First we receive a full 2 - 3 years of intensive training in both adult and pediatric diagnosis and treatment of allergic and immunologic conditions. Your typical ENT surgeon trains for 4 - 5 years but only a few months of that time is spent learning about treating allergies.
As an allergist we treat "hay fever" (nasal / sinus allergy), "sinus" problems and sinus infections using non-surgical methods (medications / allergy shots-injections). Allergy shots / injections are tiny amounts of what the patient is allergic to; like a vaccine designed to desensitize the patient. We first rely on allergy skin testing to see what allergies (i.e. tree, grass, weed pollen, dust mite, mold, cat / dog) the patient has. For children we try to keep skin testing to a minimum and much of the testing does not involve needles. We usually use a gentle plastic skin test device for children which reduces the fear of needles.
Allergists are experts in the treatment of asthma. We also help evaluate and diagnose / treat patients with chronic cough, wheezing and shortness of breath. We often use a breathing test called pulmonary function testing to assess lung function and capacity. We also use allergy skin testing to see if items in the environment are triggering respiratory symptoms.
Allergists treat many different skin conditions including eczema, hives (urticaria) and all sorts of rashes including drug rashes and rashes from plant or chemical exposures. Occasionally we will ask patients to email us pictures of rashes. We do this because Dr. Danziger will occasionally recommend a dermatology evaluation prior to considering an allergy evaluation for certain rashes.
Allergists treat drug, insect and food allergy. We can actually skin test for certain drugs and stinging insects and certain foods. Patients who are highly allergic to stinging insects are often put on allergy shots / desensitization for these insects with great results. With regards to food allergy allergists are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of food allergy. Food allergy desensitization is now being offered at a local upper level food allergy center in Sarasota, FL. Dr. Danziger will occasionally refer patients to this center for further evaluation and treatment if necessary.
Allergists also can evaluate the immune system for patients with frequent infections. Immune conditions are rare but as immunology specialists we are trained to look for rare conditions and sort out complex patients. A typical "immune" patient is one with frequent sinus infections, bronchitis and episodes of pneumonia. They are often frequently on antibiotics and they often never get completely better. Dr. Danziger will often order detailed lab testing to check the patient's immune system. These labs often check a patient's antibodies which are proteins that help fight bacteria.
If you feel you need an allergy evaluation please don't hesitate to call us for an appointment. You'll be glad you did !!! Our main number is 941-761-1911.