Buy A Nasal Irrigation System
Nasal rinses use saline solution to clean your sinuses and flush out germs before they take hold. Nasal irrigation is recommended for anyone with asthma, allergies, sinus infections, and other upper respiratory conditions. Make a point to buy a nasal irrigation system this year so you can take advantage of this natural way to manage your symptoms.
Differences Between A Dermatologist And An Allergist
Even if something gives us an allergic reaction, most of us cant help ourselves from enjoying the allergen such as eating certain foods, petting furry animals, or hanging out with friends in the pollution-filled city.
Once you have an allergic reaction, your skin may start to get reddish and patchy. Perhaps youre suddenly getting this reaction, and youve never been allergic before.
But who should you visit to have this treated, a dermatologist or an allergist? Lets take a look at these two different types of medical specializations and who would be best to diagnose and treat your sudden skin reaction.
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What Can I Do If I Am Prone To Sinus Infections
Ways to help mitigate the symptoms of chronic sinusitis include:
- Consult with a Board-certified allergist to help determine if allergies are a cause for your symptoms.
- Application of a warm towel to the head, neck, and face to ease pain and pressure.
- Use of saline spray to keep nasal passages clean and decongested.
- Use of OTC decongestants, although these are not recommended as part of a long-term treatment plan.
- Use of a vaporizer or humidifier, especially during the dry winter months. Just be sure to clean the unit routinely, as unclean it poses more risks than benefits.
- Get a better understanding and management plan for allergies, which can be a trigger.
- Try to avoid smoke like cigarettes or even cars, which can inflame the nasal passages.
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When To See An Allergist
Allergists/Immunologists are highly trained specialists that diagnose, treat, and manage allergic inflammation of all types through nonsurgical methods.
Allergies are caused when the immune system decides that an otherwise harmless substance is now a threat . Symptoms can be mild or severe, and in some cases, can lead to a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis when triggered by foods, stinging insects or medications. Allergic reactions to environmental substances are very common and usually cause recurrent nasal congestion, uncomfortable facial pressure, nasal drainage, throat clearing, and/or sneezing. Many people with environmental allergies frequently complain of having chronic sinus headaches or sinus pain.
There is no doubt that allergies can have a major impact on the quality of life for people of all ages. Unfortunately, many people struggling with allergic nasal or sinus problems do not realize their symptoms are due to allergies and believe that their condition is untreatable. Fortunately, these symptoms can usually be effectively managed or even prevented with an Allergists help.
Schedule An Allergist Consultation In Princeton Or Robbinsville Nj
Prior to joining the Penn Medicine Becker ENT & Allergy family, Dr. Kathryn Edwards completed a 16-year career with the United States Army, serving military families as an Allergist specialist. Specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of seasonal and environmental allergies, skin conditions, asthma, and food allergies Dr. Edwards brings her extensive Allergist knowledge to our Princeton and Robbinsville offices.
Dr. Edwards performed her undergraduate studies at the University of Delaware and then proceeded onto these next accomplishments:
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Questions The Doctor May Have
Be prepared to tell the allergist about your symptoms and your lifestyle. They may want to know:
- What kinds of symptoms do you have?
- How long have you had them?
- When your symptoms happen, how long do they last?
- Do your symptoms come and go throughout the year, or do they last year-round?
- Do your symptoms hit when youâre outdoors, or indoors like when you clean your home?
- Do they get worse when youâre around pets? Do you have any pets?
- Do you smoke? Does anyone in your family smoke?
- Do your symptoms keep you from doing things or from sleeping at night?
- What makes your symptoms better? What types of treatments have you tried?
- What allergy drugs are you taking now? Do they help?
- What other medications are you taking, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements?
- What kind of heating system do you have? Do you have central air conditioning?
- Do you have any other health conditions, like asthma or high blood pressure?
- Do you have problems with your sense of smell or taste?
- Do you get better on the weekend and worse when you go back to work?
Know Your Providers: What Does A Pulmonologist Do
- Health & Wellness
Whether you’re seeking a diagnosis for a lung condition or you’ve finally figured out why you’re struggling to breathe, a pulmonologist is a type of doctor you may be referred to see. But what do they do? Who do they treat? How can they help you?
Here’s what you need to know about pulmonologists.
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Why Havent I Been Referred
If you meet the criteria for a referral to a specialist yet your PCP hasnt referred you, it could be due to many reasons.
- Your PCP doesnt think they need help managing your/your childs asthma. Sometimes doctors dont know when to ask for help and may need a nudge from you. If you want a referral to an asthma specialist, ask for it.
- The healthcare system may be getting in the way. Your area may not have the appropriate asthma specialists available, or you or your doctor may be trying to keep your healthcare costs low.
