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What are Allergies?

Allergies occur when your immune system reacts to things like pollen, foods, medications, and insect bites. They can be mild and bothersome (itchy eyes and runny nose) to severe and life threatening (trouble breathing).

Learn about food allergies in children

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Our Approach

Because the immune system is involved in allergies, many different parts of the body may be affected including the skin, eyes, nose and the intestines.  This can result in allergic rhinitis (hay fever), urticaria (hives), eczema, and contact dermatitis (poison ivy for example). In addition, allergies can affect the lungs resulting in asthma.  UR Medicine allergist/immunologists are experts in allergy, asthma and immunology.  Our providers will evaluate and manage all aspects of this condition.

Evaluation and Diagnosis

Our specialists will perform a history and exam.  They may recommend testing to better identify what is causing your symptoms.  This could include skin testing and blood tests.  If they suspect asthma, breathing tests will be used to see how the lungs are working.



  • Corticosteroids: Nasal steroids like fluticasone act locally and decrease the inflammation (swelling) in the nose.  Topical steroids can be used to treat eczema.
  • Antihistamines: These medications block the effects of histamine, a substance in the body that causes many allergy symptoms like runny nose, itchy eyes and hives.  Diphenhydramine, cetirizine and loratadine are examples.  Some are available over the counter while others require a prescription.
  • Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy is commonly known as allergy injections.  Allergy symptoms can be reduced by slowly and carefully exposing your body to what you are allergic to.  This is done in a doctor’s office under careful monitoring.

Lifestyle Changes

Avoiding things in your environment that you are allergic to is an important part of your treatment.  Our providers will work with you to develop a personalized plan to help you avoid your triggers.

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What Sets Us Apart

Center of Excellence

The University of Rochester Medical Center has been designated a World Allergy Organization (WAO) center of excellence. According to the World Allergy Organization, “the University of Rochester WAO Allergy, Asthma, and Clinical Immunology Center of Excellence is a multidisciplinary group dedicated to providing excellence in patient care, basic and clinical research, innovations in health care delivery, and both professional and patient education.” 

Comprehensive Care for Both Allergies and Asthma

At UR Medicine Allergy/Immunology, we treat all types of allergies, including drug allergies, bee stings, and environmental allergies. We also provide comprehensive care for allergy-induced asthma.

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Our Providers

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UR Medicine Allergy/Immunology Locations

Phone: (585) 486-0930
Fax: (585) 340-5399

Part of Strong Memorial Hospital
125 Lattimore Road, Suite G-110
Rochester, NY 14620
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Part of Strong Memorial Hospital
99 Canal Landing Blvd—Suite 7
Rochester, NY 14626
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Part of Strong Memorial Hospital
Mary Parkes Center for Asthma, Allergy and Pulmonary Care
400 Red Creek Drive, Suite 220
Rochester, NY 14623
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Brockport – Strong West
Part of Strong Memorial Hospital
156 West Avenue, 3rd Floor
Brockport, NY 14420
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Part of Strong Memorial Hospital
7995 Call Parkway, Suite 100
Batavia NY 14020
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Part of FF Thompson Hospital
Thompson Professional Building
395 West Street, Suite 007
Canandaigua, NY 14424
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Patient Education and Support

If you have questions about your illness or medications, ask your doctor. You may also find these websites helpful.

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