Things were very different for children just one century ago. Without immunizations to protect them, they faced death or permanent disabilities if they were sickened by smallpox, polio, measles, or other diseases. Thanks to the introduction of vaccines, however, parents no longer have to worry about the potentially debilitating effects of these diseases. Offered by Dr. Alan Sheen's offices in Metairie and Covington, LA, immunizations provide important protections that will give your children a healthy start in life!
How do vaccines work?
Through vaccines, your child receives weakened or dead versions of germs that cause diseases. The germs in the immunizations won't cause your child to contract the disease but will prompt their body to produce antibodies that attack the germs. Should your child ever be exposed to the live versions of the germs in the future, the antibodies will quickly destroy the germs and prevent your son or daughter from becoming ill.
Immunizations not only protect your child, but they also other protect children who may not be able to receive vaccines because they're either too young or have certain health issues. When the majority of children are vaccinated, the incidence of diseases like whooping cough and measles decreases significantly.
What about immunization side effects?
Immunizations may cause a few mild side effects. You may notice that your baby is a little irritable, has a slight fever for a day or two after receiving an immunization, or that the skin looks a little swollen at the injection site. These minor side effects may be a little uncomfortable, but they won't harm your child's health.
Increasingly today, parents are understandably concerned about the effects of immunizations on their children. In the past, some parents avoided immunizing their children because they feared that the vaccines would cause autism. However, multiple scientific studies have demonstrated no link between immunizations and autism. Science proves that vaccines are a healthy and safe way to protect the lives of your children!
When should my child receive immunizations?
Many immunizations are given during your child's first few years, including those for polio, measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, and hepatitis A and B. Your child's Metairie or Covington, LA, doctor can advise you when your child should receive each immunization. As your child reaches their pre-teen and teenage years, you may want to consider shots that protect them from the human papillomavirus (HPV) and meningitis.
Have your kids had all of their immunizations? If not, schedule an appointment with Dr. Alan Sheen by calling (504) 456-6077 for the Metairie, LA, office, or (985) 246-6077 for the Covington, LA, office.
Are your allergy symptoms driving you crazy?
Have red, itchy eyes become the norm? Do you find yourself sneezing your head off whenever you walk outside? Are those over-the-counter medications just not cutting it when it comes to managing your allergies? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then it might be time to take a little trip to see our allergy doctor, Dr. Alan Sheen, practicing in both Metairie and Covington, LA.
Allergies are one of the most common chronic conditions affecting people across the globe with symptoms ranging from mild to potentially life-threatening. Common allergens that can trigger an allergic reaction include:
- Insect stings or bites
- Pet dander
How is an allergy diagnosed?
If you or a loved one is dealing with allergy symptoms, our Metairie allergist can help provide a definitive diagnosis so that you know what is causing your symptoms and how to best treat the issue. Our very own Dr. Sheen has received advanced and specialized training to be able to diagnose and help manage your allergy symptoms, no matter how serious they may be.
When you come into our office, your evaluation will consist of three important parts: a review of your medical history, a physical exam, and an administration of the proper allergy tests. Going through your medical history is important for us to better understand what might be triggering your symptoms. Our allergist may additionally recommend both a blood and skin test to check for sensitivities to common allergens.
The allergy skin test can be performed for pollen, mold, dust, pet dander, insect stings, and food allergies, while a blood test may be recommended if your skin is too sensitive for a skin test or if you are taking certain medications that could affect your test results.
What are my treatment options?
The treatment plan we create for you will depend on the type of allergy you are experiencing and how severe your symptoms are. The most obvious recommendation is to avoid the allergen whenever possible. Of course, you may also be prescribed certain allergy medications such as antihistamines, nasal sprays, eye drops, or decongestants.
We will also provide you with lifestyle modifications that can greatly reduce flare-ups. For example, we may recommend wearing a face mask while doing yard work, or using a HEPA air filter to remove allergens from your home. With proper medication and lifestyle changes, we can help you finally get your allergy symptoms under control.
Contact us today!
If you are living in the Metairie or Covington, LA, area and want to talk to our allergy specialist about more long-term and effective methods for tackling your allergy symptoms, call one of our offices today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sheen: (504) 456-1999 for Metairie and (985) 246-6077 for Covington.
Noticing unpleasant symptoms whenever you eat a certain food? You could be allergic!
If you are a professed foodie then you may not even want to entertain the possibility that you might have a food allergy; however, a whopping 15 million Americans have food allergies. So, if you are noticing that a certain food is suddenly causing some gastrointestinal distress, you may just want to visit our Metairie, LA, allergy specialist, Dr. Alan Sheen for answers.
What are the different kinds of food allergies?
