What do we treat?
The Asthma & Allergy Clinic of Northwest Arkansas treats adult and pediatric asthma, allergic rhinitis, drug allergies, food allergies, insect allergies, hives and chronic sinusitis. We’ll also diagnosis and treat immune deficiency, vocal cord dysfunction, eosinophilic esophagitis, eczema, anaphylaxis and chronic cough.
In the U.S. 5% of children and 4% of adults have food allergies. While food allergy symptoms are most common during childhood, people can develop a food allergy to food they have eaten for years. An allergic reaction happens when your immune systems identifies a danger in a food substance and overreacts. While individuals may develop an allergy to just about any food, eight foods account for 90% of allergic food reactions: soy, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, and eggs. Symptoms can include hives, vomiting, wheezing, shock, trouble swallowing, tongue swelling, pale or blue skin, dizziness, or a weak pulse. Most reactions happen within two hours of eating the problematic food.
Drug & Insect Allergies
The external environmental can have a dramatic impact on your allergies. Allergic reactions, caused by specific medications and insects can be triggered in the nose, throat and in the lungs. Symptoms include a runny, itch, or stuffy nose, sneezing, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and red, watery eyes. Reasons for developing specific allergies are not fully understood, although a risk factor if having a family history of allergies.
Your immune system is tasked with protecting your body and distinguishing between “friendly” cells and tissues in your body and threats or “invaders.” In autoimmune diseases, the body becomes confused. In asthma, the lungs stay on high alert all the time. Chronic fatigue syndrome, systemic lupus, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis all affect the immune system. Symptoms include infections that are more frequent or harder to treat than those with a healthy immune system such as recurrent pneumonia, bronchitis, meningitis, ear, sinus and skin infections. The only known risk factor is a family history of a primary immune deficiency disorder.
Asthma causes airway obstruction, irritability, and inflammation that temporarily narrows the pathways that carry oxygen to the lungs. This chronic disease affects more than 25 million Americans, and when not controlled, can cause multiple visits to the ER and hospitalization. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness; some experience a worsening of symptoms called an asthma attack. Asthma is increasingly prevalent in children, and the estimated 7 million children who have been diagnoses is more than twice the number with asthma in 1980, according to the CDC. While asthma is most often seen in people under 40, adult onset asthma is also possible. Fortunately, with monitoring and medication, the symptoms of asthma are manageable. Our doctors at will create an individual asthma action plan for you or your child for relief of asthma symptoms.
Asthma or allergies can make it hard for your child to breathe or enjoy things like playing outside, but it can be challenging for parents, and even doctors, to diagnose asthma in children. Parents and caregivers need to be alert for symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, trouble breathing, and frequent colds, in children under five. Tell your child’s doctor if anyone in your family has asthma or allergies.
By discussing your child’s symptoms, you may decide your child needs an allergist. An allergist will work with your pediatrician to decide the best action plan. The allergist may perform skin or blood tests to see whether your child has allergies that can trigger asthmatic symptoms. Unlike the airways test, which requires blowing into a tube, these tests can be done at any age. With accurate diagnosis, treatment and ongoing monitoring of allergies and asthma, your child can remain healthy and active.
Allergy shots have shown to be an effective treatment for those who suffer from allergy symptoms. After conducting a thorough medical history and receiving allergy test results, our staff creates a unique allergy vaccine individualized to your needs. Your allergy shot serum will interact with your immune cells, and over time, your immune system becomes less allergic. Allergy shots modify the immune system’s over reaction to allergens to relieve symptoms.
New patient appointments typically include a thorough medical history, exam, and allergy testing. The time and cost of this visit will vary based on your symptoms and the testing that your allergist recommends. The evaluation usually takes 2-3 hours.
Based on the evaluation, the doctor will formulate a diagnosis and recommend treatment options. Education regarding your diagnosis and treatment plan is an important part of your initial visit. We will work with you to create a treatment program that provides the most effective therapy for your unique medical issues. Our goal is to arrive at a treatment plan which allows you to take control of your asthma or allergy symptoms.
If you are being evaluated for allergies, we recommend you stop taking antihistamines (such as Benadryl, Claritin, Allegra, Zyrtec) at least 5 days before your appointment (Clarinex 7 days, Hydroxyzine 10 days). If you are unsure if you are on an antihistamine, please call our office. Do not stop your other medications.
When you arrive, your doctor will place a small amount of allergen extract on your skin with a skin test device that lightly scratches the skin. The average number of screening skin tests is 20 for children and 40 for adults, depending on your symptoms. The skin testing lasts for 15-30 minutes, and your results will be done immediately afterwards.
After the procedure, the skin tests may cause some temporary itching at the site of the test if you are allergic. At any time during your visit, please feel free to ask questions if there is something that you do not understand.
They go out of their way to make sure everything works with insurance and return calls very quickly!