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Dupixent A Breakthrough Treatment For Asthma And Eczema

Dupixent: A Breakthrough Treatment For Asthma And Eczema

Asthma and eczema are chronic conditions that can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. These conditions are caused by inflammation in the airways and skin, respectively. Traditional treatment options for asthma and eczema include corticosteroids and immunomodulators, but these treatments can have significant side effects and may not work for everyone.

Dupixent (dupilumab) is a new treatment option approved by the FDA for treating moderate-to-severe asthma and moderate-to-severe eczema. This medication targets a specific protein called IL-4, which plays a crucial role in the inflammation associated with these conditions.

How Does Dupixent Work?

Dupixent is a monoclonal antibody that targets the protein IL-4, a key player in the inflammation associated with asthma and eczema. By blocking IL-4, Dupixent reduces inflammation in the airways and skin, which can significantly improve symptoms.

It is given as an injection, either under the skin or in a vein, and is typically administered every other week. The injection’s dosage and frequency will depend on the individual and their specific condition.

Benefits

Dupixent has been shown to provide significant benefits for individuals with moderate-to-severe asthma and eczema. In clinical trials, It was shown to improve lung function and reduce the frequency of asthma exacerbations. It also improved the symptoms and quality of life of eczema patients.

One of the significant benefits is that it has fewer side effects compared to traditional treatments such as corticosteroids. Common side effects include injection site reactions, cold sores, and conjunctivitis.

Another benefit of Dupixent is that it can be used in combination with other asthma and eczema treatments, such as inhaled corticosteroids and immunomodulators.

Who is Dupixent for?

Dupixent is a treatment option for individuals with moderate-to-severe asthma and moderate-to-severe eczema. The medication is not recommended for individuals with mild asthma or eczema.

It is important to note that Dupixent is not a cure for asthma and eczema, and individuals will likely need to continue taking it to maintain symptom control. However, it can significantly improve the quality of life for individuals with these conditions.

Effectiveness

Clinical studies have demonstrated the efficacy in treating chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps, eczema, and asthma.

● In a clinical trial for adolescents with moderate to severe eczema, 24% of participants noticed cleaner skin, and 37% reported decreased itching over 16 weeks. Clinical investigations on adults with eczema revealed that over 50% of patients experienced a 75% improvement in their skin. After 16 weeks, 36% to 39% of participants had clear or almost clear skin.

● Clinical trials on asthmatics aged six and older revealed that Dupixent could help prevent severe asthma attacks. People’s breathing improved, reducing the frequency they needed to treat their asthma symptoms with oral corticosteroids. Prednisone is an example of an oral corticosteroid that is taken by mouth to relieve inflammation.

● Nasal polyps with chronic rhinosinusitis: In a 24-week clinical trial, those receiving Dupixent reported reduced nasal congestion by between 51% and 59%. Comparatively, those taking a placebo saw improvements of between 16 and 18 percent (a treatment without an active drug). 52% of individuals also reported improvement in their sense of smell. Nasal polyps frequently cause a decreased sense of smell as a side effect.

How to get Dupixent?

Dupixent, a prescription medication, should only be used only when a healthcare professional will be monitoring it. Individuals with moderate-to-severe asthma or eczema should speak with their doctor to see if this is an appropriate treatment option.

Conclusion

Dupixent is a new treatment option for individuals with moderate-to-severe asthma and eczema. By targeting the protein IL-4, Dupixent reduces inflammation in the airways and skin, which can significantly improve symptoms. It has fewer side effects compared to traditional treatments such as corticosteroids and can be used in combination with other asthma and eczema treatments. Dupixent is not a cure for asthma and eczema, but it can significantly improve the quality of life for individuals with these conditions. If you have moderate-to-severe asthma or eczema, consult with your doctor about whether Dupixent is an appropriate treatment option.

Atopic dermatitis flare-ups, itching, and skin discomfort can all be controlled with DUPIXENT. If you have eczema that is difficult to manage, mainly if it affects numerous body parts or is widespread and linked to asthma and seasonal allergies, Contact Kratz Allergy and Asthma now. You can find out more about this treatment option from our specialized doctors and determine whether it is the best choice for you.

Treatment Available For Asthma

Treatment Available For Asthma

As of now, there is no cure for Asthma, but its symptoms can be kept under control using various treatment methods, like taking tablets or administering Nucala. This allows people to live normal lives and carry out day-to-day activities without any issues. If you have asthma, leading a comfortable life without any assistance becomes very difficult.

Treatment Types

There are four common treatment methods for asthma patients: inhalers, tablets, injections, and surgery. Tablets, injections, and surgeries are suggested only when it is serious. Your doctor will help you create a personal action plan for treating symptoms. It will allow you to monitor your condition and handle yourself better in case you get an asthma attack.

Inhalers

There are three types of inhalers you get in pharmacies. These are:

Reliever inhalers: As the name suggests, these inhalers will provide relief from symptoms when they occur.

Preventer inhalers: Preventer inhalers reduce the chances of your symptoms developing.

Combination inhalers: Combination inhalers are a combination of reliever inhalers and preventer inhalers. These are used by people who require both.

Reliever inhalers

Reliever inhalers are prescribed to almost everyone with asthma. These inhalers are blue. Patients use them as soon as they experience any symptoms. It will take only a few minutes for them to disappear.

If you have asthma and are using the inhaler more than three times a week, it is something you should discuss with your doctor. Additional treatment might be required in such cases.

