Expert Treatment for Asthma, Allergies and Immunology Disorders
The allergy and immunology team at Loyola Medicine includes skilled doctors with expertise and training in the care of allergies, asthma and immune deficiency disorders. Our doctors are part of a clinically integrated care program that includes nurses, social workers, registered dietitians, gastroenterologists, pulmonologists and dermatologists. We offer patients a full range of allergy tests and can offer relief through medication and by reducing exposure to allergens.
Children who have allergy and asthma problems are treated by Loyola’s experienced pediatric allergy and immunology team.
Why Choose Loyola for Allergy and Immunology Treatment?
For decades, Loyola’s Gottlieb Memorial Hospital has been the home of the daily allergy count, which gathers samples of allergens from the air to determine each day’s count of mold, weeds, grass and trees. This is communicated to media across the Chicago area from April to October and represents the official Midwest allergy count.
Our specialists are board-certified and focus on allergy and immunology medicine. They are leaders in their field, actively involved in diagnosis, treatment and research. They also help educate members of the community about the seriousness of allergies, cross contamination risks and medical responses to anaphylactic reactions.
What Allergy and Immunology Conditions are Treated at Loyola?
Allergies are an immune reaction to a foreign substance, and frequent or repeated reactions can affect quality of life. They can affect your airways, digestive system, skin and sinuses. Symptoms might include nasal congestion, chest tightness, chronic coughing, watery eyes and sneezing. An anaphylactic reaction is a serious medical emergency and must be treated immediately.
An immunodeficiency occurs when the immune system’s ability to fight an infectious disease is weakened or absent. This means the body will have a harder time fighting germs and might be more susceptible to infections.
Loyola’s experienced, fellowship-trained doctors treat a full range of allergies and immunodeficiencies, including:
- Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
- Immunodeficiency disorders
- Insect sting sensitivities
- Latex allergies
- Primary immunodeficiency disorder (PIDD)
- Recurrent infections
- Secondary immune deficiencies
- Sinus drainage
- Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome
How are Allergies and Immunology Conditions Diagnosed?
In order to provide an accurate diagnosis, your Loyola allergy and immunology team will perform a comprehensive evaluation, including a physical exam and complete medical history. We’ll look at your symptoms, including breathing problems, nasal congestion, wheezing, poor sleep, sinusitis and dermatitis, and when they began.
Allergy tests often include:
- Allergen skin testing, including patch skin tests
- Blood tests, including immunoglobulin E and complete blood count (CBC)
- Methacholine challenge test (to rule out asthma)
- Nasal endoscopy
- Oral food and drug challenges
- Pulmonary function testing
An immunodeficiency is often diagnosed through a blood test that measures the amount of infection-fighting proteins you have in your bloodstream.
How are Allergies and Immunology Conditions Treated?
The best way to manage allergies and reduce symptoms is to avoid the allergens—particularly if you are allergic to a food, a drug or an animal. Severe allergic reactions need to be treated with a medicine called epinephrine. If you or a loved one administers epinephrine, call 911 and immediately go to the emergency department.
Over-the-counter antihistamines and corticosteroids can improve day-to-day symptoms. Allergy shots given frequently over time, called immunotherapy, can reduce your body’s response to allergens.
Immunodeficiency disorders are usually treated with doses of antibodies to prevent infections; if you do get an infection, doctors will treat it aggressively. Immunoglobulin replacement treatments may boost your immune system, and in very severe cases, a doctor may call for a stem cell transplant. Loyola has one of the largest stem cell transplant programs in the country.