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July 02
Upcoming Office Closings

There are some changes to our schedules in the coming weeks:

  • Friday, JULY 4th - ALL Offices will be closed
  • Friday, JULY 18th - Our Forest Avenue Office will close at 12:30 pm - last injection will be at Noon.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

 

June 03
What is An Allergist?

 

AAllergy doctor Richmond, VA Allergy testing Richmond, VA
An allergist/immunologist (commonly referred to as an allergist) is a physician specially trained to diagnose, treat, and manage allergies, asthma, and immunologic disorders including primary immune deficiency disorders. These conditions range from the very, very rare to the very common, span all ages, and encompass various organ systems.
 
In the United States, becoming an allergist/immunologist requires at least an additional nine years of training beyond a bachelor’s degree. After completing medical school, physicians undergo three years of training in internal medicine or pediatrics and pass the exam of either the American Board of Internal Medicine or the American Board of Pediatrics. Internist and pediatricians interested in becoming an allergist/immunologist have at least an additional two years of study, called fellowship, in an allergy/immunology training program. All allergists are trained to become both adult and pediatric allergists.
 
Allergists/immunologists listed as board-certified have successfully passed certifying examination of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology. Board certification ensures that the treating physician has successfully completed all of training to be expert in the management, treatment, and diagnosis of allergies, asthma, and other allergic diseases.

The allergist/immunologist is uniquely trained in:

  • Allergy testing (skin testing and in-vitro)
  • History-allergy test correlation
  • Bronchial provocation testing
  • Environmental control education
  • Inhalant immunotherapy
  • Immunomodulatory therapy (for example anti-IGE and IVIG)
  • Venom immunotherapy
  • Food and drug challenges and drug desensitization
  • Evaluation of immune competence
  • Education (disease, medications, monitoring)
  • Management of chronic or recurrent conditions where allergy may be playing a role

Conditions for which the allergist/immunologist is uniquely qualified to manage patients includes: 

  • Allergic rhinitis (hay fever)
  • Asthma
  • Allergic conjunctivitis
  • Chronic cough
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Urticaria and angioedema
  • Atopic dermatitis (eczema)
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Anaphylaxis (bee sting, drugs, food or other causes)
  • Diagnosis, treatment, and management of immune deficiencies
 

 

June 03
Dr. T was featured in the news

Dr. Thyagarajan was recently interviewed on WTVR CBS 6 News regarding summer time asthma. To watch the interview, click on the following link:

 

 

May 23
Our Webinars are on YouTube

Our recent webinar on Allergic Rhinitis was a big hit!  Dr. Christopher Copenhaver with Allergy Partners discussed seasonal allergies, which included a review of causes, symptoms and treatment options. Drs. Bill McCann and Ananth Thyagarajan, also with Allergy Partners, joined Dr. Copenhaver after the initial presentation to host a live Q&A session with the audience.  There were a wealth of great questions which provided a lot of educational opportunities.
 
If you couldn’t attend but would like to enjoy the broadcast, you can find the recording on our Allergy Partners YouTube Channel, www.youtube.com/myallergypartners

 

Our channel also offers a variety of other videos on topics such as skin testing, inhaler use, food allergies, and more. 

 

May 12
Exercise and Asthma

Excercise and asthma.jpg

Exercise and Asthma

 

OK, you have trained for the big race, but you know that sometimes exercise makes you feel tight in the chest. Often you have a feeling of shortness of breath along with wheezing.  What is going on?  Are you going to be able to run in the race?  Is this bad?
 
Not to worry.  You most likely have Exercise Induced Bronchospasm or EIB, sometimes also called Exercise Induced Asthma (EIA).  Many famous athletes have had asthma or EIB, among them these Olympians:
          Bill Koch - First American to win World Cup in cross-country skiing
          Greg Louganis - Olympic diver-USA 4 golds, 1 silver
          Peter Maher - Olympic marathoner
          Tom Malchow - Olympic swimmer gold medalist
          Mark Spitz - 1972 Gold medalist in swimming - 7 golds at one Olympics, 9 overall.
          Curt Harnett - Olympic cyclist and silver medalist
          Jackie Joyner Kersee - ranked among the all-time greatest athletes in the women's heptathlon as well as in the women's long jump
 
Here are some statistics about EIB:
          It occurs in about 12% to 15% of the US general population and 10% of school children.
          Of patients with chronic asthma, 70% to 90% have an exercise component to their disease.
          Up to 40% of patients with allergic rhinitis without asthma at other times also have EIB.
          5% - 10% of patients with EIB have no concomitant respiratory or allergic disease.
          11% of US Olympians in the 1984 Olympic Summer Games met the criteria for EIB.
          17% Of the US Olympians in the 1998 Olympic Winter Games admitted the need for medication for their exercise-induced symptoms.
          Incidence of EIB in US Army recruits about 7%-- But no effect on physical performance during basic training.
 
What are the symptoms?
          Wheezing and/or tightness in the chest with shortness of breath.
          Symptoms start 5-10 minutes into vigorous exercise or, often, 5-10 minutes after stopping.
          If no medication is taken, it typically lasts 30-60 minutes and then goes away.
          In 50% of those with EIB, there is a “refractory period,” which begins 30 minutes to 4 hours after the start of exercise.  During this period, an individual can continue to exercise without being subject to wheezing or chest tightness.  These individuals can use this to their advantage to allow continued physical activity.
          Some individuals experience a late reaction in which symptoms recur 12 -16 hours after exercise and can last 24 hours.
 