You do not have to worry about any serious side effects of reliever inhalers. However, you may experience your body shaking or a fast heartbeat after inhaling it.

Preventer inhalers

People who use a reliever inhaler more than three times a week are often prescribed a preventer inhaler. Regular use of a preventer inhaler helps reduce inflammation and sensitivity of your airways. As a result, you do not have the symptoms of asthma anymore. If you continue to have the symptoms after using a preventer inhaler, you must speak to your doctor. Additional treatment methods will be suggested.

Preventer inhalers are effective in preventing symptoms because they contain steroid medicine. People do not suffer from side effects after using them in most cases, but here are a few that you can experience:

  • Oral Thrush (a fungal infection in your mouth or throat)
  • A sore throat
  • A rough voice

Do not get worried after reading about the side effects. They can easily be prevented. You just need to use a spacer. A spacer is a hollow plastic tube attached to your inhaler. Also, they can be avoided if you rinse your mouth with water every time you use the inhaler.

Combination inhalers

In some cases, it cannot be controlled using a reliever inhaler and a preventer inhaler. A combination inhaler is used in such cases. These inhalers are used regularly to combat the symptoms. Therefore, they provide long-lasting relief from asthma symptoms. Just make sure that you use it regularly, even when you are not experiencing any symptoms.

The combination inhaler combines the properties of both reliever inhalers and preventer inhalers. Therefore, the side effects associated with it are the same as the reliever inhalers and preventer inhalers.

Tablets

You might be prescribed tablets when using only an inhaler is not useful. They can prove to be very beneficial in getting rid of asthma symptoms.

Leukotriene receptor antagonists (LTRAs)

The most popular tablet used for treating asthma is Leukotriene receptor antagonists or LTRAs. Besides the tablet form, you can also get them in powder and syrup forms. These tablets are taken every day to stop the symptoms. You may experience two side effects after taking these tablets; tummy aches and headaches.

Theophylline

Doctors also recommend Theophylline to patients when other treatment methods are not proving effective. These should be taken daily, like Leukotriene receptor antagonists or LTRAs, to stop the symptoms. Some patients complained about headaches and feeling sick after taking them.

Steroid tablets

Steroid tablets can be recommended by doctors when the rest of the methods fail. They are taken during an asthma attack to keep it under control. However, your doctor can recommend taking them regularly to control your symptoms. It is only recommended when your asthma condition is severe and the inhalers are not proving effective. The chances of side effects are quite high when you take steroid tablets for a long time or frequently. These can include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Weight gain due to increased appetite
  • Easy bruising
  • Sudden mood changes
  • Osteoporosis

If you take steroid tablets, your doctor will closely monitor you.

Injections

Injections are not commonly prescribed to asthma patients. These are only for people who have severe cases of asthma. The injection treatment method is called biologic therapy. It is done once every few weeks to keep the asthma symptoms under control. For instance, Nucala is prescribed by doctors to patients suffering from severe eosinophilic asthma. It is administered in addition to the current asthma treatment. You will have to visit your doctor and get a Nucala injection every 4 weeks. Besides a headache, you can experience itchiness and a burning sensation at the injection site. Some people also complained about back pain and fatigue.

You must visit renowned clinics only if you require Nucala injection for your asthma. Kratz Allergy & Asthma can help you with that. Our clinic is one of the leading asthma clinics in the Port Richey and Trinity areas. All our experts are well-experienced, and we offer cutting-edge treatments that are safe and effective. To book an appointment, call us at 727-819-1610 today!

Surgery

The surgery performed for asthma is called Bronchial Thermoplasty. It is only done when other treatment methods fail. There are no side effects of the procedure if performed properly. A thin, flexible tube will pass through your throat to your lungs. Then, heat will be used on the muscles to stop the asthma symptoms.

Contact Kratz Allergy & Asthma today to get relief from your asthma symptoms.

Recognizing The Symptoms Of Contact Dermatitis

Recognizing The Symptoms Of Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is one of the most common skin conditions out there. It develops when an allergen or irritant comes into contact with your skin and triggers an inflammatory reaction.

 Recognizing the symptoms is a good way to narrow down possible causes of your symptoms if you suspect that you may have contact dermatitis. Remember that the only way to know for sure is to see a specialist.

What is contact dermatitis?

In simple terms, contact dermatitis is a type of skin rash that develops when your skin comes in contact with chemicals or substances that trigger an irritant or allergic reaction. We divide it into two types:

Irritant contact dermatitis

This is by far the most common form, accounting for more than 80% of cases. Irritant contact dermatitis occurs following the exposure of irritants to susceptible skin.

Allergic contact dermatitis

Sometimes the skin becomes sensitized to an allergen. When this happens, you may develop a rash after coming into contact with specific allergens. Reactions may be immediate or delayed.

Common irritant dermatitis triggers

Substances that irritate the skin can vary widely from person to person. However, certain chemicals are more likely to cause problems for patients with irritant contact dermatitis than others. These are:

  • Detergents
  • Soaps
  • Perfumes
  • Household cleaners
  • Fabric dryer sheets
  • Facial creams
  • Waxes

Common allergic triggers

Allergens affect each person differently; not everyone is allergic to the same substances. Some of the most common triggers for allergic contact dermatitis are:

  • Perfumes
  • Hair dye
  • Preservatives
  • Adhesives
  • Nickel
  • Latex
  • Clothing dyes

Contact Dermatitis Prevention

The best way to prevent contact dermatitis is by knowing what allergens or irritants make you break out and avoiding them. If you come into contact with any allergens or irritants, wash them off as soon as possible to reduce your risk of a reaction.

