Allergies, Asthma, Allergy Injections
Written by chrissy

Asthma and Allergies

When you can’t breathe, nothing else matters.” The American Lung Association

26 million Americans live with asthma, a chronic disease with chest tightness, shortness of breath, and wheezing. It is one of the leading causes of school and work absence. Allergies also can be very disruptive; resultant congestion, itching, sneezing and sinus disease contribute to poor performance, low productivity and overall decreased quality of life. With asthma, constriction and inflammation of the bronchial tubes are present, making it difficult to breathe. These two conditions are often seen together because allergies are a common cause of asthma.   An allergist is a physician who can determine whether asthma is present, and if so, whether allergies are involved. Pollen, mold, dust mites, animals, cockroaches all can act as “allergens”, triggering allergies that can easily lead to life-threatening asthma.

Allergists often act as detectives, analyzing clues. Seasonal allergy and asthma can be triggered by the seasonal variation of tree, grass or weed pollen. Important perennial allergens include mold, dust mites, and beloved household pets. Sometimes symptoms are brought on by non-allergic irritants, such as environmental tobacco smoke, vehicle exhaust fumes, perfumes, candles or changes in temperature. For example, exercise-induced asthma can be triggered by physical activity from rapidly inhaling dry, cooler air. 

Both asthma and allergies can be managed by careful interpretation of individualized allergy tests and applying the results to the specific home and work environment. Identifying and reducing allergen exposure is a good first step. Prudent use of the right combination of medication controls inflammation and usually improves the quality of life. However, in the cases of stubborn symptoms due to obligatory exposure to allergens, patients are looking for a more durable or permanent solution. (such as dogs and cats) Allergy immunotherapy (allergy shots) can provide dramatic, long term relief, often without medication, by eliminating the underlying allergies that cause the problem. Immunotherapy enables those working outdoors on tolerating pollen, K-9 officers to handle their dogs, and families to live with their pets.  

How do allergy injections work?

 Allergies are caused by an overreactive immune system. Harmless particles trigger an overly aggressive response by white blood cells just under the skin and mucous membranes. Injections bypass these cells and deliver harmless allergens to more complex immune cells which regulate and turn off this destructive allergic response. Immunotherapy injections are very precise, safe, and only affect the specific immune response to the ingredients contained in the serum. Evidence-based clinical literature has shown that nuances of dose, frequency, and formulation can make the difference between effective and ineffective allergy treatment. Dr. Duane Gels, a board-certified allergist and director at Annapolis Allergy & Asthma, has successfully treated thousands of allergic patients with customized, effective allergy immunotherapy over 25 years.  The knowledge and experience of his team to appropriately use this technique adjust the immune system and provide long-lasting results. Come be evaluated by the knowledgeable and experienced team at Annapolis Allergy and Asthma and experience relief!

Allergy Tips

A quality, low-allergen lifestyle can be achieved by following your allergist’s action plan.                                       

Asthma and Allergies can be triggered by poor indoor air quality, so change your A/C filters frequently. 

Have your heating/AC ducts cleaned frequently as, over time, dust and other allergens accumulate within the system.

Be aware of environmental weather extremes, as outdoor exercise can trigger asthma and other respiratory conditions

Identify your specific allergies, and minimize exposure in your home. Dust, mold/mildew, animal dander all may contribute.

Use of daily nasal saline rinse, such as a NetiPot can be beneficial to flush out allergens.

Over the counter antihistamines, decongestants and nasal corticosteroids to control nasal congestion and discharge.

Beware of addictive nasal decongestant sprays; after several days of use, rebound congestion often develops. 

Learn your specific allergens: if pollen allergic, stay indoors on dry, windy, high pollen days. Close your windows when the pollen count is high.  Remove and wash your clothes; wash hair before bed, as static can attract pollen.  

In conclusion, there are medical diagnostic and treatment options for asthma and allergies. With patient commitment and confidence with their professional medical doctor, one can resume and enjoy daily activities. Come visit the specialists at Annapolis Allergy & Asthma to determine what allergies you may have. We will help you develop a management plan that works for you. Call us today at 410-573-1600.

Copyright Duane Gels 2019

Updated 5/19/20

We remain open and here to serve you during the COVID-19 emergency. We are also committed to the safety of our patients and staff. Thus, our providers, Dr. Gels and Uwe Reichmann PA, have been diagnosing and treating all patients, whether new or return patients via telehealth. Use your phone, laptop, tablet or desktop. We have also been busy answering phone messages, emails and faxes to our office. 

Testing: We are pleased to announce that we will begin skin testing in the office as of 5/25/20. Patients will first be screened by a telehealth visit with one of our providers to decide the extent of testing. This will be then followed by an in-office visit for the testing, done via sterile technique. To minimize your time in the office, a follow up telehealth visit with the provider will be scheduled to review your results in detail.

Injections: We are now giving allergy shots BY APPOINTMENT ONLY, for your safety. Please come directly up to our office on time so that no one waits before their injection (call ONLY if late). If you haven’t had an allergy shot for a while, you will be scheduled to see Uwe to determine your dose the day of your shot. Patients are then observed for reactions in isolated rooms, then exit the back doorway. We are making allergy serum if you need it. Call us the day before to address insurance, payments, etc. to streamline your visit. We request you keep a credit card on file to streamline the process. Those on immune therapy will continue their treatments (Xolair, Fasenra, Nucala, Dupixent).

Office Policy: We follow CDC and specialty guidelines. Please, only ONE person in the office at a time, and one adult per minor. All patients (and staff) are being screened for illness (fever, etc.) and exposure to COVID. All staff and patients are required to wear a mask (school aged and above). Please bring a personal mask from home: due to the shortage, we cannot routinely provide patients with masks.  NO MASK, NO SHOT.  If you have asthma, bring your albuterol inhaler with you. 

This is allergy season! Pollen is now peaking for many trees. If you have allergy symptoms, we are here for you! We can diagnose and treat over video and send prescriptions to your pharmacy electronically.

Contact us via phone (410-573-1600) or on the portal on this webpage to see our providers. Let us make an appointment when it is convenient for you.

Annapolis Allergy & Asthma, LLC