Long Island's Best Allergist
The Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology team at Heart and Health Medical is led by renowned award-winning Allergist & Immunologist Dr. Luis Guida Jr. one of the most recognized medical authorities of Allergy & Immunology care in Long Island. Dr. Guida and The Allergy & Immunology team at Heart and Health Medical have 36 years of experience providing Allergy care for the Long Island Community in four locations; Massapequa, Coram, North Babylon, and Plainview.
36 Years of Experience
Accepts Most Health Insurances
Award-Winning & Recognized Medical Leader
Board Certified Allergist & Immunologist
Four Convenient Long Island Locations
Top-Rated Allergist & Immunologist In New York
Louis E Guida, Jr. MD, FCCP, FAAAAI, FACAAI
Board Certified in Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, Pediatrics
Dr. Guida’s hospital affiliations are Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip, New York, and St. Charles Hospital, Port Jefferson, New York. He is an adjunct clinical assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. He is the Medical Director of the adult and pediatric Cystic Fibrosis Programs and the Family Asthma and Allergy Center at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, American College of Chest Physicians and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
- Adult & Pediatric Asthma
- Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center
- St. Charles Hospital
Fellowships & Memberships
- Fellow of The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
- Fellow of The American Academy of Pediatrics
- Fellow of The American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
- Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians
- New York Allergy Society
- Long Island Allergy Asthma Society
- Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
- American Medical Association
Allergy Symptoms, Diagnosis, & Treatment
Understanding Allergies: How They Affect Your Immune System
Allergies are among the most prevalent chronic health conditions globally, ranging from mild discomfort to potentially life-threatening reactions. An allergy is essentially a misdirected response of the immune system, which normally protects us against harmful invaders such as viruses and bacteria.
In the case of an allergy, the immune system mistakenly identifies a typically harmless substance as a threat. This substance is known as an allergen. The immune system’s overreaction to this perceived invader involves the production of Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. These antibodies seek out and attach to certain cells, triggering them to release histamine and other chemicals. It’s this release of chemicals that leads to the various symptoms associated with an allergic reaction.
The complexity and intensity of allergy symptoms can vary widely, but understanding this basic mechanism is key to recognizing and effectively managing allergies.
The Three Primary Types of Allergens and Allergy Testing Explained
Allergies are triggered by various substances known as allergens, which can be classified into three primary types:
Inhaled Allergens: These allergens enter the body through inhalation and affect the lungs or the membranes in the nostrils or throat. A common example is pollen, widely recognized as a major trigger of seasonal allergies.
Ingested Allergens: These are allergens found in certain foods. Common ingested allergens include peanuts, soy, and seafood, which can cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.
Contact Allergens: These allergens must directly touch the skin to cause a reaction. Contact with substances like poison ivy, for instance, can lead to a rash and itching.
To diagnose allergies, allergy tests are conducted. These tests typically involve exposing a small area of your skin to a very tiny amount of a specific allergen and observing the body’s reaction. This process helps in identifying which substances you are allergic to, enabling effective management of your allergies.
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, allergies impact over 50 million people in the USA, making them a significant health concern. Among various types of allergies, inhaled allergens are the most common. Seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever — an allergic response to pollen — affect more than 40 million Americans.
Allergy testing is a crucial step in identifying the specific allergens that trigger your reactions. These tests can pinpoint allergens ranging from pollens and molds to other environmental substances. Understanding your specific allergens can help in determining the right treatment approach, which may include medications or lifestyle changes to avoid triggers.
Typically, allergy tests involve exposing the skin to various allergens and observing the reaction. Common reactions include mild itching, redness, swelling, and the formation of small bumps known as wheals. These symptoms usually resolve within a few hours to days, and mild topical steroid creams can help alleviate discomfort.
While rare, it’s important to be aware that allergy tests can sometimes trigger a severe allergic reaction that requires immediate medical attention. This underscores the importance of conducting allergy tests under professional supervision in a controlled environment.
Types of Allergy Tests
Allergen immunotherapy, commonly known as allergy shots, is an effective long-term treatment option for individuals suffering from allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, conjunctivitis (eye allergy), or stinging insect allergies. This therapy is designed to decrease sensitivity to specific allergens, offering a path to significant and lasting relief from allergy symptoms.
The principle behind allergy shots is to gradually accustom the body to allergens, thereby reducing the immune system’s overreaction. Over time, this treatment can lead to a noticeable decrease in allergy symptoms and may also reduce the need for regular allergy medications.
One of the most compelling advantages of allergy shots is their potential to provide lasting symptom relief even after the treatment has concluded. This extended benefit makes allergen immunotherapy a cost-effective and appealing treatment option for many people seeking long-term management of their allergies.