Acute Illness/Treatment: We do our best to accommodate same day acute illness appointments. Although our concentration is in prevention of illness, we understand that at times there is a need to be seen right away. Colds/viruses and allergies are the number one and two reason why asthmatics become unstable. We are happy to see you when you need us most. Just call.
Allergy Testing: We use needle-less scratch testing that not only is less painful than intradermal testing but we believe it to be more accurate due to a reduced dermographic response which can lead to possible false positive results. We test for 58 of the most common airborne allergens and 50 food allergens. Allergy testing allows us to determine whether your symptoms are due to an allergic response or something different. If airborne testing is positive, we will come up with a treatment plan that is designed with your specific needs in mind.
Allergy Immunotherapy: The goal of Allergy Immunotherapy is the desensitization of your immune response to specific allergens, therefore, decreasing your dependency on allergy medication and reducing possible asthma exacerbations. Allergy testing identifies these allergens, then we use your specific testing results to mix allergy extract designed just for you. Allergy Immunotherapy is administered via subcutaneous injections. These are given on a weekly basis during the first 6 months of therapy or the buildup phase. After the buildup phase and you are tolerating the maintenance dose and concentration well, shots are then given every 1-2 weeks for a year, then eventually spread out to once monthly for a total of 5 years of therapy. When allergy shots are working well, you could see an improvement in your symptoms in as little as 3-6 months.
Asthma: Asthma kills 10 people in the United States EVERY DAY!
The number one reason why people die from their asthma is albuterol over use. This is when someone is using their albuterol, or short acting rescue inhaler, more than the recommended amount set by National Guidelines. If you are using your quick relief inhaler more than 2 times in one week, you are not controlled and you increase your risk of having an asthma attack.
Asthma is a chronic lung disease that affects more than 17 million Americans. Asthma is characterized by inflammation of the airways with intermittent bronchospasm. Bronchospasm is caused by the inflammation of the muscles surrounding the air passageways. The inflammation makes the airways smaller and therefore making it more difficult for air to move in and out of the lung. This creates the symptoms of asthma: Cough, chest tightness, shortness of breath and/or wheezing.
Asthma symptoms can be triggered by colds or viruses, allergies, medications, exercise, foods, reflux (GERD), sinusitis, emotions, stress, weather changes or strong odors/irritants.
Asthma can be ongoing (persistent) or reoccurring (intermittent). Asthma is also classified according to the severity of symptoms at the time of an attack. This can range from mild to severe. Symptoms can vary from day to day and even from hour to hour and can present as a cough, a wheeze or both. One misconception to asthma is that you have to wheeze. It is not necessary to have a wheeze to have a diagnosis of asthma. A cough, night time awakenings and/or limitations of daily activities or play are signs that you may have asthma and should be evaluated by a medical provider.
Asthma does not have to limit the activities that you want to do. We have Olympic athletics with asthma and with proper monitoring and treatment, your asthma does not have to control your life. If you have asthma, or think you have asthma, call us for an evaluation. We can teach you how to monitor and control your asthma so that you can breathe easy and live free.
Pulmonary Function Testing (PFT): We are equipped with in house pulmonary function testing and can provide you with results immediately. Anyone who has a complaint of cough, shortness of breath, trouble breathing or has a history of asthma should be checked. For in home monitoring, we recommend peak flow meters and will instruct you on their use.
Hives: Hives are not always caused by an allergic reaction. Hives, or urticaria, are frustrating and sometimes difficult to treat and a good number of the cases are often classified as “idiopathic”, meaning there is not a known cause. There are other reasons, however that you can develop hives without an allergic cause. Infections, parasites, autoimmune disorders, endocrine disorders and cancers are among the other factors that can cause hives. We take a through family history and patient history in evaluating hives. Allergy testing is one way to eliminate sources of hives, but if the testing proves to be negative, or does not correlate with your presenting history, other causes will be and should be considered. Medications that cause hives are considered allergic in nature and should be avoided to prevent further symptoms.
COPD: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the most common lung diseases. It makes it difficult to breathe. There are two main forms of COPD: Chronic bronchitis, which involves a long-term cough with mucus and emphysema, which involves destruction of the lungs over time. Most people with COPD have a combination of both conditions.
Smoking is the leading cause of COPD and the more a person smokes, the more likely that person will develop COPD. However, some people smoke for years and never get COPD. In rare cases, nonsmokers who lack a protein called alpha-1 antitrypsin can develop emphysema.
Symptoms of COPD are cough, with or without mucus, fatigue, recurrent upper respiratory infections, and shortness of breath that worsens with activity, trouble catching your breath and wheezing. COPD differs from asthma in that COPD is not reversible where as asthma is. There are some people who can have both COPD and asthma and will improve with stabilization of their asthma.
Because the symptoms of COPD develop slowly, some people may not know that they have COPD. If you suspect that you may have COPD, we can help with evaluation and treatment. We offer in office spirometry that helps in distinguishing what exactly is going on, the severity of the disease and together with your history, we can work together in developing a treatment plan to allow you to do the things you want to do without limitations.
Food Allergies: Food allergies can be evaluated in the same manner in which we evaluate airborne allergens. By simple, pain free scratch testing we are able to tell you immediately if you are allergic to a food. This is part of our basic screening panel for children, especially if they present with eczema, asthma and chronic ear infections.
Eczema: Eczema is an allergic reaction of the skin. Eczema can affect both children and adults and at times can be linked to a particular food. Avoidance of that food, if known can greatly improve symptoms. What we sometimes do not think about is the cross reactivity properties that food can have with the pollens we breathe in. Did you know that corn can cross react with grass? Ragweed can cross react with melons and you may be able to eat tree nuts in the fall, but not in spring when trees are pollinating. We can help evaluate exactly what maybe causing your symptoms and develop a plan to help you ease the symptoms and decrease your usage of topical or systemic medications.
Xolair: Xolair (omaluzimab) is a specialty medication that is FDA approved specifically for allergic asthma in people 12 years of age and older that is not controlled with conventional therapy. Xolair is not a medication for everyone, but if you struggle with keeping your asthma controlled, if you have to use oral steroids even once in a year’s time, or if you have every been in the emergency room or hospital because of your asthma, please come and speak with Marcy Markes, our Certified Asthma Educator to see if this medication could be an option for you.