Allergist Versus Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctor

Allergy Doctor, Peachtree City, Atlanta, Georgia

Freedom Allergy, Ruchir Agrawal, Peachtree City, Fayetteville, Georgia

Why Choose an Allergist for your Allergy and Asthma?

Allergies and asthma are both chronic conditions, and warrant visiting a specialist for the best management. However, with so many specialists out there, how do you know which one to choose?  Read the FAQ below.

My allergies bother my ears, nose and throat – doesn’t this mean I should see an ear, nose and throat doctor?

Many times, patients go directly to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor for their allergy symptoms. After all, don’t allergies bother your ears, nose and throat?

Ear, Nose and Throat doctors are surgeons who specialize mainly in structural problems that can be corrected with surgery. But many of these problems, such as difficulty breathing through the nose, or having a raspy voice or having trouble hearing, are actually due to allergies.  Allergies, eczema, and asthma are all chronic conditions that fall under the same umbrella of allergy medicine, and more than 50% of sinus problems are caused by allergies.  The other 50% are often caused by a combination of both allergy and non-allergy related problems. Continue reading

Georgia Spring Allergies

Seasonal Allergies, Allergy Doctor, Atlanta, Peachtree City, Georgia

Atlanta jumped 12 spots last year on the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America’s (AAFA) list of Top 100 Most Challenging Places to Live with Spring Allergies.  Atlanta rose from #72 in 2013 to #60 in 2014 on this AAFA Allergy Capitals list.  As trees blossom and grasses sprout this year, it helps to know which plants peak during which months (see the chart below).  Talk to your allergist today to plan your best method of defense against these allergens!

Allergy Doctor Atlanta Peachtree City Georgia

Spring Allergies

Spring Allergies, Allergy Doctor, Peachtree City, Georgia

Allergy Doctor Ruchir Agrawal Peachtree City Georgia

Spring is right around the corner, and now is the time to schedule a visit with your allergist.  The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI) suggests five things you should know about spring allergies.  Click Here to read more!

  1. Allergies are on the rise.

Studies show pollen counts have been gradually increasing over time, and even if you’ve never had allergies before, you could start developing them.  You can track Peachtree City pollen counts Here.

  1. It matters when you medicate!

If you suffer spring allergies, ACAAI recommends starting your medication two weeks before your symptoms typically begin.

  1. No “cure” exists for spring allergies…

…but allergy shots (immunotherapy) can help your symptoms in a big way.

  1. Allergies can trigger or worsen asthma.

If you are coughing, wheezing, or having trouble breathing, this could be asthma that is triggered by your allergies.  Be sure to talk to your allergist about these symptoms.

  1. “When in doubt, get checked out.”

If you have been suffering symptoms for more than two weeks, such as coughing, ongoing colds, nasal congestion, or trouble breathing, it would be a good idea to see an allergist for allergy testing and potential treatment.

Why See a Pediatric Allergist?

Allergy Doctor for Kids, Atlanta, Peachtree City, Georgia

Pediatric Allergist  Atlanta Georgia

Children with allergies and asthma often suffer much more than a stuffy nose, itchy eyes, or shortness of breath.  Kids with allergies can experience emotional stress, sleeping difficulties, academic troubles and peer conflicts.  Even young children with food allergies can worry about eating foods that may be cross-contaminated with an allergen, and their parents experience their own unique challenges, searching for foods free of allergens.  Pediatric allergists can recognize and navigate through these unique stressors.  Pediatric allergists understand what types of treatments are safe for children, and can develop action plans for schools.  They are trained to help children with allergies lead healthy and enjoyable lives.

Pediatric allergists complete medical school, plus three to four years of pediatric residency training.  After that, they must obtain board certification with the American Board of Pediatrics, and complete two more years of an allergy-immunology fellowship.  Dr. Agrawal specializes in both pediatric and adult allergies and asthma.  He is board certified with the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, and with the American Board of Pediatrics.  He is happy to care for you and your entire family!

Click here to learn more about the importance of pediatric allergists!

Skin and Blood Testing

Allergy Doctor, Atlanta, Peachtree City, Georgia
Skin Prick Testing, Freedom Allergy, Atlanta, Georgia

Skin Prick Testing

Ways to Diagnose an Allergy

Skin Testing

During allergy skin testing, your skin is exposed to several allergens (food and/or environmental) and assessed for an allergic response. Your allergist will use a small plastic device to prick the skin and apply the allergens. If your skin becomes red, raised and itchy after 15-20 minutes, this may indicate an allergy.

