Why see an Allergist?


There are many options for medical care when it comes time to finding
someone to take care of you and your family.  What distinguishes an
allergist from other specialists who take care of common allergy

An allergist/ immunologist:
     1.  has undergone extensive medical training and is board-certified in
the field of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology  
     2. has been trained in the care of adults and children with allergy
     3. understands that the whole body can be affected by allergies
(eyes, nose, lungs, GI tract, and skin)
     4. treats all body systems affected by allergies
     5. has a fully equipped and trained staff that practices the specialty of allergic conditions and potentially life-threatening allergic reactions.  We provide allergy services on a full-time basis and not as an intermittent, supplemental procedure to our regular medical services.

The allergist/ immunologist can answer your questions regarding the
following conditions:

Environmental allergies - when common over-the-counter and
prescribed medications fail to offer relief from allergy symptoms, an
allergist can help identify specific triggers (like pollens, molds, dust mite,
animal dander) through allergy skin testing and/or allergy blood testing. A
treatment plan can be formulated and, if necessary, allergy shots  
(immunotherapy) may be recommended.  

The goal of allergy shots is to build up an immune tolerance to what a
person is allergic to.  This process can take 3-5 years, with the initial
build-up phase (requiring weekly injections) taking 4-6 months and then
monthly maintenance injections afterwards. While many physician specialists provide the option of giving allergy shots, an allergist's office is most likely to have the experienced and trained staffing and equipment for handling potential complications of allergy shots, like anaphylactic reactions.

Food allergies - When severe, food allergies can be life-threatening.  It is
also possible to outgrow food allergies.  Allergists help identify food
allergies and determine whether it is safe to reintroduce foods back into
the diet.  We also extensively discuss and review food avoidance measures and Emergency Action Plans.

Insect sting allergies - Fireants are very common in the Texas region,
and some people develop life-threatening anaphylactic symptoms to
fireant stings.  Your allergist can help you devise a management plan,
including shot therapy, to help you maintain an active outdoor lifestyle.

Drug allergies - Antibiotics, pain medications, and other drugs can cause
skin and more severe reactions.  Allergists identify specific drug
sensitivities and help establish desensitization or medication alternatives
for drug-allergic patients.

Asthma - 80% of asthma is related to environmental allergy triggers, and
daily medications like steroid inhalers may be reducible if specific
allergies are identified and effectively controlled.  Other asthma
medications, including omalizumab (Xolair), may be included in the
treatment plan.

Eczema - also called atopic dermatitis.  There may be an allergic
component to the dry, itchy, flaky patches seen in eczema flares.  
Topical medications help to control the symptoms, but an allergist can
help identify the specific triggers of eczema flares.

Hives and swelling - also called urticaria and angioedema.  Possible
triggers include allergies to medications and foods as well as infections.  
An allergist can help isolate the cause and also devise treatment plans
for controlling skin flare-ups.

Frequent infections - Sometimes allergies are not the cause of frequent
sinus and respiratory infections.  An allergist is also extensively trained in
the field of immunology and can help determine problems with the
immune system.

Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any specific questions;
we are here to assist and serve you and your family!