So what is the cause of EIB?
 Most researchers feel that it is due to cooling and drying of the airways.  Those who have asthma have “twitchy airways.” When breathing in cold air, pollutants, irritants such as smoke or strong odors or allergens such as pollen -- the smooth muscles around the airways contract and the inside of the airways produce excess mucous.  When exercising, especially in cold air, the individual breathes through the mouth so that the nose does not have a chance to warm the air.  Also, the air is exchanged more rapidly, which means that the airways are subject to drying, just like if a wind was blowing over a moist surface.  This causes the airways to be irritable and the mucous membranes to swell and produce excess mucous. In short,  an asthmatic reaction occurs, producing the symptoms described above.
 
So what can be done about it? Here are some suggestions:
 When exercising in cold weather, put a scarf over your nose and mouth.  This will help to make the air warmer.  Avoid exercising on high pollution days or high pollen days (f you are allergic to pollen).  If that cannot be avoided, wear a pollen mask while exercising.  Some exercises may be easier for those subject to EIB, including swimming, biking , surfing or hiking.  Your doctor may prescribe a short acting bronchodilator medication, such as Proventil, ProAir or Ventolin, to take 2 puffs 10-15 minutes before exercise.  If the expected duration of exercise is going to be more than 2-3 hours, a longer-acting bronchodilator, such as Serevent or Foradil, may work better.  If you have already taken your inhaler and start to wheeze while exercising, then additional puffs may be taken.  There are other medications which may help, which include cromolyn sodium (Intal) taken 15 minutes before exercise or Singulair, taken 2 hours before exercise.  Of course, if there is chronic asthma, that needs to be controlled with regular corticosteroid inhalers or with dual-acting inhalers that have both an inhaled corticosteroid and a long-acting bronchodilator.
  
And now—off to the races!!
 
As always, you can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for pollen counts, office information, patient education and more. If you enjoyed this post please “Like” us on Facebook and “Share” the article.

 

May 06
Thursday Hours - Henrico Office

Our office will be closing Thursday, May 8th at 3:30 pm

The last injections will be at 3pm.

We apologize for any inconvenience

April 23
Free Seasonal Allergies Webinar

Interested in learning more about the causes and treatments for allergies or would you like the opportunity to ask a physician all of your spring allergy related questions?  

Join us May 20th at 9:00 PM EST for an interactive, live webinar!  Follow this link to register or scan the QR code below.
  
Feel free to share this link with your family and friends so they can participate too!
 
WebinarAR.jpg

 

 

April 15
Dr. T. was featured again in the local news!

​Dr. T. was featured in a CBS6 news report about pollen season:

 

April 03
How to beat your spring allergies

Spring time is coming soon or is already here for many parts of the country. Along with the warm weather and birds singing we also see large amounts of tree and grass pollen. For those of us that suffer from spring time allergies this can be a really tough time of year with symptoms such as runny/congested noses, itchy/watery eyes, and (in some) increased cough and wheezing. We manage allergies in three ways:

1.       Avoidance: Pollen is prevalent in the southeast for 9 – 10 months a year. It’s difficult to avoid pollen, but simple avoidance measures such as keeping bedroom windows closed, using central or window air conditioning and changing filters monthly can help. Also, shower and shampoo hair as soon as you are done working or playing outside, and keep animals outdoors as they carry pollen on their coats. Click here to see our Environmental Control Handbook.  Keep track of pollen counts to know when allergen levels are high.
2.       Medications: A variety of medications are useful in treating symptoms. Antihistamines are useful for alleviating itching and sneezing, while decongestants alleviate congestion. Nasal sprays (both steroid and antihistamine) effectively treat many nasal symptoms while a variety of antihistamine eye drops are available for eye symptoms. Many allergy sufferers start their medication regimen before pollen season begins to prevent symptoms from becoming too severe. If you suffer from asthma, there are different types of inhaler medications that can treat ongoing symptoms and others that help prevent symptoms from occurring in the first place.
3.       Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy is a very effective treatment for allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis and asthma. Unlike medications that treat symptoms only, immunotherapy desensitizes the immune system and prevents symptoms from developing in the first place. Immunotherapy is effective in approximately 85% of patients and reduces symptoms, decreased the need for medications and may prevent asthma in young children. There are multiple studies that show that immunotherapy decreases health care costs in both adults and children. Immunotherapy also has the potential to create long term relief from allergy symptoms even after the treatment is completed. Immunotherapy is traditionally given as allergy shots (subcutaneous immunotherapy), but a newer method is with allergy drops under the tongue (sublingual immunotherapy). For those patients that are only allergic to grass pollen (which pollinates in the late spring and early summer) there are even sublingual grass immunotherapy tablets that have been approved by the FDA.
If you have symptoms that are uncontrolled please talk to your trusted health care provider. If you haven’t already seen an allergist consider doing so, they can provide you with detailed information on what you are actually allergic to and give you the best customized treatment options available. As always, you can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for daily pollen counts, office information and more. If you enjoyed this post please “Like” us on Facebook and “Share” the article.
 

 

Dr. Ananth Thyagarajan (Dr. T.)

 

April 01
Dr. T was interviewed on the local news

Click on the link to see Dr. Thyagarajan (Dr. T.) being interviewed about the upcoming spring allergy season here in Richmond:

http://wtvr.com/2014/04/01/spring-sneezing-commences/

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 About this blog

 
 

Welcome to our blog site! Stay tuned to get the latest news. We will share tips and techniques for living with and managing your Allergies & Asthma. We look forward to sharing useful resources with our patients!


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