Primary Immunodeficiency Disease

Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment & Management

According to the leading experts in immunology, when part of the immune system is either absent or not functioning properly, it can result in an immune deficiency disease. When the cause of this deficiency is hereditary or genetic, it is called a primary immunodeficiency disease (PIDD). Researchers have identified more than 300* different kinds of PIDD.

The immune system is composed of white blood cells. These cells are made in the bone marrow and travel through the bloodstream and lymph nodes. They protect and defend against attacks by "foreign" invaders such as germs, bacteria and fungi. Antibodies are proteins that are made in response to infection or immunization and help fight infections. Complement is another blood protein that plays a protective role in the immune system.  

In the most common PIDDs, different forms of these cells or proteins are missing or do not funtion. This creates a pattern of repeated infections, severe infections and/or infections that are unusually hard to cure. These infections may attack the skin, respiratory system, the ears, the brain or spinal cord, or in the urinary or gastrointestinal tracts.

In some instances, PIDD targets specific and/or multiple organs, glands, cells and tissues. For example, heart defects are present in some PIDDs. Other PIDDs alter facial features, some stunt normal growth and still others are connected to autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis.  

Primary Immunodeficiency Disease Symptoms & Diagnosis

Serious PIDDs typically become apparent in infancy. For example, severe T-cell or combined immune deficiencies typically present in infancy.  However, some antibody deficiencies may present in older children or adults. In milder forms, it often takes a pattern of recurrent infections before PIDD is suspected.

Important signs that may indicate a PIDD include:
• Recurrent, unusual or difficult to treat infections
• Poor growth or loss of weight
• Recurrent pneumonia, ear infections or sinusitis
• Multiple courses of antibiotics or IV antibiotics necessary to clear infections
• Recurrent deep abscesses of the organs or skin
• A family history of PIDD
• Swollen lymph glands or an enlarged spleen
• Autoimmune disease

Some immunodeficiency disorders are not primary (hereditary or genetic). A secondary immune deficiency disease occurs when the immune system is compromised due to an environmental factor. Examples of these external causes include infection (HIV), medications (chemotherapy or systemic steroids), severe burns or malnutrition.

Primary Immunodeficiency Disease Treatment & Management

Research in primary immunodefeciency is making great strides, improving treatment options and enhancing the quality of life for most people with these complex conditions.  Treatment options are targeted toward the specific immune defects and can include transplantation (bone marrow, stem cell, thymus), immunoglobulin (antibody) replacement, preventative antibiotics and strategies to manage autoimmune disease.  Gene therapy has been successful in specific types of PIDD.  


 

ASTHMA

What Are the Signs That I Might Have Asthma?


Do you have a regular cough that you just can’t seem to kick? Do you struggle to catch your breath? Is there a whistling or wheezing sound when you breathe? These can all be signs of asthma. Other common symptoms include chest tightness and shortness of breath. The key with asthma is that symptoms come back over and over again. Your allergist can evaluate whether your symptoms are a sign of asthma.



How Common Is Asthma?


Asthma is very common: Asthma symptoms affect an estimated 26 million Americans, including 20 million adults and 6 million children. That’s approximately 1 in 12 people. Asthma ranks among the most common chronic childhood illnesses, accounting for 13.8 million missed school days a year, as well as more than 14 million lost workdays for adults.

What Causes Asthma?

It’s hard to say for sure what causes asthma, but family genetics are believed to be a key factor. Asthma often runs in families. Environmental factors, such as exposure to secondhand smoke or air pollution, can also play a role.



How Do I Treat Asthma?


Allergists are specially trained to help you take control of your asthma so that you can live the life you want. They will work with you to identify what triggers your asthma and then build a plan to help you avoid and manage those triggers. They may also prescribe medication or, in some cases, allergy immunotherapy.

If you have asthma, you should keep your rescue inhaler with you wherever you are – at work, at school or on vacation. Albuterol is a particularly effective, fast-acting treatment to relax the muscles around your airways so you can breathe easier. If your asthma is severe or uncontrolled, your allergist may speak to you about biologics treatment or a procedure called bronchial thermoplasty.



