are uniquely qualified to treat
the “whole person”, and
successfully integrate all
aspects of medicine including holistic approach including natural supplements in
managing health care and treatment. At Cosmedic Laser Clinic, we are interested
in getting and keeping you healthy and look your best.
the staff in our office work as
a team to provide you with
quality medical care.
We are proud of the training and abilities of each of our staff. We want you to have
the confidence in them that we do, so we can all work together to meet your family’s
Francisco, San Jose Bay Area is
our home, and most of us will
live here our
whole lives. But when it comes to allergies, living in San Francisco Bay Area
makes treatment harder because the true allergy to dust mites, mold or pollen
is superimposed on the non-allergic effects of the pollution, ozone and humidity.
Many patients say they feel great when they travel elsewhere, only to have symptoms
come roaring back as soon as they return. So, if you're going to live in
San Francisco Bay Area because of your job, or because this is where your
loved ones are, then successfully treating allergies may require you to be a bit
more aggressive. That means paying equal attention to avoiding dust mites or
mold that you're allergic to, avoiding non-allergic triggers (e.g., cigarette smoke,
perfume, etc), and seeking medical help.
The Milpitas Medical Allergy
Clinic, we separate allergy
treatment into three branches:
avoidance, medication, and immunotherapy (allergy shots). It often takes a
combination of some or all of the three to provide a healthy resolution to your problems.
See treatment options for more information.
Most treatment focuses on medications – those that treat symptoms, like Allegra and
Zyrtec or those that prevent symptoms, like Flonase and Nasonex. Newer medications
like Allermist, a nasal steroid, and Patanase, a nasal antihistamine or Xyzal, a second-generation version of Zyrtec, aren't much stronger. Even with ideal combinations
of these medications and fine tuning of the dosages, inadequate relief is still inadequate relief. Even worse, most medications only treat symptoms, and those symptoms come right back as soon as you stop taking the medicine. See medications for more information.
Of all treatment options, shots are the only ones that actually treat the underlying allergy,
working toward a cure. In study after study, allergy shots, when taken for three to five years,continue to provide relief for years after treatment. That's certainly not true for pills or sprays. Not even for the newest allergy medications. See immunotherapy or rush immunotherapy for more information.
There's an old saying in
medicine that goes, "All that
wheezes isn't asthma." It
students and physicians that patients can wheeze when they have congestive heart
failure with pulmonary edema, foreign body obstruction (like a peanut M&M in the
bronchus), or dozens of other possibilities. Conversely, not all asthma presents with
wheezing. Symptoms of asthma can include cough, shortness of breath, tight chest,
and, of course, wheezing.
Frequently asthma symptoms only occur during certain times of year or in certain
situations, such as with exercise or during infections. The "attack" is not the norm;
most often symptoms progress slowly over time. Asthma can start at any point in life,
not just in childhood. More and more, we are seeing people in their 60's diagnosed
with asthma for the first time. Many of our newly diagnosed asthma patients express fear.
They believe they will have to stop participating in their favorite activities, or they will
end up gasping for air and puffing on a "rescue inhaler." Parents often carry images
of their kids sitting inside, not able to go to recess or participate in sports.
ALL OF THESE IMAGES ARE WRONG!
Asthma treatment has come a long way. In fact, during the 2004 Olympics, many of
the athletes had asthma including several medal winners. The goal in asthma
treatment is control. For students, control means a team effort involving the parents,
the school nurse, and the coach. Medically, control often includes daily
anti-inflammatory medications to prevent symptoms from occurring in the first place.
Education for the patient (and
their family/school nurse/coach)
is key to
teach how to identify and treat symptoms when they first start. With appropriate
treatment, the vast majority of asthma patients can continue to enjoy any activity
they choose, without limitations.
Avoidance – One of the
easiest remedies, avoidance, or
removing or decreasing exposure to the cause of the symptoms from your life.
For example, a particular food can be avoided, or a pet can be removed from the
home or kept away from sleeping areas. If one is allergic to dust mites, a common
allergen in this part of the country, we often recommend pillow and/or mattress
covers that are impermeable to dust mite antigen penetration.
Some causes of symptoms, such as pollen, molds, and dust mites, cannot be totally
eliminated. Exposure can be reduced, however, by environmental control measures
prescribed by your allergist. Remember, you don't need 100% avoidance to
improve--just enough to get you feeling better.
Medications– Although avoidance is always the primary recommendation, more
treatment is usually advised. Medications frequently are used to decrease allergy
symptoms and return patients to full health. Recent advances in medications for
allergies, asthma and other allergic diseases have been phenomenal. Improvements
in drugs have eliminated most of the side effects associated with them just a few
years ago. Your specialist at The Allergy Clinic will be able to suggest the latest safe,
and most effective, medications for treating your allergic illness. Medications are
generally divided up into two categories--those to prevent your symptoms, and those
to treat your symptoms. It is reasonable to infer that prevention medications must be
used regularly to be most effective. Prescription medications can be very expensive;
however, we will work with you and your insurance company to find the most effective
therapeutic alternatives covered by your plan.
Immunotherapy (Allergy Shots) – Although medications may reduce or prevent
symptoms, only a regimen of allergy shots can actually alter or fix a patient's allergic
response. Allergy shots have been used by the medical profession since 1911.