If you’re not sure what’s causing your rashes, take these steps:

  • Don’t use any products that produce fragrances, dyes, or perfumes.
  • If you encounter an irritant or allergen, such as plants or cleaning products, wear protective gear like long sleeves and pants. Goggles and gloves are also recommended when using certain substances.
  • It’s important to use a barrier cream to moisturize and strengthen your skin’s outer layer.
  • Before using any new product, test a small patch of skin for a time period necessary to tell if sensitivity occurs.

Until You See a Specialist In Home Treatment Methods

Depending on the severity of contact dermatitis, it may be effectively treated with at-home solutions. When you first experience a skin reaction, you can try these at-home solutions to ease discomfort:

  • Refrain from scratching or touching the affected area, as doing so will worsen the reaction. 
  • Avoid the allergy-causing substance and thoroughly clean the skin with a gentle soap to remove all traces of the substance.
  • Soothe the skin by applying a non-prescription anti-itch cream, ideally with a minimum of 1% hydrocortisone. 
  • For extreme itching, take an over-the-counter, oral, anti-itch medication, such as a corticosteroid or antihistamine. 
  • Soak the affected area in a lukewarm bath.
  • Use a cold pack wrapped in a wet towel to relieve burning and discomfort temporarily. 

Symptoms of contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis symptoms vary greatly and can range from mild to severe enough to interfere with daily life. Here are some telltale signs of contact dermatitis:

  • Itchy skin
  • Reddening of the skin
  • Patches of dry, scaly skin
  • Blisters
  • Hives (urticaria)
  • Cracked skin
  • Burning sensations

In severe cases, patients may experience swelling of the eyes, lips, and face. This can be a life-threatening reaction, so call 911 immediately if you experience swelling of the face or trouble breathing.

Contact dermatitis can be difficult to distinguish from other types of rashes. Proper diagnosis requires evaluation by a trained specialist. When you visit Kratz Allergy, you will meet Dr. Jaime Kratz, MD, and his team and Immunology Associates, who have been serving the needs of Trinity, New Port Richey, Port Richey, Hudson, Spring Hill, FL, and beyond for 23 years. You can rest assured that he and his team will get to the root of your symptoms and create an appropriate treatment plan.

If you’re struggling with unexplained rashes, it could be contact dermatitis.

Doctor-prescribed solutions may be needed for severe cases of contact dermatitis. Your doctor can prescribe a topical steroid cream or ointment to reduce skin rash. You may also receive a prescription for an oral corticosteroid medication to manage itching or antibiotics if the rash becomes a bacterial infection. 

Contact dermatitis is an entirely manageable skin reaction that is not severe or contagious; if treated effectively, it can be treated within weeks. Contact us at 727-819-1610 Kratz Allergy & Asthma to schedule an appointment and learn about our full range of allergy and immunology services.   

How to get rid of itchy skin at night

How to get rid of itchy skin at night

Itchiness may not seem like a big issue in the beginning but it will get annoying and disruptive when you start experiencing it every night. Itchiness tends to get worse at night compared to the daytime because the body releases cytokines in the evening that increase inflammation and itching. Moreover, they reduce the secretion of corticosteroid hormones in the body.

Corticosteroid hormones help in reducing inflammation. The fact that there are fewer distractions at night while trying to sleep makes the itching worse. If you are tired of itchy skin at night, here are a few remedies you can try to get some relief:

Keep the skin cool

If you are tired of itchy skin at night, keep it cool. Keeping the skin cool can help in reducing inflammation and itching. There are various ways to cool your skin. For instance, you can apply an ice pack to the itchy and inflamed areas. A cold, wet compress can provide a lot of relief as well. Also, you can cover the itchy spots with a damp covering. This will prevent you from scratching the itchy bumps repeatedly. Usually the more you scratch, the more you want to scratch.  However, implementing this technique will be very difficult if these spots are large or all over your body.

Stress reduction

This may not be obvious, but stress can lead to itchy skin. Due to stress, the itchy feeling can get heightened and make you feel more annoyed and irritated. However, this is not an instant solution that will help to sleep at night. You will have to work on your stress and the reason for it over time. This is usually not a quick fix but will gradually provide relief from chronic itching. You can try meditation and yoga to reduce stress.

Apply moisturizers

Itchy skin can result from dry skin. Skin can get dehydrated due to various reasons. You can get your smooth and supple skin back by moisturizing it. There are many moisturizers available in the market. Look for a quality moisturizer designed for sensitive skin. You can easily find lots of affordable options. Always consider buying a heavy product like cream over a lotion.

This is because thick creams will add additional moisture to your skin. Cooling moisturizers that contain menthol can be an excellent solution for this. Apply the cream to your skin after a shower and rub it gently to moisturize. Make sure you cover the entire area bothering you.

Take baking soda or oatmeal baths

Taking a bath in lukewarm water before going to bed can provide relief from itchy skin at night. Make sure you only use a soap designed for sensitive skin. Besides mild soap, you can do a few other things while bathing to reduce itchiness.

For instance, taking a baking soda bath can be very beneficial. Just add a cup of baking soda into a bucket of lukewarm water and allow it to soak for an hour. Oatmeal can also be used for this purpose. Use a blender to grind oatmeal into a fine powder. You can then add it to the water.

