On this week's episode of the Lunch and Learn with Dr. Berry we have Dr. Angela Fadahunsi. Dr. Angela is a board certified Internist who then completed her fellowship training in Allergy/Immunology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center-Memphis. She offers Allergy and Asthma relief for her patients in her own beautiful practice in Wylie, Texas.
Dr. Fadahunsi knows from first-hand experience the agony of dealing with allergies as a child. Her goal is to have everyone enjoying the beautiful world around them and that is what has made her such an empathetic doctor who always takes the time to listen to her patient’s needs.
I felt that since May was the month we celebrate National Asthma and Allergy Awareness month what better way to educate the Lunch and Learn community with such an amazing guest.
This is definitely an episode that you will enjoy. Remember to subscribe to the podcast and share the episode with a friend or family member.
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Dr. Berry: And welcome to another episode of the Lunch and Learn with Dr. Berry. I’m your host, Dr. Berry Pierre, your favorite Board Certified Internist. Founder of drberrypierre.com as well as Pierre Medical consulting. Helping you empower yourself with better health with the number one podcast for patient advocacy. And this week we bring you a special one. We have Dr. Angela Fadahunsi who is an allergy and immunology specialist, who's going to be schooling us and educating the lifeline community on allergies, on sinuses. What are some common things we can use to kind of treat our allergies and how a lot of us may be using a very common product wrong. I know at least I was. Before we begin the show I want to talk a little bit about her so you can kind of know exactly how credible this person is because again at Lunch and Learn community I want to bring you known, specialized guests who know what they're talking about. And you know this one's no different.
She earned her medical degree from the University of Texas. She completed her internal medicine residency as well as her specialty in allergy-immunology fellowship at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. Dr. Angela combines knowledge with compassion. And she is proud to offer allergy and as not really for her patients. She knows firsthand how it feels to have allergies to keep you up from enjoying the beautiful world around you. And as a result, has become an empathetic doctor who always takes time to listen to your needs and of course for a lot of my allergy suffer especially in Lunch and Learn community. This is actually a topic that we've been really wanting to get on this show for a while. This is a very common reason why patients walk into the hospital as the very reason why patients walk into a doctor's offices. Actually one the more requested topics from the Lunch and Learn community that I wanted to get on.
And you know I didn't feel like I would do it as much justice if I didn't have you know someone specialized to come and talk in school as a little bit about our allergies and our sinus problems and you know what we can actually do about it so you know sit back like always if you had not had a chance. Make sure you subscribe to our podcast. Make sure you leave me a 5-star review. Leave Dr. Angela 5 star review. Let Dr. Angela how was she's doing. And you guys have a great and blessed day.
Dr. Berry: So alright Lunch and Learn community. Yes, you heard and that a great introduction from a guest who honestly I've actually been kind of looking for. For those who have been following with the lunch line community, I've been looking for an allergist for quite some time just to kind of talk about, you know, allergies and sinuses and everything, what not. And of course, you know, I was, like I said before, I know a little bit about a lot, but I always, whenever I can try to get an expert on to kind of talk to educate us, I hear and that's what I have today. Right? So again, Dr. Angela, thank you for coming onto the show. (Thank you). during your residence?
Dr. Angela Fadahunsi Yeah, so I am, honestly, you know, allergy is, it's such a small field when you think of a lot of the other subspecialties and so it's not very well known. I wasn't aware that the field even existed until I was in college. And so that, at that point, I was already pre-med, knew that I wanted to be a physician, wasn't sure exactly which route I was going to go once I got into medical school and then in a residency thereafter. But it was pretty much a personal experience. The primary care doctor that I was seeing referred me to an hour just during my college years and I was like, oh, this is pretty cool. You know, I've been suffering from allergies all of my life. You know, as long as I can remember from childhood and just never had a name for what it was.
Just thought that was just, you know sinuses as we call it, but didn't realize that there were things that you can actually do about it, the ways to investigate it. And so when I started seeing an allergist and then subsequently being treated realized, wow, this is awesome. You know, what capabilities we have available as allergist can be really life changing as far as the quality of life day to day for people in the symptoms that they suffer with. So that's what drew me to it, learning about it through personal experience and then also really seeing the benefits of the care of an allergy specialist.
