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All posts by Dr. Fadia Habib-Khazen

5 things to know about children allergies!

Allergies affect us all a little bit differently. Perhaps you grew up with an allergy, or maybe discovered some along the way. Early detection of allergies in children is always best, as it helps you, are parents, prepare for the situation and understand exactly what is happening with your child. There’s nothing worse than seeing your child sick or suffer from a reaction without knowing what’s causing it. That’s why it is so important for you to know more about pediatric allergic rhinitis and other symptoms. The more you know about children allergies, the better off you can treat your child and be there for them, should they ever experience an allergic reaction.

What is Pediatric Allergic Rhinitis?

The symptoms attached to this are likely familiar to you. When suffering from it, there is an inflammation of the mucous membrane within the nose. This leads to a stuffy or runny nose, sneezing and even a post-nasal drip. These kind of symptoms are some of the most common allergic reactions. If your child begins to suffer from these symptoms and yet it is not cold and flu season, or they don’t have any other displays of a cold, there’s a good chance they are suffering an allergic reaction. These kinds of reactions are common when allergic to pets (such as cats), or if there’s a mind allergy to certain foods.

Allergic Rhinitis and Other Symptoms

In more extreme cases, pediatric allergic rhinitis may also lead to some coughing, itching and headaches. Your child may suffer from puffy, itchy or watery eyes as the mucus membranes do run through the eyes.

These symptoms are also common during allergy season, when pollen and dust are present. When your child first displays these kinds of symptoms it is highly recommended to come in and have an allergy test performed. This way, it’s possible to not only determine whether or not the symptoms are caused by an allergy, but what the allergy may be.

One in 13 Children Have Food Allergies

Food allergies are a growing commonality. It occurs when the immune system sees a specific food as a threat and responds to the new danger. In many cases, it is possible to slowly expose the body to certain foods over a long period of time in order to reduce, or completely eliminate the symptom. The most common food allergies children experience revolve around peanuts, milk, eggs, tree nuts (like walnuts), wheat, soy, fish and shellfish (shrimp, lobster and crab).

Children Food Allergies

Allergies to soy, milk and eggs are some of the more common allergies children may outgrow. However, allergies to peanuts, shellfish, tree nuts and fish are allergies, according to Kids With Food Allergies (2017) are less likely to grow out of.

Steps in Avoiding Reactions

Both you and your child want to avoid allergic reactions. No matter how much your child might want to enjoy the ice cream or scrambled eggs, if there is an allergy to these foods the reactions can vary from mild to life threatening. This is why it is important for your child to be tested for allergies in order to see what foods bring the highest level of risk. After discovering how certain foods affect your child, it is then necessary to take steps in order to avoid reactions.

The top priority for avoiding allergies, if food based, are reading labels. Knowing how to read food labels is important. Most foods indicate whether or not there are peanuts, soy, milk, eggs or other common allergy based foods within the product. However, whenever buying a new kind of food it is always important to read the ingredients. When at restaurants, it’s necessary to ask about what ingredients are used in foods. Restaurants are required to provide these answers when regards to allergies.

For allergies connected to dust, dander and pollen, maintaining a clean house is important, as is regular dusting and vacuuming. Changing out the filters within the vacuum helps prevent dirt from being kicked back into the air. It’s also important to invest in high-quality air filters for the home’s HVAC system.

Above everything else, the best way to avoid reactions is to educate your child on how to manage their allergies. The younger you start with your child, the earlier they will grasp the concept of allergies. It is also important to teach your child how to use the epinephrine auto injector if they are having an allergic reaction.

Know Your Child’s Allergies

You would do anything for your child. You want to keep them safe and pain free, which is why understanding their allergies is very important. That is why you need to have your child tested early on for allergies, especially if they show signs of pediatric allergic rhinitis or other common symptoms of allergies.


Gluten-Free Diet: Alternatives to Wheat in Menu Planning

If you suffer from celiac disease or a milder form of wheat intolerance allergy, planning a menu can become significantly more difficult. However, with growing numbers of people reporting some level of food allergy symptoms (wheat & being allergic to peanuts being quite common), it’s becoming easier than ever to eat well without feeling too restricted.

Gluten Free Oats

Cutting Out the Wheat when allergic to wheat

Here are some alternatives to wheat to build a healthy, delicious, and gluten-free diet around. And of course, we recommend that you see a gastroenterologist as well, since these doctors specialize in celiac disease and are the best ones to diagnose it.

Rice Flour

Rice flour is an excellent alternative to traditional wheat-based flours. This fine, starchy flour can thicken sauces and soups and is also a great substitute for using in baked goods. Just like wheat flour, rice flour’s mild flavor will not overpower your dish.

