic – caused by triggers such as exercise, illness, stress, or irritants. Asthma is among the most common chronic childhood illnesses and if left undiagnosed or unmanaged, can be deadly. Studies show that people with asthma who see a specialist, such as an allergist, reduce their symptoms, emergency room and doctor visits, missed days from work or school and health care costs. The main strategy of controlling asthma is prevention. Prevention includes: understanding and avoiding triggers, having access to medical care, obtaining appropriate treatment to decrease chronic inflammation and improve or maintain lung function.

Allergic Rhinitis

Allergic Rhinitis (hay fever)

Affecting productivity and quality of life for many patients.

Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever) Symptoms & TreatmentEnvironmental allergies, commonly called “hay fever”, affect the nose. Symptoms include nasal congestion, drippy nose, sneezing, itching and puffy eyelids. These symptoms can also be exacerbated by irritants such as cigarette smoke or perfumes. The term “hay fever” can be misleading as you do not need to be exposed to hay or have a fever to have the symptoms. There are two types of allergic rhinitis: seasonal – caused by sensitivity to airborne pollens or mold spores; and perennial – with symptoms year-round caused by sensitivity to dust mite, pet dander or cockroach.

Hay fever is not just a nuisance. It can affect one’s productivity and quality of life. Children are especially susceptible and can suffer from symptoms such as irritability, sleep disorders, decreased concentration and limited activities. Children can miss school, suffer academically and athletically and their symptoms can be mistaken for attention deficit disorder. With proper treatment, allergy symptoms can be controlled and disruptions in learning and behavior can be avoided. An evaluation by an allergist is imperative to discuss proper allergen avoidance, pharmacotherapy, and immunotherapy (allergy shots). There is evidence that immunotherapy in childhood can prevent further allergies and the development of allergic asthma.



When harmless substances become invaders.

Allergy Symptoms & Treatment in The Woodlands, TexasOur immune system protects us from foreign organisms that could cause illness. In the case of allergies, our body mistakes harmless substances, such as pollen, as invaders. We call these substances allergens. Most common allergens that can cause allergic reactions include food, pollen, mold, dust mite, animal dander, insect stings, medications, and latex. Upon encountering these allergens, the immune system overreacts and produces an antibody IgE that travels to different tissues and plays a role in the release of substances such as histamine.

The possible symptoms of an allergic reaction are numerous and may include: a runny nose, congestion, sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, breathing difficulty, wheezing, vomiting, diarrhea, swelling, hives and even loss of consciousness. In the most serious cases, a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis can occur. Genetic factors and environmental exposures play a role in why some people suffer.

A holistic approach is needed to diagnose allergies. It includes a detailed history looking for clues in lifestyle and the environment, eating habits, family history, frequency and severity of symptoms and response to prior interventions. With proper treatment, many affected individuals can live healthy and productive lives.