Read More…

Allergy Blood Testing

Allergy blood tests are used if a patient can’t stop a medication that interferes with skin testing, if the patient has a skin condition like dermatitis, psoriasis or eczema, or if it would better suit the patient to have just one “poke” versus several (ie, a baby or young child). Blood testing is also used if the patient has poorly controlled asthma, or if the allergy is so severe that the testing could cause a systemic or anaphylactic reaction. Allergy blood tests are also used to check how well a patient’s allergy treatment is working.

Types of allergy blood tests include Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) and Radioallergosorbent Test (RAST). ELISA is used more commonly than RAST, and measures the amount of antibodies in your blood specific to certain allergens.

Complement testing can be used to measure the amount of a specific antibody or a specific antigen in the blood. The test helps determine which foods may be causing inflammation in the body and triggering an immune response.

Read More…

Patch Testing

Patch Testing is a way to test for the allergens responsible for delayed allergic reactions. Instead of poking the skin with a plastic device to administer an allergen (as in allergy skin testing), patch testing occurs by placing a patch on a patient’s back that contains a small amount of the allergen. The patch stays on for two days, since a delayed allergic response will not occur quickly enough for skin prick testing. The patch site will be observed for redness, blisters, and swelling.

Sensitivity Testing

Sensitivity Testing is a blood test used to check for food sensitivities (different from food allergies). Food sensitivity is different from food allergy and food intolerance, and essentially describes an inconsistent and unpredictable reaction to certain foods. A person with food sensitivity may eat the food one time with no reaction, but experience symptoms (stomach cramps, nausea, acid reflux) at other times.

Conditions & Procedures

Allergy & Asthma Doctor, Peachtree City, Marietta , Georgia

Conditions We Treat

  • Adverse Drug Reactions
  • Angioedema
  • Asthma
  • Allergic Rhinitis
  • Allergies (Seasonal, Food, Environmental)
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Aspirin Allergy and Desensitization
  • Chronic Cough
  • Cough from Allergies
  • Dry Eyes from Allergic Rhinitis
  • Dry Throat and Runny Nose
  • Eczema
  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis
  • Eosinophilic Disorders
  • Food Allergy
  • Food Intolerance (Comprehensive Diagnosis and Management)
  • Environmental Allergies
  • Functional Medicine
  • Headaches, Fatigue and Cold Symptoms
  • Hives/Urticaria
  • Immunodeficiency
  • Integrative Medicine
  • Recurrent Infections
  • Sinus and Nasal Infections
  • Sinusitis (Acute)
  • Sinusitis (Chronic)
  • Skin Rashes
  • Sneezing (Frequent and Prolonged)
  • Stuffy Nose
  • Vocal Cord Dysfunction
  • Wheezing

Procedures We Offer

Conditions We Treat

  • Adverse Drug Reactions
  • Angioedema
  • Asthma
  • Allergic Rhinitis
  • Allergies (Seasonal, Food, Environmental)
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Aspirin Allergy and Desensitization
  • Chronic Cough
  • Cough from Allergies
  • Dry Eyes from Allergic Rhinitis
  • Dry Throat and Runny Nose
  • Eczema
  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis
  • Eosinophilic Disorders
  • Food Allergy
  • Food Intolerance (Comprehensive Diagnosis and Management)
  • Environmental Allergies
  • Functional Medicine
  • Headaches, Fatigue and Cold Symptoms
  • Hives/Urticaria
  • Immunodeficiency
  • Integrative Medicine
  • Recurrent Infections
  • Sinus and Nasal Infections
  • Sinusitis (Acute)
  • Sinusitis (Chronic)
  • Skin Rashes
  • Sneezing (Frequent and Prolonged)
  • Stuffy Nose
  • Vocal Cord Dysfunction
  • Wheezing

Food Allergy

Food Allergy – Atlanta, Peachtree City, Georgia

What is a Food Allergy?

A food allergy occurs when your body’s immune system overreacts to a protein in a certain food. In severe allergies, these reactions can be life threatening. The majority (90 percent) of food allergies are caused by eight foods: cow’s milk, eggs, fish, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts, and wheat.