Dr. Berry: That's very interesting because I always wonder. Like what was it like where were you? Did you have a lot of algae is kind of growing up. And then especially as what I find when I was taking care of patients to outpatient, you know, they'd come to me, it has some issues, you know, upper respiratory infection come back and they would just keep coming back. And forth and then finally I have to say like, Hey, I think you need, I don't think this is just a regular infection because you shouldn't be having this. Over and over again, like do you tend to find yourself getting a lot of those types of patients where you know they've been through the ringer, they had the antibiotics, they've seen urgent care and nothing kind of seems to happen?
Dr. Angela Fadahunsi Yes, yes. I mean that's most of what I see when it comes to what we call allergic rhinitis or high fever seasonal allergies, whatever label we want to give it as people that have been dealing with these symptoms for years and really are kind of at their with end of like, okay, what is going on and what can be done about it. For me, the first time I remember inexperience of now identifying that I was allergic was in elementary school. We had a field trip to our state capital and baton rouge, and there's this really pretty he'll that comes, that rolls down the front of the state capitol and we were in maybe second first or second grade I can recall.
And everybody thought, oh, it'll be fine. It's a roll down the hill together. So we did and I got up itching, sneezing, watery eyes, you know, redness, all of that stuff. And again, never understood exactly what that was and why the other kids didn't feel the way that I did. And then the same thing, just, you know, seasonal allergies all the time, every year. It was always the same thing for me. And so yeah, most of the people that I see have similar stories where they've been suffering for a long time and just kind of, you know, stuck and don't know what else to do and, and where to turn.
Dr. Berry: It was very interesting. I was definitely the same way where I, you know, I didn't, I wasn't a kid who played in the grass. I wasn't a kid who liked to, I would get short of breath. I'd get a lot of wells and all of these things as I was like the kid like I want it to be cleaned the whole time.
Dr. Angela Fadahunsi: That's how kids are, you know, they don't have a name for it, but they know that it doesn't make them feel good. And so they just naturally start to avoid and adults too, naturally start to avoid the things that are triggers, you know, because even though they don't really understand that it's necessarily a trigger. I know when I playing grass or when I'm running around outside, I don't feel well, so I'm just not going to do that. So yeah, that's, that's where we come in and we can, you know, do our best to try to get to the root of what's going on and provide answers about how to do deal with it.
Dr. Berry: So for the Lunch and Learn community, they love to hear numbers, right? Because a lot of times I don't think they can grasp how serious, you know, every disorder, every disease we tend to talk is on his podcast. Right. So I want, I want to just give you some Lunch and Learn community so you can understand how important that we really should be thinking about allergies and we'll talk about as far as like, because I feel as a subspecialists, a lot of times they get cases and maybe a little later than they should. I'm just at this, I said it was my person with that.
I never know. So from an allergy standpoint, right? Allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the United States. They cost about 18 being a year and we're in their 50 million Americans suffer from allergies every year. Right. Just so you guys can get an idea of like how important her field is to just health and just wellness in general. There's, a very interesting, I was almost shocked by it and everything. Yeah. Wow.
Dr. Angela Fadahunsi Very, very prevalent. Very calm. Absolutely.
Dr. Berry: Now are you, especially in your field, like is there some allergies that you find are the worse than others that are more common than others like that as you're practicing?
Dr. Angela Fadahunsi As far as more common, I'll start with that first. So certainly, you know, springtime and fall seem to be the seasons that people, in general, suffer more, at least in my experience. And those seasons tend to be more common as far as, you know, people complaining of symptoms go fall, you know, being ragweeds spring being, tree pollens, which is, you know, most of the suite of different types of tree pollens, grass pollens, etc. During those seasons.
Jumping back to one particular or a certain group being worse than others, it's a really subjective answer for that because everybody's different of course, you know, and so some people it's, you know, just a little bit of over the counter discern thing or clear thing or whatever does the trick in there fine. But some people can have, another person could have the exact same allergies are sensitivities and they're miserable. You know, they've got asthma related to it as well and so their symptoms are now being, you know? The triggers rather are now exacerbating their chronic asthma issue.
