Allergy, Asthma, Immunology on Madison

Allergy and Immunology in New York City

Evelyn Tolston, M.D. - Monday, August 26, 2013

An allergy is the body's intolerance of a certain substance or item. For some reason or another, an allergy sufferer’s body is sensitive to such a substance, and it reacts by causing an immune system response. The immune system response seeks to rid the body of the foreign object in a number of ways. A person who has a food allergy may develop diarrhea or nausea and vomiting. A person who is allergic to pollen may experience swollen, closed nasal passages and a runny nose. A person who is allergic to dogs or cats may develop hives or itchy, runny eyes.


A wide variety of allergies exists, and each person with allergies can have various reactions to the allergens. Furthermore, allergic reactions can be mild or life threatening. For example, a person might react to a bug bite by getting a single painful raised bump, while another person who receives a bee sting may need to be hospitalized for difficulty breathing.


An allergy and immunology facility is where a person can go if he or she thinks that an allergy exists. At this type of facility, immunologists are able to perform a series of tests to determine if any allergy exists. If the immunologists find that the sufferer is allergic to a certain substance, he or she can then develop an effective treatment plan that includes immunology.


Specialists may perform one or several tests for allergies. The skin test is a test in which the specialist pokes the person’s skin with a panel of widely known allergens. This panel may include dog or cat hair, dust mites, ragweed and more. The specialist will then watch the client’s reaction to determine if he or she has an allergy, and to which substance the person has the greatest reaction. The specialist can then develop a treatment plan from there. Other tests the facility may administer are asthma evaluations, nasal functions tests, drug allergy testing, food allergy testing, and various laboratory tests.


Immunology treatment includes slowly exposing the allergic person to small amounts of an allergen. For example, a person who is allergic to dust mites will receive weekly or monthly shots of a substance that contains a small amount of dust mites. The concept is that slow exposure to the substance will build the person’s immunity and sensitivity to the substance. This method is highly effective and is widely used in the treatment of various allergies. To get started with treatment, an interested party can contact an allergy and immunology facility today.

Treat Your Asthma Efficiently

Evelyn Tolston, M.D. - Monday, July 22, 2013

Many persons are not aware that the symptoms of asthma constitute an immune system response. Asthma, in fact, is a disorder of the immune system. The very same system that protects the human body from disease can over-react. Then the immune system attacks the body instead of the disease. Children are especially vulnerable to the effects of asthma. It is important for parents of asthmatic children to be aware of clinics specializing in treatments for them.


Asthma begins quietly. Many asthmatic children and adults have inherited a predisposition towards asthma. When they are exposed to allergens, their bodies will automatically trigger an allergic response that will eventually result in asthma. Other people may inhale a chemical component or pet dander or pollen. These substances may then cling to the membranes in the lungs. For either type of person, the foreign substances may trigger an allergy cascade. That means that T cells and B cells have been activated to produce antibodies. These cells are now at the ready, and the next time the body encounters the substances an allergic, asthmatic reaction will occur.


Asthma is a serious, chronic condition in which airways are always inflamed. The inflammation makes it very difficult to move air in and out of the lungs. Asthmatics often experience wheezing and a very disconcerting shortness of breath.


Immunologists specialize in the treatment of asthma and other allergies. Immunologists are physicians who have completed two years of additional study in immunology training. This is typically called a fellowship.


In order to effectively cope with asthma, an asthma specialist should be consulted. Although there is no cure for asthma, an asthma specialist can assist with management of the condition, which is a key component for quality of life. When asthma is effectively controlled, participation in daily activities and even sports is possible. Enhancement of well-being often occurs when asthma is well-managed, because great amounts of energy are sometimes siphoned off for a person with asthma to breathe.


Treatments for asthma emphasize control for the long term, and ultimately, prevention of reaction. Often, patients will be advised to recognize what triggers their particular asthma reactions, and to avoid the triggers. Sometimes this is simple, like avoiding cat dander. Other times, the triggers are too diverse for such avoidance.

As of today, the standard treatments for asthma will involve inhalers, oral medications and sometimes injections. These medications are often administered in various combinations, and tailored to the individual situation as much as possible.