We are into fall already, and we did receive about 2″ above our monsoon average for rainfall this year. As a result, we are seeing more patients complaining of nasal and eye symptoms, and in addition the garden variety fall viruses are active in the community. During the past year or so, we have been blessed with the addition of several new inhalers for asthma and for COPD, which are making it easier to control our patient’s asthma exacerbations. We are currently able to see new patients without much delay and to work in previous patients, as we have 5 physicians and a nurse practitioner on staff now. We have a central office, one in the NW and an Eastside office to serve our patients.
We have just completed a pretty high Spring pollen season, in spite of little winter rain. The local fires are causing problems for some patients with asthma, and even some allergic rhinitis patients. We are quite busy and in spite of having now 6 providers available, we still have a modest wait for new patient appointments. Further into the summer this wait should be minimal. Alvernon Allergy physicians and providers see not only asthma and rhinitis in adults and children, but we deal with drug reactions, eczema, hives, immunodeficiency, aspirin allergy, and sinus disease. We accept most insurance plans.
Winter 2011 post: Please enjoy our new lobby display of marine art. We have on display 9 undersea photos from around the world, taken by marine photographer and U of A Grad Kathy Krucker. Centric Photo created the large reproductions for our lobby, and did a superb job. We are still in a cold winter, but warmer than the rest of the U.S. We are seeing many viral upper respiratory illnesses, but little true allergy at this point. Enjoy the respite, because Spring will soon be here.
We are headed into winter with some recent cold weather. We are seeing more viral illnesses coming in, with some disturbance in patient’s asthma often occurring. This fall was a mild pollen season, and we all probably needed a rest after the high pollen spring of 2010. Patients should have received their flu shots by now, but December is not too late in case you forgot. Stay on your inhaled steroid for winter, as this is the season where viral illnesses can tip the asthma into an acute attack. There is a short wait for new patient appointments this winter, so this may be a good time to consult an allergist before Spring comes again.
Be sure to check our “allergy links” page, which has great general medical references like the National Library of Medicine, links to pictures of the Arizona flora, and even info on complementary medicine. Check the drug discount llnk with discounts on not only Allergy and Asthma medications, but on all types of medications that family members may be taking, including OTC medicines.
We are just finishing up a very brisk spring pollen season, which has kept us quite busy in the offices. Dr. Manthei has now retired from general patient care, but fortunately he will still be working with us on a consulting basis regarding quality control issues and generally improving our practice.
Medication costs continue to rise, so there are several ways to help control these expenses. There is a helpful internet site “www.internetdrugcoupons.com” which has links to all of the brand name drug discounts currently available, and there are a lot available now. This includes asthma inhalers like Advair, Pro-Air, Symbicort, Proventil HFA and others, as well as brand name prescription antihistamines.
While this time of year can be wonderful with the up-coming holidays, it can also be stressful as financial issues can become more apparent. One way to help with these difficult times is to take advantage of the savings and discounts now being offered by many of the drug companies towards your monthly medication co-pay. Historically these saving were only provided to patients with new prescriptions, however many companies have now extended this to those who may already have an active prescription. What I suggest to all of my patients is to search for their medication on-line, go to the manufacturer’s website to see if there are any savings coupons available for their medication. Some of the sites may require you to register with the goal of keeping you updated on your medication and any additional savings that might be implemented in the future. I suggest not only looking at your asthma and allergy medications, but also medications that have been prescribed to you by other physicians. The discounts may also change after the new year, so it is a good idea to check back with the sites regularly to see if anything has changed, as it often does.
Unfortunately, those who receive their insurance through government agencies such as AHCCCS, Medicare and Tricare can not benefit from these programs, however they will work with all other insurances. There are even some drug companies with programs that provide saving to those without insurance or who pay for their medication out of pocket!
hint: just type the medication full name and then “.com” and this often leads to the discount offers, i.e. Proventil HFA.com, or Symbicort.com
Our practice was just featured in the Tucson Lifestyle Magazine December 2009 issue, under the cover story “Top Docs”. On page 47 starts the article, which reviews the Best Doctors in America. Best Doctors is a national organization who for over 20 years has been compiling a database of the top doctors as chosen by secret ballot by their local peers. We are proud to say that 1/2 of the top allergists listed are in our practice. Check out our photo add on page102, which I think came out nicely. Issues are available around town and in the local bookstores like Barnes and Noble.
The H1N1 vaccine is now available, and although we have a limited supply, the NIH has informed us that next week 10 million doses will be shipped, and 10 million more each week until the end of January. The vaccine is safe and is recommended for persons under 24 years of age, and persons over 60 with complicating medical conditions such as asthma. In total, 41.6 million doses have been made available to the states thusfar.
In short, if you customarily receive the annual flu shot, the H1N1 is recommended. Look for public announcements regarding community locations available to receive the H1N1 vaccine, and do not worry as there will be plenty of vaccine available in the next few weeks.
Most of the 2,900 deaths attributed to H1N1 disease have been in the 18 to 64 year old age group, unlike other flu viruses which customarily affect the elderly disproportionately.
If there is a question of egg allergy, contact our office as we do vaccine testing and administration for suspected egg allergic patients. Most of the vaccines now have less than 2 mcg of egg per dose, which is considered generally safe even in egg allergic patients, but check with your doctor first.
We are getting into the Fall allergy season, with grass and weed pollens predominating. Also, soon, we will be in the fall/winter viral illness period, which often exacerbates asthma. We will be giving the flu vaccine in October, but as the H1N1 vaccine is still undergoing testing and is not yet available, we are not sure we will have that vaccine in our offices. The H1N1 or swine flu vaccine should be widely available when testing on humans is complete. We will keep you posted, please check back.
Technology, such a wonderful thing! This is my first post. Anyway, it is our goal to use this ‘post’ or ‘blog’ feature to keep you up-to-date with important allergy news and tips. We hope that you find this information helpful and bookmark us and check back regularly. I am also told, by our web guy, that you as viewers can actually provide comments to our posts. Not sure I understand all that right now, but I guess we’ll cross that bridge shortly.
Once we get the hang of it, each of us docs will have our own blog (Dr. Posts on left) where we can provide additional information to our patients. Now I’m a doctor and a blogger.
We are also in the process of implementing a ‘guestbook’ feature that will provide you a means of contacting us, or your doctor with a question or concern instead of the telephone. We are hoping this will allow us to better utilize our time and improve our service.
I guess with the expansion and all that is going on, there is no better time than the present to embrace the new ‘tech’ world.