Apple cider vinegar

Many people believe that apple cider vinegar is not beneficial to itchy skin. Contrary to that, you can get a lot of relief by using it. It has antiseptic, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties. Applying it to your skin can reduce itching. Instead of the commonly used apple cider vinegar in most kitchens, opt for raw, organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar.

It will be more effective in getting rid of the itch. If there are only a few itchy spots, you can apply it with a cotton ball directly to the skin. However, if you feel itchy all over your body, add 2 to 3 cups of apple cider vinegar to a bucket of water, soak for 30 minutes, and then bathe in it.

Drink plenty of water

Drinking plenty of water will benefit your health in various ways, including relieving itchiness. It will help to keep your skin hydrated and prevent dry skin. Moreover, drinking water flushes out toxins from your body that can irritate you.

Also, you should reduce your caffeine and alcohol consumption as they dehydrate the skin and can cause more itching. If possible, replace your morning coffee and evening cocktails with regular water. You can consider using a humidifier in your bedroom while sleeping as well.

Treat with medication

You may not be able to get rid of itchy skin at night using only home remedies. In such cases, you should treat it with medication. You can get over-the-counter anti-itch ointments if there are small, itchy areas all over your body. These contain only 1% hydrocortisone. Hydrocortisone is a steroid used for itching, redness, and swelling. If it does not provide relief, you will require more potent ointments, requiring a doctor’s prescription.

Consult an expert

If you have tried the above methods to get rid of your itchy skin and you aren’t feeling relief within a week or two, you should see a doctor. There are various issues that can lead to dry skin and itchiness like an allergic reaction or a skin disorder. Dry and itchy skin can sometimes be a symptom of more serious illnesses. Therefore, it is always advised to consult an expert. Kratz Allergy & Asthma is one of the most reputed and trusted centers in Florida, dedicated to providing treatments for various skin-related issues. Contact 727-819-1610 to schedule an appointment today!

Allergy Specialist

Allergy Specialist – Finding The Right One To Put An End To Your Allergy Troubles

Allergy Specialist – Our body reacts to substances that are otherwise normally harmless, like food, pets, pollen, mold, and latex, in sensitive ways that sometimes lead to immune reactions ranging from mild to severe. This reaction is known as an allergic reaction, and these substances are referred to as allergens. Some allergens like bees, wasps, and insect stings can be dangerous to some degree, even in non-allergic people but can be life-threatening to people with diagnosed allergies.

Allergic symptoms manifest in different forms, which include a runny nose, itchiness, body rash, red and watery eyes, swollen body parts, and difficulty breathing. If you’re prone to allergies, you may experience one or more of these symptoms when exposed to allergens. Also, the amount of allergen you are exposed to may influence the degree to which you experience these symptoms.

But why do we have allergies at all? You can say allergies occur as a result of an overzealous immune system. For illustration, there’s nothing innately harmful about legumes like peanuts or animals like cats or dogs. 

But when people allergic to peanuts or cats come into contact with the plant protein in peanuts by way of ingestion or the animal dander by inhalation, the immune system perceives these substances as foreign and responds by producing antibodies, specifically Immunoglobulin (IgE) antibodies in attempts to launch an attack. 

This triggers the release of histamine, a hormone responsible for inflammatory responses and fighting pathogens, which is responsible for the allergy symptoms we experience.

Today, about 41.7% of American adults report one type of allergy. Depending on how adverse they are, when these symptoms appear, we usually allow them to run their course, refer to over-the-counter medication, or go to see a general medical practitioner for advice.

However, when you experience a serious allergic reaction and OTC medications can’t effectively relieve your condition, even a primary care physician would have to refer you to an allergy specialist.

What Is An Allergy Specialist?

An allergy specialist is essentially an allergist [also known as an immunologist] – a physician specializing in diagnosing, treating, and managing allergies and other immune problems. An allergist must comprehensively know how your body system fights infections to diagnose and treat allergies effectively.

According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology [AAAAI], specialization as an allergist in the United States requires, on average, nine years of further education and practice after completing a bachelor’s degree.

Upon completing a graduate degree, an allergist must undergo three years of residency training as a pediatrician or internal medicine practitioner and pass respective board-certified exams.

Afterward, they would need to undertake an additional two to three years of fellowship training in a certified immunology training program. After this, they must pass the American Board of Allergy and Immunology [ABAI] certification exam.

As you can imagine, being an allergist/immunologist is a sophisticated field that warrants careful consideration. This leads us to our next point of discussion – how do you find an allergy specialist to manage your allergy condition for the better?

Finding The Right Allergy Specialist

Before looking for a specialist, you may have already seen a Primary Healthcare professional for primary diagnosis. However, because your health and overall quality of life depend on it, it is crucial that you find an allergy specialist that ticks all the boxes for you while considering how comfortable you feel in their presence, medical costs, and their level of experience. Here are some important considerations to keep in mind.

Research Your Specialist Credentials

When choosing an allergist, certification from a recognized board is a criterion you should have at the top of your list. Board certification assures you that the doctor has completed the necessary training and is skilled and experienced in providing health care for immunological disorders and allergies.

During your research, you should also look into the doctor’s history of malpractice claims or disciplinary actions, if they have any. You can find all this information regarding your allergist’s med school training, certifications, and practice history on board or state websites.

Seek Referrals And Recommendations

Your Primary Healthcare professional would be a good place to start your search for an allergy specialist. They would be able to refer you to a certified specialist around your locality.