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Find Out More About Severe Asthma
Severe persistent asthma affects roughly 5% to 10% of all asthma sufferers and can have a significant impact on daily life. Long-term treatment is necessary, but with the help of your doctor, severe asthma can be controlled. These doctors are specially trained to treat asthma. They can help you find the right combination of medication and self-care to help manage your asthma.
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With A Chronic Condition Like Asthma Youll Need To Turn To A Team Of Asthma Specialists To Help You Manage Your Symptoms And Prevent Attacks
Chronic asthma is a complex condition that requires a robust healthcare team. If youre suffering from asthma, youll likely begin your journey with your primary healthcare provider. That person will help connect with you other asthma specialists youll need to see to help you manage your asthma the providers who can help create a plan of action.
A lot of times asthma cases are too complicated to be managed entirely in the primary care doctors office, said Basil Kahwash, M.D., of the Vanderbilt Allergy, Sinus and Asthma program. For example, if a patients asthma is triggered by allergies they may need focused allergy testing.
Kahwash, who is an immunologist, is one example of a provider you might see in addition to your primary care doctor. Immunologists have special training in allergies and asthma. Here are some other asthma specialists who might be on your care team.
What Can You Expect When You See An Allergist
An allergist or immunologist will often interview their patient, perform a physical examination, and then run a series of sensitivity/allergy tests. They can help you create an asthma action plan and identify necessary medications, including emergency rescue medications.
An asthma action plan contains basic information like your name and any medications you take. The plan should also include what to do when an asthma attack occurs and when to seek medical attention. Writing this plan out provides peace of mind knowing that you have an emergency course of action.
An allergist may also conduct lung function tests known as spirometry. If the spirometry data indicates poor lung function, your allergist may refer you to a pulmonologist for further evaluation. For some asthma cases, either type of doctor may recommend daily at-home spirometry so that they can monitor your spirometry data over time.
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What Are The Signs Of Asthma
Many people first receive an asthma diagnosis after an asthma attack. In a severe asthma attack, you feel like you cant breathe or cant get enough air. Sudden asthma attacks, or exacerbations, can last from a few minutes to days. If left untreated, asthma attacks can be dangerous.
While asthma is a lifelong disease, most people have periodic attacks separated by symptom-free periods. People with asthma may experience:
- Coughing, especially at night or in the early morning
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The Severity Of Your Asthma
If you have a lower level of severity in your asthma, you may not need to look for a specialized asthma doctor, but simply someone who will be able to prescribe medication and help you learn how to manage your symptoms. However, if your asthma is more severe and interferes with your ability to live your daily life, you may want to turn to a specialist that will be able to help with particularly severe forms of asthma.
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Create An Asthma Action Plan
An asthma action plan is a written treatment plan that describes the following:
- How to identify allergens or irritants to avoid
- How to know if you are having an asthma attack and what to do
- Which medicines to take and when to take them
- When to call your doctor or go to the emergency room
- Who to contact in an emergency
Watch the video or download a sample Asthma Action Plan.
What Kind Of Doctor Is An Allergist
An allergist is a pediatric and/or internal medicine physician who has undergone at least two additional years of specialized training in Allergy & Immunology. Allergists are specifically trained to diagnose and treat patients who have asthma, allergies, and immunologic diseases. No other physician specialty has this level of expertise in treating patients with these conditions.
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When To See An Allergist For Hayfever Symptoms
Your allergies are causing symptoms such as chronic sinus infections, nasal congestion or difficulty breathing. You experience hay fever or other allergy symptoms several months out of the year. Antihistamines and over-the-counter medications do not control your allergy symptoms or create unacceptable side effects, such as drowsiness.
The allergist treats asthma and allergies. An allergist is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of asthma and other allergic diseases. The allergist is specially trained to identify allergy and asthma triggers.
An allergist is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of asthma and other allergic diseases. The allergist is specially trained to identify allergy and asthma triggers. Allergists help people treat or prevent their allergy problems.
Common Causes Of Persistent Coughing
- Asthma. Chronic cough as the only sign of asthma is often referred to as cough variant asthma. Its usually a dry, hacking cough that may worsen following exercise, talking, laughing or crying. Pulmonary function tests may be normal or reveal a mild obstructive pattern. When pulmonary function tests are normal, a positive methacholine challenge helps support the diagnosis of asthma. Such patients often have a dramatic response to asthma medications included beta agonists , cromolyn sodium and or inhaled corticosteroids.
- Non-asthmatic eosinophilic bronchitis. These patients have evidence of eosionophils in their sputum and often respond to corticosteroids. Their methacholine challenge is negative and distinguishes these patients as non-asthmatics.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease . It is thought that the gastric acid irritation of the respiratory mucosa stimulates the Vagus nerve, leading to a chronic cough. Treatment includes a proton pump inhibitor , inhibiting acid production and reflux by elevating the head of the bed, discontinuing smoking, losing weight and following a diet that doesnt stimulate acid production. All of these treatments can decrease this cough.
