Healthcare: Allergy and Immunology

Allergy

Master
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Baylor Medicine Allergy Clinic

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As allergy specialists, we are able to not only identify and treat patients with seasonal and perennial allergies; we are also able to provide more in-depth treatment options. These options can include medications for allergy relief, immunotherapy (allergy shots), nasal endoscopies (inspection of nose and sinuses using a camera and scope), in-office procedures to help improve sinus health and decrease nasal drainage, as well as surgery in the operating room to improve nasal congestion. We are a unique, comprehensive treatment option for patients in one location.
 

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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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Initial treatment for seasonal and non-seasonal allergies is maximal medical therapy with medications. If this fails, patients undergo allergy testing and possibly a CT scan of the sinuses.

We test for 35 different allergens popular within the Houston area. These allergens include mold, pet dander, tree pollen, weeds and grasses. Testing involves a series of skin tests which involves scratching the skin surface with a small plastic device minimizing intradermal allergen dilution testing (small injections under the skin) for accurate and safe results for individualized patient treatments. This unique testing method dramatically reduces the number of needle injections compared to traditional methods.


Analyzing the results from the allergy testing alongside the patient’s history and symptoms, as well as a comprehensive ENT physical examination, we can determine what is causing the allergy symptoms as well as what treatment plan is most appropriate.
 

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Treatment and Management

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Avoidance

Avoidance is always the first step in any kind of allergen sensitivity. Allergy testing does not always mean allergy treatment is necessary. Knowing what triggers your allergy symptoms can lead to accurate avoidance methods that may be sufficient to relieve seasonal allergy symptoms. Reduction in household dust and dander, as well as mold and fungus, is also an effective way to reduce some of these symptoms such as runny nose, congestion and itchy/watery eyes.


Medications

Allergy medications only treat allergy symptoms, not the actual cause. Antihistamines, decongestants and prescription nasal sprays can help control allergy symptoms but can produce unwanted side effects. Long-term chronic use of medications is also usually necessary to control symptoms.


Subcutaneous Immunotherapy (SCIT)

Over time, it may be possible to alter a person’s excessive response to these allergens, both improving symptoms and decreasing the need for medications and allergen avoidance. By creating individualized patient serums, we give treatments once every week. This treatment is administered and monitored by our staff. If appropriate, patients may also be trained to give themselves their treatment at home.


Surgery

In-office procedures and surgery may be used in conjunction with allergy therapy to achieve optimal results. Using the most advanced in-office and operating room technology, we can provide patients with many different options that are most appropriate for maximal relief of nasal congestion, nasal drainage, facial pain and sinus infections.