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Healthcare: Allergy and Immunology

Allergy and Immunology

Master
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Baylor Medicine Allergy Clinic

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As allergists-immunologists, we identify and treat patients with seasonal and perennial allergies, asthma, chronic rhinitis, conjunctivitis, sinusitis and polyps, skin diseases such as urticaria, angioedema, eczema, contact dermatitis, allergy to foods, medications, and antibiotics, cosmetics, metals used in jewelry or orthopedic implants, eosinophilic disease such as hypereosinophilic syndrome, immunodeficiency disorders, chronic cough.

We are a unique, comprehensive treatment option for patients with these conditions in a single location. We provide in-depth treatment options for these conditions that include prescribing medications, immunotherapy (allergy shots), and biologics for severe asthma, eczema, chronic sinusitis with polyps, and hereditary angioedema and immunoglobulins for immunodeficiency.

In addition, we perform in-office procedures such as skin testing for evaluating environmental allergies, skin testing for evaluating food and drug allergies, patch testing for evaluating contact dermatitis and allergy to metals such as jewelry or orthopedic implants, testing for drug allergy, and performing desensitization and penicillin allergy delabeling, performing nasal endoscopies (inspection of nose and sinuses using a camera and scope) to identify patients who need either surgical or other interventions and spirometry for evaluating lung function in patients with asthma.

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Conditions

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  • Asthma
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Chronic rhinitis, conjunctivitis, sinusitis and polyps
  • Skin diseases such as urticaria, angioedema, eczema, contact dermatitis
  • Allergy to foods, medications and antibiotics, cosmetics, metals used in jewelry or orthopedic implants
  • Eosinophilic disease such as hypereosinophilic syndrome
  • Immunodeficiency disorders
  • Chronic cough
     
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Services and Procedures

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  • Allergy testing for environmental allergens
  • Patch testing for contact dermatitis
  • Spirometry for evaluating lung function
  • Fiberoptic rhinolaryngoscopy
  • Drug and food allergy testing and challenge
  • Mixing and administering allergy shots
  • Prescribing biologics for severe asthma, eczema, chronic sinusitis with polyps, and hereditary angioedema
  • Prescribing immunoglobulins for immunodeficiency
     
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Testing and Diagnosis

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Environmental allergies. We test for 52 different allergens popular within the Houston area. These allergens include molds, grass weed, and tree pollens, indoor allergens like dust mite, cockroach, and animal dander. Testing involves a series of prick skin tests which involves scratching the skin surface with a small plastic device that can perform 10 pricks simultaneously for rapid, accurate, and safe results for individualized patient treatments. We use positive results from this gold standard method of testing as a guide to make highly specific allergen immunotherapy (allergy shot) mixes for each patient. 

Food allergies. We also test for 22 food allergens. However, the results of food allergy tests are only used to guide avoidance.

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Treatment and Management

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Allergy testing does not always mean allergy treatment is necessary. We analyze the results from the allergy skin testing, and factor in the patient’s history and symptoms, and comprehensive physical examination, to determine what is causing the allergy symptoms and develop an appropriate patient-specific treatment plan.

Avoidance

Environmental allergies. Avoidance is always the first step in any kind of allergen sensitivity. Knowing what triggers your allergy symptoms can lead to accurate avoidance methods that may be sufficient to relieve seasonal allergy symptoms. Reducing exposure to household dust, dander, and mold are effective ways to reducing allergy symptoms such as runny nose, congestion and itchy/watery eyes. Medications are often prescribed to treat symptoms where avoidance is not enough. Finally, injections of highly specific allergy-serums is another approach that we can prescribe.
Food allergies. We use the results of food allergy tests together with a detailed history to develop a plan for avoidance of specific foods, and rapidly treat reactions from accidental exposures.

Medications

An effective medication to treat nasal allergy symptoms is to take over-the-counter intranasal steroids, such as fluticasone.  Other medications that can be effective in treating allergic symptoms are over-the-counter antihistamines like cetirizine and fexofenadine. We can prescribe antihistamines and intranasal steroids if required. Long-term use of medications is usually necessary to control symptoms.

Subcutaneous Immunotherapy (SCIT)

Based on your skin test result and your history, we make individualized patient serums that can only be used for you. This serum modifies your immune response to these allergens in a highly specific manner. To ascertain patient safety, this treatment is administered and monitored by our highly trained staff. Over time, SCIT is very effective in altering a person’s allergic response to these allergens, both improving allergy symptoms and decreasing the need for medications. The usual duration of treatment is four years, and the effect of this treatment can last long after it has been stopped. 
 

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For Patients

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Patient information as well as general patient forms and information including insurance, pay online, billing, hotel/motel guide, customer service, privacy practices (HIPAA) and more.

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