An allergy is an abnormal immune system response that occurs as a result of exposure to certain substances called allergens. Allergic reactions to allergens can range from mild to severe and can be linked to serious respiratory illness.
Each season, tiny particles known as pollen are released from trees, weeds, and grasses. As pollen blows through the air, it is inhaled into our noses and throats, triggering a type of seasonal allergic rhinitis called pollen allergy, also known as hay fever. Pollen allergies, including ragweed pollen, grass pollen and tree pollen, affect millions of Americans each year. Symptoms of pollen allergies include sneezing, wheezing, runny nose, and itchy and watery eyes. There are many different types of seasonal allergy treatments available.
While any food can cause an allergic reaction, the most commonly diagnosed and treated food allergies are caused by peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, fish, milk, and eggs. A food allergist can give patients expert care in the specifics of their disease, including the cause of the allergic reaction determined by food allergy testing, education about food avoidance and use of emergency measures in case of exposure.
Stinging Insect Bite Allergies
An insect bite allergy is an adverse reaction of the immune system to an insect bite. Bites and stings from yellow jackets, honeybees, paper wasps, hornets, and fire ants can cause severe and deadly reactions.
Allergies to dogs, cats, and other animals tend to run in families. Reactions are caused by an immune system response to proteins present in the animal saliva, dander or urine.
There are several types of allergic skin conditions that may require treatment. Red, bumpy, scaly, itchy, swollen skin might be signs of hives, angioedema, contact dermatitis (like from nickel or latex) or eczema.
Any medication can cause an allergic reaction and anaphylaxis including antibiotics, anti-seizure medicines, vaccines, post-surgery fluids, pain medicines etc. Hives, rash, or swelling of the lips, face or tongue may be present.
Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the airways and lungs. The cause for this condition is still unknown. It is the most common chronic disease in children and, if left untreated, can lead to respiratory failure. Approximately 470,000 people seek hospital treatment for asthma-related symptoms, and 5,000 people die each year from complications.
Hereditary Angioedema (HAE)
HAE is a rare genetic disorder that causes recurrent episodes of swelling and/or abdominal pain. Swelling can be severe and life threatening when it involves the throat or larynx. Swelling attacks are not predictable, can last for several days if untreated and typically do not respond to antihistamines, corticosteroids or epinephrine. HAE should be considered in patients with recurrent swelling without hives or recurrent unexplained abdominal pain. Swelling episodes are due to genetic deficiency in C1 inhibitor protein and specific medications are available once the diagnosis is confirmed.
For more information, visit the following website: http://www.haea.org
Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE)
Eosinophilic esophagitis is an allergic inflammatory disorder of the esophagus, the tube that brings food from the mouth to the stomach. The disease is characterized by inflammation of the esophagus due to allergy cells called eosinophils. Clinical studies show that an immune response to food proteins often drive esophageal inflammation. Symptoms vary by age and include failure to thrive, poor weight gain, recurrent vomiting, abdominal pain, regurgitation, difficult to treat heartburn, difficulty swallowing and food impaction (food getting stuck when swallowing). Current treatments include the use of corticosteroids or food elimination diets. Patients with EoE often have other allergic disorders such as food allergy, allergic rhinitis, asthma, and atopic dermatitis. The diagnosis is made by a gastroenterologist. Allergist/immunologists play an crucial role in identifying food allergies, providing education, and managing co-existing allergic diseases.
For more information, visit the following website: http://www.Apfed.org
Working with your healthcare provider, our dietitian can create personalized nutrition assessments and plans. Each assessment is tailored to the patient’s needs taking into consideration all aspects of quality of life. A diet recall will be conducted and assessed for the appropriate nutrient distribution and consumption. After review, changes to diet will be recommended in written plan with suggestions for steps for successful implementation.
Our nutrition services include:
· Setting goals for your child’s weight and growth
· Establishing your child’s energy, protein and fat intake requirements
· Monitoring and making changes to your child’s tube feeding plan
· Helping determine supplementation needs
· Providing advice on healthy meal patterns, picky eating and appropriate portion sizes for age
· Food allergies
· Eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders
· Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic Fibrosis is an inherited disease that causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the lungs and digestive tract. It is one of the most common inherited chronic lung diseases in children and young adults.
Restrictive Lung Disease
People with restrictive lung disease cannot fully fill their lungs with air. Their lungs are restricted from fully expanding. Patients with cerebral palsy, spinal muscular atrophy, scoliosis can have restrictive lung disease.
Diagnostic Tests We Perform:
Physicians conduct allergy testing to determine the root cause for allergic reactions. The results help physicians to develop a treatment plan to manage asthma and allergy symptoms and reactions.
Allergy Skin Testing
There are two main types of skin tests – Prick Tests and Intradermal Tests. Both take approximately 30 minutes and are frequently used to diagnose allergies. Treatment may range from medications to allergy injections (immunology).
Spirometry (Breathing Tests)
A spirometry test is a simple and reliable way to determine reversible airway obstructions. It measures the amount of air entering and leaving the lungs.
Oral Food Challenges / Food Allergy Tests
Tests for food allergies may include skin prick testing and blood tests. A graded oral food challenge may be appropriate when the diagnosis is not clear or prior to introduction of a food that an individual was previously allergic too. This involves eating the culprit food under supervision little by little, often over several hours.
Atopy Patch Tests to Foods or for Contact Dermatitis
Patch testing is a simple, noninvasive test to help identify delayed hypersensitivity reactions. A small disc is filled with an allergen and taped to the patient’s skin. The patches are removed after a minimum of 48 hours and often read at 72 hours. The doctor may choose to use this test to help identify triggers for varieties of eczema, eosinophilic gastrointestinal diseases or allergic contact dermatitis.
Medication Testing and Challenges
At this time, accurate testing is available to identify allergy to penicillin. Skin testing to other drugs may not always be helpful or accurate. If appropriate, allergist supervised oral challenge to drugs can identify drug allergy.
Stinging Insect Testing
Common tests for stinging insect bite allergies involve the very accurate Skin Prick Test, as well as blood tests that measure specific Venom IgE antibodies in the blood.
Flexible Bronchoscopy in Children
This test allows physicians to view the airways and the lungs while a patient is sedated. It can be helpful in diagnosing and treating lung disease and certain conditions as it allows for biopsies and samples of fluids and materials.