You can also ask for recommendations from family and friends who have had a similar allergy or immune condition in the past. After getting referrals, you should call the allergist’s office to book a consultation or interview with the doctor.

Consider Your Insurance Coverage

Depending on your insurance plan, seeking an allergy specialist may not be covered by your health insurance. It would help if you considered how much of your treatment your insurance provider would be able to cover and how much your out-of-pocket costs will be before deciding on an allergist. 

You may need to confirm with your immunologist if they accept your HMO and other considerations like the quality of the hospital or facility you choose for your treatment.

Read Online Reviews

You can understand a lot about how an allergist practices by reading reviews from previous patients online. You can do this before scheduling an appointment with your allergy specialist to resolve any questions you may have in mind when you visit the doctor’s office.

Reviews from other patients can tell you about the office environment, patient service, wait times, and appointment schedules, even before you leave the comfort of your home.

You can get answers to questions like how much time the doctor spends with patients, how hospitable the Medical Center is, and the level of trust patients have in the doctor’s capabilities.

Consider Their Experience

Practicing as an allergy specialist requires a considerable level of experience. The experience an allergist/immunologist has with a particular condition would determine how well suited they are to treat you and improve your condition effectively.

During your consultation, you can enquire about how many people the allergist has attended to in the past with your type of condition. You can also learn about possible complications you’ll likely face during the treatment.

Ask About Virtual Appointment

These days medical professionals can diagnose, treat, and prescribe medication to patients with mild selective conditions using telecommunications technologies like smartphones and computers. This is known as telehealth, a service many healthcare professionals offer patients to reduce the number of physical visits their patients have to go through.

Of course, telehealth is no replacement for an in-person doctor appointment. Still, it means fewer trips to the doctor’s office for you in cases like routine follow-ups or minor complaints.

What To Expect From An Allergy Specialist?

A trained and certified allergist takes a holistic approach to treating allergies. They would have a look into your medical history, family health history, and your lifestyle to put together diagnostic tests and treatment plans tailored to your condition. Here are a few questions to expect when you visit an allergist.

  • How long have you had symptoms, and when did you start noticing them?
  • Have you ever experienced anaphylactic shock?
  • How did you treat the condition?
  • Do you experience a runny nose, itchy skin, or watery eyes?
  • What time of the year and in which environment do you usually experience these symptoms?
  • Does your family have a history of asthma allergies or other immune conditions?

After this, the doctor may recommend allergy testing to confirm what allergies your body reacts to. One such test is a skin prick test which works by pricking your skin and applying a small quantity of the allergen in liquid form. If you’re reactive, this will be evidenced by a bump appearing on the skin area within minutes.

In other cases, the allergy specialists may ask for a blood test, requiring your blood sample to be taken and analyzed in the laboratory.

Treatment plans for allergy patients include:

  • Medications, e.g., EpiPens and other preventive drugs
  • Non-medical therapies, e.g., the use of face masks when in public places
  •  Allergen avoidance – which involves staying away from places allergens are usually found in abundance, like flower gardens, in case of a pollen allergy.
  • Immunotherapy – which involves controlled exposure to the allergen in minimal doses to build resistance

The Bottomline

Our body responds to allergens differently as we age and change our lifestyles. Therefore, you must seek an allergist with whom you can build a lasting relationship, someone you can regularly see to look for changes and update your treatment plan.

Kratz Allergy and Asthma, based in Port Richey, Florida, has an experienced allergist and immunologist of 23 years Dr. Jamie Kratz, MD. Get in touch for more information on everything allergy and book a consultation today.

Finding an Asthma Specialist

Tips For Choosing The Right Asthma Specialist

Finding an Asthma Specialist – Effective tips to guide you

Asthma is a complex respiratory condition that exists in various forms. The disease is usually identified by spastic attacks in the lungs, causing inflammation, swelling, and breathing difficulties. These spasms often happen due to a reaction to an allergy or other types of hypersensitivity.

If you are reading this, the prevailing paragraph is perhaps redundant [but needed]. You may already be familiar with this condition firsthand or through personal experience with a loved one. What you would like to know is how to find the right asthma specialist to help you effectively treat and care for asthma. We’ll be delving into that immediately, but before that, you should probably know your options.

Types of Asthma Specialists and Why You Need Them

Tips For Choosing The Right Asthma Specialist
ASTHMA

If you are among the 25 million people reported to have asthma in the United States, you were probably diagnosed by a physician and advised on managing symptom flares and attacks. However, your primary care provider alone may not be your best bet in the long term, especially if you suffer from more severe asthma and run-of-the-mill corticosteroids are not adequately alleviating your symptoms. 

More often than not, when your case is not responding to primary treatments, you are referred to any of these asthma specialists.

  • Pulmonologist

Pulmonologists are physicians with specialized training in pulmonary medicine. They diagnose, treat, and manage respiratory diseases and disorders. These conditions include asthma and various other respiratory conditions, including bronchitis, lung cancer, sleep apnea, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder [COPD].

A pulmonologist often attends to patients with severe or chronic breathing problems. Their added experience in diagnosing and treating a limited range of lung-related illnesses allows them to understand better the impact asthma and other respiratory diseases have on the body system.

If your asthma results from an allergy, you are more likely to benefit from seeing a doctor specializing in treating allergies.

  • Immunologist/Allergist

An immunologist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of immune system diseases and disorders. Immunologists are also called allergists because they manage respiratory allergic reactions such as asthma, hay fever, and other environmental, food, and drug-related allergies.

