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Allergist Interview: Dr. Timothy Sullivan and Sticking With Your Allergy Treatment Regimen

Allergist Interview: Dr. Timothy Sullivan and Sticking With Your Allergy Treatment Regimen

Dr. Tim Sullivan, ENTThe allergist interview is back! Our apologies for skipping last month's installation. Our writer welcomed a baby boy to her family, and as we know, babies don't usually keep our intended schedules! Look for more baby-related allergy topics in Shifrah's upcoming blogs and newsletter articles.

For now, let's return to our allergist spotlight which shines this month on Dr. Timothy Sullivan of Atlanta ENT, Sinus & Allergy Associates. The practice "helps people breathe better, sleep better, get relief of their sinus headache and facial pain, while overall feeling and looking better". The office offers a wide range of services including a nasal and sinus center, a snoring and sleep apnea center, children's ENT, audiology, and, of course, an allergies and asthma center.

Dr. Sullivan and his History as an Allergist

Dr. Timothy Sullivan graduated with honors from the University of Miami School of Medicine. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri; and he completed a Fellowship in allergy and immunology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He is a Fellow of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. He is also a Diplomat of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology.

Dr. Sullivan was a Professor of Internal Medicine and Head of Allergy and Immunology at the Emory University School of Medicine. While at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, he established the allergy and immunology program. He was also a faculty member at the Washington University School of Medicine.

Dr. Sullivan is a member of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. He was in the Army Special Forces for three years and has published over 80 journal articles in the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, Journal of Immunology, and the Journal of Clinical Investigation. He has authored over 20 chapters in the work Allergy and Immunology, Otolaryngology and Infectious Disease. He is an international, national, regional, and local conference presenter who has earned numerous awards and honors. He is consistently rated by peers as among America's Top Doctors.

How big is your practice? Is there a particular type of allergy or treatment your practice specializes in?

"Atlanta ENT, Sinus & Allergy Associates sees adults and children of all ages. We take care of allergy problems involving the nose, sinuses, lungs, skin, and gastrointestinal tract. This includes allergic rhinitis, asthma, atopic dermatitis, allergies, anaphylaxis, drug allergies, and chronic urticaria."

What do you love about your job?

Like the other allergists we've interviewed, Dr. Sullivan finds satisfaction in being able to help his patients feel better: "Modern therapies for allergic diseases usually provide excellent control of these problems."

If you could suggest one thing for your patients what would it be?

Seeing an allergist helps allergic individuals customize a strategy to deal with their allergies, an approach which often involves a combination of avoidance, medication, and maybe a longer term and more permanent solution like immunotherapy as well. Whatever the solution, Dr. Sullivan advises, "Stick to the plan we develop. If it works we win. If it doesn't work, we know how to adjust."

What is your favorite allergy relief product?

"Different allergy problems require different therapies. People differ in which medications and strategies work best for them. We have to individualize treatment of allergic disorders. Our favorite products are those that work for each particular person."

In an interview on the Atlanta ENT site, Dr. Sullivan discusses a three-pronged approach to dealing with allergies, spending most of the time discussing avoidance: "There are three fundamental approaches once you figure out that there is an allergy problem. Avoidance is one thing. Dust mites are an example: They live in the pillows and mattresses primarily. If you put covers over them, many times that helps enormously, sometimes puts an end to the thing.

"Air filters will sometimes be able to pull enough pollen and mold and animal danders out of the air that people are a great deal better. There are a variety of avoidance measures or environmental controls that are essential because even if you can't get rid of it, you can make it a great deal better so that anything else you do has less to fight."

On the website, Dr. Sullivan goes on to discuss medications which offer relief, vaccinations, and medications to banish allergies altogether.

Where do you see allergy treatment going in the near future? In the distant future?

"There are a variety of new medications and treatment protocols that are being studied in clinical research studies that may soon become part of daily medical care for allergic disorders. Most of these provide better relief. Basic research is providing more and more targets for interventions that will lead to cures for allergic diseases, but it will take years for them to reach our clinics."