Allergic Eye/Nose Diseases
Rush Immunotherapy is an accelerated form of allergy shots, which often allows a patient to reach a fully effective shot dose in one day. Normally, allergy shots are started once or twice weekly, which can require six months to reach this helpful dose. In the meantime, patients can suffer, and often become tired of driving to the office and waiting 20 minutes after injectionswhich do not even help yet. Patients therefore often stop allergy shots before reaching an effective dose. During rush immunotherapy, the patient pretreats with medicines for two days to minimize the chance of a reaction. In our office, they receive an allergy shot at 30-minute intervals in the morning, then at hourly intervals in the afternoon. They often reach a protective dose in one day. Although this does not complete the immunotherapy program, it saves about six months of weekly injections.
I first performed this procedure more than 20 years ago in St. Louis. A young lady visited quite frantically one day in April. She was to be married in late May, in the middle of grass season. Grass allergies always caused severe sneezing, runny nose, and extremely red watery eyes. She did not want to look like this on her wedding day. She thought allergy shots might help, but another allergist told her the shots would not work that quickly. I explained that a new procedure called "rush immunotherapy" might help, and she became my first patient. She reached a near protective dose by the end of the first day, and felt perfect on the biggest day of her life.
Intravenous Gammaglobulin Therapy Patients with a large number of sinus or ear infections, pneumonia, bronchitis, or patients who have difficulty clearing these infections, could have an underlying immune problem. We evaluate the patient's immune system, and sometimes find an abnormality. If these infections do not respond to antibiotics, or continue despite preventative antibiotics, this procedure can be beneficial. Intravenous gammaglobulin is collected from at least 1000 different blood donors. The part of the blood that contains antibodies is isolated, and then placed into glass bottles. After placing an IV line in the hand or wrist, we infuse or give these antibodies over one to four hours. Restoring the missing antibodies minimizes these infections.