Allergic disorders are becoming an increasing problem across the United States. Millions of individuals suffer from allergic diseases of varying kinds. Allergies come in many forms, from seasonal allergies and asthma to food allergies, eczema and anaphylaxis. Allergies affect all ages from infancy to adulthood. Children who suffer from allergies will have their parents report that their children are “sick all the time” and never seem to get better. Often allergy patients also suffer from asthma and have symptoms of chronic cough, chest tightness, recurrent “bronchitis, wheezing or exercise intolerance. We see patients suffering with the belief that there is nothing that can be done to prevent or cure, however, this is not the case.
At the Family Allergy Center, we have on staff two Board Certified adult and pediatric allergists and a Nurse Practitioner uniquely trained in allergy and immunology to provide individual family-focused care to our allergy patients. We chose our new office location in Gainesville, Virginia due to the rising population of families in need of an allergy specialist. Virginia is a particularly problematic area for allergies as there are very few months when the pollen count is negligible. Dr. Tamara Smith and Dr. Kenneth Bergman strive to care for patients in a convenient, child-friendly environment with very little waiting time.
Our goal as allergists is for “every patient to lead a happy healthy life with very few restrictions on activity”. For the patient with allergies, we are uniquely suited to give advice on avoidance strategies, medication choices with the least side effects and ultimately disease progression and treatment goals. Our doctors are also board certified to initiate allergen immunotherapy as a treatment for allergies. Studies on allergen immunotherapy or “allergy shots” show that symptoms improve on allergen therapy, medication use declines and quality of life improves. No more should children need to be kept inside on warm spring days or held out of physical education because their allergies are problematic. Additional benefits of allergy shots are their ability to modify and improve asthma symptoms. When this occurs, children use less medication, are sick less often, and overall are able to function like every other child. Parents are free to go to work while their child is able to thrive at school unhindered by his or her allergy symptoms. Dr. Smith says “I love my patients, I love what I do. It is so gratifying to have patients return year after year relaying that they never knew they could feel this good”. We are here to help because “Allergy sufferers need not suffer”.