Conditions Treated

ALLERGIC RHINITIS

  • Inflammation of the nasal passages resulting in sneezing, itching, congestion, runny nose and drainage in the throat.
  • Increased incidence with personal or family history of asthma, eczema or allergies.
  • Allergic rhinitis is the nasal reaction to allergens.
  • Some allergens are year round (dust and pets) and some are seasonal (pollens and mold).
  • These allergens can also affect the eyes, throat and ears.
  • Contributes to other diseases (Asthma, Sinusitis, Recurrent ear infections, Headache, Chronic cough, Throat clearing usually due to post-nasal drip, Fatigue, etc.) and affects quality of life.
  • Allergists help identify allergens, customize treatment and administer allergy injections.

NON-ALLERGIC RHINITIS

  • Symptoms similar to allergic rhinitis but with no known allergic cause.
  • Triggers are weather changes and irritants (Smoke, Dust, Strong odors,Fragrances, Hair spray, etc.).
  • Allergist help rule out allergy as a cause and customize treatment options.

RECURRENT EAR INFECTIONS

  • Allergies can contribute to recurrent ear infections and Eustachian tube dysfunction.
  • Controlling nasal symptoms can decrease ear infections and allow for better function of the Eustachian tube.
  • Although Ear, Nose & Throat specialists may still be needed, treatment of allergies may reduce the need for surgical intervention.
  • Allergists help identify allergens and customize treatment to improve symptoms which can possibly prevent the need for surgical intervention.

SINUSITIS

  • Inflammation of the lining of the sinuses and nose.
  • Acute sinusitis is typically caused by viral infections but can also be caused by bacterial and fungal infections.
  • Symptoms include: nasal congestion and blockage, thick yellow-green discharge from the nose, pain in the teeth and face, fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty or inability to smell, ear pressure or fullness, headache and bad breath.
  • Sometimes allergies contribute to recurrent acute and chronic sinusitis.
  • Allergies cause chronic inflammation which can increase the risk for sinusitis when left untreated.
  • If allergies are well controlled, sinus infections may decrease without any other intervention, including surgery.
  • Allergists help to identify allergens and customize treatment which can decrease the need for recurrent antibiotic treatment as well as possibly preventing any surgical intervention.

IMMUNODEFICIENCY

  • Warning signs of immunodeficiency include:
  1. Eight or more new ear infections in a year.
  2. Two or more serious sinus infections in a year.
  3. Two or more months on antibiotics with little effect.
  4. Two or more pneumonias within a year.
  5. Failure of infant to gain weight or grow normally.
  6. Recurrent, deep skin or organ abscesses.
  7. Persistent thrush in the mouth or elsewhere on skin after age one.
  8. Need for IV antibiotics to clear infections.
  9. Two or more deep-seated infections.
  10. A family history of primary immunodeficiency.
  • Most common immunodeficiency is IgA deficiency which occurs in 1 out of 500 people.
  • Although most primary immunodeficiency is present from birth, combined variable immunodeficiency can occur later in life causing recurrent infections in the adult population.
  • Allergists customize treatment after using specialized laboratory testing to diagnose immunodeficiency.

ASTHMA

  • Lung disease caused by narrowing of airways in the lungs which can be partially or completely reversible.
  • Asthma causes excessive mucus production and inflammation in the airways which can be reversible if treated early.
  • Symptoms include Coughing, Wheezing, Chest Congestion/Tightness and Shortness of Breath.
  • Asthma triggers are numerous but include allergens, viral infections, irritants such as smoke exposure, and weather.
  • Controlling asthma involves identifying and avoiding triggers as much as possible.
  • A family history of asthma increases the risk of developing asthma.
  • Asthma can be either intermittent or persistent. Sometimes, chronic cough can be the sole manifestation of asthma.
  • Most patients with asthma should be able to participate in all activities and function normally with proper management.
  • Asthma medications include both controller medications and rescue medications.
  • Allergists help identify triggers, perform pulmonary function and skin testing, customize treatment plan (medications and asthma action plan development) and monitor progress.

CHRONIC COUGH

  • Cough can be acute (lasting for a few days) or chronic (lasting for weeks).
  • Chronic cough can be caused by a variety of conditions. The most common cause in children is from asthma while the most common cause for adults is from Post-nasal drip syndrome (allergens and irritants), Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Habit and ACE inhibitors (blood pressure medications).
  • Chronic cough can interfere with daily activities, sleep and bladder control in females.
  • There is a need for specific causes to be identified in order to eliminate and treat chronic cough.
  • Allergists help identify causes to facilitate treatment options or initiate further investigations.

ECZEMA

  • Inflammatory skin condition with dry patches that causes skin to itch and flake.
  • There are allergic and non-allergic forms of eczema.
  • Chronic eczema can affect quality of life due to the intensity of the itching and sleep interference.
  • Uncontrolled eczema can lead to skin infection including Methicillinresistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA).
  • If eczema begins in early childhood, it typically improves with age though can persist for many years.
  • When eczema begins in adulthood, it may be more chronic (long-lasting).
  • Eczema results in an itch-scratch cycle that continues and worsens. Antihistamines can be helpful to break this cycle.
  • Allergists help identify triggers including environmental and food allergens that may be contributing to uncontrolled eczema. Allergists can prescribe medications and teach proper skin hydration techniques to control eczema.

CONTACT DERMATITIS

  • Inflammation of the skin caused by contact with a substance containing an allergen or irritant such as plants (poison ivy and poison oak), cosmetics, metals and fragrances.
  • Allergists help identify causes by taking detailed history and performing patch testing.

