A pediatric allergist in Birmingham, AL can help patients ranging from newborns to teenagers. They can diagnose and treat different types of immune disorders including asthma and allergies.
What Is Asthma?
Asthma is a condition in which the airways swell and make it hard for the patient to breathe. It is the most common cause of chronic disease in children and affects about 6.2 million children in the United States.
Asthma can be allergic or non-allergic. Asthma in children is often caused by allergens like pollen or pet dander, so the doctor will have to start by performing tests to determine the cause of the asthma. Symptoms of asthma include wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and pain or tightness in the chest.
While there is currently no cure for asthma, there are a variety of medications that can relieve symptoms and reduce the frequency of attacks.
What Is Oral Immunotherapy?
Oral Immunotherapy (OIT) is a treatment regime used to help patients with food allergies. It works by gradually desensitizing the patient’s immune system to the offending food. OIT has proven to be 85 to 90 percent effective at treating allergies caused by milk, eggs, peanuts, and tree nuts.
The treatment takes place in the clinic and typically lasts 21 to 24 weeks. A board-certified allergist will feed the patient tiny amounts of the allergen during each session. They will gradually increase the amount until they reach a “maintenance amount” that the child will eat every day.
What Is the Early Introduction Program?
The Early Introduction Program is a protocol designed to prevent peanut allergies from developing in babies. The allergist will conduct blood and skin prick tests to determine if the baby has already developed a peanut allergy. If they haven’t, the allergist will recommend adding peanut butter to the child’s diet when they are old enough for solid food.
Contact the Alabama Allergy & Asthma Center to schedule an appointment with a pediatric allergist in Birmingham AL.
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