For years, the Willamette Valley has been ranked among the worst places in the U.S. for allergy sufferers; 2015 is no different, with three Oregon cities regularly topping the Worst Allergy Forecast as determined by Pollen.com. With more than 20 years of experience in private practice, Allergist-Immunologist James Sweet, MD was recruited to launch our new allergy department.
Medical Director John Young, MD says adding an Allergy department to the practice makes good clinical sense. “Allergic reactions often manifest in the skin and are quickly recognized by our dermatologists as conditions that require specialized care,” says Dr. Young. It is a medical model that is growing in prevalence across the country, and the two specialties complement each other.
Allergy-Immunology is a sub-specialty of internal medicine or pediatrics and requires at least nine years of training. After completing medical school, a physician completes three years of training in internal medicine or pediatrics, then completes a two-year Fellowship in an allergy-immunology training program. Dr. Sweet is also a Board Certified Internal Medicine Physician.
A Board-Certified Allergist-Immunologist is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of allergies, asthma and immunological diseases. Allergies may affect many parts of the body and organ systems, including the skin, lungs, gastrointestinal system, eyes, ears and sinuses. Through skin testing, provocative challenges or therapeutic interventions, an Allergist-Immunologist can provide definitive diagnosis for allergic conditions and recommend treatment.
Allergy shots (immunotherapy) help one’s body get used to allergens – the things that trigger an allergic reaction. The shots contain tiny amounts of a specific allergen, and gradually increase over a period of time until the body becomes accustomed to it. Eventually symptoms will lessen and allergic reactions will decrease.
A patient may be referred to an Allergist-Immunologist by a primary care provider; the allergist acts as an expert consultant to co-manage a number of diseases and conditions. These conditions include asthma, conjunctivitis, chronic cough, dermatitis, eczema, rhinitis and sinusitis. They also test and treat for adverse reactions to drugs, foods and insect stings.
“Patients can also self-refer for allergy care,” says Dr. Sweet. “A good rule of thumb is: If your allergies or asthma interfere with your daily life, you should see an allergist.”
A graduate of University of Minnesota, Dr. Sweet earned his medical degree at the University of South Dakota, and his Internal Medicine residency at the University of Hawaii. He is a Board Certified Internist and completed his Allergy and Immunology Fellowship at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, California.
Dr. Sweet was in private practice in Honolulu, Hawaii for 18 years before joining Billings Clinic in Billings, Montana. He has published several articles in the field of allergy and immunology and joined Silver Falls Dermatology in June.
Dr. Sweet treats both children and adults and is accepting new patients in Salem, McMinnville and Corvallis.