So it's, there's not necessarily one particular thing that's worse. It's really just about the quality of life that that particular person has, you know when dealing with whatever their particular allergies are.
Dr. Berry: Okay. So we don't get a person, right? Cause I got, Lunch and Learn community, I'm going to talk about myself a little bit. I need to talk about the sciences. Right? And I'll get my little backstory. Like I'm from South Florida and I went to school from the house to North Florida. When I was in South Florida, I didn't have any issues. I was fine. No watery eyes, no stuffy nose method. When I went to school at Florida State, all of a sudden, summertime, springtime comes around you.
I would just be watery eyes tearing up uncontrolled were nothing to do at nothing had. Stuffy nose. I was absolutely right, I don't know what it was up there at Tallahassee net area that like cause all these problems. But I got to know like what are we doing for sinus right? Let's talk about sinuses in general because I like I'm biased but I feel like is there demographic is known everywhere. (Yeah).
I have friends who follow me on Twitter and you know like literally every Monday like we'll say like, hey, how are you doing? How's your sinuses? Like how’s, did you make the weekend? Like that's like a running joke. But that's because it's just, it's not, we don't look forward to.
Dr. Angela Fadahunsi Yes. So of course over the counter treatments is where everybody starts and that's what we recommend as well. So Zyrtec, Claritin, Allegra, whatever your preferences. I usually encourage people to not do Benadryl just because of the sedating effect of it. And it usually is not as long-lasting. Whereas the other ones you can take once or twice a day and you know, be covered as far as your symptoms are concerned. From there, if that's still not giving you a resolution of your symptoms or you know, improving, you know your symptoms.
Then the next step is the nose sprays and nobody really likes the nasal sprays. (I tried to get my patients to do that). Yeah. But you know, it actually works better than the allergy pills or, you know, any histamines do. It covers as far as the symptoms that you're experiencing and especially the congestion that a lot of people suffer from the allergy pills themselves or any histamines rather don't have any effect on that.
They're mainly for the sneezing and you know, a little bit of what we call the rhinorrhea. So the runny nose, but when you're thinking of the congestion, that's where your nose spray comes in. And what I find with a lot of people is they're not using it correctly and so they are using are not getting the benefit of it and you've got to use it for at least two to four weeks consistently to really get optimal benefits. So there's a couple of things that go into play as far as getting, you know, what she can or the best relief from the nose spray. So I always make sure that I educate people when I'm starting them on a nose spray or when I'm seeing them for the first time about the proper administration techniques so that they're getting what they, you know, getting what you paid for, basically, not kind of wasting, you're wasting your money and wasting your time by doing it.
Now, once you've done those two things, if you're still not having, you know, benefit or relief than us, the point where you need to see a specialist, you know. Whether it's your primary care doctor, discussing with them what your options are and then from there they can determine, you know, okay, well let's go ahead and send you to an hour. Just are coming straight to an allergy specialist as you know, of course, an option as well.
So that is the gist of sort of where we start. And then, you know, the other thing too is with what we offer as far as medications, we're just treating the symptoms, right? We're not dealing with the root cause. And that's where the allergy specialist can come in. As far as identifying what exactly is it that you are sensitive to that's causing you to have the watery, itchy eyes, the sneezing, the runny nose, the congestion, postnasal drip, whatever your symptoms are, and finding those triggers and then educating you about what your options are to deal specifically with those triggers instead of just medicating the symptoms.
Dr. Berry: Now I know, especially from the trigger standpoint, like I tend to think, I want to educate my patient. I'd be like, I always think about like, you know the trees, which is such a bland term because what does that even really mean? I fell, you know the trees and pets. Right as well. Those are always my two biggest things. But are there other common triggers that you've seen that some people like tend to neglect?
