Syed Shahzad Mustafa, MD
After growing up in the Rochester area, Dr. Mustafa pursued his undergraduate studies at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and attended medical school at SUNY Buffalo. He then completed his internal medicine training at the University of Colorado and stayed in Denver to complete his fellowship training in allergy and clinical immunology at the University of Colorado, National Jewish Health, and Children's Hospital of Denver.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Allergy facts
- Allergy overview
- What is an allergy?
- What causes allergies?
- Who is at risk for allergies and why?
- What are common allergic conditions and what are allergy symptoms and signs?
- Allergic rhinitis (hay fever)
- Allergic eyes (conjunctivitis)
- Eczema (atopic dermatitis)
- Hives (urticaria)
- Allergic shock (anaphylaxis)
- Where are allergens?
- In the air we breathe
- In what we ingest
- Touching our skin
- Injected into our body
- Common Allergy Triggers Slideshow
- Take the Quiz on Allergies
- Allergy Proof Your Home Slideshow
- Allergies FAQs
- Find a local Asthma & Allergy Specialist in your town
In the Air We Breathe
Aside from oxygen, the air contains a wide variety of particles including allergens. The usual diseases that result from airborne allergens are hay fever, asthma, and conjunctivitis. The following allergens can trigger allergic reactions when inhaled by sensitized individuals.
- Pollens from trees, grasses, and/or weeds
- Dust mites
- Animal proteins including dander, skin, and/or urine
- Mold spores
- Insect parts, especially from cockroaches
In What We Ingest
Foods and medications can also cause allergic reactions, some of which can be very severe. These reactions often start with localized tingling or itching and then may lead to rash or additional symptoms, such as swelling, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or difficulty breathing. The two most common allergens that are ingested are:
- Foods: The most common food allergens are cow's milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, shellfish, finned fish, and sesame. Cow's milk, egg, wheat, and soy are most common in children, and are often outgrown over time. The most common allergens in adults are peanut, tree nuts, and shellfish.
- Medications: Although any medication can cause an allergic reaction, common examples include antibiotics (such as penicillin), and anti-inflammatory agents, such as aspirin and ibuprofen.
Touching Our Skin
Contact dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin that is caused by local exposure to a substance. The majority of these localized skin reactions do not involve IgE, but are caused by other inflammatory cells. A good example is poison ivy. Examples of substances that commonly cause contact dermatitis include:
- Plants (poison ivy and oak)
- Nickel and other metals
Next: Injected into our body
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