Allergies can be caused by dust, animal matter, or other harmful substances. However, due to a complex in some people, the immune system perceives harmless substances like peanuts and seafood as allergens [allergy causing substances] and launches an attack on the allergen; this is the typical case of many allergic reactions and allergic asthma attacks.

Immunologists recognize the complicated bodily processes that lead to allergic asthma attacks. They can help you identify the nature of your asthma allergy and what substances you are allergic to and advise you on how to avoid them. 

If you have mild or non-allergic asthma, you may not have a lot to gain from seeing an allergist, as they are more specialized in targeting allergy-related illnesses.

  • Respiratory Therapist/ Pulmonary Rehabilitation Specialist

Though not technically a doctor, respiratory therapists are healthcare providers specially educated and trained in dysfunctions of the respiratory system and associated body organs. 

Respiratory therapists manage asthma symptoms by teaching breathing exercises and counseling nutritional habits that will help alleviate asthma attacks.

 Your doctor may recommend this type of therapist after a severe attack to help you recuperate quickly and rehabilitate your respiratory system.

However, pulmonary rehabilitation specialists are not a substitute for asthma specialists like allergists and pulmonologists; they cannot prescribe you medications. Still, they are an often-necessary addition to help quicken recovery and teach effective management exercises and habits.

Choosing The Right Specialist

If you suspect symptoms of asthma, you should first get a diagnosis from your primary healthcare provider before you go on the lookout for an asthma specialist. They can run a series of preliminary tests to confirm if you have asthma. Afterward, you can then pick the type of specialist that best fits your condition.

Before you sign on, however, you should consider these questions

  • Is your specialist board certified? This should perhaps be your most important question. Certification from a reputed medical board assures you the doctor has completed the necessary training and education and that they are an expert in their field.
  • Is your doctor an academic fellow? If so, this might mean they participate in more clinical research trials, and you may gain access to these latest medications.
  • How far is your doctor from you? Your home or office should be located a reasonable distance from your doctor’s hospital in case an emergency arises.
  • Does your doctor have an associate or substitute? This is especially important because you may need someone to care for you should your asthma specialist be absent or on leave.
  • How do they handle emergencies? Can you call in after hours in the event of a crisis?
  • Will your treatment be covered by insurance? If so, what will your out-of-pocket costs be?

Benefits of Consulting with an Asthma Specialist

Because asthma doesn’t fall under one area of medicine, different types of specialists offer varying degrees of advantages to help you manage asthma. Asthma specialists can, however, help you with expert knowledge and experience in these regards:

Keeping Up-to-date on The Newest Asthma Medication

Although your primary healthcare provider can prescribe you asthma medicines, asthma specialists are specially equipped for this as they are constantly in the know of new and experimental asthma medications that other physicians may not be aware of. 

Some medicines used to suppress and control the immune system’s reactions to asthma allergens can only be prescribed by certified specialists.

Identifying Triggers, Assessing Treatments, and Monitoring Developments

An asthma specialist like an allergist can carry out tests to point out allergens such as dust, pollen, mold, and animal dander that cause asthmatic reactions and advise patients on how to avoid them. Having someone to constantly monitor your progress, evaluate therapies, and update your treatment as your condition progresses is also part of the perks of having a versed specialist by your side.

Access to Latest Diagnostic Methods and Equipment

An asthma specialist such as an immunologist or pulmonologist would have the best up-to-date diagnostic tools and equipment used to measure lung health and function that a primary care provider may not. 

These tools can help determine how responsive the lungs are to treatment and can help to predict the long-term outcome of treatments.

Helping You Manage Chronic Asthma

Asthma specialists can help you make the best of your condition. Many asthma patients exclude themselves from normal endeavors like sports and exercise, but sometimes the triggers that bring about asthma flares are unavoidable, and excluding yourself from average activities won’t make them cease automatically. Asthma specialists like pulmonologists and respiratory therapists can help you manage asthma symptoms by prescribing exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle changes to help you accommodate asthma.

The Bottomline 

Asthma is a manageable condition that should not be allowed to interfere with your physical or social life. Asthma specialists have the knowledge and expertise to help you deal with any asthmatic disease, liberating you to be fully functional in your everyday life.

If you or a close relation have a lingering asthmatic condition, look up Kratz Allergy and Asthma, they are considered one of the best medical centers offering asthma, allergy, and immunological services for children and adults in the Tampa Bay Area and have been serving the Trinity, New Port Rickey , Port Richey, Hudson, Spring Hill and beyond for over 23 years.  

Allergy Shots

How often would you require allergy shots?

A saying goes, “for every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction”. Allergies are our body’s reaction to our immune system’s hypersensitivity to harmless substances perceived as harmful. 

Pet fur, flowers, dust, food, dander, and other allergens could cause a serious allergic reaction. Not everybody has allergies, but once you notice you do and you’ve ascertained the allergen, you should take appropriate measures for treatment. 

The hypersensitivity may cause serious symptoms like rashes, swelling, sneezing, shock, and even asthmatic symptoms. Allergy shots, also called allergy immunotherapy, refer to a long-term allergy treatment that helps your body get used to allergens. They are not a cure, but they reduce your symptoms drastically and might even eliminate the allergic reaction

What do I need to know before I take allergy shots?

You must take an allergy test to ascertain what allergen is causing your allergy. There are different ways to test for your allergy; run a test with a qualified healthcare provider to be sure it’s the right protocol for you and your health. There are skin tests, blood tests, or challenge tests.

