Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Services
North Texas Allergy and Asthma Center (NTAAC) has been serving the Denton and North Texas community for over 30 years. We take care of both pediatric and adult patients with allergies, whether outdoor or indoor environmental, food, drug or insect allergy, eczema, hives, skin conditions, asthma, sinus infections and immune disorders.
We provide compassionate, individualized and high-quality care for all our patients and treat them like family.
Allergy ShotsAllergen immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots, is a long-term treatment option that decreases symptoms for many people with allergic rhinitis (nasal allergy), allergic conjunctivitis (eye allergy), asthma, eczema or stinging insect allergy. Allergy shots “immunize” the body like a vaccine, decreasing sensitivity to allergens by injecting increasing amounts of the agents a person is allergic to.
This process provides lasting relief of allergy symptoms for years even after treatment is stopped. Allergen immunotherapy is a cost-effective, beneficial treatment approach for most patients with environmental allergies, asthma, eczema or stinging insect allergies.
There are two phases of allergy shots:
- Build-up phase: During this initial period the patient receives injections with increasing amounts of allergens at least once per week. The length of this phase depends upon how often the injections are given but generally ranges from 5 to 8 months. There are 3 equally effective methods we offer patients looking to start allergen immunotherapy:
- Standard immunotherapy: Weekly injections are given for up to 7 months until reaching the highest tolerated effective dose (the maintenance phase).
- Cluster immunotherapy: “Cluster” is an accelerated form of immunotherapy in which sets of injections are given for the first 4 weekly visits then followed by weekly injections to reach the maintenance phase more quickly.
- Rush Immunotherapy: “Rush” is the most rapid desensitization available. Multiple injections are given over several hours during close observation in our office followed by weekly injections to reach the maintenance phase in about 5 months.
- Maintenance phase: This begins once the effective dose is reached. The effective maintenance dose depends on your level of allergen sensitivity and your response to the injections during the build-up phase. During the maintenance phase injections are given every four weeks typically for at least 3 years.
Allergy DropsSublingual allergen immunotherapy, also known as allergy drops, is a long-term treatment option that decreases symptoms for children and adults with allergic rhinitis (nasal allergy), allergic conjunctivitis (eye allergy) asthma or eczema without injections. Allergy drops can be done at home. They work in a similar way to allergy shots and “immunize” the body like a vaccine, decreasing sensitivity to allergens by exposure to increasing amounts of the agents a person is allergic to via the sublingual route (under the tongue) instead of by injections.
This process provides lasting relief of allergy symptoms even after treatment is stopped. It is a beneficial treatment approach for most patients with environmental allergies, asthma or eczema.
There are two phases of allergy drops:
- Build-up phase: During this initial period the patient takes escalating doses of allergy drops daily to reach the maintenance dose within 30 days.
- Maintenance phase: During the maintenance phase the same dose of allergy drops is taken daily for at least 3 years.
Allergy TabletsAllergy tablets are another form of sublingual immunotherapy. They are also a long-term treatment that decreases symptoms for people with allergic rhinitis (nasal allergy), allergic conjunctivitis (eye allergy), asthma or eczema. The tablets are placed under the tongue for one to two minutes and then swallowed as they dissolve. Just as with allergy shots or drops, over time, the tablets will increase your tolerance to the pollen and reduce your symptoms. Allergy tablets are currently available for ragweed pollen, grass pollen and house dust mite. Treatment with allergy tablets depends on the allergic sensitivities and age of the patient.
Our physicians can discuss these different long-term treatment options for allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis, asthma, eczema or stinging insect allergies with you and help determine what works best for you and your family.
Skin prick testing is accurate, fast, relatively painless and usually less expensive than blood testing. Small amounts of concentrated food or environmental allergens are applied to your skin by making a small “scratch” on the surface of your skin. In 20 minutes your test is read and, if you have allergies, you will have redness and swelling like a mosquito bite where the allergen was placed.
If your skin prick tests are negative but your physician still suspects you might have allergies, more sensitive intradermal skin testing may be undertaken in which a small amount of allergen is injected within the skin.
Our physicians are proficient in allergy skin testing and will take time discussing your personalized allergy skin test profile and forming a highly effective treatment plan with you.
Examples include aspirin for heart disease or penicillin and other antibiotics for certain infections. We desensitize the body to the drug needed by giving gradually increasing doses of the medication in question, starting with tiny doses and increasing slowly to the full dose, under close medical supervision in our office. The patient is then able to take the drug daily with minimal risk, remaining desensitized as long as the drug is taken on daily basis.
Our allergists are well trained in selecting the appropriate biologic therapy for your needs. Our staff is well-versed in working with pharmacies and insurance companies to obtain these medications in a timely fashion when indicated. Our nurses have many years of experience administering these types of medications.
Allergy skin testing is the gold standard, but in some cases blood testing may be ordered. Examples include: if you are using a medication (antihistamines or other medications) known to interfere with skin test results and cannot stop taking it for a few days or if you have severe eczema, or another severe skin condition that will interfere with skin testing.
Other examples include if you cannot tolerate skin prick testing or have poorly controlled asthma.
Patients can bring suspected products from home for testing as well. Common triggers of contact dermatitis include metals, cosmetics, perfumes, shampoos, hair dyes, skin care products, detergents, cleaning agents, adhesives, topical medicines, preservatives, additives and latex.
Our physicians will read the patch test at 48 and 72 hours and recommend appropriate avoidance measures and treatment.
All CT scans are overread by a Board-Certified Neuroradiologist. IAC (Intersocietal Accreditation Commission) requirements ensure that a imaging facility is providing high quality care and held to industry standards. Our center is a fully IAC accredited facility.
Our physicians are certified to perform and review the CT results with you immediately and direct appropriate treatment.
Our physicians can determine whether you need these vaccines during your evaluation. We recommend the Flu shot for all our patients on an annual basis.
Our physicians will review your FeNO result with you and discuss its implications on your asthma treatment.
Some patients with eosinophilic esophagitis and atopic dermatitis may benefit from food patch testing. Combining conventional allergy skin testing for foods with patch testing may better identify agents that are causing food allergy complications.
After proper training IgG replacement can be done at home as a subcutaneous infusion (under the skin) on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis. For more severe cases IV infusion of IgG can be done at an infusion center or hospital.
Our physicians are experts in immune deficiency and can perform a thorough evaluation of your immune system and design an effective treatment plan for you.
Our physicians can perform and interpret lung function tests for you if you have respiratory issues including asthma or COPD.
An oral food challenge can be done with almost any food including common allergens like peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat, soy, fish and shellfish.
Our physicians are experts in food allergy and can discuss potential food allergies with you and whether an oral food challenge is appropriate.
This form of immunotherapy is conducted only under close medical supervision in our clinic with weekly office visits and oral challenges.
Our physicians can evaluate for food allergy and determine whether oral immunotherapy should be considered.
For the most part, even those with known allergies can be safely vaccinated using alternative forms of a vaccine that are free of the allergen. Even if allergen-free formulations are unavailable, many patients can still be vaccinated in our office and remain under physician supervision for several hours after vaccination.
Our experienced physicians can determine whether venom testing is indicated and if venom immunotherapy should be initiated after a complete review of your history and test results.
Xolair helps keeps asthma under better control and also effectively reduces the severity of hives in patients with chronic urticaria.
Our physicians can discuss with you whether treatment with Xolair is appropriate for you.