Allergy Clinic

Our allergy clinic provides comprehensive testing, diagnosis and treatments to relieve and manage symptoms and reactions.

Allergies affect approximately 20% of the U.S. population[1]. The affects of allergies range from bothersome to life-threatening.  The good news is we can work with you to manage and control allergy symptoms. Our allergy clinic provides:

We work with patients of all ages, and create individualized  treatment plans to best treat each person’s specific allergy conditions.

What are Allergies?

Allergies, in summary, are the bodies over-reaction to certain environmental, food,or contact triggers that create physical symptoms including runny nose, rash, itchy eyes, sneezing, etc.

Where to turn if you have allergy symptoms

As a Board Certified Allergist Dr. Maloney, along with nurse practitioners, have years of experience. Our team has a track record of successfully treating allergies, and helping patients enjoy life again. An allergist can diagnose your  symptoms, test for allergic reactions and develop a customized immunology action plan.

Learn more about allergies

Types of Allergies

A list of all allergy types would be extremely long. This page focuses on the most common types of allergy conditions. See our blog for articles on many of the specific types immunology issues in Georgia.

Skin Allergies

Skin allergies, for those affected, happen when there is contact with an allergen. The most common skin allergy types are Urticaria (hives), Allergic Contact Dermatitis (direct contact with allergens), Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema), and Angiodema (swelling in deep skin layers). Skin allergies are often caused by allergens such as exposure to certain jewelry metals, cosmetics, soaps, latex, and organic allergens such as poison ivy or poison oak. Airborne allergens and irritants can also cause allergic reactions in skin tissue. Common allergy symptoms are hives, itching, redness, and sometimes lead to anaphylaxis.

Food Allergies

Food allergies are among the most extreme causes of allergic reactions. The most common food allergy types are peanut allergies, shellfish allergies, wheat, soy, and egg allergies. Food allergies often trigger allergic reactions such as hives, swelling of lips, eyes, face, and dizziness or nausea. Food allergies can cause breathing problems, coronary spasms, and anaphylactic shock – sometimes causing death.

Pet Allergies

People love their pets but sometimes they are faced with allergic reactions to their beloved animal friends. The most common pet allergy types are cat allergies and dog allergies. In many cases a few adjustments can make it possible to enjoy your cats or dogs, and maintain your health. Controlling pet dander is the best way to control pet allergy problems. Bathing your pet, improving indoor air quality with better filtration, and minimizing dander holding elements (carpeting, fabric draperies, etc.) are easy ways reduce allergic reactions to pets.

What Are Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal allergies refers to specific times of the year when natural events cause allergic reactions. Pollen allergies are perhaps the most common seasonal allergy. Seasonal weather changes affects pollen counts including ragweed pollen count, hay pollen count, tree pollen count and similar organic airborne allergens. While many people can counter the effects of a pollen allergy with something like Benadryl, others may need the help of an allergist.

Allergy Causes, Symptoms, Treatments

Causes of Allergies

The human body is very complex. The reason that allergic reactions (if any) vary from person to person is genetics. Specifically this means a person’s immune system. The human body’s immune system creates antibodies that fight a wide range of potential health problems. Naturally some people’s immune systems are stronger and healthier than others.
The immune system is comprised of multiple cellular components. These components are: Immunoglobulins, mast cells, B-cells, T-cells, basophils and antigens. The ability to avoid or minimize allergic reactions is a function of how well these components are developed.
Relative to allergic reactions the antibody known as immunoglobulin (IgA, IgD, IgE, IgC, IgM) are what attack allergens. When this antibody attacks allergens it causes mast cells to release certain chemicals that subsequently cause allergic reactions.

Symptoms of Allergies

There are numerous signs of allergies, however; most allergy patients display only a few of the most common allergic reaction symptoms. Common signs of an allergic reaction include:

  • Severe itching
  • Watery eyes, redness in eyes, puffy eyes
  • Sneezing, especially multiple sneezes
  • Coughing
  • Sinus drainage into your throat
  • Runny nose or stuffy nose
  • Headaches
  • Feeling lethargic or sleepy

Cure for Allergies

There are no real cures for allergies. The reality is that your allergist can provide allergy treatments, prescribe medications, and teach a patient how to mitigate allergy health problems.
Every person suffering from allergies that enlists the help of an immunologist or allergist will be provided a customized action plan. The first step in developing an effective action plan is to undergo clinical testing.

