What is Allergy Immunology

Immunology is a very broad branch of biological science. It is commonly defined as the study of the immune system. In medicine, an immunologist is a specialist who uses his knowledge to evaluate, diagnose and manage patients with immunological disorders like asthma, food allergies, sinusitis, and more. In Phoenix, immunologists is commonly referred to as  allergists.

Specially Licensure:
An allergy immunologist such as Dr. Habib-Khazen and Dr Alasaly had to go through years of education and training in order to learn how to treat and manage allergies and asthma.

Our doctors must complete a medical degree, and then, train as a physician in either pediatrics or internal medicine. Once training has been completed, the physician must pass either the American Board of Internal Medicine or the American Board of Pediatrics.

To become an immunologist, a physician must undergo an additional two years of study (fellowship) focusing on immunology, and  pass the American Board of Allergy and Immunology’s certifying exam.

An allergist/immunologist’s education and training doesn’t stop there. Because immunology is applied to several other scientific disciplines, new discoveries in the field are continually being made. To remain a certified immunologist in Phoenix, continued medical education is  necessary in order to keep up with the latest news and remain competent in the field.

The Role of the Allergy/Immunologist:
Unlike other types of diseases, allergic disease isn’t a condition that can “go away” easily. Some people dismiss allergies and regard them as a mere nuisance. Patients who suffer from allergies know that this condition can  be debilitating and  keep them from their daily routines.

An effective Phoenix immunologist diagnoses the condition and provides a management plan to help the patient manage his allergy or asthma better, reducing the number of times the patient misses school or work because he/she has to stay at home to rest. The immunologist uses different allergy tests to determine what a patient is allergic to and what triggers allergic reactions. These tests include allergy skin testing, pulmonary function testing, penicillin testing, food testing, chemical and food patch testing, and venom and stinging insect testing.

Consult our Allergy Asthma Clinics which are renowned for the quality of care:
When in need of comprehensive treatment options, you can rely on our dedicated team of doctors, nurses, and staff to work with you in helping you better manage your asthmatic allergy or respiratory/sinus concerns. By working with our  certified and experienced team at our Phoenix clinic or another location, you will find out exactly the cause of your condition, what triggers your asthma or allergic reaction, and how you can effectively manage it.

Find out why 1000s of patients have chosen us to be their Phoenix immunologists!  Please call NOW to schedule appointment at 602-242-4592!

Advertisements

Could your Asthmatic Attack be because of your Dad?

Across the U.S., more than 15 million people over the age of 18 and another 5 million under 17 have been diagnosed with the chronic disease called asthma. A diagnosis of asthma should be taken seriously, as it can lead to a life-threatening situation without any warning. 

If you are one of the millions who are living with asthma, it’s important that you know the factors that increase your risk of an asthmatic attack. Knowing those risks can be the difference that saves your life.

Genetics

A pattern of allergies and asthma amongst family members could be an indication that you will be susceptible to developing this disease as well. Know your family history to determine if this is a risk factor for you. Yes, the fact that that your mom or dad has asthma – could be a predictor if you are going to have it.

Prenatal Lung Damage

When an expectant mother smokes, the fetus is subjected to the pollutants in the same manner as the woman, during the critical developmental process. Was your biological mother a smoker? This could increase your risk of allergies and/or asthma.

Also true is the fact that a premature birth can interrupt the development of a person’s airways. Anyone who is born earlier than projected could have a higher susceptibility to asthma.

Chemical Pollutants

Breathing in chemicals and harsh pollutants can cause damage to the sensitive air passages that our bodies need to survive. When you are working with these substances, wearing appropriate safety gear is always recommended. Otherwise, you may find yourself in further danger of experiencing asthma for the rest of your life.

For more information on avoiding the worst of the asthma and asthmatic allergies, please contact us at Adult & Pediatric Allergy Associates, P.C..

Are You Exposing Yourself to These 10 Common Skin Allergy Triggers?

1218px-Skin_prick_testing_for_allergies

Is your allergist in Scottsdale constantly helping you battle skin allergies? It may be because you are constantly exposing yourself to common allergy and asthma triggers.

 No touching!

Contact dermatitis, skin allergies characterized by rashes or skin irritation resulting from allergens coming in contact with your skin, affect up to 3 percent of adults. Its triggers are often common – and sometimes surprising.

 When it comes to skin allergies, are you your own worst enemy?

