Services

Southwest Allergy and Asthma Clinic provides evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of symptoms related to allergies, asthma and immunological deficiencies.

sinus exam
YOUR FIRST VISIT

The following is a description of an initial evaluation and the procedures that may be done. Please allow 1-1.5 hours for the initial visit. Please make sure to stop antihistamines and some other drugs 3 days in advance of the visit. The initial visit consists of a comprehensive evaluation to obtain information that may include:

  • Medical, family and environmental history.
  • Physical evaluations
  • Skin tests
  • Asthma workup and treatment
  • CT scan

At the end of your initial visit, Kenneth Pinna, MD will provide you with preliminary information about your diagnosis and suggest a treatment program. However, the evaluation is not complete until all the test results have been reviewed and after you have had a chance to try out the recommended treatment program.

allergies
WHAT TO BRING
  • Your current insurance card
  • Name and date of birth of policy holder
  • Physician referral forms, if required by insurance
  • List of prescriptions and/or over-the-counter medication, including dose and frequency
  • Information about your medical and surgical history
  • Recent x-rays or relevant records
allergy patch test
ALLERGY TESTING

Kenneth Pinna, MD is an experienced Board Certified specialized expert at methods of allergy testing.

  • These include skin testing (prick and intradermal tests) for food and/or environmental factors.
  • We can order blood testing.
  • We also do patch testing to see whether a particular substance is causing skin irritation (contact dermatitis). These can include latex, medications, fragrances, preservatives, hair dyes, metals, and resins.
  • Seasonal: These are mainly outdoor allergens and include pollens from grasses, trees and weeds, and also some molds.
  • Perennial: These are usually indoor allergens, and cause symptoms all year round. The commonest is the house dust mite. These reside in nests such as carpets, bedding and upholstered furniture. House dust mites proliferate in humid homes. They are the commonest triggers for perennial rhinitis and allergic asthma. Other perennial allergens include domestic pets, especially cats. The actual allergen is a protein component of dander, the shed scales of the skin. The same allergens are also found in the animal’s saliva and urine. Hair on fur can also collect other allergens, such as pollens, molds and dust mites.
  • Food Allergens: Only about six foods account for more than 90% of all confirmed food allergies. These are milk, eggs, peanut & other nuts, wheat, soy and fish.
  • Drugs: Aspirin & other anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics like penicillin account for most of the allergic reactions due to drugs.
  • Insects: Each year about 40 people die in the USA from Anaphylaxis to insect (bee, wasp & fire ants venom) sting.
  • Latex: Over the last 15 years immediate hypersensitivity (IgE-mediated allergy) to latex has been increasingly recognized as a rapidly emerging public health problem. Latex is widely used in the manufacture of medical devices (gloves, catheters, anaesthetic masks, and dental dams) as well as a variety of everyday articles. Reactions from latex range from annoying skin rashes to life-threatening anaphylaxis.
syringe
ALLERGY TREATMENTS

Once we have determined a patient’s allergies, we offer multiple treatment options, including prescription anti-histamine, preventative measures against indoor and outdoor allergens and immunotherapy injections, as well as education and resources. For those with environmental allergies, such as pollens, molds, and dust mites, Kenneth Pinna, MD offers a treatment program called immunotherapy. This program is aimed at building the patient’s immunity to their environmental allergies by incrementally introducing problem antigens into patient’s system until there is no more reaction.

inhaler
ASTHMA AND PULMONARY WORKUP

Spirometry is a lung function test also used as a peak flow meter. It measures how much and how quickly you can move air out of your lungs. This assesses Asthma, Pulmonary Disease, and COPD.

 

Effective asthma treatment includes monitoring the disease and identifying and avoiding allergen triggers, using drug therapies including bronchodilators and anti-inflammatory agents, and developing an emergency plan for severe attacks.

inhaler
ASTHMA TREATMENT

Kenneth Pinna, MD and his staff work carefully with each patient to manage treatment of their asthma, whether with inhalers or other methods. There are two types of asthma medications: long-term control and rescue inhalers or quick-relief medications.

  • Long-term control medications are preventive, taken daily to achieve and maintain control of asthma symptoms.
  • Rescue Inhalers or Quick-relief medications are used to treat asthma attacks. They relieve symptoms rapidly and are taken on an as-needed basis.
  • One of the most effective medications for controlling asthma is inhaled corticosteroids, which are anti-inflammatory medications. Taken early and as directed, can improve asthma control and normalize lung function.
  • Immunotherapy or allergy shots should be considered if asthma is triggered by exposure to unavoidable allergens. If the symptoms occur three days a week and more than two nights a month, immunotherapy is highly recommended. The shots are especially beneficial when symptoms occur year-round or are not easily controlled with medication.
SINUS

We have a Xoran MiniCat scanner right here in our clinic to perform sinus CT’s scan. It has 90% less radiation that a conventional facility CT scanner. Ordinary X-rays do not show the clear cross-cutting images of soft tissue, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels.

