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Allergies Specialist

Lev Barsky, MD -  - Allergist

Allergy Asthma & Immunology Center

Lev Barsky, MD

Allergist & Asthma Specialist located in Brooklyn, NY

Allergies affect more than 50 million people in the United States every year, making it the sixth most common chronic health problem. Allergies develop from many causes and have a wide range of symptoms, including life-threatening anaphylaxis. The Allergy Asthma & Immunology Center, Dr. Lev Barsky, in the Brighton Beach neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York City, specializes in diagnosing and treating all types of allergies. For expert care from Lev Barsky, MD, an experienced allergist, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.

Allergies Q&A

What are allergies?

Allergies are the result of an immune system overreaction to a specific substance — known as an allergen. When your body comes in contact with this substance, your immune system considers it a foreign and dangerous substance and releases chemicals in an attempt to destroy it.

The immune system response to the substance triggers the allergic reaction, which may cause symptoms such as:

  • Allergic conjunctivitis — itchy, watery eyes
  • Allergic rhinitis (hay fever) — sneezing, runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hives
  • Atopic dermatitis — contact skin reaction
  • Swelling
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting or diarrhea

Some people have a life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis, which causes difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, and loss of consciousness. That type of allergic reaction is a medical emergency and requires immediate emergency room care.

What causes allergies?

You can develop an allergy to any substance. However, there are common substances that cause allergies, including:

  • Pollen, weeds, grass
  • Dust, pet dander, mold
  • Insect stings
  • Food (e.g., milk, wheat, soy, eggs, seafood, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts)
  • Drugs
  • Latex

Some allergies may also trigger other health problems like an asthma attack.

How are allergies diagnosed?

Dr. Barsky is an experienced allergist and conducts thorough evaluations when you come in with concerns about allergies. His goal is to find the substance causing your symptoms to provide the most effective treatment.

During your visit, Dr. Barsky asks detailed questions about your symptoms and when they occur. He reviews your medical and family history and performs a physical exam.

To find the substance causing your allergies, Dr. Barsky runs allergy testing, which may include:

Skin testing

For skin testing, Dr. Barsky may perform a skin prick test or intradermal test. During these tests, he pricks or injects a small amount of the suspected allergen into your skin and waits for a reaction.

Blood testing

For blood testing, Dr. Barsky takes a sample of blood and sends it to the lab to look for antibodies — immunoglobulin E (IgE) — associated with various allergens.

How are allergies treated?

Dr. Barsky customizes your allergy treatment plan based on the type of allergen causing your symptoms and the severity of your allergic reaction. When possible, Dr. Barsky recommends you avoid your allergen.

If you’re unable to avoid your allergen (i.e., pollen, dust), Dr. Barsky recommends medications to ease symptoms, such as antihistamines and decongestants. 

If you have anaphylactic reactions to your allergen, Dr. Barsky prescribes an epinephrine auto-injector, which you must have with you at all times.

For patients with seasonal or environmental allergies, Dr. Barsky may recommend immunotherapy or allergy shots. Immunotherapy builds up your body’s tolerance to the allergen, easing symptoms. The treatment is especially beneficial for patients with allergic conjunctivitis and allergy-induced asthma. 

For comprehensive care for your allergies, call Allergy Asthma & Immunology Center, Dr. Lev Barsky, or schedule an appointment online today.