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December 29, 2010 @ 6:09 pm

How Are Allergies Diagnosed?


Board-Certified Allergist-Immunologist Dr. Andrew Bagg with his practice in Orlando joined the show. He discusses how allergies are diagnosed, how are allergic diseases treated, the cause of allergies and reactions...

Note: Refer to audio player below to listen to this episode.

Dr. Andrew Bagg, MD is board certified in Allergy Asthma and Clinical Immunology. He has conducted multiple clinical research trials and has over 15 publications in medical journals and one book chapter.  He presented his research at multiple conferences including the World Allergy Organization. Dr. Bagg is the American Lung Association county chair of education.  He is an Associate Professor at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine. He treats both adult and pediatric allergy problems in his practice in Orlando, Florida. He specializes in treatment of all allergic diseases including asthma, eczema, hives, food and drug allergy, allergy shots, eye allergies, insect allergy, sinus infections and immune system problems that might cause frequent infections.


Transcript of Interview with Dr. Andrew Bagg

Eric Michaels: What causes allergies and or what is an allergic reaction?
Dr. Bagg: Fifty million Americans suffer from some form of allergic diseases. Most of us associate sneezing, runny nose and watery eyes with allergies. An allergic reaction is actually a result of several events that occur in your body as a result of overreaction of the immune system.

Eric Michaels: How does the immune system reaction result in allergy symptoms?
Dr. Bagg: Your immune system serves as your body’s defense against a foreign substance such as bacteria and viruses and produces antibodies against these substances. Allergic patients recognize these common harmless substances (allergens) such as pollens, foods, dust mites, and pet dander as foreign and produces an antibody called Immunoglobulin E., or IgE. This antibody attaches to “mast cells” that are located in the respiratory tract, skin, gastrointestinal tract and eyes. Each type of allergen has a specific IgE that recognizes only that allergen. (almost like a radar device).When this IgE antibody comes in contact with the “allergen”; the mast cell explodes releasing a variety of chemicals “mediators” such as histamines, leukotrienes etc. These cause a reaction resulting in inflammation (swelling with white blood cells), edema (another type of swelling with fluid and excessive mucus); and hyperresponsiveness (increased sensitivity of the respiratory tract).

Eric Michaels: What types of allergic diseases are there?
Dr. Bagg:

  • Allergic rhinitis, or “hay fever”
  • Allergic conjunctivitis (itchy, red watery, puffy eyes)
  • Asthma (chest tightness, cough, wheezing, shortness of breath)
  • Atopic dermatitis, or allergic skin reactions (including eczema)
  • Urticaria (hives)
  • Anaphylaxis – severe reactions to substances such as latex, foods, medications, insect stings (which can be life threatening with throat closure)
  • Problems/sequelae of allergic rhinitis (recurrent ear, sinus, throat infections)

Eric Michaels: How are allergies diagnosed?
Dr. Bagg: A board certified allergist/immunologist is best qualified to diagnose and treat allergic diseases. A thorough medical history followed by a physical exam is very important. Skin tests, breathing test (in case of asthma), and blood tests are all used to determine what you are allergic to.

Eric Michaels: How is allergic disease treated?
Dr. Bagg: Once your allergist determines the allergic triggers that precipitate your allergies, he or she can help you establish a treatment program. The first step will be towards prevention by minimizing your exposure to the triggering factors. The second step is to optimize the medications for best results to control the symptoms of inflammation and to decrease acute symptoms and infections. Immunotherapy (vaccination) also known as allergy injections may also be recommended to modify your immune system in order to prevent symptoms, and reduce or eliminate the need to take medications.

Contact & Information:

Web Site:

Phone: (407) 339-3002


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Note: The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of the show host or it's owners.

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