Recognizing the Signs of an Immunodeficiency

Your immune system’s ability to fight off infection has received significant attention in recent times due to COVID-19 and the pending flu season. For the specialists who routinely treat individuals with a compromised immune response, however, your ability to fight off bacterial and viral infections is a year-round focus. It may surprise you to learn that the clinical experts at the forefront of this battle are allergists.

At Premier Allergy and Asthma, our physicians are board-certified in allergy and immunology. Well-known for their medical skill and expertise, these talented specialists offer the highest quality care available for immunodeficiency disorders.

Here’s what you need to know about immunodeficiency and the treatments available for people with compromised immune systems.

Why see an allergist for immunodeficiency?

Allergic reactions occur when your immune system overreacts and mistakes or tags harmless substances such as pollen or pet dander as potential toxins. Immunodeficiency disorders occur when your body isn’t able to mount an effective immune response to abnormal cells such as viruses, fungi, bacteria, and cancer.

A board-certified allergist/immunologist is a medical expert who specializes in the treatment of immunologic conditions, such as allergies, as well as immunodeficiency disorders that threaten your ability to fight off infections like the flu or other viruses.

What causes immunodeficiency disorders?

Immunodeficiency disorders occur as either primary or secondary conditions. Related to genetics, primary immunodeficiency disorders are those you’re born with, and they typically show up in infancy or early childhood.

Secondary immunodeficiency disorders are much more common and develop due to another illness or the medications and other therapies used to treat the illness.

Common causes of secondary immunodeficiency include:

Poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, and other lifestyle habits that affect your overall health may also compromise the health of your immune system.

What are the signs of immunodeficiency?

Signs of an immunodeficiency disorder may include frequent problems with:

While not always related to immunodeficiency, these infections typically last much longer and are often resistant to standard treatment in individuals who have a faulty immune system. Immunodeficiency also increases your risk of suffering long-term or even life-threatening effects of viral illnesses like the flu or COVID-19

Treating immunodeficiency disorders

Effective treatment for immunodeficiency disorders requires an accurate diagnosis. One of our immunologists will carefully consider your symptoms, medical history, and results of diagnostic testing for immunodeficiency (usually blood tests) before designing a personalized treatment strategy that may include:

It’s important to note that a person with a compromised immune system must receive vaccines manufactured from a killed virus, rather than live.

If you’ve been diagnosed with an immunodeficiency disorder or suspect your frequent infections may be due to a compromised immune system, schedule a visit at Premier Allergy and Asthma today. 

Use our online booking tool or call the office closest to you. We have 10 convenient offices: Dublin, Westerville, Canal Winchester, Lancaster, Marysville, Delaware, New Albany, Hilliard, Grove City, and Grandview, Ohio.

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