HIVES

  • Hives are raised, red welts of various sizes that are typically itchy.
  • In some instances, hives are associated with swelling. (Angioedema).
  • Hives can be acute (lasting for a few hours or days) or chronic (lasting for six weeks or longer).
  • Acute hives are commonly caused by an overreaction to foods, drugs, insect stings or infections. Most cases of Chronic hives, the cause cannot be found (Idiopathic Urticaria).
  • Finding the cause, avoiding the trigger and early treatment is recommended.
  • Although many times a specific cause is not identified, safe effective treatment options are available.
  • Allergists help identify causes by taking detailed history, ordering special laboratory tests and customizing treatment plan.

ANGIOEDEMA

  • A condition that causes swelling of tissue under the skin.
  • Can be life threatening if it involves the airway.
  • A common cause of angioedema is an allergic reaction to foods, medication, contact allergen, insect sting or exercise.
  • There is also a condition known as hereditary angioedema that causes recurrent angioedema.
  • Allergists help identify causes, customize treatment plan and manage symptoms.

FOOD ALLERGY

  • An immune system response to food resulting in an allergic reaction that can involve skin, gastrointestinal, respiratory and cardiovascular systems.
  • Most commonly caused by milk, egg, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish.
  • Any type of food can potentially cause an allergic reaction.
  • Reactions can range from very mild hives to a life-threatening reaction (Anaphylaxis) involving the respiratory or cardiovascular system.
  • Identifying and avoiding the foods that cause reactions is of paramount importance.
  • Identification is by history with confirmatory skin testing or blood testing with interpretation by an allergist.
  • Clinical trials for oral food desensitization are underway
  • Some patients may require oral food challenges to confirm safety of food reintroduction.
  • Allergists help identify the offending food or foods, educate about avoidance, train the patient on when and how to use epinephrine auto-injector and educate family and schools about the patient’s specific food allergies.

EOSINOPHILIC ESOPHAGITIS

  • Condition in which eosinophils build up in the esophagus resulting in inflammation and tissue damage.
  • Although the definite cause has not been established, food allergies may play a role in this inflammation and disease.
  • Symptoms include food sticking, trouble swallowing, heartburn, feeding problems in young children, nausea and vomiting.
  • Diagnosis is confirmed by performing an endoscopy with biopsy revealing elevated eosinophils in the esophagus.
  • Allergists help identify the possible role of food allergies in patients diagnosed with Eosinophilic Esophagitis and work with a gastroenterologist in managing the disease.

INSECT STING HYPERSENSITIVITY

  • An adverse allergic reaction to the venom of stinging insects including honey bee, hornets, yellow jackets, wasps and fire ants.
  • Insect stings can cause severe life threatening reactions and are difficult to avoid.
  • Symptoms that are life threatening include shortness of breath, chest tightness, wheezing, flushing, hypotension (dizziness and/or lightheadedness), vomiting and nausea.
  • Children less than 16 years of age, with only skin reactions (hives) are not at a higher risk of developing severe reactions so testing or treatment may not be required.
  • Adults with skin reactions (hives) have an increased risk of further lifethreatening reactions and should be tested and treated.
  • Although having and using an epinephrine auto-injector is important, patients need to be tested and treated in order to prevent any further reactions.
  • The standard of care is venom immunotherapy, commonly known as allergy shots.
  • Venom immunotherapy decreases the likelihood of an allergic reaction from re-stings by 95-99%.
  • Allergists help identify venom hypersensitivity and administer venom immunotherapy.

DRUG ALLERGY

  • An adverse allergic reaction to a medication.
  • There are two major types of drug reactions: Immediate and Delayed.
  • Immediate reactions include hives, flushing, swelling, throat tightness, wheezing, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, feeling light-headed and other symptoms.
  • Immediate reactions can be life-threatening.
  • Delayed reactions are typically less serious and result in a rash that can occur days after taking a medication.
  • Delayed reactions are generally not life-threatening.
  • Allergists help identify drug allergies through skin testing, blood testing and oral challenges so that patients may continue to use medication safely.

ALLERGY SKIN TESTING

  • Utilizes manufactured extracts and fresh foods containing common allergens to identify allergies.
  • Involves a mild prick or scratch on the skin that does not cause bleeding or pain for the patient.
  • A positive result will cause a bump and redness (similar to a mosquito bite) and usually develops within 15 minutes.
  • Testing is typically done on the arm or back.
  • Sometimes additional intradermal testing (injection of a tiny amount of extract just under the skin) may be needed.
  • Skin testing is available for many foods and environmental allergens and is typically less costly, quicker and more reliable than blood testing.
  • Allergists perform and interpret skin testing in the office to help diagnosis and manage allergic conditions.

ALLERGY SHOTS

  • Injections that are given to reduce sensitivity to allergens (also known as Allergy Immunotherapy or Desensitization).
  • Available for pollens (grasses, trees and weeds), cat, dog, dust mite, molds and stinging insects (honey bee, hornets, wasps, yellow jacket and fire ant).
  • The goal is to improve quality of life by controlling allergy symptoms while decreasing medication usage.
  • Usually administered for a minimum of 3-5 years with a range from weekly to monthly injections.
  • Improves control of asthma in patients with allergen-induced asthma.
  • Cannot be used to treat allergies related to food, latex or medications.
  • Allergists help determine if allergy shots are appropriate for a patient, create customized allergy extracts for each patient, administer allergy shots, treat any adverse reactions and monitor efficacy of allergy immunotherapy.