Patient Education

 

 

Who is an Allergist


by Topeka Allergy & Asthma Clinic
 
Where do you go if you think you are allergic?  This question can, surprisingly, cause confusion, because there are some non-allergist physicians who offer to do "allergy tests."  Often these tests have been found unacceptable by valid, board-certified allergists, and they may be painful, inaccurate, and expensive (e.g.: "serial dilution-titration" skin tests).  Some insurors will not reimburse for such tests.
 
A Board Certified Allergist is a physician who has received certification as a diplomate of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology (ABAI), a conjoint Board of the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Pediatrics.  In order to receive the certification the doctor must complete the following steps:

1.  Obtain his or her medical degree.

2.  Complete a three-year residency training program in either internal medicine or pediatrics.

3.  Complete two to three more years of specialty training in allergy, asthma and immunology.

4.  Successfully pass the Board Certifying Examaniaion.

Anyone claiming to be an allergist who does not meet this qualification should be avoided.  At TAAC you will be evaluated only by allergists certified by this Board.
 
For more information regarding American Board of Allergy and Immunology click here.

Watch Movie:   Who is an Allergist
 

Allergy Testing

by Topeka Allergy & Asthma Clinic
 
Prick skin test:  we use the Morrow Brown® standardized, sterile, disposable plastic pricker. It has a 1 mm beveled point. It is dipped in a small amount of allergy vaccine or "extract" made from a suspected allergen, then pressed against the skin. It makes a dent deep enough to cause a reaction in a sensitive person, but doesn't cause bleeding, and discomfort is minimal. A considerable number of tests can be done at one time, usually on the back, and can be read in 15-20 minutes. The advantage of this test is that it almost never gives a false positive reaction, so allergy is unlikely to be diagnosed when not present (a big problem with more invasive, "intradermal" tests such as "serial dilution-titration" tests).  By carefully comparing the test results with the detailed history we take from our patients, we can determine what the important allergens are with a high degree of accuracy.
 
Intradermal testing:  Sometimes this type of test is ordered by the doctor after prick testing.  This test involves small injections placed into the skin on your upper arms.
 
If possible, please refrain from taking antihistamine medications for five days prior to your skin testing appointment.
 
Examples of antihistamines are:
    • Allegra (fexofenadine)
    • Atarax, Vistaril (hydroxyzine)
    • Zyrtec (cetirizine)
    • Xyzal (levocetirizine)
    • Clarinex (desloratadine)
    • Claritin (loratadine)
    • Actifed, Dimetapp (brompheniramine)
    • Chlor-Trimeton (chlorpheniramine)
    • Tavist, Antihist (clemastine)
    • Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
    • Phenergan (promethazine)

     

Allergy Shots and Allergy Drops/Immunotherapy


 

Asthma

 

Inhaled Medication Instructional Videos: Asthma and General Lung Diseases  

 


 

Asthma In The Young Child

by Topeka Allergy & Asthma Clinic
 

Asthma is the most common serious chronic disease in children.  Approximately 9 million American children have been diagnosed with asthma and most of them develop symptoms before age 5. 

 

Asthma causes swelling of the bronchial tubes which may result in wheezing (whistling chest sounds), shortness of breath, or a persistent cough.  A lot of times this cough may be mistaken for a cold, croup or bronchitis.  This is why diagnosing asthma in a young child may be difficult, even for doctors. 

 

Your child may have asthma if he or she has:

 

·        Colds which always settle in the chest.

 

·        Frequent wheezing.

 

·        A nagging cough, especially at night.

 

·        Cough when running or playing hard.

 

If you think your child might have asthma, talk to your doctor or to an allergist, as untreated asthma may become life-threatening.  Also, delays in asthma treatment may lead to permanent lung damage.

 

It is important to know what your child’s asthma triggers are because avoiding them, many asthma attacks can be prevented.

 

There are two types of asthma medications:

 

·        Rescue or quick release medications (Albuterol, Xopenex, Ventolin) or lung openers which work immediately.  These medications are taken as needed for cough, wheezing, chest tightness or before physical activity.

 

·        Maintenance or controller medications (generally inhaled Corticosteroids) work by controlling the inflammation (swelling) in the bronchial tubes.  They prevent the asthma attacks from occurring.  These medications do not work right away and they need to be taken regularly in order for them to be effective.  Do not expect immediate relief from a controller medication.

 

Allergy injections are used to build-up a tolerance to the things your child is allergic too.  They usually result in a decrease in the need for medications.

 

With the right treatment your child can lead a normal life.

 


 

Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis

 


Environmental Control Measures


 


 



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