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“Normal for Us” Doesn’t Have to Be

An Apple A Day

Raymond M. Pongonis, Jr., MD, Medical Director – BreatheAmerica Columbus 

A BreatheAmerica center is designed to manage diseases of the entire airway, which includes the lungs, nose and sinuses.  Some of the more common conditions that we help to manage are asthma, seasonal allergy (hay fever), and sinus infection.  The symptoms associated with diseases of the airway are ones that we, as humans, sometimes just accept as being part of the way we breathe.  We make these symptoms “normal for us” and go through life never realizing that we could be breathing at a much higher level.

Some of the symptoms to watch out for that may be a sign that you have chronic airway disease include shortness of breath, chronic cough, wheezing, snoring, nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes and nose, headache, discolored nasal drainage, facial pain/pressure, ear fullness/popping, and fatigue.   Sometimes it may present as a recurrent cold or an upper respiratory infection that lasts for weeks.   In general, these symptoms not only make it difficult for us to breathe, but also affect our overall well-being and energy level and can lead to many missed days of work and school.

I am an Allergy and Immunology physician, which means it is my job is to figure out the root cause for why you, as a patient, might be experiencing these airway symptoms.  It is the goal of a BreatheAmerica center to uncover this root cause and make a definitive diagnosis during your first visit. This allows us to provide the patient with an individualized treatment plan that they can initiate on day one.   I can assure you that as a patient in our center, you will feel empowered and equipped with the knowledge and the tools to manage your chronic airway disease and get back to breathing and feeling good again.

As a board-certified allergist/immunologist, I not only deal with airway related issues, but can help patients with concerns related to other types of allergic reactions to things such as foods, insect stings, and medications.  I can offer assistance to patients with difficult to control eczema or hives, and evaluate complex disease states such as eosinophilic esophagitis and various types of immunodeficiency.  One of the best parts about being an allergist is that I have the opportunity to treat both kids and adults, and I do love interacting with and educating patients of all ages.