According to Food Allergy Research & Education, there are about 170 foods that have been reported to cause allergic reactions. Of course, the most common food allergies include:
- Tree nuts
Symptoms of a food allergy can range from mild to severe. Severe food allergies can result in throat tightening or trouble breathing. If you experience these symptoms it’s important that you seek immediate medical attention.
What are the warning signs of a food allergy?
The most common causes of a food allergy include:
- Itching mouth/tingling lips
- Facial swelling (this can include the lips and throat)
- Trouble breathing
- Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain
- Dizziness or fainting
Symptoms usually develop within a few minutes of consuming the problematic food; however, symptoms can appear up to 2 hours after. If you are experiencing symptoms it’s a good idea to call our Metairie, LA, allergy doctor to determine if your symptoms are due to a food allergy.
How do you treat a food allergy?
While it might be obvious, the most common treatment for a food allergy is to just stay away from the offending food. This is a surefire way to prevent symptoms from manifesting. Of course, sometimes other treatment options can be helpful. For example, if you have lactose intolerance you may benefit from taking medication before consuming dairy products. Certain over-the-counter or prescription medications are designed for those with lactose intolerance to make it easier to consume these foods without issues.
Those who have a severe allergic reaction to certain foods may be given an EpiPen, an injection of epinephrine. This device should only be used during severe, emergency situations and this is an injection you will give yourself.
If you are living in Metairie, LA, and suspect that you might have a food allergy it’s important that you call our very own Dr. Sheen to schedule a consultation. Let’s help you figure out what’s going on and how to stop it from happening so you can go back to enjoying your daily meals.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices provides annual guidelines on childhood immunization schedules, which outline recommended vaccines for infants, children, teenagers and adults. Immunizations schedules are designed to ensure that your children receive the protection they need from a number of potentially serious illnesses like hepatitis, measles, chicken pox and the flu. The schedule is revised every year as a general guideline for doctors and parents, but your child's own vaccination schedule and needs may vary according to their circumstances. Dr. Alan Sheen, an immunologist and allergist in Metairie and Covington, LA, recommends discussing childhood immunization at the child's first doctor's appointment.
Childhood Immunizations in Metairie and Covington, LA
The 2018 recommended immunization schedule for children includes:
- Hep A: 12 months - 23 months
- Hep B: Birth - 3 months; 6 months - 18 months
- RV: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months
- DTaP: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months; 15 - 18 months; 4 - 6 years
- Hib: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months; 12 - 15 months
- PCV13: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months; 12 - 15 months
- IPV: 2 months, 4 months; 6 - 18 months; 4 -6 years
- Influenza: Yearly starting at 6 months
- MMR (measles, mumps, rubella): 12 - 15 months; 4 - 6 years
- Varicella: 12 - 15 months; 4 - 6 years
Many of the recommended vaccines in the immunization schedule provide an age range (12 - 15 months for example, or 4 - 6 years) when the vaccines can safely be administered depending on the child's circumstances.
Benefits of Childhood Immunizations
Having your child vaccinated is not only important for their own health and safety, they also help to protect members of your family and your community from communicable and potentially life threatening illnesses. On a practical level, childhood immunizations can also save your family time and money through missing work and school and paying for doctor's appointments and medication.
Find an Allergist and Immunologist in Metairie and Covington, LA
For more information about immunization schedules and allergy testing and treatment, contact our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sheen by calling (504) 456-1999 in Metairie or (985) 246-6077 in Covington.
What your allergy doctor in Metairie and Covington wants you to know
When your child is not feeling well, you want to do everything you can to make them feel better. The sneezing and sniffling could be just a cold, or it could be allergies. So how do you know if your child has allergies? Dr. Alan Sheen wants to share the signs and symptoms of allergies. He has two convenient office locations in Metairie and Covington, LA to help you and your child.
A foreign substance may cause your child to react by sneezing, coughing or other symptoms. These foreign substances are called triggers or allergens. Some common allergens and triggers include:
- Pollens from trees, grasses, and plants
- Mold, mildew, and dust
- Pet hair and dander
- Insect bites or stings
- Cigarette smoke or perfume
You should also be on the lookout for food allergies including an allergic response to:
Once your child has been exposed to an allergic substance, some common signs and symptoms your child may have allergies include:
- Coughing or sneezing
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Runny, itchy nose
- Skin rashes that itch
- A sore throat
- Breathing problems
- Stomach ache
If you notice signs and symptoms of allergies in your child, you need to call Dr. Sheen for allergy testing to find out what triggers your child’s allergies. Once the trigger is identified, it’s best to avoid the trigger if possible. In addition, Dr. Sheen may recommend:
- Prescription antihistamine medications
- Prescription decongestant medications
- Steroid nasal sprays
- Sublingual immunotherapy
You want your child to feel better, and calling your allergy doctor is the first step to finding out the source of your child’s allergies. Your child deserves a life of health and wellness so call Dr. Sheen, with offices in Metairie and Covington, LA. Call today!
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