Asthma and Allergy Center
The USC Asthma and Allergy Center is a comprehensive clinical program for the diagnosis and management of patients with asthmatic and/or atopic disorders (such as allergic rhinitis and sinusitis), which affect more than 20 million people in this country. The Asthma and Allergy Center is staffed by full-time teaching faculty who are certified in pulmonary, allergic and immunologic diseases. Besides physician specialists, resources include clinical allergy nurse specialists, respiratory therapists, nutritionists and pharmacologists. A state-of-the-art pulmonary function laboratory has capabilities for airflow measurements, including methacholine challenge studies to detect hyperirritable airway disorders. State-of-the-art skin testing for common pollen allergens, animal dander, dust mites, common molds and common foods is available. Testing by the RAST method for hypersensitivity pulmonary disease, including allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillus, is also offered. In addition, skin testing for hymenoptera hypersensitivity (bee venom) and penicillin allergy is also available. If warranted, immunotherapy (desensitization) can be initiated for selected patients. Other novel therapeutic interventions offered include omalizumab. The Division is also in the process of establishing bronchothermoplasty as a novel therapeutic option. Dr. Rick Barbers is actively involved with the Center.