Video Courtesy of American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology

Click Here to read more about Food Allergies from the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology.

 

Food Allergy Versus Food Intolerance

Reacting to a food does not necessarily mean you are allergic to that food – you may just be intolerant to it. Food intolerance can cause similar symptoms to a food allergy, but food intolerance does not cause a full immune system response in your body. Food allergies cause an immune system response, and affect multiple organs. Generally, food intolerance causes less severe reactions, and may only cause digestive problems. People develop food intolerance for many different reasons, including lacking an enzyme necessary to digest the food, or having a sensitivity to additives in a food.

Article: Food Allergy Versus Food Intolerance

Read More….

 

Ways to Diagnose a Food Allergy

  1. Skin Testing

During allergy skin testing, your skin is exposed to several allergens (food and/or environmental) and assessed for an allergic response. Your allergist will use a small plastic device to prick the skin and apply the allergens. If your skin becomes red, raised and itchy after 15-20 minutes, this may indicate an allergy.

Read More…

  1. Allergy Blood Testing

Allergy blood tests are used if a patient can’t stop a medication that interferes with skin testing, if the patient has a skin condition like dermatitis, psoriasis or eczema, or if it would better suit the patient to have just one “poke” versus several (ie, a baby or young child). Blood testing is also used if the patient has poorly controlled asthma, or if the allergy is so severe that the testing could cause a systemic or anaphylactic reaction. Allergy blood tests are also used to check how well a patient’s allergy treatment is working.

Types of allergy blood tests include Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) and Radioallergosorbent Test (RAST). ELISA is used more commonly than RAST, and measures the amount of antibodies in your blood specific to certain allergens.

Complement testing can be used to measure the amount of a specific antibody or a specific antigen in the blood. The test helps determine which foods may be causing inflammation in the body and triggering an immune response.

Read More…

  1. Oral Food Challenge

Double-blinded, placebo-controlled oral food challenge is considered the “gold standard” for food allergy diagnosis. This test is often used after skin prick testing and allergy blood testing fail to provide definitive results. In an oral food challenge, the patient is given very small amounts of a food that is suspicious for an allergy. Over a certain length of time, the amount of food is increased until any sign of an allergic reaction occurs. This test is always done under strict supervision of an allergist. The oral food challenge procedure can be costly and time consuming, however, so it is often not performed.

Read More…

 

Delayed Food Allergy

Food allergy symptoms typically occur right after ingesting the responsible food, or at least within two hours. However, in a delayed response, the symptoms may take six or more hours to appear. These delayed responses can surface in different ways – such as a skin reaction from a food allergy, or a gastrointestinal reaction after ingesting milk or soy.

 

Patch Testing

Patch Testing is a way to test for the allergens responsible for delayed allergic reactions. Instead of poking the skin with a plastic device to administer an allergen (as in allergy skin testing), patch testing occurs by placing a patch on a patient’s back that contains a small amount of the allergen. The patch stays on for two days, since a delayed allergic response will not occur quickly enough for skin prick testing. The patch site will be observed for redness, blisters, and swelling.

 

Sensitivity Testing

Sensitivity Testing is a blood test used to check for food sensitivities (different from food allergies). Food sensitivity is different from food allergy and food intolerance, and essentially describes an inconsistent and unpredictable reaction to certain foods. A person with food sensitivity may eat the food one time with no reaction, but experience symptoms (stomach cramps, nausea, acid reflux) at other times.

Allergy Testing Instructions

Allergy Testing, Atlanta, Peachtree City, Georgia

FREEDOM ALLERGY SKIN TESTING INSTRUCTIONS

Allergy skin testing is a fast, safe and reliable way of identifying allergic sensitivities to inhalant allergens (e.g.,pollens, molds, dust mites and animal danders). Allergy testing can also diagnose allergic sensitivities to insect stings, antibiotics and foods. Allergy test results help tell which allergens you should avoid, which is the first and most important step in treating your allergic disorder. Allergy test results may also be used to formulate allergy shot extracts. In order to make your allergy testing appointment as productive as possible, we ask that you review the following instructions before coming to your appointment:

  • Although the testing itself may be completed in one hour or less, additional time may be needed to discuss results, allergy avoidance measures and treatment options.
  • Wear a shirt or blouse that can be easily removed. Prick skin testing is performed using the Multitest device applied to the back.
  • The medications listed below will interfere with allergy skin testing and should be discontinued in the time specified below. If you have a medical condition or severe allergic symptoms that could worsen without medications, please consult us prior to stopping these medications. If you have forgotten to stop these medications by the specified time, please call our office to determine whether or not you need to reschedule your allergy testing appointment.

