Are you, or someone you know, constantly seeing a doctor for infections? Infections that clear briefly once you have taken antibiotics, only to reoccur within several months? Are these infections due to sinusitis, bronchitis or pneumonia? If so, you may have a serious health issue with your immune system. Frequent antibiotic use is a red flag that something more serious is occurring with your health. Many people who suffer from recurrent infections, have an antibody deficiency: They either develop low antibody levels; or they lack the ability to develop protective antibody responses, as it pertains to either natural exposure to bacteria, or common immunizations.
While these infections typically improve with antibiotics, the recurrent, chronic nature of these infections can lead to complications involving the sinuses and lungs. Rarely, other immune issues may appear over time, increasing a patient’s health risks.
The diagnosis of an immune deficiency in an adult is usually delayed up to 10 years. Why so
long? First, the infections appear to clear; second, and more importantly, the patient’s diagnosis is not thoroughly considered. Immune deficiencies are somewhat rare, so the doctor may miss subtle signs and symptoms that may indicate the presence of an immune deficiency.
The evaluation for immune deficiency is relatively straightforward, and occurs once the doctor has evaluated the results of a patient’s simple blood tests. Treatment for immune deficiency requires the patient to be seen by a doctor who specializes in immune disorders, but first and foremost, the correct diagnosis must be made.
The physicians at Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Associates, have unique expertise and years of experience in this field. We have a dedicated interest in patients with immunodeficiency, and specialize in the diagnosis and long-term treatment and care of immunodeficient patients. We encourage you to review our website for more articles and videos on the topic of immunodeficiency.