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Immunodeficiency Specialist

Suburban Allergy Consultants

Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Specialists located in Narberth, Havertown, West Chester, West Grove, & Coatesville, PA

When your immune system isn’t functioning properly, you’re at an increased risk of being infected with bacteria or viruses that make you sick. At Suburban Allergy Consultants, with offices in Coatesville, Narberth, West Chester, West Grove, and Havertown, Pennsylvania, you can receive a comprehensive evaluation for an immunodeficiency disorder so that treatment can start right away. To learn more about your options, schedule an appointment with allergy, asthma, and immunology expert, Corinna Bowser MD, FAAAAI, FACAAI, or Andrew Murphy MD, FAAAAI, by phone, or request an appointment online.

Immunodeficiency Q & A

What is immunodeficiency?

Immunodeficiency is a disorder that interferes with your body’s ability to fight off infections or diseases. A congenital immunodeficiency disorder is something you’re born with, while an acquired immunodeficiency disorder is something that you develop over time.

In a healthy body, the immune system makes antibodies to fight back against bacteria, viruses, and parasites. When you have an immunodeficiency, you aren’t able to defend against foreign invaders. As a result, you are at a much higher risk of catching bacterial and viral infections and contagious diseases.

What causes an immunodeficiency?

There are two ways an immunodeficiency can interfere with your immune system’s function. 

Primary immunodeficiency

A primary immunodeficiency is the result of a genetic disorder, a condition you’re born with.

Secondary immunodeficiency

A secondary, or acquired immunodeficiency, such as AIDS, leukemia, or viral hepatitis, is the result of an infection. You can also develop acquired immunodeficiency from a disease or a toxin that attacks your body, such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Radiation
  • Chemotherapy
  • Severe burn

An acquired immunodeficiency may also be the result of a poor diet and malnutrition.

How is an immunodeficiency diagnosed?

After a thorough review of your personal and family medical history, your Suburban Allergy Consultants provider performs a physical exam and requests blood work.

The team at Suburban Allergy Consultants offer antibody tests, which involve the injection of a vaccine. Your provider then tests your blood after a few days or weeks to evaluate your body’s response to the injection. If no antibodies are present, it indicates an immunodeficiency.

How is an immunodeficiency treated?

Depending on the type of immunodeficiency disorder you have, your Suburban Allergy Consultants provider can prescribe medications that treat existing infections.

Antibiotics can treat bacterial infections, while viral infections may require certain antiviral drugs.

Your Suburban Allergy Consultants provider also recommends eating a healthy diet and getting enough sleep to strengthen your immune system. You should also avoid people who are sick to prevent developing the illness yourself.

To learn more about treatments for immunodeficiency, schedule a consultation at Suburban Allergy Consultants by phone, or you can request an appointment using the online booking feature.