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 Ask The Doctor at West Penn Allegheny Health System

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Allergy and Immunology

Allergies affect an estimated one out of every three people, making it difficult for them to enjoy simple pleasures such as walking in the park or playing with the family pet. An allergic person is over-sensitive to harmless substances that cause no problems for most people.

The Department of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology offers individualized diagnosis and treatment for infants, children, adolescents and adults with allergies. Our physicians are leaders in the treatment and research of allergic and immune diseases. Care is offered in several convenient locations.

Our physicians are involved in pioneering research into more effective methods of diagnosis and treatment. In recent years, they have led nationally recognized research into the use of sublingual (under-the-tongue) tablets as a convenient alternative to injections for allergy sufferers. 

Dr. David Skoner and Dr. Deborah Gentile lead the Center for Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. They can be reached at 412.359.6640. Care is offered in convenient locations.

Treatment and diagnosis of infants, children, adolescents and adults with allergies and immune deficiencies.

Allergic rhinitis

Food allergies

Drug allergies

Cystic fibrosis

Hay fever

Insect sting sensitivity

Otitis media

Needle-free treatment alternatives

Allegheny General Hospital
320 E. North Ave.
Seventh Floor, South Tower
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Phone: 412.359.6640
Fax: 412.359.6641

Outpatient Care Center in Peters Township
160 Gallery Dr.
McMurray, PA 15317
Phone: 412.359.6640

100 North Pointe Circle
Suite 103
Seven Fields, PA 16046
Phone: 412.359.6640
Fax: 412.359.6818



Information for Patients

Guidelines for Controlling your Allergies

Allergies can strike any season of the year, causing a runny or stuffy nose; itchy, watery eyes; sneezing; sinus pressure; hives; and ear irritation. Caused by the body’s overreaction to certain substances such as mold, animal dander, dust or pollen, allergic reactions range from merely bothersome to life threatening. Allergies have also been associated with chronic conditions like sinusitis and asthma. Many with an allergy think they have recurrent colds.

In some cases, allergies can be prevented by following guidelines such as:

  • Staying inside your air-conditioned home or car during peak pollen times
  • Keeping your house well ventilated
  • Drying shower curtains, cleaning window sills and walls, and vacuuming rugs
  • Washing bedding frequently
  • Avoiding environmental exposures such as aerosol sprays, irritating fumes, tobacco smoke and wood smoke

If you are unable to determine what is triggering your allergy, your physician may administer an allergy skin test to get some answers. Once your allergies have been identified, your doctor will suggest a treatment plan that may include: environmental controls (to decrease the level of exposure to the offending allergen), leukotriene receptor antagonists (to decrease sneezing, runny nose and itchiness), antihistamines (to decrease sneezing, runny nose and itchiness), decongestants (to temporarily relieve a stuffy nose), nasal steroid sprays (to relieve nasal swelling), or eye drops (to ease itchy, watery eyes).

Consult your doctor before using any allergy medication, especially if the trigger is unknown.

Learn more about Allergy in our Health Library.

Learn more about Immunology in our Health Library.

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