Dr. Angela Fadahunsi Those are, those are pretty common ones. Another one that especially for people that suffer year round, so you know there's certainly people that are just springtime, just fall time, you know, just some or whatever the season may be. But then there are people that have triggers are symptoms year round and one thing that we always consider of course is pets, you have a dog, do you have a cattery exposed to a dog or cat on a regular basis and is that causing your symptoms. But then dust mite is another common, but we call perennial or year-round allergy and that kind, it varies depending on where you are in the United States.
But in general, like there's, I shouldn't say any amount of humidity but a decent amount of humidity, then you're going to be exposed to dust mites and where dust mites accumulate the most as far as our exposure levels on a day to day basis is in our bedding. So your pillow and your mattress. And so when we can identify dust mite as a trigger, as a sensitivity or allergy for a particular patient, then we can counsel them on ways that they can minimize that exposure. And that's where you get your dust mite proof covers for your pillow and your mattress and bedding.
Washing your sheets once a week and hot water your linens and hot water to try to minimize that risk or exposure rather on a day to day basis. So that's one that doesn't always come up, but it's very prevalent.
And then like you said, you know that right on the head with, you know, the trees, of course, being a big one for people that have spring allergies. And like I mentioned before, fall, ragweed is pretty common in a lot of places in the United States as well.
Dr. Berry: I know here in South Florida we tend to deal with it, not necessarily trees but more like an environmental issue because they burn sugar cane during times of the year and we see a lot of the quote-unquote allergy, which again I think allergy is such a basket term. I think a lot of people call it everything allergies, you know. So I never really know allergies, it was like I don't, I never really know. But like the burning of sugar cane tends to call it a lot of quote-unquote flare-ups of allergies and some environmental issues as well.
Dr. Angela Fadahunsi Yeah. So yeah, it could certainly be, but then also of course when you, you know, smoke exposure or just things in the environment, chemical substances or things about nature, irritation as well can cause similar symptoms. So but hard to say for sure. But yeah, definitely a consideration.
Dr. Berry: Now pictures in it because I know we've talked about allergy immunology, but like asthma, especially in your practice is big, I guess component of it. Like how much in relation to just allergies in general? Like does asthma play a role or is that more from the immunology standpoint from your training?
Dr. Angela Fadahunsi Now, so it's all linked together so people that have allergies are at risk for development of asthma. There's actually something that we call the Eight Topic March with Children. So kids can start off with Eczema. So you know the dry, itchy skin, irritated skin, and then that can progress to allergic rhinitis. So all of the nasal symptoms that we were just discussing. And then from there, it can progress to asthma. So the respiratory issues, the coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and the link between all of that is whenever you have asthma, especially if you do have an allergic component, are allergic asthma as we call it. Knowing your triggers is very important because it's going to help you identify and your allergist or your primary care doctor identify what seasons to be extra mindful of, you know, keeping a close eye on you.
If you've got a ton of tree allergies then when springtime comes before springtime comes, I need to make sure that you're good and you're well controlled because we know that those tree pollens are common and those triggers, those allergens on top of your asthma history puts you at risk for what we call an exacerbation. So worsening of your asthma symptoms or you know, or poor control of asthma symptoms leading to hospitalizations, urgent care visits, ER visits, steroid bursts. So yeah definitely a huge shift as sleep, links excuse me, from especially in the pediatric side but also on the adult side as well. It's fair, very common for the two to kind of go hand in hand a lot of times.
Dr. Berry: Yeah. Before, because I definitely want to delve into just you know your business quote unquote. I know you talked to, initially about how a lot of people are using these, the nasal inhalers wrong? Like how, how do you use that wrong?
Dr. Angela Fadahunsi: Yes. The proper way to use flu nasal, coordinate, that's what I'm referring to when I say nasal sprays is to, when you stick the nozzle and or are the, you know the tip into your nose and you actually want to angle your head down so I always tell people nose to toes, so hap head down a little bit. And then when you stick that nozzle and or that tip, you should angle it towards the outer corner of your eye.
So angle it out on both sides whenever you in. (Ok). And what I noticed is a lot of people don't, of course, do that because they've never been told. And that's understandable. It's really kind of strange that at least the ones that I've seen, I've never seen the instructions written on any information, that the patient, so it's understandable that people don't know that.
