February 4, 2019

Why I Chose to Fight Allergies

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I’ve been practicing Otolaryngology (Ear Nose and Throat) for over 20 years in Texas and have always had a focus on nasal and sinus problems. I've been privileged that nearly 10,000 patients have put their trust in my hands to correct their nasal and sinus problems.  Despite that experience I've never been satisfied with the status quo and felt that innovation was critical, whether it was in the development of new tools, or simply a small modification in a surgical procedure to improve outcomes. I used my patient's advice and direction to train the best staff and build the perfect facility. Patients overwhelmingly wanted better allergy solutions as part of the clinic, so in 2012, I introduced Texan Allergy to offer allergy relief that was needed for so many of my patients. 

Starting my commitment to nasal and sinus problems

Now five years after starting and expanding Texan Allergy & Sinus Center, I'm fully committed to the care of nasal and sinus problems and no longer practicing general ENT services.  I never imagined specializing within a specialty, but it's clear to me that I can deliver better patient results when I'm completely focused only on this problem. All of us in Central Texas can attest to the impact that nasal and sinus problems have in our community and I'm proud to be the only surgeon and physician in this community whose entire practice is committed only to the care of nasal and sinus problems.

I started Texan Allergy with my wife, Allie, to bring nasal, sinus and allergy relief to Central Texas, but the overwhelming demand has called us to service 19 clinics across the state of Texas. We were recently named to the INC. 500 fastest growing companies and were also named to the Austin Business Journal’s 50 Fastest growing local companies. I’d like to use this landmark to reflect on how we’ve been able to grow and to look toward the future. 

The wonderful world of allergy drops

We found our stride as a company when we introduced allergy drops as an option for our patients. We were not satisfied that the majority of our most severe patients could not get curative allergy therapy because of the time committment of weekly allergy shots in the office.  Without the ability to remove their allergy problems, we couldn't effectively tackle the whole problem.  Dissatisfied with the limited options, I began allergy fellowship studies through the Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy and investigated the feasibility of sublingual immunotherapy which could be used in either a tablet form or with liquid drop therapy.  Finding hundreds of studies and 50+ years of experience in Europe supporting it's effectiveness and far better safety record, I began developing a program for our Central Texas allergies.

Drops allow our patients the same effective way of getting relief from their allergies without the weekly visits for injections. Our growth over the past 5 years is no coincidence, our patients have responded to this wonderful option to allergy shots.  As I write this now, we’ve reached a total of 19 clinics across the state in our mission to fight Texas allergies.

We’re by no means the first clinic to offer allergy drops (they’ve been used in Europe for over 70 years), but we were one of the first in Texas to understand the importance of drop for allergy sufferers. They’re safe and effective for treating all the common environmental allergens. We also build each of our patients’ drops in our processing lab so we can make our drops accurate and affordable for all patients. 

Specializing in Balloon Sinuplasty

Much like the innovative allergy drop therapy, innovation on the surgical side of treatment has had an equal impact. Sinus surgery was very effective, but the recovery was difficult and the risks were not insignificant, very similar to the previous state of affairs in allergy therapy.  Fortunately, my engineering background earned me a front seat in the development of a tool that would become balloon sinuplasty.  Like the allergy drops, sinuplasty dramatically improved the risks, and virtually eliminated the recovery.  With our additional refinements, we can currently preform sinuplasty in the office, in complete comfort under intravenous sedation in 15 minutes.  Forget nasal packing and a week off work because our patients usually go back to work or school the next day.  Being a part of that tool's development gave me a head start in the learning curve and I am now among the most experienced in the world with this technology.  

Oral Immunotherapy and the future of Texan Allergy & Sinus Center

Sometimes innovation arrives in the form of new partnerships, and that's what happened when Dr. Stacy Silvers joined our team.  It is widely recognized that food allergies are becoming more prevalent yet the mainstay of treatment has been simply to avoid eating the problem food.  We began food allergy testing last year and have made large strides in helping to fight food allergies for all. In spring of this year, we added Dr. Stacy Silvers to our team to start our program for Oral Immunotherapy Treatment (OIT).

Dr. Silvers is an expert in the world of pediatric allergies and OIT is an advanced way to tackle food allergies. This goal of this treatment to allow the food allergy sufferer to be able to consume a full serving of the allergen they were previously allergic to like a glass of milk, a handful of peanuts, or an egg. We’re one of a small number of offices in the state that offers OIT and we’re working to expand this form of treatment across Texas. 

Continuous Innovation

Although we are nasal, sinus, and allergy specialists, we feel that innovation is what sets us apart.  We have some very exciting new developments and will continue to find easier, safer, more effective, and less expensive ways of bringing nasal and sinus relief to Texas.

About The Author:

Chris Thompson, MD