  1. Perfumes.
    Not just Chanel No. 5, we’re talking shampoo, soap, detergents, dryer sheets, air fresheners, and more. Only products labelled “fragrance-free,” not unscented, are immune.
  2. Nickel.
    Found in items from jewellery, watchbands, and glasses, to the zippers and buttons on your clothes, this common allergen can be worsened by sweat. To avoid sensitivity, items must be coated.
  3. Latex.
    Gloves, rubber bands, waistbands on pants, and more can contain latex, resulting in reactions from itchy eyes and rashes to difficulty breathing and vomiting.
  4. Dyes.
    To avoid contact dermatitis, a patch test is required prior to the application of hair dye or henna tattoos containing para-phenylenediamine (PPD).
  5. Clothing.
    Formaldehyde resins, used in clothing elastics and fabrics for waterproofing, shrinkage, and wrinkle resistance, can cause burning eyes, skin rashes, and chest tightness. Cotton, polyester, nylon, and acrylic are typically more lightly treated.
  6. Cosmetics.
    Preservatives such as formaldehyde, parabens, and thimerosal used in cosmetics can cause skin irritation at the site of contact.
  7. Creams and ointments.
    Neomycin, used in antibiotic and anaesthetic (pain relief) creams, ear drops, and eye drops, can irritate the skin. Not sure if that’s you? Try a patch test.
  8. Sunscreen.
    Common sunscreen ingredients can cause allergic reactions, including PABA (para-amino benzoic acid), oxybenzone, salicylates, benzophenones, and cyclohexanol. Reactions may be on contact for some, or for others only following sun exposure.
  9. Household products.
    Skin irritation is common after exposure to adhesives (superglue) and organic solvents (charcoal lighter fluid, paint thinner, furniture stripper, and nail polish remover).
  10. Poison ivy, oak, and sumac.
    Urushiol, a sticky substance found in poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac, can cause redness, itchiness, hives, and blisters – but only in susceptible individuals.

Give your allergist in Scottsdale a hand. Put these items on your list of usual suspects. Take them out of commission and reduce your skin allergy risk today!

Rosalyn Carson-DeWitt, MD. Top 10 Skin Allergy Triggers.  Retrieved from http://www.everydayhealth.com/allergy-photos/top-10-skin-allergy-triggers.aspx#01

Children’s Food Allergies Are On the Rise – Is Your Child Protected?

food_allergy_generic

On the rise at your local allergy and asthma clinic: food allergies in children, to the tune of an increase around 50 percent between 1997 and 2011. That’s one in every 13 children, over 38 percent of which have a history of severe allergic reactions. Is your child effected by this potentially deadly issue?

Food allergy suspects: Repeat offenders
The most common food allergens seen in an allergy and asthma clinic are allergies to milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish. These eight foods account for 90 percent of all reactions. Even trace amounts can cause an allergic response. With over 30 percent of children with food allergies having sensitivities to multiple items, that’s a huge possibility of allergic reaction.

Keep kids safe – learn the signs of food allergies!
Within minutes to up to two hours after eating, food allergy reactions may be mild to severe, including…

  • Hives or itchy skin rashes.
  • Swelling of the lips and face.
  • Swollen, itchy, watery eyes.
  • Swelling of the mouth or throat.
  • Runny nose.
  • Repetitive cough.
  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing.
  • Stomach cramps, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Handling a severe food allergy reaction in your child
Every 3 minutes, someone is seen in an emergency room for a food allergy. To keep your child from becoming a statistic, it pays to be proactive.

  • Identify food allergies with the help of your local allergy and asthma clinic.
  • Consider medical identification jewelry.
  • Don’t take chances with problem foods. Reactions can worsen, and allergy medications are not foolproof.
  • When eating away from home, always read labels and ask questions to ensure food safety.
  • If you are at risk of severe food allergy reactions or anaphylaxis, keep doses of epinephrine (adrenaline) on you at all times for administration via auto-injector.
  • Make sure prescriptions are up-to-date.
  • Ensure your child, family members, and those who see your child on a regular basis (teachers, coaches, etc.) are aware of your child’s food allergy, as well as how and when to administer emergency medication.
  • If your child experiences a severe allergic response, don’t wait, treat symptoms immediately!
  • ALWAYS call 9-1-1 immediately following an anaphylactic reaction, even if medication appears to have resolved symptoms.

Food allergies don’t have to take over your life. Avoid anaphylaxis and effectively manage food allergies with the help of your local allergy and asthma clinic today!
“Facts and Statistics.” Retrieved July 21, 2015, from http://www.foodallergy.org/facts-and-stats.
“Allergy Statistics.” Retrieved July 21, 2015, from http://www.aaaai.org/about-the-aaaai/newsroom/allergy-statistics.aspx
“Food Allergy Training Guide for Hospital and Food Service Staff.” Retrieved July 21, 2015, from http://www.foodallergy.org/document.doc?id=149
“About Anaphylaxis.” Retrieved July 21, 2015, from http://www.foodallergy.org/anaphylaxis
“FAACT Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection Team Brochure.” Retrieved July 21, 2015, from http://www.foodallergyawareness.org/media/faactbrochure/FAACT%20Brochure.pdf

Pediatric Allergy Advice about Baby Allergies

https://apis.google.com/_/scs/apps-static/_/js/k=oz.gapi.en.X_SX1gxatd0.O/m=autocomplete/rt=j/sv=1/d=1/ed=1/am=AQ/rs=AGLTcCN_7UNXDfu_4Oc2tu_RtjSyDEhyug/t=zcms/cb=gapi.loaded_0https://apis.google.com/js/wmtn.js?onload=ac_loadedIs your precious bundle of joy fussy, sneezy, oozing with mucus, or covered in a miserable rash? These signs may not be a cold or flu, but baby allergies, a possible cause of long-term issues if not handled quickly and properly.

girl-568205__180

A common condition

Fifty million Americans suffer allergies, which emerge during infancy or childhood and rank number one among children’s chronic disease. Unlike colds and flus, which are seasonal, allergies may be present any time of the year. Symptoms may even be ongoing if the allergens which are effecting the baby are indoors.

