Parkville Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Consultants have moved to new premises at Suite 123, 55 Flemington Rd. The practice is now named “Melbourne Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Consultants”. This move will enable expansion of clinical services offered with recruitment of nurses and dieticians to the practice as well as recruiting further specialist associates to provide excellent specialist care to people with Allergic diseases and Asthma – and reduce the wait for appointments.
Visit the new MAAIC website: www.allergyasthma.com.au
Information for Referring Doctors
We aim to offer world-class assessment and treatment for people with allergic diseases and asthma. Specific interests of this practice include:
- Allergic respiratory diseases such as hay-fever
- Desensitisation treatment (allergen immunotherapy) including injection and sublingual treatments
- Asthma and severe asthma including lung function measurement and access to new therapies for more severe asthma such as omalizumab. We are actively involved in clinical trials for severe asthma, which can provide an option for patients who are poorly controlled despite currently available treatments.
- Anaphylaxis including stinging insect allergy and food allergies
For urgent appointments, please give us a call. We do reserve some appointments for urgent patients. Otherwise, a conversation with the referring doctor can get a treatment plan in place for the patient and facilitate some investigations that can make the whole process more efficient.
My patient has terrible hay fever: what can I do?
Severe hay fever can be a terrible burden for patients causing a blocked nose that may interfere with sleep, sinus congestion and even sinus pain and headache. For some people eye symptoms are debilitating.
Once the hay fever season has commenced it is too late to commence immunotherapy, either by the subcutaneous or sublingual route without further exacerbating the patient’s problems. So medical treatment needs to be used. The following will keep most people with severe hay fever under control until the season is over and they can then be assessed for immunotherapy.
Treatment for severe hay fever:
- Topical nasal corticosteroids such as mometasone furoate, ciclesonide or fluticasone furoate are the most effective treatments in helping nasal and eye symptoms. They need to be used regularly, at least daily, throughout the hay fever season. Try to steer patients away from nasal decongestants for seasonal hay fever.
- Topical ocular medications can be very helpful for those with severe eye symptoms. The mast cell stabilisers olapatadine or cromoglycate eyedrops are very effective but need to be used at least twice daily. Topical antihistamine eyedrops can also be effective.
- Antihistamines can relieve of the itch and sneezing and are best used for an itchy or runny nose and eyes. For those with milder symptoms they can be used as-needed.
Prof Douglass is involved in research with collaborators from the Royal Melbourne Hospital, the University of Melbourne and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. We are currently looking for patients who may be interested in clinical trials in:
- Severe asthma
- Immunodeficiency, especially antibody deficiencies
Level 1, Suite 123 Chelsea House 55 Flemington Road North Melbourne VIC 3051
Hay fever season
In Victoria, "hay fever" or allergic rhinoconjunctivitis due to grass pollen allergy usually starts by October and goes through to Christmas or longer, depending on a patient's specific grass allergy. For some, this is a major health problem causing nasal blockage and severe eye irritation while general fatigue can also be a major problem that results in lost work time.
The best treatment once the season is started is topical nasal corticosteroid sprays which should be the first line of treatment for all but those mildly affected. In addition, oral antihistamines and anti-allergy eye-drops can be used for those who suffer severely. To prevent this problem in future years, immunotherapy or "desensitisation" is an effective treatment, either by injectable or sublingual routes and both are available from an allergy specialist.
Referrals for Hay Fever can be made at any time, but patients for immunotherapy ideally need to be seen before April to commence injection immunotherapy for the coming year and before June for tablet immunotherapy.
Immunotherapy (Allergen desensitisation) is a rapidly changing field.
The recent major advance in allergy treatments is sublingual immunotherapy which has been shown to be very effective in multiple studies in adults and children with allergic rhinitis and asthma.
The new sublingual immunotherapy tablets for grass pollen allergy take this a further step in terms of effectiveness and convenience. These tablets are already formulated so allergen testing is essential to ensure this is the right treatment for each patient’s allergy. We assess patients with respiratory allergies and can advise and prescribe on the correct allergy desensitisation treatment for your patient.