Corn Tortillas

In Arizona, corn tortillas and authentic Mexican tortillas can be found everywhere, at any grocery store. Plus, these easy-to-find snacks are extremely affordable. Corn tortillas are a great alternative to flour-based wraps and breads. The sweet, earthy flavor complements just about anything, so you needn’t stick to eating these only when making Tex-Mex food!

Baked Tortilla Chips

Baked Tortilla ChipsTortilla chips are a delicious gluten-free snack on their own. With a bowl of salsa or guacamole on the side, you can have a yummy snack that will satisfy your cravings. Tortilla chips are also extremely versatile in the gluten-free kitchen. Crushed tortilla chips make an excellent breading alternative for dishes like fried chicken and coconut shrimp. Plus, ground tortilla chips can work as a thickening agent for sauces and soups while offering a slightly sweeter flavor than flour.

Quinoa Pasta

Up until recently, those who avoided gluten had a difficult time finding an alternative to wheat pasta in the grocery store. However, quinoa pasta is now widely available in major outlets across the country. Quinoa pasta requires about the same cooking time as traditional wheat pasta, and its flavor and texture is basically indistinguishable from the original.

Brown Rice

Brown rice is an excellent and nutrient-rich alternative to gluten-filled side dishes. You can enjoy brown rice on its own or use flour produced from it to make breads and pastas.


PopcornPopcorn is a delicious gluten-free snack that is extremely filling without necessarily being heavy on the fat and sugar. With just a little salt and olive oil, a big bowl of popcorn can be deeply satisfying.

Tamari Sauce

Many people are unaware that soy sauce contains gluten, which when combined with the ubiquitous noodles can make Chinese food a minefield for wheat allergy sufferers. Luckily, there is an alternative to soy sauce called tamari. Like soy sauce, tamari adds deliciously savory ‘umami’ flavor to any dish, yet contains no gluten whatsoever. If you’re an avid sushi or oriental food lover, tamari will be your new best friend.

Gluten-Free Oats

If you like your morning oatmeal, gluten-free oats provide the same texture and flavor as the traditional version. Plus, these oats can serve other purposes as well. For instance, if your meatloaf recipe calls for breadcrumbs, gluten-free oats make an excellent substitute.

Suffering from a wheat allergy can make life complicated in the kitchen, but if you want to avoid the unpleasant or dangerous symptoms, then it’s essential to cut out gluten completely. Luckily, these days there are many alternatives, and so there’s no need to feel your enjoyment of food is being restricted by your dietary requirements.

By the way, if you, or your loved one are needing food allergy testing, please contact one of our local Phoenix Metro offices for an appointment with one of our allergy specialists!


Truth or Fact? Cat fur does not cause allergies

Cat Fur and Allergies

Allergies to Cat Fur- Cat Allergies symptoms and treatment

A Scottsdale cat causing Allergies?? It can’t be!

There’s no doubt about it, our pets are like family. But when they cause our allergies to flare up, one nuzzle can turn into a total nightmare. While some aren’t the most ideal, there are ways to manage your allergies and asthma without getting rid of the household cat.

Understanding Pet Allergies: Causes and Symptoms

It’s a common misconception that cat fur causes allergies, when in actuality it is the animal’s dander (flakes of skin) and saliva. Kids and adults can develop an allergy at any time through exposure to the animal.

If you experience one or more of the following symptoms after hanging around a cat, you may be allergic.

  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Skin rash or hives
  • Trouble breathing (pet allergies can exacerbate asthma)

Top 5 Ways to Reduce Cat Allergies

1. Restrict the cat’s access to the allergy sufferer’s living areas, particularly their bedroom and bed. Do not allow the cat on the furniture. Keep the bedroom and bathroom doors shut at all times.

2. Consider installing new flooring, such as tile or hardwood. It’s not the most economical solution, but carpet is the enemy when it comes to accumulated dander and should be avoided at all costs.

3. Clean often. This goes for nearly all surfaces (we never said managing the allergy would be easy). Wash bedding in hot water and wipe down tabletops and shelves where dander can settle. Most importantly, wash your hands after petting the cat.

4. Use a High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance (HEPA) air purifier. At the very least, this should be used in the bedroom, though a home-wide filter would be best. HEPA filters will remove particles and contaminants from the air, making it clean and safe to breathe.

5. Make an appointment with Dr Habib or Dr Alasaly who are licensed allergy specialists who will discuss the prevention and management of your asthma and allergies.

6. Get diagnostic testing for these symptoms. You may need corticosteroids or—in more severe cases—immunotherapy. We can take care of all of it in one visit by doing allergy testing at any of our local Arizona allergy clinics.

