Living with your environment

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When your body reacts to things that are usually harmless or even beneficial, our allergy and Immunology doctors offer up-to-date testing and treatments to help.

Our number one priority is to provide individualized patient care that leads to a better quality of life. The majority of allergy and asthma cases do not conform to textbook descriptions, so we work closely with our patients to tailor treatment to their symptoms and needs.

Using state-of-the-art, evidence-based medicine in combination with the above philosophy, we empower our patients so that they can take charge of their conditions and their lives. By including our patients in the diagnosis and treatment process, we ensure that patients will leave with a better understanding of their own health, as well as a better understanding of how to deal with their medical issues.

Conditions We Treat

The Allergy & Immunology team provides diagnosis and care for individuals with a sometimes overlapping spectrum of disorders including the following:

  • Asthma (symptoms may include chronic cough, shortness of breath, exercise limitation and wheezing)
  • Seasonal Allergies or Hay Fever and Perennial Rhinitis (symptoms may include nasal congestion with sleep interference, sneezing, eye itching and redness, fatigue)
  • Drug Allergy (manifestations include anaphylaxis, rashes of various kinds and serious involvement of many organs in the body)
  • Urticaria or Hives (symptoms include red itchy bumps on the skin)
  • Anaphylaxis and angioedema or swelling (these are potentially life threatening conditions)
  • Eczema (symptoms include itchy, scaly dry skin)
  • Contact Dermatitis (symptoms can include a bubbly rash following exposure to poison ivy or cosmetics)
  • Occupational Allergies (this includes such things as allergy to latex, laboratory animals and other work related exposures)
  • Insect sting and insect bite allergies
  • Immune deficiencies and recurrent infections in adults
  • Food allergy

Almost all of the symptoms listed above can be caused by a number of contributing factors in a given individual and can at times, overlap with one another (for example allergy to cats can cause asthma, rhinitis, urticarial and worsening eczema). To determine your allergy, we will typically start with a detailed medical history combined with a physical examination and specific diagnostic testing. The testing that we do consists of only what we consider necessary to make a diagnosis.

Diagnosing Allergies, Asthma and Immune Disorders

An accurate diagnosis is the first step in managing allergies, asthma and immune disorders. Our allergy and immunology specialists take a medical history and complete a thorough evaluation, which may include:

  • Allergen skin testing
  • Blood testing
  • Bronchial provocation testing
  • Immune function testing
  • Lung function testing

After completing a thorough diagnostic evaluation, our team works with each patient to create an individualized treatment plan.

Treatment and Follow Up Care

Following a comprehensive assessment, our team will create a care plan to help eliminate or reduce symptoms. If you or your child have hay fever or asthma, we may recommend medications such as antihistamines or steroids, environmental modification, allergen immunotherapy, and/or other therapies. For patients with food allergies, we will develop an avoidance and emergency plan to prevent reactions and to treat them when they occur. Lee Health also streamlines care for patients with immune deficiencies by bringing together specialists in allergy and immunology, infectious disease, hematology/oncology and more.

What are Allergies?

Allergies are atypical reactions by a person's immune system against a typically harmless substance, called an allergen. Almost anything can be an allergen or cause an allergic reaction, but the most common include:

  • Food such as eggs, wheat (gluten), soy, nuts, shellfish and dairy
  • Animal dander (often from dogs and cats)
  • Drugs and medications (commonly antibiotics)
  • Environmental allergens such as dust, mold
  • Seasonal allergens such as pollen and plants
  • Insect bites (often bee stings)
  • Latex (or other substances that come in contact with the skin)
  • Viruses and bacteria

Allergies may cause:

  • Eczema / atopic dermatitis - a condition which causes the skin to become inflamed or irritated
  • Hay fever - an inflammation of the nasal airways which is typically brought on by allergies to outdoor, airborne materials such as pollen and mold
  • Sinus infection (sinusitis) - a condition that causes the cavities around the nasal passages to become inflamed and swollen. Sinus infections are most often caused by allergies, the common cold, bacteria and fungal infections.
  • Asthma - a disease of the lungs that causes airways to become blocked or narrowed

Indicators and symptoms that you may have allergies include:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Rash
  • Wheezing
  • Itchy eyes, nose and throat
  • Congestion
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling
  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Mental confusion or dizziness

Drug Therapy - our doctors can help treat allergies and alleviate allergy symptoms through the safe, appropriate and economical use of medicines that help control immune system chemicals released during an allergic reaction.

Allergy Shots (Immunotherapy) - our doctors can treat allergic reactions by administering regular injections of a small amount of the allergens that trigger the symptoms and progressively increasing doses. The immune system builds up a tolerance to the allergen over time, and allergic reactions diminish.

Our patients have found great relief from their allergy symptoms due to the treatments provided by Lee Health's highly skilled doctors. Our physicians are also highly specialized in treating pediatric allergies and pediatric asthma.

Asthma Management Program

Lee Health's Asthma Management Program provides diagnostic testing and the skills you need to self-manage your asthma. (Available for both children and adults)

Call us today to find out more information about your treatment options, to schedule a consultation or to make an appointment. Our phone number is 239-343-9722 and our fax number is 239-343-9725. Appointments are also available in Port Charlotte and Naples.

obstetrics and gynecology

Find a Lee Health Physician Group Allergy and Immunology Specialist

Our Lee Health Physician Group specialists are board-certified in both pediatrics and allergy and immunology to provide the best care to both children and adults. We tailor each patient's treatment plan according to his or her unique needs to provide the highest quality of living.