It’s Ragweed Season!

Freedom Allergy, Asthma and Allergy, Seasonal Allergies, Pediatric Allergist, Peachtree City, Fayetteville, Marietta, Georgia

Ragweed

It’s ragweed season!  Symptoms of a ragweed allergy include: sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose, itchy skin, eye irritation, sleep disruption, and symptoms of asthma.

About 10%-30% of Americans suffer from allergic rhinitis, or hay fever.  A single ragweed plant can send billions of grains of pollen into the air over the course of a single ragweed season.  Ragweed season usually starts at the end of the summer and ends at the first sign of frost (usually mid-August through October).

If you are experiencing ragweed allergy symptoms, here are a few tips to help minimize your ragweed exposure:

  1. Stay inside when the pollen count is high (check pollen counts in your area here: http://www.aaaai.org/global/nab-pollen-counts/south-atlantic-region)
  2. Keep your house and car windows closed.  Run your air conditioner or air purifier
  3. Change your clothes after being outside
  4. Shower at the end of the day

If your symptoms are affecting your daily life, try:

  1. Nasal sprays
  2. Daily anti-histamines
  3. Decongestants
  4. Immunotherapy (allergy shots)
  5. Make an appointment with your allergist if you need a proper diagnosis or need prescription-strength medications

Read here for more information about Ragweed allergies:

http://asthmaandallergies.org/asthma-allergies/ragweed-allergy/

Back to School with Food Allergies

Pediatric Food Allergy Doctor, Peachtree City, Fayetteville, Georgia

Back to School

School is right around the corner, and along with the excitement of new clothes, bright supplies, and fresh possibilities, your child may also have a few butterflies in the stomach. For a parent of a child with a severe food allergy, you may have some butterflies of your own. Many parents worry their child will accidentally eat a food they’re allergic to while at school, and suffer a severe reaction. Setting your child up at school with an epinephrine auto-injector (EAI) is important, but this also requires staff and personnel who can recognize an anaphylactic reaction and can correctly use the EAI.

Children need help from adults in managing their food allergies. One survey out of Mississippi schools revealed 97% had at least one child with a food allergy, but only 30% had action plans for these students. Schools were more likely to have action plans when the school nurse had received appropriate information from a physician. If you need refreshing on how to use your EAI, or would like assistance in educating personnel at your child’s school on recognizing and treating anaphylaxis, call our office today. Anaphylaxis action plans can also be written by physicians and distributed in daycares and schools.

Reference: O’Keefe AW, De Schryver S, Mill J, et al. Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergies: New and Emerging Options: A Systematic Review. Journal of Asthma and Allergy. 2014;7:141-164.

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

Rush Immunotherapy

Allergy Treatment, Rush Immunotherapy, Peachtree City, Georgia
Rush Immunotherapy, Allergy Doctor, Atlanta, Georgia

Rush Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is a method of treating allergic reactions through a series of injections containing the responsible allergen. This method of allergy desensitization provides faster relief and fewer reactions than traditional allergy shots. “Rush” immunotherapy allows patients to complete their treatment in an even shorter time period than with conventional immunotherapy. This means fewer office visits, fewer copays, and faster relief!

With this treatment, patients are pre-medicated with a steroid, and over a 4-6 hour time period (versus 6-8 months with conventional immunotherapy), they receive injections of increasing allergen concentration. Once patients are close to the strongest dose, they will return weekly for 4-6 weeks until they can tolerate their maximum dose of allergen. Once that maximum dose is achieved, patients return once every 4-6 weeks for the following 3-5 years until they are desensitized to that allergen.

Rush immunotherapy does pose an increased risk of local or systemic reaction.  However, most reactions (if any) are not severe, the most common of which is usually flushing, generalized itching, or swelling of the shot site.  Patients will remain under a physician’s supervision for a longer time period after rush immunotherapy (usually 1.5-2 hours), in order to ensure patient safety.

Sources:
American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. Practice Parameters and Other Guidelines. 2014.http://www.aaaai.org/practice-resources/statements-and-practice-parameters/practice-parameters-and-other-guidelines-page.aspx
Cox L, Nelson H, Lockey R. Allergen Immunotherapy: A Practice Parameter Third Update. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2011.http://www.aaaai.org/Aaaai/media/MediaLibrary/PDF%20Documents/Practice%20and%20Parameters/Allergen-immunotherapy-Jan-2011.pdf

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

Rush Immunotherapy Instructions

Allergy Treatment, Rush Immunotherapy, Atlanta, Peachtree City, Georgia

 

What To Do Prior to your Appointment 

Our office will send prescriptions for Prednisone, Singulair (Montelukast) and an epinephrine auto-injector.  The patient will need to purchase Zyrtec and Zantac, over-the-counter medications.  The medication listed in the chart should be taken starting two days prior to your RUSH immunotherapy appointment, and also on the morning of your appointment.

Day Adult Instructions Child Instructions
DAY 1

 

To be taken in the Morning:

Zantac – 300 mg

Zyrtec – 10 mg

Prednisone – 60 mg with a meal

(3 tablets of 20mg together)

Montelukast/Singular – 10 mg

To be taken in the Morning:

Zantac – 6 mg/kg (children under 12 y.o.)

Zyrtec – 5 mg

Prednisone – 1 mg/kg with a meal

Montelukast/Singular – 5 mg (children under 15 y.o.)

 

DAY 2

 

 

Repeat Day 1

 

Repeat Day 1

DAY 3

(RUSH Day at Office)

 

Repeat Day 1

(take medication before coming to your RUSH appointment)

Repeat Day 1

(take medication before coming to your RUSH appointment)

**Bring your epinephrine auto-injector to your RUSH appointment.**

 

What to Expect on RUSH Day

Be sure to eat a complete breakfast before arriving to the office, and take your morning medicationsBring your epinephrine auto-injector to the appointment.

A total of 6-8 allergy shots will be given at 15-20 minute intervals, in increasing concentration, over a course of 3-4 hours.  Patient will be monitored continuously to ensure shots are being tolerated.  There will be a one-hour wait period after the last shot to monitor the patient.

You will remain in the office during the entire visit, so bring snacks and drinks, and items to occupy your time.  You may bring your laptop/tablets, and wi-fi is available in the office.  Depending on your appointment time, you may also bring a lunch.

 

What Happens Afterwards

It is advised to avoid lifting and strenuous exercise for the remainder of the day after RUSH.

Some patients may experience a delayed onset of hives or other allergic symptoms during the evening following the procedure.  Call our office if you develop such problems.  If it is after-hours and you receive the office voicemail, please leave a message, and it will be returned promptly.

You will be instructed to return to the clinic for your next allergy shot(s) in 3-7 days, then weekly, and once a stable maintenance dose has been established every 3-4 weeks.