• Understanding the Steps of Immunotherapy

    Allergy

    Allergy doctors often recommend immunotherapy as a means of significantly reducing symptoms. Unlike many allergy medications, which temporarily treat symptoms, the purpose of immunotherapy is to prevent an allergic reaction by adjusting the body to the allergen. First, the allergy doctor will perform a skin test to determine which allergens trigger a reaction. Then, the allergist carefully calculates the exact amount of allergy extracts.

    Patients will receive injections or sublingual drops with the allergy extracts. Injections begin on a weekly schedule and eventually move to a monthly administration schedule, while drops are given daily. As patients progress through the course of treatment, the amount of the allergy extract administered is gradually increased to encourage the body to build up a stronger tolerance to it. Patients can expect their symptoms to begin to improve after three to six months of immunotherapy.

    To determine whether you might be a good candidate for immunotherapy, schedule a consultation with an allergy doctor at Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM. Contact our office, which is conveniently located in King of Prussia, by calling 1 (800) 86-COUGH.

    Board certified allergists/immunologists comprise the entire physician staff of Allergy & Asthma Specialists.  Allergy doctors at this premier medical practice provide comprehensive allergy and asthma diagnostics and state of the art treatment, including two types of immunotherapy, at offices located in center city Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Schedule today online at www.AllergyandAsthmaWellness.com or by calling 1-800-86COUGH.

  • Accurately Diagnosing Asthma

    Diagnosing Asthma in a Child

    If you’re concerned that you or your child might have asthma, your primary care doctor will likely refer you to an allergy doctor. An allergy doctor is a specialist who can perform diagnostic tests to determine whether you could have asthma. Tests such as a lung function test will help your allergy doctor accurately diagnose asthma.

    Medical History
    Before you undergo any tests, your allergy doctor will review your medical history. Be sure to inform the doctor of any medications you’re taking and any medical conditions you’ve been diagnosed with, such as allergies. Mention whether you have a family history of asthma, eczema, hay fever, or similar conditions. Your allergy doctor will also ask you about your symptoms. Some common symptoms include shortness of breath, wheezing, and frequent coughing. Discuss the frequency of your symptoms and at which times they tend to occur.

    Spirometry
    Spirometry is a pulmonary function test that evaluates the amount of air you’re capable of exhaling. It also measures how quickly you can breathe out. During this test, you’ll breathe into a special mouthpiece that is attached to a spirometer, which is a recording device. You can expect to exhale as intensely as possible into the mouthpiece. For an accurate diagnosis, the allergy doctor is likely to ask you to exhale three times. This test can determine whether your airways are obstructed.

    Inhalation Challenge Tests
    An inhalation challenge test is much like spirometry; however, it measures the amount of air you can inhale and how quickly you can inhale it. The test is commonly administered before and after taking an inhaled medicine.

    Since 1989, Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM has been proud to serve families in the King of Prussia area. Our allergy doctors are dedicated to upholding the highest standards of patient care. If you would like to schedule an appointment for an asthma screening, contact us at 1 (800) 86-COUGH.

    Board certified allergists/immunologists comprise the entire physician staff of Allergy & Asthma Specialists.  Allergy doctors at this premier medical practice provide comprehensive allergy and asthma diagnostics and state of the art treatment, including two types of immunotherapy, at offices located in center city Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Schedule today online at www.AllergyandAsthmaWellness.com or by calling 1-800-86COUGH.

  • Diet and Nutrition Tips for People with Asthma

    Diet and Nutrition

    Good nutrition plays an important role in everyone’s health, but it is especially important for people living with a chronic disease. Poor nutrition makes it more difficult for the body to fight off respiratory viruses, which can make someone more vulnerable to an asthma attack. In addition, many people have food allergies that can trigger an asthma episode, so it’s important to always check the nutritional label before consuming a new food product.

    Eat a Well-balanced Diet
    Weight gain occurs when you eat more calories than you burn. Not only is excessive weight gain bad for your overall health, but it can also trigger your asthma symptoms. Though paying attention to caloric content is important, it’s equally important to consider the nutritional content of the foods you’re eating. A healthy, well-balanced diet includes plenty of fruits and vegetables as well as foods with omega-3 fatty acids. You should also limit your consumption of trans fats and omega-6 fatty acids.

    Check for Food Allergies
    If you have food allergies to milk, eggs, shellfish, or peanuts, exposure to these food items can dramatically worsen your asthma symptoms. Even exposure to a small amount of a food allergen can trigger a life-threatening anaphylactic attack, which might require immediate asthma medication. It’s not always clear what ingredients are in different food items, so be sure to check the labels and ingredient list before purchasing any new snacks or meals.

    Be Cautious about Preservatives
    Sulfites, which are commonly used as a food preservative, can release sulfur dioxide, which can irritate your lungs. Sulfites aren’t added to fresh fruits and vegetables, but they are added to some processed foods, like dried fruits, canned vegetables, and some condiments.

    If you would like to learn more about controlling your allergy or asthma symptoms, schedule an appointment with Allergy & Asthma Specialists SM.

    Board certified allergists/immunologists comprise the entire physician staff of Allergy & Asthma Specialists.  Allergy doctors at this premier medical practice provide comprehensive allergy and asthma diagnostics and state of the art treatment, including two types of immunotherapy, at offices located in center city Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Schedule today online at www.AllergyandAsthmaWellness.com or by calling 1-800-86COUGH.  

  • An Overview of Spirometry Testing

    Spirometer

    Spirometry is an important tool for diagnosing and controlling asthma, as it helps allergy doctors measure how well a patient inhales and exhales air. Generally, spirometry is used during the first appointment with an allergist or immunologist, as well as during treatment, to document the patient’s normal airway function. Spirometry can also help evaluate how a patient’s airway is responding to a change in medication or new asthma treatment.

    Preparing for a Spirometry Test
    Patients who will be taking a spirometry test should follow their doctors’ instructions regarding the use of inhaled breathing medications or any other medications prior to the appointment. It’s also recommended that patients wear loose clothing to ensure that their clothes won’t interfere with the ability to take long, deep breaths. It’s also a good idea for patients to avoid eating a very large meal prior to the appointment, as this can make it more difficult to breathe.

    Taking a Spirometry Test
    During the test, the nurse or allergy doctor will instruct the patient to take a deep breath, exhaling as hard as possible for several seconds into an attached tube. This may cause a brief feeling of dizziness in the moment following the test. To ensure that the results are accurate, the patient will need to perform the test at least three times.

    Assessing Results of a Spirometry Test
    A spirometry test records a patient’s forced vital capacity as well as forced expiratory volume. Forced vital capacity measures the largest amount of air that the patient can exhale after deep breathing, and forced expiratory volume determines how much air the patient can force from his or her lungs.

    To learn more about preparing for your spirometry test, contact Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM at 1 (800) 86-COUGH.

    Board certified allergists/immunologists comprise the entire physician staff of Allergy & Asthma Specialists.  Allergy doctors at this premier medical practice provide comprehensive allergy and asthma diagnostics and state of the art treatment, including two types of immunotherapy, at offices located in center city Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Schedule today online at www.AllergyandAsthmaWellness.com or by calling 1-800-86COUGH.