So that's the first card. But making sure that you're angling it towards the outer corner of your eye, top of your ear on either side. The other thing is a lot of people do like take a big deep sniff in or inhale in, don't do that. When you do that a lot of times has that medication goes right into the back of your throat and people, a lot of the complaints that people have is, I don't like the way it tastes or you know, you're not really supposed to taste it.
It's supposed to stay in your nose. So when you feel it going down the back of your throat, then you've probably inhale too deeply or you know, just basically sucked it down into your throat and it's not really penetrating and getting to the tissue that is swollen and, and causing you the problems as far as the allergy symptoms that you experience. And so those are the two biggest things. Pointing it towards the outer corner of your eye and then just take a natural to inhale and you don't have to do anything extra as far as getting that medication where it's supposed to go.
Dr. Berry: Lunch and Learn community I just want to let you know like, I am 0 for 2 on, I thought for, I don't know why I thought for sure it had to like, point in towards, yes. Okay. All right. So we all learned here Lunch and Learn community, we're all in it. That's funny. Okay.
So let, let's talk about your practice, right? Let's talk about, you know, why you want to start your practice. Like what was your motivation behind it and then, and then eventually what we need to let people know how they can come to see you?
Dr. Angela Fadahunsi Yeah. So for me, I was really fortunate with my allergy-immunology training experience. We have the opportunity to, of course, it's the academic institution, so we train with lots of great experts on the academic side. But then we also had the opportunity to work with a private practice who were out in the community and affiliated with our university.
So I had the chance firsthand to see the best of both worlds, the pros and the cons of staying in academic or being in an employed position, as well as the pros and cons of doing it on your own and being in private practice, appealed to me. But then also what I felt the allergists who were owning their own practices, you know, what they really appreciated about it drew me as well. And so that led me to decide, okay, you know what, not only am I going to do private practice, but I'm going to open my own practice and do it on my own.
And what I hope for with my practices, that I create an environment and an experience that people don't necessarily see and other practices or other medical offices and I can kind of steer the ship the direction that I wanted to go without having to do a lot of, I don't want to say negotiating, but you know, when you're the leader of whatever situation, when things aren't going the way that you want them to go, or the way that you feel is in the best interest of your patients, it's up to you.
And it’s ultimately your decision to change the direction of things. I mean, I just want it to have more control over what I was able to provide for my patients and always feel like there wasn't anything hindering those decisions. And that's the reason that I decided to do it for myself to kind of start afresh and build something that I could be really proud of and be a part of for the long run.
Dr. Berry: I love it. So as an internist, but are you only seeing like again, I tell people all the time, if you're 17 and below I don't even want to, are you only because it definitely feels like there's a lot of overlap. But do you only see like adults and up? Is that, is there like a cut off for you?
Dr. Angela Fadahunsi No. I see children as well. So allergies, one of those unique fields where we process trying to see both adult and pediatric patients. So actually me coming from the internal medicine side, it's a requirement and you know, same for my co-fellow who was coming from the pediatric side. It's a requirement that at least I think the percentage was at least 60% of your patient population be from the other side. You know.
So for me, as an internist or internal medicine physician, it was required for me that at least 60% of my patients be pediatric to meet, you know, the standards of ACG and me for my allergy fellowship. And so a lot of what I saw was pediatric. But then I also had the chance of course to see lots of adult patients. So I feel very comfortable seeing both men even down to like age four months or so, we would see patients, especially with the newer recommendations for early introduction of peanut for kids that are at risk for development of peanut allergy. And Eczema, of course, is a big thing for infants as well. So all ages come into my practice pretty much birth to old age.
Dr. Berry: Wow. That's nice. (Yeah). Like I say you if you're a 16, 17 I get weary. So that was great.
That’s a question, especially in your practice, is there like common things that you know, issue that people kind of deal with on a day to day basis but they don't even realize that they're actually dealing with an allergy problem?
