Expanded Scope of Care - Otolaryngic Allergy

Otolaryngic allergy services are now available at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Center for Advanced Care. Overseen by Jessica Southwood, MD ’12 GME ’17, this new program offers another facet of diagnosis and management for patients with allergic disorders of the ears, nose, and throat. Armed with an extensive medical and surgical knowledge base of otolaryngic disease processes, Dr. Southwood can extend management of allergic ENT disorders to involve allergy testing, patient education, and discussion and initiation of various treatment modalities.

The current armamentarium includes percutaneous skin testing for inhalant allergens, blooding testing for regional allergens specific to Wisconsin, as well as testing for food sensitivities. Patients undergo extensive screening process to determine their safety and eligibility for specific types of allergy testing. Also, prior to allergy testing, some patients undergo spirometry to determine underlying reactive or obstructive pulmonary processes. This process will help guide which types of allergy testing patients are best suited for and those which may benefit from a radioallergosorbent (RAST) test.

Dr. Southwood has a specific interest in treating inflammatory disorders of the nose and paranasal sinuses and she is an active member of the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy and the American Rhinologic Society. She has used her passion for treating otolaryngic inflammatory disease to launch the first ENT led allergy clinic in the heart of our academic institution where state-of-the-art treatment is provided, including medication management of allergic disorders and counseling on avoidance measures for environmental and food allergies.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved sublingual immunotherapy tablets for short ragweed pollen-induced allergic rhinitis with or without conjunctivitis and grass species including Timothy Grass or cross-reactive grass pollen-induced allergic rhinitis with or without conjunctivitis. Dr. Southwood oversees sublingual tablet immunotherapy as well as aqueous sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) also known as allergy drops.

Allergy drops have been used in Europe for over 40 years and while not currently FDA approved for allergy treatment use in the United States, allergy aqueous drops use the same allergens used in subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) or allergy shots. Research has shown that allergy drops are efficacious and safer than allergy shots. One of the unique benefits of sublingual therapy is that it allows patients to be in control of the time and place of their immunotherapy all while under the care and direction of an Otolaryngic Allergist. As our services expand, we will also offer SCIT in our office setting.

Advanced biologic therapy Dupilumab is available for treatment of recalcitrant chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis (CRSwNP). This is a bimonthly subcutaneous self-injection which blocks IL4 and IL13 for patients with sinonasal polyps. As more biologics become FDA approved for the treatment of eosinophilic chronic rhinosinusitis, the more important it is to find an individualized treatment modality for patients with inflammatory sinus and reactive airway disorders. Dr. Southwood brings to the table an otolaryngologist's perspective on ENT allergic disease manifestations as well as a background in diagnosing and treating allergic disorders.

A new season of management of allergic and otolaryngic inflammatory disorders is here!

To schedule a patient with Dr. Southwood for an otolaryngic allergy consultation, call (414) 805-5752, option 9.

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Jessica Southwood, MD
Jessica Southwood, MD
Assistant Professor
Division of Rhinology and Sinus Surgery