Allergy & Immunology Specialist in Iowa
Allergy is a medical specialty focused on the diagnosis and management of allergies. Allergic reactions occur when the body reacts to a substance that is normally harmless, such as pollen, food, or medication. Allergists care for a wide range of problems, including allergic rhinitis (hayfever), asthma, chronic sinusitis, eczema (atopic dermatitis), contact dermatitis (rashes due to chemicals), urticaria and angioedema (hives and swelling), food allergy, medication allergy, insect allergy, and anaphylaxis (life-threatening allergic reactions). Allergists take a thorough medical history to guide appropriate testing, diagnosis, and treatment of allergic problems. The goal is to provide relief of symptoms so that patients can live life without limits.
Immunology is a medical specialty focused on the diagnosis and management of immune problems. The immune system protects the body against infections. Diseases that predispose people to frequent, severe infections are called primary immunodeficiencies. Immunologists perform extensive, complex testing to get to the root of immune problems and can provide effective therapies, including immunoglobulin (antibody) replacement therapy, when needed.
Skin testing is the most common form of allergy testing and provides rapid, accurate results. During the test, a tiny drop of allergen is pricked into the skin to determine if the patient has allergic antibodies against the allergen. If a test is positive, a small hive-like reaction forms that is assessed in 20 minutes. Skin testing is frequently performed for airborne allergens (such as pollens, molds, pets, or dust mites), foods, medications (including penicillin), and insect venoms. Blood testing is also done to evaluate allergies, and is done in certain cases to supplement skin testing. Other forms of allergy testing include oral food challenge (for food allergies) and skin patch testing (for contact allergens, such as metals, preservatives, or fragrances). Pulmonary function testing is also routinely performed and is essential for the proper diagnosis and management of asthma and other lung diseases.
There are very effective treatments available for allergies. Treatment for allergic rhinitis (hayfever) often includes allergen avoidance, medications, and allergen immunotherapy (allergy shots). Immunotherapy is the one treatment that actually “re-educates” the immune system to turn down the allergic response to inhaled allergens, and also helps with the allergic triggers of asthma. Allergy shots may also reduce the medications that are required to control allergies.
Dr. Letz and his highly trained staff will guide you through the appropriate testing and treatment to achieve relief from your allergy symptoms.
Dr. Adrian Letz
Dr. Letz is board certified in both Allergy/Immunology and Internal Medicine. He sees both adults and children and will be able to provide you complete allergy, asthma, and immunology care. His office is located in our West building at 3504 Lake Ridge Road, Dubuque Iowa 52003.
If you think you may be having problems with allergies or your immune system please let us know by calling 563-557-9111