Allergy Testing and Diagnosis

For an allergist to diagnose the cause for an allergy they need to acquire specific knowledge of the patient’s lifestyle and body chemistry. The first part of evaluating causes for allergies is to ask the patient numerous questions. The purpose is to narrow down the possible causes of allergic reactions by discovering patterns of occurrence. After a list of potential causes the allergist will probably need to do skin tests. These tests are basically a process of applying suspected allergens (in very small portions) directly to the patient’s skin. By observation, the allergist can note any remarkable reactions to each element. This is a trial and error process which may need to be repeated to identify multiple allergens and seasonal allergens. In some situations the immunologist may elect to do blood tests to determine what triggers reactions.

Allergy Treatments

There are no hard rules for assigning clinical treatments. Each patient’s particular situation determines the appropriate care to provide relief for allergies. The action plan for a person suffering from symptoms of allergies may include:

Avoidance and Minimizing Exposure

Although it is an obvious course of action, your immunologist may urge you to take measures to avoid being exposed to the allergens that cause your allergic reactions. Our staff can provide specific tips on how to control your allergies. This commonly includes ideas such as changing brands of products (laundry soap, cosmetics, etc.), avoid eating certain food types, improve indoor air filtration, and improve house cleaning methods to remove allergens.

Allergy Medications

Allergy medications are usually the most effective way to control allergies. The cause of a patient’s allergy, and the severity of the allergic reactions, will dictate the type(s) of allergy medicines prescribed by your physician. Medicinal treatments generally fall into one of the following categories:

Prescription Drugs

Prescription allergy drugs are highly effective in treating severe allergy problems. Prescription drugs for allergies can be used as a preventative medication, or to correct acute allergic reactions. Our allergy clinic can guide you to any prescription drug that may help your condition. To learn more about prescription drug options we recommend making an appointment to meet with Dr. Michael Maloney.

Over the Counter Medicines

Over the counter (OTC) medications can often help relieve common and minor symptoms. Certain OTC tablets, capsules and pills such as Benadryl, Zyrtec, Allegra, and Claritin can relieve itching and sometimes lessen irritations such as rashes or hives. Other OTC allergy products are offered as eye drops, nasal sprays, and various topical skin allergy treatments.

People often use over the counter medications to manage pollen allergies, grass or hay allergies, and other seasonal allergies. People using these products who are also experiencing congestion should look for products marked with a “D” at the end of the brand name. This indicates that the product contains a decongestant named pseudoephedrine.

Topical Skin Allergy Treatments

Many lesser skin allergy conditions can be treated with easy to apply topical products. There are prescription and non-prescription lotions, creams, ointments and sprays used to manage skin allergies. Typically these help relieve symptoms such as itching or burning, but do not prevent the root cause. These allergy relief products are often used to lessen the severity of things such as insect bites, insect stings, and minor skin irritations.

Allergy Shots

Allergy shots are sometimes necessary to treat people with certain chronic problems. Allergy shots are a form of treatment named immunotherapy. A shot desensitizes the patient’s system to specific allergens that trigger allergic reactions. This is a long term treatment that is often used to manage problems including conjunctivitis, allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma and stinging insect allergies. Our allergy clinic in Gainesville, Georgia, offers shots for patients needing long term treatments for these conditions. Learn more >>

[1] Per WebMD, Number of people in the U.S. who have either allergy or asthma symptoms: one in five

Pediatric Allergist

Dr. Michael Maloney is Board Certified in both pediatrics and immunology. As a pediatric specialist he works with children suffering from allergy issues and asthma.

As with any pediatric care, treating children requires special skills. A pediatric immunologist has specific training to diagnose and treat immunology problems in children.

Click the link to learn about pediatric immunology.

Conditions We Treat

We treat all types of allergies. The most common types of allergies treatments we provide are:

  • Seasonal allergies
    • Pollen allergies
    • Hay Fever
    • Ragweed allergies
  • Food allergies
    • Peanut allergies
    • Gluten allergies
    • Milk allergies
    • Wheat allergies
    • Shellfish allergies
    • Egg allergies
  • Skin allergies
  • Dog allergies
  • Cat allergies
  • Pollen allergies
  • Latex allergies
  • Penicillin allergies
  • Drug allergies
  • Mold allergies
  • Cosmetics allergies
  • Insect allergies