What Are Common Triggers for Asthma?


A trigger is something that provokes a response from your body. In the case of asthma, your body sees these triggers as a threat and releases chemicals to combat them – and these chemicals, in turn, can cause an asthma attack.

Different things can act as triggers for different people, but common asthma triggers include exerciseillness and allergens such as pollen. Triggers can also come from certain medications, the weather, stress, smoke and even some foods.



What Should I Do if I Suffer an Asthma Attack?


The best way to handle an asthma attack is to be prepared. Your allergist can help you create an asthma action plan, which can include specific steps to prevent and manage an asthma attack.

If an attack does occur, stay calm and use the medications your allergist has prescribed. These are typically administered with an inhaler.

Seek medical treatment if your coughing or shortness of breath persists or seems to get worse.



Can You Cure Asthma?


There is no cure for asthma, but there are effective treatments available. The best way to manage your asthma is to work with an allergist. Studies show that people with asthma who see a specialist such as an allergist reduce their:

Symptoms

Emergency room visits

Hospital stays

Sick visits to the doctor

Missed days from work or school

Health care costs

 

ASTHMA

What Are the Signs That I Might Have Asthma?


Do you have a regular cough that you just can’t seem to kick? Do you struggle to catch your breath? Is there a whistling or wheezing sound when you breathe? These can all be signs of asthma. Other common symptoms include chest tightness and shortness of breath. The key with asthma is that symptoms come back over and over again. Your allergist can evaluate whether your symptoms are a sign of asthma.



How Common Is Asthma?


Asthma is very common: Asthma symptoms affect an estimated 26 million Americans, including 20 million adults and 6 million children. That’s approximately 1 in 12 people. Asthma ranks among the most common chronic childhood illnesses, accounting for 13.8 million missed school days a year, as well as more than 14 million lost workdays for adults.

What Causes Asthma?

It’s hard to say for sure what causes asthma, but family genetics are believed to be a key factor. Asthma often runs in families. Environmental factors, such as exposure to secondhand smoke or air pollution, can also play a role.



How Do I Treat Asthma?


Allergists are specially trained to help you take control of your asthma so that you can live the life you want. They will work with you to identify what triggers your asthma and then build a plan to help you avoid and manage those triggers. They may also prescribe medication or, in some cases, allergy immunotherapy.

If you have asthma, you should keep your rescue inhaler with you wherever you are – at work, at school or on vacation. Albuterol is a particularly effective, fast-acting treatment to relax the muscles around your airways so you can breathe easier. If your asthma is severe or uncontrolled, your allergist may speak to you about biologics treatment or a procedure called bronchial thermoplasty.



What Are Common Triggers for Asthma?


A trigger is something that provokes a response from your body. In the case of asthma, your body sees these triggers as a threat and releases chemicals to combat them – and these chemicals, in turn, can cause an asthma attack.

Different things can act as triggers for different people, but common asthma triggers include exerciseillness and allergens such as pollen. Triggers can also come from certain medications, the weather, stress, smoke and even some foods.



What Should I Do if I Suffer an Asthma Attack?


The best way to handle an asthma attack is to be prepared. Your allergist can help you create an asthma action plan, which can include specific steps to prevent and manage an asthma attack.

If an attack does occur, stay calm and use the medications your allergist has prescribed. These are typically administered with an inhaler.

Seek medical treatment if your coughing or shortness of breath persists or seems to get worse.



Can You Cure Asthma?


There is no cure for asthma, but there are effective treatments available. The best way to manage your asthma is to work with an allergist. Studies show that people with asthma who see a specialist such as an allergist reduce their:

Symptoms

Emergency room visits

Hospital stays

Sick visits to the doctor

Missed days from work or school

Health care costs

 

P (845) 353-9600/ (201) 666-8500

F (845) 353-9353/ (201) 666 5241

2 Crosfield Ave. #406, West Nyack NY 10994
354 Old Hook Rd #207, Westwood NJ 07675

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

©2020 by Allergy and Asthma Consultants of Rockland & Bergen. Proudly created with Wix.com