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Allergies Specialist

Omar Aref, MD -  - Board Certified Family Physician

Omar Aref, MD

Board Certified Family Physician & Aesthetic Specialist located in Plant City, FL

If you’ve ever suffered from the sniffling, sneezing, runny nose symptoms of allergies, you know how miserable they can make your life. And you’re not alone — more than 50 million Americans are afflicted by allergies every year. The good news is you don’t need to suffer. Dr. Omar Aref in Plant City, Florida, is a board-certified family physician who can relieve your symptoms, strengthen your immune system, and help you conquer your allergies. Call or book online today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Aref.

Allergies Q & A

What are allergies?

Allergies are triggered when your immune system overreacts to environmental irritants that are not typically harmful. Allergens, the substances that cause allergies, vary widely from person to person.

For most people, allergens are a passing nuisance brought on by elevated pollen levels or exposure to pet dander, causing symptoms such as:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Rash
  • Itchy, watery eyes

For others, allergens have a severe impact, causing asthma attacks, sinusitis, and life-threatening reactions like anaphylaxis.

What causes allergies?

An allergic reaction occurs when your immune system interprets a foreign substance as a dangerous invader. Your body produces antibodies that release histamines, the chemicals that cause allergic responses. Once your immune system labels a substance as potentially harmful, it’s primed to overreact in its presence.

Substances that frequently cause allergic reactions include:

    • Airborne particles: pet dander, dust mites, pollen, and molds
    • Drugs: penicillin and other antibiotics
    • Foods: eggs, fish, milk, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts, and wheat
    • Insect venom: from bees, fire ants, spiders, wasps, and other stinging insects


  • Latex: and other synthetics


How are allergies diagnosed?

To diagnose your allergies, Dr. Aref performs a couple tests.

Skin test

In the skin test, Dr. Aref places a small amount of a suspected allergen just under the surface of your skin. If a hive forms, you are probably allergic to that substance.

Blood test

A subsequent blood test measures the presence of allergy-related antibodies that are analyzed in a laboratory for links to specific allergens.

Dr. Aref reviews your allergic history and may ask you to keep a detailed allergy diary to help isolate foods, substances, and medicines that aggravate your allergies.

What treatment options are available for allergies?

Managing your allergies requires a trio of preventions and interventions.

Avoid the allergens

Once you know what causes an allergic response, remove it from your environment and steer clear of it in your daily travels.

Treat the symptoms

Antihistamines, decongestants, corticosteroids, and other drugs can relieve allergic outbreaks.

Tame the immune system

Injecting purified allergen extracts can diminish or even eliminate your body’s reaction to allergens. Known as immunotherapy, it typically takes 3-5 years to see optimal results.

If allergies are interfering with your ability to lead a productive and enjoyable life, Dr. Aref can end your suffering with a range of medications and therapeutic options. Call or book online today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Aref.