Asthma is a condition that can cause symptoms of shortness of breath, wheezing, cough and chest tightness. Asthma can be a serious condition that can lead to absences from school and work, emergency medical care, hospitalization and worse. The good news is that asthma is a treatable disease and our goal at Allentown Asthma and Allergy is to allow our patients to live life to it's fullest.
We provide the most up to date treatment for asthma, this includes medical therapy and allergy immunotherapy (allergy shots). We also try to uncover the underlying causes that lead to asthma. These include allergies to pollens, molds, dust and animal dander's, irritants such as cigarette smoke and industrial exposures, medications that can worsen asthma and underlying medical conditions such as esophageal reflux.
Hay Fever (rhinitis)
Hay fever (rhinitis) is a condition that can cause symptoms of runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing along with itchy eyes. A wide variety of allergens including pollen, dust, animal dander as well as irritants such as smoke can lead to rhinitis. At Allentown Asthma and Allergy we try to discover the underlying causes of your rhinitis and develop a treatment plan that includes avoidance measures, medications and in some cases, allergy immunotherapy (allergy shots).
Sinusitis is a swelling of the inner lining of the sinuses. The sinuses are air spaces between the bones of the face where mucus is formed and drains into the nose. Sinusitis is often the result of an infection and causes symptoms of sinus pain and pressure, nasal congestion, discolored nasal mucus and in some cases cough and fever. Sinusitis and side effects from the antibiotics that are often used to treat it can lead to absences from school and work.
Our goal is to find out the cause of recurrent sinusitis which can often be due to inhalant allergies, but also to anatomical abnormalities such as a deviated septum, nasal polyps or in some cases an immune deficiency or problem fighting infection. Our goal at Allentown Asthma and Allergy is to find what is causing the sinusitis and treat it to prevent further recurrences.
Food allergies are a common problem in children and in some adults. Foods that commonly cause allergy are milk, egg, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts (almonds, cashews, pecans etc.), fish and shellfish. Food allergy can lead to immediate symptoms of hives, swelling, trouble breathing and in some cases anaphylaxis which is a life threatening allergic reaction that can lead to wide spread hives, swelling, trouble breathing and in some cases a drop in blood pressure, shock and death.
Many people have food intolerance such as lactose intolerance, where the body is unable to break down milk sugar leading to symptoms of bloating, gas and diarrhea.
At Allentown Asthma and Allergy we take a thorough history and through the use of allergy skin tests and in some cases allergy blood tests we diagnose the cause of your food allergy and develop a plan to prevent, and if necessary, treat allergic reactions to food.
Hives are a common problem, almost 50% of people will develop an episode of hives during their lifetime but for some people hives are a chronic severe problem. Hives can sometimes be due to an immediate reaction to a food or medication, but often the cause is not easily discovered and in many cases the cause is not due to anything that was ingested but often can have an auto-immune cause (antibodies against oneself).
This is a condition associated with abdominal and chest pain, the feeling of food getting stuck, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, weight loss and failure to thrive in young children. The disease is due to swelling and blockage of the esophagus, the tube that leads from the mouth to the stomach. The diagnosis is made by endoscopy by a gastroenterologist (a specialist in the digestive tract). In a large percentage of patients, Eosinophilic Esophagitis is caused by a food allergy and our office can do tests to diagnose which foods cause the problem and how to prevent it.
Drug allergies are common. Drug allergies can cause immediate symptoms of hives, swelling, trouble breathing and in some cases anaphylaxis. This is a life threatening allergic reaction that can lead to wide spread hives, swelling, trouble breathing and in some cases a drop in blood pressure, shock and death (although this is very rare). Drug allergy is usually diagnosed by a patient's history but by understanding the cross reactions and similarities between medications we can help diagnose the cause of the drug allergy and recommend alternative medications. We now have the ability to skin test for penicillin, this is very valuable since there are many patients who believe they are allergic to penicillin but in fact either never were allergic to penicillin or have lost their allergy to it. This opens up the ability for them to take penicillin for infection instead of other antibiotics.
Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis is a common skin condition which presents as a red, itchy rash, that can occur anywhere on the body but is more common on the inside of the arms, the back of the legs and the neck, although it can occur almost anywhere. Eczema occurs more often in children, but can occur at any age. At Allentown Asthma and Allergy we use effective treatments in controlling eczema, but we also do testing to see if an underlying cause for the eczema can be found. In children up to one half of eczema cases are related to food allergy and patients can have a dramatic improvement with removal of the offending food.
Hereditary Angioedema is a rare condition that leads to swelling of the face, lips as well as the intestinal tract. Our office has experience in treating this condition and several new treatments have bee improved recently for this condition.
Insect Sting Allergies
Stings from yellow jacket, bees, hornets and wasp can cause a variety of reaction from swelling and redness at the site of the sting to widespread hives, to full blown anaphylaxis (a life threatening allergic reaction). Our office has the ability to diagnose the cause of your reaction and to treat you with allergy immunotherapy (allergy shots) that will desensitize you to the insect that caused the reaction.
Primary Immunodeficiency occurs when one or more components of the body's immune system are not functioning as they should, This leads to frequent infections including sinus infections, pneumonia, bronchitis, skin infections, urinary tract infections or gastrointestinal infections. We have found evidence of immunodeficiency in our patients who suffer from frequent infections. Sometimes this is caused by a deficiency in antibodies that are used to fight infection and we often can come up with treatments that can help normalize these antibodies.