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Dr. Fourth, Silvia

Experta en Al·lergologia i Immunologia.

No. registered: 080856300

Doctor Specialist in Allergology and Clinical Immunology Graduated in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Rome (Italy). Specialist in Allergology and Clinical Immunology from the University of Rome (Italy). Researcher in the research project on food allergy induced by cofactor, carried out with the Allergology team of the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona. Author of numerous scientific publications in Clinical Immunology and Allergology. Speaker at national and international conferences.

When to go to an allergist?

Allergy is the most common disease of the immune system. It consists of an inflammatory reaction to harmless agents present in inhaled air (pollen, dust, flowers), pets, food and drugs.

A person can develop an allergy (or more than one) at any age and the symptoms they can have are very variable: red eyes, itchy and stuffy nose, frequent sneezing, cough, nausea, diarrhea, itchy mouth, itchy skin , urticaria (appearance of red itchy bumps on the skin). Having just one of these symptoms, at any age and at any time of the year (not just in spring), is a valid reason to undergo an allergological visit.


Skin tests (battery of inhalants and food)
Epicutaneous tests (battery of contacts)
In vitro study (blood test)

How is the allergy treated?

The allergist, after a series of tests and precise questions, is able, in most cases, to identify the agent responsible for the allergic reaction. Whenever possible, he will advise the patient to avoid the agent in question, achieving complete disappearance of symptoms.

However, many times, as in the case of dust mite allergy, it is virtually impossible to completely avoid exposure to the responsible allergen. The allergist's task, in these cases, is to prescribe an appropriate treatment based on antihistamines and nasal spray, so that the patient is asymptomatic even in the presence of the allergen involved.

If, despite adequate treatment, remission of symptoms is not obtained, the allergist may resort to a personalized treatment, specific immunotherapy, also known as a vaccine.

Specific immunotherapy is a treatment designed to modulate the patient's immune response, making it able to tolerate the agent responsible for the allergic reaction.

What are panallergens and cross-reactions?

Some allergenic proteins in pollen are also found in plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables. This means that a person allergic to one of these proteins, known as panallergens, can have an allergic reaction to both inhaling a pollen and ingesting a food.

Panallergens do not only abound in the plant world. For example, a common panallergen has been identified in house dust mites and crustaceans.

This explains why a patient allergic to grass pollen may experience oral itching when eating melon or why a patient allergic to dust mites may experience gastrointestinal distress after ingesting crustaceans. These are the so-called “allergic cross-reactions.”

The most common panallergen in the Mediterranean area is LTP (lipid carrier protein) which, being thermostable and gastroresistant, is not degraded by cooking and digestion processes, so it is responsible for systemic reactions of sometimes very serious.

It is really important to evaluate, using molecular diagnostic techniques, if we are dealing with sensitization to a panallergen. Having this information allows the allergist to offer the patient personalized help, based on targeted recommendations and highly specific immunotherapies.

Frequently asked questions

What is asthma?
Asthma is characterized by a feeling of suffocation and wheezing in the chest. It has a low mortality rate but it affects more and more people in the Western world. Among its causes, industrialization and food additives are usually cited.
What is allergic rhinitis and rhinoconjunctivitis?
Caused by pollen, it manifests itself with sneezing, mucus, nasal obstruction and red eyes.
What are atopies?

They are atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, urticaria and angioedema, which are manifested by swelling of the eyelids and lips, among others.

What are the treatments for allergies?
Allergy treatment always consists of avoiding the antigen that produces it, such as fungi, mites and pollens, in combination with symptom relief.

There is also immunotherapy or allergy shots, in which small doses of pollen or mites are injected.

How do antihistamines work?
Antihistamines relieve the main allergy symptoms, such as itching, runny nose, sneezing, and conjunctivitis. They are effective in the treatment of all types of allergies.
How can I relieve nasal congestion?
Some antihistamines include decongestants in their composition. In addition, you can also resort to natural products, such as saline solutions of sea water.

La informació present a la web no reemplaça si no complementa la relació metge-pacient. En cas de dubte consulti amb el metge de referència. Alguns dels productes i proves diagnòstiques requereixen prescripció mèdica.