Skin test: here, a small amount of the suspected allergen is applied by tapping the skin, scratching on the skin, or injected under the skin, and the area is observed for 15 minutes for a reaction. 

Blood Test: here, a finger prick of blood is examined for antibodies to fight against the allergen. 

Challenge test: here, to identify food allergies and sensitivities, certain foods known to cause symptoms are removed from your diet for a few weeks and reintroduced later so you will eat the food again, and then we test your body’s reaction. 

What happens next?

Once you know the allergen, your experienced Allergist (a doctor that diagnoses and treats allergies) will help you create a serum to nullify your allergic reaction. 

The serum is the injection treatment that will be administered for a long period, probably regularly, to help you build a tolerance or immunity to allergies. The treatment doesn’t take long and doesn’t hurt.

How should you prepare for your allergy shots, and what should you expect during the treatment?

First, set an appointment with the right healthcare provider, Kratz Allergy and Asthma, for your allergy treatment. Here, Dr. Jamie Kratz will talk to you about your symptoms and treatments filling you in with all the necessary information. 

You will be advised to avoid strenuous exercises before and after your treatment. You will be asked about your symptoms and how you’ve been managing them, if it occurs regularly or whatnot. You will also be asked if you are taking medications or herbs currently; these precautions and advice are to protect you from the adverse effects of the reaction of the allergy shots and your medications. Exercises speed your heart rate, meaning once the allergy shots are injected into your bloodstream, they will work at an accelerated speed. 

The shots contain just enough allergens to stimulate your immune system; the allergy shots have mild side effects, and exercises will increase the reaction rate. The allergy shots are meant for you to build the tolerance of your allergens and may even make your allergy go away. 

How often will you require an allergy shot? 

The allergy shots will be injected into your upper arm containing the allergen causing your allergy. The allergy shot is administered depending on the severity of your allergic reaction, and it involves different phases.

The Build-up phase

During the build-up phase, you will be under constant monitoring for adverse effects. The buildup phase is administered 2 to 4 times weekly for 3 to 6 months with a gradually increased dosage. 

You might choose to speed up your allergy shots with rush immunotherapy; this is the daily administration of increasing doses of allergens in the allergy shots, this is a quick way to get results, but it puts you at risk of several allergic reactions. Your doctor will check on you closely during the treatment if you have a bad allergic reaction. To help prevent a response, you may be prescribed medications before the shots.

The Maintenance phase

Next is the maintenance phase, where your time for shots will be spaced, meaning you will now get a once-a-month dose for 3 to 5 years. 

With this treatment, you will have tolerance for your allergic reaction, and if you haven’t, you’d need to consult your allergist for a new treatment plan. 

What happens after taking the shots? 

You will be required to rest for 30 minutes, and then you may be asked to go home. 

At home, avoid anything that may trigger your allergic reaction; smoking, dirty environment, pets, and poor ventilation. 

Stay indoors, close windows to avoid dust or insects from coming in, spray your rooms with insecticide, use air conditioners and air dehumidifiers, eat a healthy meal, avoid your allergens, wash your beddings, clothes, duvet, keep pets outside your rooms if you are allergic to pet fur, and clean dirty surfaces.

As mentioned earlier, allergy shots have mild side effects like swelling, soreness, redness, increased temperature, and itching on the arm where the allergy shot was injected should disappear within 4 to 8 hours. 

When should I call my Allergist? 

The effects may be mild or worse; sneezing, throat swelling, chest tightness, low blood pressure, shortness of breath, rashes, and hives; If you get these symptoms after you leave, call your allergist, go back to your doctor’s office, or to the nearest emergency room.

Do allergy shots work for everyone? 

Allergy shots are for people with chronic allergies, it is not proven to work on food, drugs, and latex allergies, but it has greatly helped people with chronic allergies like bee stings, dust, dust mite, pollen, and pest dangers.

People who have used this treatment experienced drastic changes in their reactions to allergies. The symptoms are more tolerable as they go about their daily life without worry.

Conclusion

Take control of your health today, and find out why you are always sneezing when offered flowers, petting the cat, or have a rash after eating a certain food.

Allergies should never be taken lightly; they have mild to severe symptoms that can cause death. Book an appointment with Kratz Allergy & Asthma today.

Some Effective Ways to Cope With Food Allergies

Millions of US citizens have food allergic reactions every year. They occur when your immune system triggers abnormal responses to certain foods. Some of the main food allergies include peanuts, cow milk, eggs, shellfish, and soybeans.

Some of these reactions have minor symptoms and some major symptoms. Symptoms vary from person to person and depending on the food causing the allergy, and they can range from sneezing, nasal congestion, rashes, and ear infection.

Anaphylaxis is the most severe symptom, which impairs your breathing and sends your body into shock. It is life-threatening and results in approximately 150 deaths yearly in the US.

While there is currently no standard cure for food allergies, the best way is to avoid certain foods. Some of the measures you can take include:

Read food labels

When buying food, it’s obvious to look at labels to identify the ingredients in the foods you buy. The 2004 Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) states that manufacturers list the common foods that cause food allergies on their labels as major food allergens.

They may list those ingredients with their name, like milk, or following an ingredient name, like flour (wheat).

In addition to looking at the ingredients, you should also look for statements like ‘may contain’ or ‘processed in a facility that also makes….’ While these statements are voluntary for manufacturers to add, they help you avoid any risk of an allergic reaction.