This time-tested therapy decreases a patient's sensitivity by introducing increasingly
larger doses of the substances to which the patient is allergic. The treatment is a
method for increasing the allergic patient's natural resistance to the things that are
triggering the allergic reactions.
Think of it this way: The allergic response is an overreaction to a harmless substance. When the allergic patient comes across something to which they are sensitive, the allergic cascade begins, often leading to misery. The non-allergic person will breathe in the same thing and have no adverse response. The goal of allergy shots is to gain this tolerance to harmless
substances which are mistaken for dangerous invaders.
purified "extracts" of the substances that are causing allergic reactions.
For example, the animal dander, dust mites, or pollen. Each of these
has proteins which can be used to induce tolerance when properly
administered. The immunization injections are approved for this
purpose by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and,
over the years, have been improved considerably.
Allergy shots stimulate the immune system to fight allergies safely,
effectively and naturally. Beginning with small doses and increasing
gradually on a twice weekly or weekly basis, the therapy continues
until a maintenance level is achieved. Then the maintenance dose
is injected on a less frequent basis.
Immunity does not occur immediately, but patients can begin to feel
better quickly. In many patients, treatment can be discontinued after
3 or 5 years and the immunity is maintained for several additional
years. For others, treatment may be needed for longer periods of time.
With the immune system restored to good health, fewer or no
medications may be required. Work or school days are no longer
missed. The burden of allergies is lifted, and allergies are no
longer an issue in daily life.
Candidates for immunotherapy include patients of all ages.
Pregnant patients may continue treatment started prior to pregnancy.
Until recently, allergy shots (immunotherapy) had been used as a
last resort after medications and environmental control efforts had
been unsuccessful. Recent studies suggest that immunotherapy
should begin sooner rather that later. As opposed to antihistamines,
which treat symptoms, or inhaled steroids, which prevent symptoms,
allergy shots are designed to actually eliminate the underlying allergy.
The Practice Parameters for Allergen Immunotherapy quote
studies stating that receiving allergy shots for one or two items
actually prevents the formation of allergies to other allergens.
The Practice Parameters also point out that for children with allergies
limited to the nose and sinuses, allergy shots reduce the chances
that the allergy will progress to asthma, decrease the frequency of
sinus and bronchial infections, and enable patients to get better
sooner and stay better longer.
What is an
An Allergy is an abnormal reaction to a normal element. Hundreds
of ordinary substances can trigger an allergic reaction. These are
referred to as "allergens." By taking a careful history, performing a
complete allergy-directed physical examination and by skin testing,
Our Allergy Clinic can help pinpoint what causes your allergy symptoms.
What about asthma?
Asthma is not really a "disease" but a syndrome that may be caused
by various triggers, including sinus infections, colds, exercise, aspirin,
insects and allergens. Symptoms include a tight feeling in the chest or
a cough, shortness of breath or wheezing. Allergy plays a significant role
in asthma. Indeed it is probably allergies bothering the breathing tubes.
The human body is uniquely equipped to fight off invasions from germs.
However, sometimes our bodies think a simple allergen is a germ,
which sets off an aggressive (but unnecessary) defense. That's when
you start sneezing, wheezing or developing some other allergic reaction.
Although anyone can develop an allergy, the tendency toward allergies
and asthma is linked to heredity.
What are some of the most common causes of allergies?
Most common allergies are caused by dust mites the microscopic
organisms found in household dust; pollen or mold spores, which
typically results in what is commonly called hay fever; and animal
dander - cats more often than dogs.
Am I likely to have food allergies?
The good news is that only about two percent of the population is
affected by true food allergies. The bad news is that if you're one
of them, it's no fun. However, unlike pollen and dust, the foods you're
allergic to are more easily avoided once you know which foods
give you allergy and trouble.
What can I do to prevent an allergic reaction?
The best way to prevent allergies is to avoid whatever you are allergic to.
Realistically, this isn't always possible, especially if you're allergic to
such common things as pollen and dust mites. Our allergy clinic
can help devise an avoidance strategy to minimize your exposure to
allergens. Certain medications, along with allergy shots, also help
prevent allergic reactions.
How can I make my home less friendly to allergens?
It depends on what you're allergic to. Here are just a few suggestions
to reduce most common allergens:
Living Room: If possible, replace carpeting with wood or vinyl floors
- or vacuum twice a week with high filtration bags. Keep all plants
outside to reduce mold exposure. Avoid tobacco smoke. Wash
pets frequently, better yet, keep them outside. Replace think
draperies with light, washable ones, or blinds.
Bedroom: Don't allow pets in your bedrooms. Use allergen-proof
encasements for mattresses and pillows. Wash linens and throw
rugs in hot water. Keep clothes an shoes in a closed closet.
Outside: Keep the outside out of your house by keeping your
windows closed. Also, do not let pets come in and out because
they are likely to pick up pollen on their fur and bring it indoors.
What about special filters?
Though occasionally helpful, electrostatic HEPA filters are not
effective for many causes of allergies. Make sure what you're allergic
to can actually be filtered by the unit. Call us today at 408-945-0300 to
make an appointment for allergy testing and immunotherapy.