We are having an on and off wet and cold winter this year. Many patients are contacting our office regarding viral upper respiratory infections, which may affect their asthma. The common cold is most often caused by the rhinovirus, but this time of year corona viruses are also active, as well as the echo and coxsakie virus. RSV strikes not only children but adults also, causing an asthma like condition with wheezing and coughing. We also have had a considerable number of influenza cases in Tucson; and even though many patients have had their flu shot, this year the flu shot has been gauged to be about 62% effective. Wash your hands frequently, and try to avoid large crowds. It is hard to predict how the upcoming Spring allergy season will be, but we will have appointments available with minimal wait time as we have 5 physician specialists available on our staff.
We have been having a brisk monsoon season, the first I can remember in some time. We therefore expect a relatively heavy pollen season for the fall months. Our practice has been honored once again in the national listings for exceptional physicians. Three of our senior doctors are listed in the Consumers Research Council of America’s “Guide to America’s Top Physicians” for 2012 (www.consumersresearchcncl.org). One of our doctors is listed in the national “Best Physicians” listings, and also in the prestigious Castle Connally “America’s Top Doctors”, the only allergist in Tucson to be so listed. We are gratified to be so honored, and thank our patients and referring physicians.
This is an exciting Spring for our practice. We are quite busy, and now are performing patch testing for chronic dermatitis patients, and patch testing for metals for patients about to receive metal implants (like knees, hips, etc). Dr. Makol just returned from Antarctica, where there were lots of humpback whales and penguins (see pictures). There has been a lot of pollen this Spring, so we have been seeing many new patients. Welcome to our practice, we have 5 experienced doctors and a nurse practitioner to take care of you. Give us a call.
We are headed into a cold and apparently wet winter. Please note that we have added some new links on our “Allergy Links” page. Besides the great drug discount site (for nearly all name brand pharmaceuticals, not just allergy related products), we now have a HealthCoach site that deals with lifestyle, general health, asthma, allergies and a plethora of other features like “How to quit Smoking”. Share our web address with your friends; there is a lot of general medical information available on the site. Click on the Pollen.com window in our sidebar, then click on “details” for the best in depth local weather information including a 28 day forecast, an allergy forecast, and much more.
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