ANY MEDICATIONS NOT LISTED BELOW WILL NOT INTERFERE WITH
SKIN TESTING AND SHOULD BE CONTINUED AS PRESCRIBED.

DISCONTINUE 10 DAYS PRIOR TO SKIN TESTING:
Cetirizine (Zyrtec) Cyproheptadine (Periactin) Imipramine (Tofranil) *
Levocetirizine (Xyzal) Doxepin (Sinequan, Adapin) Chlorpromazine (Thorazine) *
Desloratadine (Clarinex) Amitriptyline (Elavil) * Thioridazine (Mellaril) *
Loratadine (Claritin, Alavert) Nortriptyline (Pamelor, Aventyl) * Thiothixene (Navane) *
Fexofenadine (Allegra) Clomipramine (Anafranil) * Trifluoperazine (Stelazine) *
Hydroxyzine (Atarax, Vistaril) Desipramine (Norpramin) *

* IF YOU ARE TAKING A STARRED MEDICATION, PLEASE CONSULT WITH THE
PRESCRIBING PHYSICIAN TO DETERMINE IF IT IS SAFE TO DISCONTINUE

DISCONTINUE 5 DAYS PRIOR TO SKIN TESTING:
Chlorpheniramine (many prescription & OTC brands, including Ahchew, Chlor-Trimeton,
DAllergy, Deconamine, Durahist, Extendryl, Histavent, Omnihist, Rescon, Rynatan,
Triaminic Cold & Allergy, Triaminic Multi-Symptom)
Diphenhydramine (many OTC brands, including Benadryl, Tylenol PM, Tylenol Cold & Sinus,
Triaminic Night Time Cold & Cough, Advil Cold & Sinus, Sominex, Nytol)
Brompheniramine (Dimetapp, Bromfed)
Tripelennamine (Actifed, PBZ)
Certain Medications for Motion Sickness / Nausea: Dramamine, Compazine, Meclizine (Antivert), Phenergan (promethazine)
Anihistamine Nasal Sprays: Astelin, Astepro, Patanase, Dymista.
NOTE: all other nasal sprays are OK!
Antihistamine Eye Drops: Alomide, Livostin, Optivar, Pataday, Patano
DO NOT DISCONTINUE THE FOLLOWING MEDICATIONS:
Medications for Asthma: Including Advair, Flovent, Pulmicort, Qvar, Asmanex, Singulair Zyflo
Topical cortisone nasal sprays: Including Flonase, Nasonex, Nasacort, Rhinocort, Veramyst
Medications for acid reflux, high blood pressure and other chronic medical conditions.
Please call our office at (678) 400-6650 with any questions.

(Instructions courtesy of Dallas Allergy & Immunology)

Allergies

Allergy Doctor, Atlanta, Peachtree City, Georgia 

An allergy occurs when your body’s immune system responds to a harmless substance (allergen) similarly to how it would attack a germ or pathogen.  In the presence of an allergen, your immune system releases an antibody called Immunoglobulin E (IgE), which causes cells to release chemicals that can irritate the skin, nose, sinuses, throat, lungs, and sometimes stomach.   Symptoms can range from something as small as a stuffy nose, to something as large as a whole-body reaction called anaphylaxis.  The most common allergens include pollen, dust, food, insect stings, animal dander, mold, medications and latex.    Read More.

Allergy Facts

  • Allergic rhinitis, often called hay fever, is a common condition that causes symptoms such as sneezing, stuffy nose, runny nose, watery eyes and itching of the nose, eyes or the roof of the mouth.
  • Allergic diseases, which include asthma, are the fifth most prevalent chronic diseases in all ages, and the third most common in children.
  • 8.3 million American children have respiratory allergies.
  • An estimated 9.5 million American children have skin allergies.
  • Food allergies in children are on the rise, affecting nearly 6 million or 8% of children.

Learn More!

Source: American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.  Allergy Facts.  2014.  http://www.acaai.org/allergist/news/Pages/Allergy_Facts.aspx.
Video #1 Courtesy of American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology
Video #2 Courtesy of PBS