The Xoran MiniCAT is a compact, upright volume computed tomography system designed for high-resolution, bone window imaging of the sinuses, temporal bones, and skull base. 

In office Sinus CT scans are also a fraction of the cost of facility or radiology departments.

This enables us to accurately diagnosis the source of discomfort:

  • sinus disease
  • nasal polyps
  • obstructions
  • infections in each of 4 sinus pockets
  • cogential obstructions
  • bone loss or bone structures
  • bone spurs
  • cancers
  • tumors/cysts
  • growths
  • assesses if treatments are working

Our patients have immediate answers at the end of their office visit and as a result no need to be sent to a radiology department and then wait for radiologist to interpret results.This provides immediate access to images at the patient’s point-of-care. 

Kenneth Pinna, MD will be able to show and explain in detail any ailments that appear on your CT scan. We can also provide a digital copy for your convenience at no extra charge. Kenneth Pinna, MD is also accredited by the ICACTL.

IMMUNE DEFICIENCY

Common Variable Immune Deficiency (CVID)

We have the largest number of patient’s that suffer from Common Variable Immune Deficiency (CVID) in the Southwest. This is an antibody deficiency that prevents the immune system from being able to fight off bacteria and viruses. The result is frequent infections and being a target for opportunist infections.

 

As with other antibody deficiencies, the most common types of recurrent infections involve the ears, sinuses, nose, bronchi and lungs. These include:

  • Pneumonia
  • Sinusitis
  • Ear Infections
  • Gastrointestinal Infections

 

Recurrent pneumonia and chronic infections in the lungs can lead to lung damage called bronchiectasis, which can complicate treatment. Sinus infections are also problematic for patients suffering from this deficiency causing facial pain and discomfort.

 

Diagnosis

CVID can be diagnosed anytime from childhood through adulthood. CVID may be suspected in children or adults with a history of recurrent infections involving the lungs, bronchi, ears or sinuses. An accurate diagnosis can be made through screening tests that measure immunoglobulin levels or the number of B cells in the blood.

 

Treatment

CVID is treated with immune replacement therapy (IRT). These infusion can be done at home or at a facility. Most often, infusions relieves symptoms. IRT treatments must be given regularly and are life-long.

 

  • Subcutaneous (SCIg) or Intravenous (IVIG) options are now available. A specialized nurse will assist with any training needed for SCIg.
  • Antibiotics are used to treat most infections that result from CVID though patients may need treatment for a longer duration than a healthy individual.

Eczema Atopic Contact Dermatitis

 

Contact dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin at the area of contact. There are two types of contact dermatitis, irritant and allergic. Symptoms include itching, redness, warmth, swelling, cracking, pain, scaling and crusting. The skin can crack, bleed and even ooze, depending on the severity of the reaction.

 

Dermatitis can occur from exposure to the environment (dry weather), chemicals (harsh soaps), allergens ( nickel) and physical trauma (abrasions). Your physician may diagnose irritant or allergic contact dermatitis from your medical history, occupation, symptoms, and patch testing. The treatment for both irritant and allergic contact dermatitis is based on avoiding contact with the substance that caused the reaction.

 

Irritant Contact Dermatitis

 

This non-specific inflammatory condition develops after skin is exposed to substances that are physically, chemically or mechanically traumatizing. Symptoms are usually confined to the area of contact. Symptoms may recur with additional irritant exposure and may be difficult to distinguish from allergic contact dermatitis.

 

Irritant contact dermatitis occurs due to irritating substances such as household cleaners, harsh soaps and industrial solvents. Your skin can react to these substances within minutes or hours, and stops reacting soon after they are gone.

 

Allergic Contact Dermatitis

 

Allergic contact dermatitis occurs from a person’s immune response to contact allergens, as with as fragrances, preservatives, nickel, gold, metals, and many others. Allergic reactions to contact allergens develop hours or days after exposure, and may take weeks to heal. A personal or family history of other allergies may increase a person’s chance of developing this skin condition.

 

Symptoms typically manifest 24 to 72 hours after allergen exposure, vary in intensity and often include itching and vesiculation. Over 3,000 chemicals are reportedly capable of causing allergic contact dermatitis but relatively few allergens account for most cases. These common allergens form the basis of diagnostic patch testing that is used to differentiate allergic from irritant contact dermatitis.

 

Approximately half of all contact dermatitis cases are due to allergic contact dermatitis. Patients with persistent, un-diagnosed contact dermatitis can suffer for years with a diminished quality of life. Unresolved cases may increase medical treatment costs. However, the condition can be effectively treated once an accurate diagnosis is obtained.

Ask an Expert

Southwest Allergy and Asthma Clinic has the resources and expertise to help in any situation.