- Upper airway allergy . This may lead to chronic post-nasal drip.
- Post infectious cough. This may follow a viral infection of the respiratory tract and coughing can last up to 6 months.
- Chronic sinusitis.
- Bronchiectasis. This is caused by damaged bronchial tubes
- Psychological causes. Cough diminishes during sleep.
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Why You Should Have A Primary Care Physician In Addition To An Asthma Doctor
What are the benefits of having a primary care physician? Isnt your asthma doctor enough? Many questions surround the issue of having both a primary care physician and an asthma specialist. Many patients feel they dont need two doctors. In fact, a lot of patients treat their asthma specialists as their PCP.
However, it is highly recommended that you also have a primary care physician on your medical care team. An asthma specialist can adequately treat asthma, but not much else. On the other hand, a primary care physician can treat a plethora of health problems, including asthma. When a specialist is necessary, your primary care physician will collaborate with them to ensure you get the care you need.
What Do They Do
Allergist/immunologists perform a wide range of tests and procedures to identify and treat immune conditions.
Clinical allergist/immunologists work with patients directly. During the initial visit, an allergist/immunologist will review the personâs medical history. They may ask questions regarding a personâs:
- current symptoms
- previous treatments and their effects
- family medical history
- exposure to environmental toxins
After gathering enough background information, an allergist/immunologist might recommend one or more tests to help them diagnose the underlying immune condition. They may use:
- Patch tests, which can help identify specific substances that cause allergic skin reactions.
- Skin prick tests to identify specific immediate allergies to environmental and food triggers.
- Antibody tests to measure the levels of antibodies present in the blood. Allergist/immunologists use these tests when they diagnose immunodeficiency conditions and allergies.
- T cell tests, which measure the number of specialized immune cells, called T cells, in the blood. Allergist/Immunologists also use this test to evaluate a personâs T cell activity.
Once an allergist/immunologist diagnoses an underlying condition, they can plan the best course of action. Treatments for allergic and immune diseases vary and can include:
Allergist/immunologists can also educate people about their condition and provide valuable lifestyle and dietary tips to help them manage their symptoms.
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Allergic Asthma And Xolair Discussion Guides
Allergic Asthma Discussion Guide
If you have not yet been diagnosed with allergic asthma, then the Allergic Asthma Discussion Guide may be helpful when talking to your asthma specialist.
XOLAIR Discussion Guide
If you have allergic asthma and want to discuss treatment options with your asthma specialist, then the XOLAIR Discussion Guide may be helpful to you.
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What To Consider When Choosing A Specialist
When choosing a specialist, take these considerations into account:
- How many years have they been practicing their specialty?
- How experienced are they in treating your condition?
- Have any complaints been logged against them in the Federation of State Medical Boards DocInfo database?
- If surgery is required, how many times a week do they perform the procedure you need?
- Do they accept your insurance?
- How comfortable do they make you feel?
- Are they patient enough to answer all your questions without rushing you through the appointment?
- Does their office follow local COVID-19 safety guidelines?
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Maeve E Oconnor Md Facaai Faaaai Facp
Dr. Maeve OConnor provides a more progressive approach for treating allergy, asthma and immunology patients. She is Board Certified by both the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Allergy and Immunology. She is one of only three specialists to have completed the University of Arizona Fellowship of Integrative Medicine, and has been selected by her peers to be included in the Best Doctors of America database from 2011 to currently.
Dr. OConnor has been one of Charlotte Magazines Top Doctors for both Adult Allergy/Immunology and Pediatric Allergy/Immunology from 2007-currently. Additionally, Dr. OConnor is listed in North Carolinas Best Doctors. She treats patients of all ages and is fluent in Spanish.
Dr. OConnor is the only board certified allergist in the region offering sublingual immunotherapy, and is also performing clinical research. She has published research articles on desensitization immunotherapy, asthma, and food allergy. She is currently involved in clinical research of asthma, allergic rhinitis, immune deficiency and novel treatment for atopic diseases.
Meet With An Allergist To Identify Your Triggers
If you dont already have an asthma and allergy treatment plan, its time to make one. An evaluation from a board-certified allergist can be highly beneficial. Your allergist will assess your condition, help determine your triggers, and suggest ways to manage your symptoms. Allergy symptoms can sometimes be controlled with easy modifications to your environment. Asthma can be better controlled with a personalized combination of fast-acting treatment and long-term treatment .
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New Years Resolutions For Your Health
Have you set any New Years resolutions yet? Most people want to be healthier, but this is easier said than done, especially if asthma or allergies get in your way. Its not enough to say, I will be healthier in 2022your goals must be measurable and actionable if you hope to achieve them. If you have asthma or allergies, check out these 15 New Years resolutions for your health that you can actually keep this year.