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Dr. Meadows noted that patients with allergies have historically had the option of being treated through telemedicine, which has been more widely adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an interview with HCPLive for our This Year in Medicine series, J. Allen Meadows, MD, AllerVie Health and past President of the American College of Allergy Asthma & Immunology, spoke of the prevailing issues of allergy care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In recent weeks, the COVID-19 virus has continued to surge with weekly averages of new cases remaining above 100,000 in the United States.
However, current demographics have also shown that both asthma and allergic diseases have continued to rise in the past year as well.
“There's great debate about why that's climbing, I think the most prominent theories, the healthy Western living theory, is that we're not getting enough exposure to the right types of pathogens when we're young, and so our immune system defaults to fighting parasites and allergens, and only with exposure to certain infections, particularly in our toxins when you're young,” Meadows said.
Allergists and other medical professionals have had to adapt to the changes presented by both the rise of COVID-19 cases and allergy-based cases in the past year, treating patients primarily through telemedicine.
“Historically, people who have flares of allergies, we give them the option of being treated on the phone or treated in person, and certainly if somebody had failed a phone treatment, we'd see all those people in person,” Meadows said. “But a lot of allergy and asthma practices want to keep the lobby a safe place for people coming in for well visits, in the case of allergists for people coming in for allergy shots, and so many allergy and asthma offices really aren't seeing sick patients in person.”
To hear more from Dr. Meadows about the benefits and limitations to telemedicine in allergy care, watch the video above.