Dr. Neeta Ogden is experienced in the treatment of many different types of allergies. If you have been experiencing a seasonal or perennial allergy, bouts of constant conjunctivitis, an allergic response to foods, an allergic response to medication, a sensitivity to stinging insects or an allergy to latex, please contact our office to make an appointment. Her practice is conveniently located at 974 Inman Avenue, in Edison, New Jersey.

Hay Fever

Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, is an allergic reaction to indoor and outdoor allergens that can cause cold-like symptoms such as a runny nose, itchy eyes, congestion, sneezing, and sinus pressure. Allergens such as pollen, dust mites or pet dander may cause an allergic response. Hay fever can occur at any age, but most commonly develops during childhood or early adulthood and symptoms of hay fever can be seasonal or appear perennially, also known as year-round hay fever.

Symptoms of hay fever include:

  • Runny nose and nasal congestion
  • Red, watery, and itchy eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Postnasal drip
  • Tiredness due to poor sleep
  • Headache
  • Sore throat

Treatment of Hay Fever

The most effective treatment for hay fever is prevention by avoiding allergens, but this is not always possible. With seasonal hay fever, limit outdoor activities when the pollen count is high. Saline sprays and nasal irrigation are a method to reduce the allergens from the nasal passages. Certain over-the-counter medications and prescription medication can sometimes help. Immunotherapy, a process that focuses on acclimating the body to the allergens that cause symptoms can help reduce the dependency on medication.

Allergic Conjunctivitis

Ocular allergies, also known as allergic conjunctivitis, is an allergic response to indoor and outdoor allergens such as pet dander, dust mites, mold, and pollen. It triggers antibodies that affect the lining of the eyes and airways releasing histamines that produce numerous allergy symptoms, including red or pink eyes.

Symptoms of Allergic Conjunctivitis

Some of the symptoms include:

  • Itchy eyes
  • Redness
  • Burning of the eyes
  • Tearing and inflammation of the eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose

Treatment of Allergic Conjunctivitis

The first step is to avoid the allergens.

  • Keep the windows closed during high pollen periods
  • Use air conditioning to filter the air in the home and car
  • Wear glasses or sunglasses to keep pollen out of the eyes
  • Avoid irritants, such as cigarette smoke and perfume

Most allergic conjunctivitis can be controlled with decongestant eye drop medications but for no more than a week. Other methods include oral antihistamines. The more effective method is to see Dr. Ogden for prescription medication or immunotherapy.

Food Allergies

A food allergy is the immune system’s reaction to certain proteins in food and its response where it releases antibodies to combat the allergen. Even the tiniest amount of food can result in signs and symptoms that include hives, swollen airways, digestive problems, or even anaphylaxis, a life-threatening response. Food allergies can occur at any time, some begin in childhood or in adulthood, and some may appear after consuming a food for the first time.

Types of Food Allergies

The most common foods that are the cause of allergic reactions, include:

  • Cow’s milk
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Wheat
  • Soy

Symptoms of a Food Allergy

The most common food allergy symptoms include:

  • A tingling or itching in the mouth
  • Hives, itching or eczema
  • A swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat or other parts of the body
  • Sneezing, runny nose and congestion
  • Vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting
  • Swelling under the skin (angioedema)
  • Itchy or watery eyes
  • Anaphylaxis

Treatment of Food Allergies

The most effective way to avoid having an allergic reaction is to avoid the food that causes symptoms. It includes checking ingredient labels and questioning the ingredients in food prepared at a restaurant or at someone’s home. At times, for mild allergic reactions, an antihistamine might be a treatment but for more severe reactions, immediate medical attention is required. For severe allergic responses, a self-injection epinephrine pen should be carried at all times. There is no cure for food allergies although some of them may be outgrown.

Drug/Medication Allergies

Drug allergies can occur regardless of the method of the medication – liquid, pill, or injectable. The most common allergic reaction to a drug is with penicillin but a reaction can also occur with anticonvulsants, aspirin, ibuprofen and chemotherapy drugs. It’s also possible to have an allergic reaction to a drug and not have a reaction at a later point in time. For patients with a severe reaction to penicillin, they should seek immediate emergency care. This may include an epinephrine injection in order to maintain blood pressure and normal breathing. Others with a milder reaction who suspect the allergic reaction is to penicillin can be treated with antihistamines or oral or injected corticosteroids, depending on the reaction.

Symptoms of a Drug Allergy

Symptom can occur in any part of the body and include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Skin rash or hives
  • Itching
  • Wheezing or other breathing problems
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Swelling
  • Anaphylaxis
Other than penicillin, drug allergies can be difficult to diagnose because they resemble other diseases. After a visit, Dr. Ogden will help determine the correct course of action.

Stinging Insect Allergy

An allergy to stinging insects are at times difficult to prevent and reactions to them can be life-threatening. An allergic reaction to an insect bite or sting is a response to the insect’s venom. For those people who are severely allergic, the reaction can be extreme. Fortunately, immunotherapy can be used to treat allergies to the venom of several types of insects, including yellow jackets, honey bees, wasps, hornets and fire ants.

Symptoms of Insect Bites and Stings

Most reactions to insect bites and stings can disappear within a few days. Other times there can be delayed reactions that may include the following:
  • Hives
  • Swollen glands
  • Fever
  • Redness, swelling, or itching at the location of the bite or sting
Severe reactions may include nausea, cramping, abnormal swelling of the face, throat or tongue, difficulty swallowing, rapid heartbeat, or difficulty breathing. A person experiencing a severe allergic reaction should seek immediate medical help.

Treatment of Insect Bites and Stings

If the insect bite or sting is not severe enough to require immediate medical help, some of the following steps can help in the treatment:
  • Cleaning the affected area with soap and water
  • Applying ice to the area in order to bring down swelling
  • Taking an oral antihistamine
  • Applying a topical cream to reduce any itching or pain
To confirm a stinging insect allergy, Dr. Ogden will perform skin, and possibly blood tests, to various venoms. If an allergy is confirmed, Dr. Ogden will develop a treatment plan that is appropriate for the specific allergy. Venom immunotherapy has been clinically proven to lessen the impact of a sensitivity to insect venom. It may also decrease the possibility of a life-threatening allergic reaction to stings in the future.

Latex Allergy

An allergic reaction to latex is a response by the immune system, to the proteins found in products containing natural rubber latex. The allergic reaction causes the body to produce antibodies to latex and releases histamines and other chemicals. An allergy to latex is common among healthcare professions, who wear latex gloves to avoid spreading germs.

People who are allergic to latex gloves tend to have a history of other allergies, including:

  • Food allergies
  • Other types of allergies
  • Asthma or eczema
  • A history of numerous surgical procedures

Symptoms of a Latex Allergy

Symptoms of a latex allergy can range from mild to severe. It can depend on levels of sensitivity and the amount of latex touched or inhaled. A reaction to latex can become worse over time with repeated exposure. Some symptoms include:

  • Itchy skin
  • Hives
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Painful burning sensation
  • Lesions
  • Nasal congestion
  • Conjunctivitis

Treatment of a Latex Allergy

After Dr. Ogden confirms an allergy to latex, the best treatment for the allergy is to avoid products that contain natural rubber latex. Medication to treat the latex allergy will depend on symptoms and severity of the condition. Healthcare workers, with a history of latex sensitivity, need to switch to wearing latex-free synthetic gloves. Patients should avoid areas where powdered latex gloves or other latex products are being used.