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Environmental Allergies

The allergy specialists at UPMC in central Pa. offer diagnostic testing and treatment for children and adults with indoor and outdoor environmental allergies.

Why choose UPMC in Central Pa. for environmental allergy treatment?

Our specialists provide comprehensive treatment for environmental allergies. We offer a full range of diagnostic and treatment services to help you understand and manage your allergies, including:

Diagnostic Tests for Environmental Allergies

  • Skin testing. Skin testing, also called scratch testing, exposes your skin to small amounts of allergy-causing substances (allergens) and can identify environmental allergy triggers, such as pollen, dust mites, pets, and mold.
  • Blood tests. Blood tests measure the amount of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies in your blood that are specific to certain allergens. Although blood tests are not as exact as skin tests, your doctor may use them in combination with skin tests to diagnose and treat your allergy.

Medications for Environmental Allergies

  • Medications may be able to help control your allergy symptoms or prevent symptoms from occurring. Before you take any allergy medication, you should ask your doctor if it is safe for you.

Allergen Immunotherapy (Allergy Shots) for Environmental Allergies

  • If other allergy treatments do not work for you, your doctor may recommend allergy shots. Allergy shots are injections that contain a small dose of certain allergens, or substances that trigger allergic reactions. The shots are given at regular intervals to prevent or reduce allergic reactions. With each shot, your health care provider will increase the dose of allergens. This helps your immune system get used to the allergens and may eventually cause your allergy symptoms to decrease.

Patient Education for Environmental Allergies

  • Our specialists provide the education and information you need to understand and manage your environmental allergies, including recommendations on how you can avoid allergy triggers and prevent allergic reactions.

What are environmental allergies?

Environmental allergies occur when your body has an immune reaction to an otherwise-harmless substance in your surroundings. Environmental allergies can be caused by physical contact with the substance or by inhaling the substance during everyday activities.

Substances that trigger these immune reactions are called allergens. Some outdoor allergens are more common during certain times of the year and cause seasonal allergy symptoms — which are sometimes called “hay fever.”

Common environmental allergens include:

  • Dust mites
  • Molds
  • Pets
  • Pollens (grass, tree, and weed)

What are the symptoms of environmental allergies?

Symptoms of environmental allergies are caused by your body’s immune reaction to the allergen and usually continue for as long as you are exposed to the allergen. Symptoms may include::

  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Eye problems, such as redness, watering, itching, or swelling
  • Itchy skin or nose
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Rhinitis/nasal congestion
  • Sneezing or a runny nose
  • Wheezing, coughing, or shortness of breath

Who is at risk for environmental allergies?

You may be at a higher risk of developing environmental allergies if someone else in your family has environmental allergies, or if you have asthma or another allergic condition.

How can I prevent environmental allergies?

Although there is nothing you can do to prevent the allergy itself, you may be able to prevent allergic reactions by avoiding allergy triggers and following your doctor’s advice regarding allergy treatment.



UPMC Allergy and Immunology
Located at UPMC Outpatient Center
21 Waterford Drive
Mechanicsburg, PA 17050

Phone: 717-988-9180
Fax: 717-775-5723

Specialty Care ENT – UPMC
250 Fame Avenue
Suite 201, (Entrance A)
Hanover, PA 17331

Phone: 717-633-9229
Fax: 717-633-5552

Specialty Care ENT – UPMC
508 S. Washington Street
Gettysburg, PA 17325

Phone: 717-334-8171
Fax: 717-334-8172


Need more information?

Many of our providers offer video visits. Call the office or schedule via your patient portal.

Phone: 717-988-9180

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