Specializing in adult and childhood allergies, asthma, and immunologic disorders in Abilene and the Big Country Area.    Click here for shot schedule changes.

About Allergies

Affecting as much as 50 million Americans, allergies pose a major health concern in the United States. Allergies are defined as your own body’s immune system treating a foreign object coming in contact with your body as an invading organism or chemical compound. As a result, your body releases a wide range of chemicals to defend itself against the perceived invasion. Your allergic symptoms are caused by the chemicals your body releases. Symptoms vary from mere annoyances to fatal reactions.

Allergy Symptoms Impact Different Parts Of Your Body

Depending on the allergen (the foreign particle your body is allergic to), your allergy symptoms can impact your intestines, stomach, skin, lungs, eyes, throat, or nose, among other body parts. In rare situations, certain allergens can trigger reactions that affect your whole body.

How Allergy Symptoms Manifest

Since different allergens impact different parts of your body differently, your allergy symptoms vary quite a bit depending on the allergen and body part impacted. Symptoms fall within a range of effects from itchiness, redness, inflammation or sweating.

Generally Speaking, allergy symptoms can be classified into the following groupings (Click or tap on each to learn more)

Stinging Insect Allergies

Including bee, wasp, and hornet stings

Drug Allergies

Allergic reactions to chemical compounds included in medication.

Eye Allergies

Heightened sensitivity to fine particles that impact the eyes.

Food Allergies

Rashes, mouth irritation, vomiting, and inflammation caused by certain food items like peanuts or certain seafood.

Latex Allergies

Hives, trouble breathing, and other symptoms due to exposure to latex gloves or latex paint and other common items containing latex.

Mold Allergies

Sneezing and runny eyes due to the presence of mold spores.

Pet Allergies

Sneezing, coughing, irritated eyes and skin due to the presence of pet dander.

Skin Allergies

A wide category of allergies that produce pronounced skin symptoms like rashes, itchiness, and hives. Rhinitis, sinusitis, and other nose-related allergies – a wide range of allergic symptoms that produce sinus effects including sneezing, postnasal drainage, and a runny nose.

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About Asthma

Affecting close to 26 million people in the United States alone, asthma is one of the leading causes of lost work and school productivity due to absences. In the U.S. alone, the direct cost of treating this medical condition reaches past $16.1 billion annually. Globally, close to 300 million people have been diagnosed with asthma. Frustratingly enough, researchers haven’t found the exact cause for asthma attacks. There is no cure. However, over the years several effective treatment options have become available for this medical condition. These treatments can help asthma sufferers reverse or control asthma’s main effect on the lung passageway and airway inflammation.

No Cure Yet

As mentioned above, there is as, of this writing, no cure for asthma. Thankfully, people with asthma don’t need to be completely cured to get a measure of relief-there are many effective treatments that can help decrease asthma’s symptoms significantly. In fact, as the year rolls on, more and more effective medications come on the market to provide better levels of relief. We’ve reached a stage where most asthmatics, with the help of proper medication, can live comfortable and productive lives with asthmas.

Asthma Symptoms

Generally, asthma involves the chronic and long-term inflammation of the lungs’ airways and passages. This inflammation varies in intensity and occurrence. Many times, the symptoms come back again and again. Other symptoms involve obstructions in the lung’s airflow and bronchospasm. These are often exhibited in the form of shortness of breath, tightness in the asthmatic’s chest, heavy or persistent coughing and wheezing.

If you exhibit any of the following symptoms, you might need to check with your primary care physician and ask for a referral to an asthma specialist. Common asthma symptoms include: (Click or tap on each to learn more)

Persistant Cough

The most suspicious are coughs that persist for a long time and happen either in the morning time or at night.

Wheezing Cough

You create a whistling sound when you cough. Sometimes this type of cough has a squeaking effect.

Tightness In Your Chest

Even if you are not coughing or wheezing, a persistent chest tightness might be an indicator of asthma.

Trouble With Your Breathing

If you can only breathe in short breaths, or you have difficulty getting air in your lungs, you might need to see your doctor for a possible asthma check.
Long, drawn out coughing – be on the lookout for long episodes of coughing when you are laughing, during exercise or at certain times like nighttime.

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Causes of Asthma

Many researchers believe that asthma is caused by both environmental and genetic factors combined. Unfortunately, the exact cause for asthma is far from certain.

Diagnosing Asthma

Doctors arrive at asthma diagnoses by studying the patient’s symptom patterns as well as how the patient responds to treatment over a period of time. Upon diagnosis, a patient’s asthma is often classified based on how frequent asthma symptoms appear, how often a patient is needing rescue medications, and how a patient’s lung volumes look on spirometry.

Common Treatments of Asthma

Treatment involves both prevention and medication. Prevention involves avoiding common irritants that provoke asthma attacks (strong smells, polluted air, and tobacco smoke). Asthma medical treatments often include the use of inhalers that contain beta-2 agonist compounds like albuterol which is used when patients are symptomatic. Inhaled corticosteroids, long-acting beta agonists, and leukotriene antagonists can be started if the patient is still experiencing symptoms.