BUSINESS: OK Institute of Allergy & Asthma
“Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain and the pollen’s high and the grass is dry and the mold comes right behind the rain” isn’t Oklahoma’s theme song but it could be for those who suffer from allergy and asthma symptoms. Thankfully, many Oklahomans are singing a different tune after being treated at Oklahoma Institute of Allergy & Asthma (OIAA).
Dr. Amy Darter established OIAA in 2004 to provide a progressive and comprehensive allergy and asthma management program for adults and children. “I realized that common allergies like hayfever were often ineffectively treated, and the less common disorders such as hives, drug allergies, immune deficiencies, angioedema (swelling) as well as taste and smell disorders were not treated at all. My team and I strive to provide the most comprehensive and compassionate care to our patients, using the latest technology,” said Darter.
As a board certified allergist, asthmatologist and immunologist, Darter believes in customized evaluation and testing and not a one-size-fits-all approach. “We have patients from all over the U.S. who’ve been evaluated elsewhere and come to us still suffering. It’s not uncommon for someone to have an immune deficiency rather than or in addition to allergies. Not all allergists evaluate and treat disorders of the immune system,” said Darter.
Treating asthma and nasal allergy symptoms are areas of expertise for doctors at OIAA, though according to Darter, preventative and abortive therapy for sinus headaches and migraine management are some of their niches. “We pride ourselves on migraine management at OIAA, helping you find out what your triggers are, ways to prevent them and how to abort them. Oftentimes, migraines are misdiagnosed as sinus headaches.”
Perhaps their most unique service is their oral immunotherapy to foods. “We’re one of a handful of centers in the U.S. that offer this new innovative approach to managing food allergies. Usually when someone is allergic to a particular food, an allergist recommends strict avoidance. We’re able to desensitize patients to food they’re allergic to like peanuts, milk, cashews, soy, wheat or eggs so they can safely ingest the food,” said Darter.
Adding healthy foods back into a patient’s diet isn’t the only benefit. Darter excitedly explained, “Allowing a parent to be able to leave their child at school, daycare or church without worrying about a life-threatening reaction to food is an amazing gift. We’re also successful in desensitizing to medications and antibiotics. We feel like our mission is to improve the quality of life of Oklahoma families, one patient at a time. Allergies don’t have to run their lives. Help is available, effective and affordable.”
Oklahoma Institute of Allergy & Asthma is located at 1810 E. Memorial. Call 607-4333 or visit www.okallergy.com.