Food allergies are on the rise, and have been for decades. Specifically, peanut allergy incidence has tripled from 1997 to 2007. This rise in food allergies has led to a clamor to identify better ways to help people live with them. Advanced Allergy & Asthma Care now offers the only peanut allergy desensitization program in Fairfield County.
Living with food allergies can be a burden for the entire family of the patient with the allergy. A partial list of allergic symptoms that can occur after ingestion of a food allergen include shortness of breath, hives, flush, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of consciousness, and even death. In addition to the actual reactions that occur, food allergies often cause anxiety over food, both in the person affected, as well as their family members. Children often report social isolation because of their food allergies.
Until recently, there have been no treatments available for those with food allergies. The advice for those living with them has been strict avoidance of the food that you may be allergic to, in conjunction with prompt treatment of epinephrine when needed. Additionally, education about food allergies has been and continues to be paramount. Our physicians have been very active in the community holding educational talks with the school nurses from the Ridgefield, Danbury, and Newtown school districts among others. Although the advice concerning avoidance and prompt use of epinephrine still holds true, we now have a new treatment option for individuals with peanut allergy.
Peanut desensitization involves slowly introducing minute quantities of peanut protein, in an increasing fashion. This desensitization occurs in a stepwise manner, with increases in dosing of peanut protein occurring in our offices while being monitored for possible reactions. The physicians at Advanced Specialty Care treat patients not only from Fairfield County, but regionally, as we are one of only two allergy practices in the state of Connecticut performing food desensitization.
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Our physicians at Advanced Allergy & Asthma Care, Dr. Jonathan Bell, Dr. Yogen Dave, Dr. Sara Dever, Dr. Richard Lee and Dr. Purvi Shah specialize in the treatment of food, nasal, eye, medication and skin allergies, as well as asthma care. We are located in Fairfield County, Connecticut in Danbury, New Milford, Norwalk and Ridgefield.