Because we have such emotional attachments to animals, it’s not always as simple as getting rid of the family cat. In fact, many veterinarians and pet care professionals suffer from dander-induced allergies yet are still able to keep them at bay by taking the proper precautions.

Your allergies should never rule the house—that’s the cat’s job.


Is there a Connection Between Allergies & Asthma?

Is there a Connection Between Allergies & Asthma?

Allergy induced Asthma: What is allergic asthma?

Asthma is a chronic medical condition that causes inflammation and narrowing ofAllergy Induced Asthma bronchial tubes, making it hard to breathe. The medical community commonly divides asthma into two types, extrinsic or allergic asthma, which commonly develops in childhood, and intrinsic, including exercise-induced asthma, cough-variant asthma and nighttime asthma. Allergies and asthma go hand-in-hand, with approximately 90% of children and 50% of adults with asthma also afflicted with allergies.

What makes allergic asthma different from other types are its triggers. Symptoms develop from allergens. Whereas some patients may experience runny nose and itchy eyes from allergens, others experience the coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath that comes with asthma. Once you have asthma, you never get rid of it, although it can go into remission. Thus, your Phoenix allergy and asthma clinic can help you achieve a better quality of life by helping find ways for you to manage this chronic disease.

Allergens that you breathe into your lungs can cause asthmatic symptoms. Among the most common allergens producing asthma are:

  • Molds and dust mites
  • Pollen
  • Animal dander
  • Cockroaches

Certain irritants can also trigger an asthma attack, even though they are not allergens. Exposure to cigarette smoke, candles, fireworks, chemicals, strong odors and perfumes and even cold air can cause your asthma to flare up.

Learning what substances you are allergic to is an essential step in managing this condition. Confirmation of allergic asthma to determine what substances trigger your symptoms is usually performed by a skin test. Upon learning whether seasonal or year-round allergies trigger your asthma, you and your doctor can for a plan to alleviate symptoms. In addition to prescription bronchiodilators, allergic asthma can also be controlled by oral medications, immunotherapy and by avoiding allergens as much as possible


Allergist or PCP-Which is the right way to go if you have allergies?

How do you know whether to go to an allergy specialist or your primary care doctor?

Allergist vs PCP -Which-Is-Better

Wondering why repeated visits to your Primary Care Physician for allergies and asthma aren’t giving you the relief you hoped for? Asthma and allergies often occur together, resulting in a variety of symptoms ranging from itchy eyes and runny nose to skin reactions, shortness of breath, wheezing, and chest tightness (asthma). This type of allergy-induced asthma can be challenging to manage. If you aren’t finding relief from symptoms with the help of your PCP, a visit to our great allergy and asthma clinic may be just what the doctor ordered (or just what the doctor should order…).

PCPs are a great jumping off point, but an allergy and asthma clinic can help you land safely…

PCPs are trained to help with an array of daily health problems, without specialization in any particular illness, body system, or organ. They are often the first line of care for health issues interrupting your life. Although a great place to start on your healthcare journey, a certified specialist can offer a wider variety of prevention and treatment options for improving your quality of life.

What makes our allergy and asthma clinic so special?

In a word, specialists! The specialists at your local Adult and Pediatric Allergy Associates, P.C. have specialized education and training which allows them to offer further insight into your treatment condition, as well as better management options for keeping your symptoms under control. This includes at least nine years of training and a two year fellowship specifically focused on allergic or lung diseases, as well as training in diagnostics and equipment specifically designed to detect and monitor allergies an asthma, essential tools in addressing these chronic healthcare issues.

When its time to call us…

  • You are having difficulty with the daily management of allergy and asthma symptoms.
  • You suffer chronic congestion and sinus infections or frequent asthma attacks.
  • You frequently struggle to catch your breath or feel chest tightness.
  • You often wheeze and cough – especially at night or after exercise.
  • You find yourself frequently missing work (and life) as a result of allergy and asthma symptoms.
  • You suffer hay fever/allergies several months out of the year.
  • OTC medicines are creating unwanted side effects.
  • Your difficulty controlling symptoms has resulted in urgent care hospitalization.
  • You have other health conditions in addition to asthma.
  • You feel like your asthma and allergies are taking over your life.

How we can help you?

  • By identifying and helping you avoid allergens such as pollen, dust mites, dander, food and other unique allergy and asthma triggers with the help of allergy tests.
  • Immunotherapy (allergy shots).
  • Medications specially designed to treat both allergies and asthma.
  • Anti-immunoglobulin E (IgE) therapy.
  • And more.

Kick allergies to the curb with our help. Contact our office today for an appointment- we have allergy clinics Valley-wide to serve you!