Caused by an over reactive immune system, common signs of baby allergies include:

* Nasal congestion.

Mouth breathing can result in fitful sleep and daytime fatigue. More than a nuisance, if not addressed, mouth breathing can also lead to malformation of the facial bones and teeth.

* Ear infections.

Ear infections are painful, and fluid buildup can decrease hearing, hindering speech development.

* Skin problems. Many rashes are related to baby allergies, including…

  • Atopic dermatitis (eczema). A red, scaly, sometimes oozing rash common on baby’s cheeks, torso, arms, and legs.
  • Contact dermatitis. Caused by a skin reaction to soap, detergent, clothing materials, poison ivy, or any other item that has come in contact with baby’s body, resulting in a sensitivity rash.
  • Hives. Intensely itchy, raised red welts.

*Stomach sensitivities

Not only from food allergies, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and nausea may also result from sinus drainage and the swallowing of phlegm, which can irritate baby’s stomach. If other causes have been ruled out and baby is still fussy, baby allergies may be the culprit.

* Behavioral issues

Eating, sleeping, and mood disorders could be the result of baby allergies.

* Food allergies

Especially sensitive babies may have reactions to foods breastfeeding mothers eat. When introducing solids to baby, food introduction should be done gradually, one food at a time, separated by a week or more, in order to identify potential baby allergies.

Your sweetheart doesn’t have to suffer

A consultation withDr. Habib or Dr. Alasaly may help you determine if your baby has allergies and if allergy testing is necessary.

An ounce of prevention…

Minimize baby’s exposure to allergens until the offending sources can be determined and addressed.

  • Breastfeed your baby for first 4 months.
  • Introduce new foods wisely but try to expose your baby to most of the solid foods in the 2nd 6 months of life to help in the development of tolerance.
  • Don’t withhold commonly allergenic foods (milk, eggs, fish, nuts).
  • Clean regularly to keep dust, pollen, and mold under control.
  • Use dust-mite proof bedding covers.
  • Reduce pet dander with weekly bathing.
  • Keep pets out of baby’s room.
  • Put away feather pillows.
  •  Use hypoallergenic laundry detergent.
  • Avoid carpeting, especially in baby’s room.
  • Never allow smoking in your home.

Unsure if baby allergies are what’s troubling your tender little treasure? Adult & Pediatric Allergy Associates can help. Contact us to schedule a consultation today!

Are Dust Mites Exacerbating Your Asthma Symptoms?

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America as many as 20 million

Americans, many of whom have asthma, are affected by dust mite allergies. Whilst

incredibly small (about a quarter of a millimeter), dust mites are thought to be the

biggest contributor to year-round asthma and allergy problems, exacerbating asthma

symptoms for millions of sufferers.

112281555__04_331993c

Found in almost every home in the world, dust mites are well adapted to their

environment and mainly feed on the flakes of human skin that people naturally shed

every day: the skin shed by an average person each day can feed up to a million dust

mites! As they feed these dust mites create waste which contains certain proteins that

are known to be allergens; people with a dust mite allergy are actually reacting to the

waste rather than the dust mites themselves.

These allergens causes a range of symptoms including sneezing, itchy & watery

eyes, a running nose and a cough which will be present at all times of the year. These

are of particular concern for asthma sufferers since they can trigger asthma symptoms

in the home. You may find that symptoms lessen or become more severe depending

what room or building you are in.

Since the highest number of dust mites are normally found in the bedroom you may

wake up with symptoms and then improve later in the day once you are in the

workplace or another room in your home. While you are unlikely to ever completely

remove dust mites from your home there are a number of steps you can take to

decrease their numbers and help control your allergy.

Most dust mites live deep inside your furniture and carpets and so are safe from being

vacuumed up.

Further steps are required to reduce their numbers:

  • Regularly wash sheets, blankets and curtains in hot water to kill dust mites.
  • Consider replacing curtains with blinds.
  • Replace carpets with other types of flooring such as washable rugs over a wooden floor.
  • Dust mites love high humidity so a dehumidifier can help, aim for a humidity of less than 50%.
  • Cover pillows and mattresses in allergen-impermeable covers.

For more information and tips specific to your lifestyle and to receive a true diagnosis

you should book an appointment with your local Scottsdale allergen and asthma

specialist.