Avoid cross-reactivity and cross-contact

Cross-contact happens when you unintentionally transfer an allergen to food without the allergen directly or indirectly. It might happen, for example, by using a knife previously used to spread peanut butter to spread jam.

Some tips to avoid cross-contact include:

  • Remove all the foods you are allergic to from your pantry, freezer, or refrigerator
  • Clean your cooking apparatus, including stovetop, utensils, and oven, with soap and water
  • Have spate food preparation or storage areas if you share your house with someone
  • If you are cooking a lot of food, cook your safe foods first
  • Never share food
  • Cover allergy-safe foods
  • If you are eating out, inform the restaurant personnel about your food allergies

Cross-reactivity happens when different foods have the same proteins, causing your body to treat them as one. While some people have isolated food allergies, some are allergic to a particular group like fatty fish or finned fish, meaning they have to avoid all food from that group.

Try an oral food challenge or skin test to determine whether you are allergic to different foods in the same group.

Recognize your symptoms

Identifying your allergy symptoms early could be the key to saving your life or preventing it from escalating, especially anaphylaxis, which can be hard to identify. Some signs to look out for include symptoms involving your soft mucosal nose lining, skin, gastrointestinal tract, mouth, impaired breathing, abdominal cramps, or a drop in blood pressure that causes weakness or fainting.

Other food allergies symptoms can affect your body parts in the following ways:

  • Eyes- Redness, tears, itching, or swelling
  • Skin- Redness, hives, itching, rash, or red bumps
  • Lower respiratory- Wheezing, chest tightness, cough, or shortness of breath
  • Upper respiratory- Sneezing, runny nose, hoarseness, nasal congestion, itching, or dry cough
  • Gastrointestinal- Reflux, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, bloody stool, or abdominal pain
  • Mouth- Swelling of the palate, tongue, or lips
  • Cardiovascular- Dizziness, fainting, slow or rapid heartbeat, or low blood pressure

Prepare for emergency action

If you suffer from a life-threatening food allergies, ensure everybody around you knows what to do if you get an allergic reaction. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology has an anaphylaxis emergency action plan that you can download.

Food allergy

Important Signs You May Have A Food Allergy

Food Allergy Awareness

May is food allergy month which means that it’s time to spread as much awareness about food allergies as possible. Did you know that at least 50 million Americans today are struggling with allergies? Additionally, most of the people suffering from allergies also struggle with asthma. What’s most shocking is the fact that there are still many people out there who could be struggling with an allergy without their knowledge. Are you one of them? Keep reading to find out.

Signs you may have a food allergy without knowing it

If you have never been diagnosed with allergies before, it can be difficult to identify an allergy attack right away. Luckily for you, we are spreading awareness about allergy infections during this food allergy month so that you can avoid suffering unnecessarily. Some of the subtle allergy signs you might be underestimating include:

Constant congestion

Do you have a nasal congestion that keeps recurring? If so, you could be having an allergy attack without knowing it. Congestion is the most overlooked allergy symptom yet it’s one of the biggest indicators of an allergy infection. Frequent congestion in young adults and kids should not be ignored because if left untreated, it could develop into allergic bronchitis, which increases the risk of developing asthma.

Therefore, if you have a congestion that keeps coming back, we recommend you book an appointment with us at Kratz Allergy & Asthma, so that we can check it out.

Cold and ear infection

Another allergy symptom you should be on the lookout for during this food allergy month is a persistent cold and ear infection. If your nose is chronically stuffed, it makes you more vulnerable to ear infections. Additionally, what could seem like a chronic sinus infection could in fact be a chronic allergic inflammation that is causing the nasal congestion.

Have you been having a recurring ear infection that is usually followed by congestion? Call us today to book an allergy test appointment.

Undiagnosed food allergy

If you have an undiagnosed food sensitivity or allergy, then you could be suffering allergy attacks without your knowledge. Food allergies in particular can lead to anaphylaxis, which can quickly turn life threatening without medical intervention.

During this food allergy month, food allergies are a trending topic in many health circles because there are many categories of food today e.g. dairy, legumes, and gluten. There is always something new to be on the lookout for. Although food allergies are frequent in children, it is possible to develop food allergies at any age.

The most common foods that may trigger an allergy at any age include:

  • Shellfish
  • Eggs
  • Tree nuts
  • Dairy
  • Wheat
  • Fish
  • Soy
  • Peanuts

Signs you could be developing a food allergy without your knowledge include:

  • An itchy or tingly mouth
  • Feeling nauseated or vomiting after a meal
  • Diarrhea or abdominal pain
  • Feeling light headed or dizzy
  • Difficulty swallowing food
  • Itchy eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Skin rash

If you realize that you usually experience some of the above symptoms after taking a particular type of food, please visit us today for a check up to confirm whether you indeed have a food allergy.

10 Uncommon Allergies

Uncommon Allergies

10 Uncommon Allergies

We all know about seasonal allergies, nut allergies, pet allergies, and other prevalent allergy types. However, there are countless uncommon allergies that you may never have thought about, including:

1. Coconut

Though rare, coconut allergy is possible. While coconut falls under the FDA’s classification of a tree nut for labeling purposes, it’s not actually a tree nut. So, most people with tree nut allergies can eat coconut without experiencing allergy symptoms. However, people with a coconut allergy may experience itchiness in the mouth and, in very rare cases, anaphylaxis. A coconut allergy may also cause a skin reaction with the use of soaps, lotions, and personal care products that contain coconut.   Continue reading “10 Uncommon Allergies”