Dr. Angela Fadahunsi I think a lot of what we talked about is that, you know, like you were mentioning, you have patients that come in and they've always got bronchitis or quote-unquote sinus, sinus issues or you know, whatever terms people like to call it. And a lot of times that is just plain and simple what we call allergic rhinitis. There's an allergy trigger to it.
And if we can identify that, then we can, you know, give you answers and work on getting you feeling better and getting you feeling well. But that's the most common thing. And then of course sometimes it is allergies. It may just maybe something else. But certainly making sure that that's crossed off when you've got somebody coming in with the same seasonal complaint year after year after year is definitely warranted.
Dr. Berry: When should, speaking as an internist, when should I be sending my patients to see analogist? And if you're just a patient out there who even dealing with these issues, like what should they be coming to see?
Dr. Angela Fadahunsi I usually tell people when over the counter stuff is not working well enough for you. So, and that's again a subjective thing. If it's bothersome to you and what you're doing isn't helping, then that's when you need to see an allergist.
As I mentioned, for some people taking Claritin or Zyrtec or whatever over the counter is fine and they're like, okay, I'm good. You know, whatever I wrote through spring, you know, with Zyrtec a day and I'm okay. Whereas other people it's like, no, I'm miserable. You know, my head is always hurting or you know, I'm always seizing. I can't get my work done.
And that's another thing too, you know, it affects the quality of life, but it also affects people's productivity at school. And at work whenever they aren't feeling well for whatever reason, but certainly if you're having to blow your nose every 10 seconds and you know you can't breathe out of your nose well or your eyes are always watering. I mean, just imagine dealing with that for a season at a time or constantly on and off all year.
How productive were you want to be when you're feeling that way? So once over the counter isn't working, then that's when I suggest people see a specialist to get to the root of what's going on and try to get answers about what they can do.
Dr. Berry: Wow. Right. Again, Lunch and Learn community, alright thank you for, you know, really helping enlightened especially me, with definitely Lunch and Learn community, on allergy because it’s a topic that has been so requested. Then I said, okay, all right. I gotta find one. And I found out, I gotta make sure I had a chance before we let you go. The question like this is like, how can what you do empower others to really take better control of their health?
Dr. Angela Fadahunsi: Yes. So I think anytime we can have answers about what's going on with our bodies, that's the start of taking control. And you know, it's hard to take control where we don't really know what's going on or what can be done about it. So anytime that I can give answers to people, it's such a relief for me to be able to provide that answer. But it's also, of course, a huge relief for other people when they can point to this is the reason why I don't feel well.
So I think that's the gist of it. It empowers people because they now have an answer and then once you have an answer, you can work towards a solution. So yeah, it's all about just trying to provide answers and give people the knowledge that they need so they can have that quality of life and productivity, you know, and just be able to be able to enjoy the everyday things that you know, we want to enjoy going outside, taking a walk, you know, breathing fresh air and not feeling miserable minutes later.
Dr. Berry: I love it. I love it. So where can someone find you? Where can someone find you? Whether it's social media, where do your physical office, where?
Dr. Angela Fadahunsi My office is in Wiley, Texas, a suburb of the Dallas Metroplex, so Northeast Dallas suburb. And as far as online, you can reach me online through either of my social media pages, Facebook or Instagram. On Instagram, it's @allergywylie, all one word. And Wylie being spelled W, Y, L, I, E. And then on Facebook, it's allergy and asthma care of Wylie. So either of those places sends me a message. There's also an email of course on my website, www.allergywylie.com and you can communicate with me that way as well.
Dr. Berry: Perfect. And again, if you're driving, at work, wherever you're doing it, all her links will be in the show notes as well. So you can, you know, get directly in contact her and get you, get your allergies right, get your, just wants to get you outside for the summer. Alright.
Dr. Angela Fadahunsi Enjoy the fresh air. Take a walk. Stay healthy.
Dr. Berry: Again, thank you so much for joining the podcast. Like this has been absolutely amazing and I already know we're going to have like people jumping for joy, being able to kind of learn, especially that nose thing. Like I said, I'm 0 for 2 y'all, so we need to be 2 for 2 after this episode aired, right?
Dr. Angela Fadahunsi: Thank you for having me.