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Writer / Christy Heitger-Ewing
Photography Provided

AllergyDr. Derek Damin, MD finds being an allergist one of the most rewarding specialties to work in because of the high rate of success.

“Very rarely does one work in a specialty where you see that with treatment, 80% to 90% of your patients achieve such high levels of improvement and quality of life, but that is true in the field of allergy,” says Dr. Damin, who practices at Allergy Partners of Louisville. “It’s really something when you see a 13-year-old whose body has been covered in eczema almost all of his life. To be able to treat that patient and within several weeks see his skin almost entirely clear up, well, it really is phenomenal,” Dr. Damin says. “It changes his confidence and overall happiness.”

Originally from Owensboro, Kentucky, Dr. Damin moved to Louisville in 2004 with his wife Shauna. They have two sons, Drew, 15, and Trent, 13.

Although Dr. Damin, who is double-board certified in allergy and immunology as well as internal medicine, treats many nasal and respiratory allergies, he also sees a very large number of immune deficient patients. These are patients whose immune systems are no longer producing antibodies, and Dr. Damin treats them with infusions of antibodies.

AllergyDr. Damin also performs food allergy component testing in children. These blood tests follow a food allergy determination which helps assess if the patient is allergic to foods containing eggs or milk.

“It really helps define whether or not kids can tolerate a food challenge without having to put them through a food challenge and fail,” Dr. Damin says. “There are advancements in food allergy blood testing that have helped predict tolerability of different foods that you may grow out of over time.”

“I do not have a cookie-cutter approach to patient care, Dr. Damin states. “When you come to our office, we have a conversation about your specific issues, discuss your diagnosis and offer an individualized and effective treatment plan.”

According to Dr. Damin, people often visit an allergist because their symptoms are puzzling. It is part of Dr. Damin’s job to help identify a patient’s issues that are not related to an allergy, but possibly digestive or hormonal. In those cases, Dr. Damin will discuss specialists for further investigation. Dr. Damin recently saw a patient in her 60s whose primary care physician thought she might have new-onset asthma. After her initial examination, Dr. Damin determined her shortness of breath was due to atrial fibrillation, an irregular heart rhythm, and she needed to see a cardiologist instead of an allergist.

“Being an internal medicine doctor helps differentiate some of those patients to make sure they get an accurate diagnosis,” Dr. Damin states.

Allergy Partners of Louisville successfully utilizes injectable biologic antibodies (or monoclonal antibodies) to treat severe asthma, severe eczema and nasal polyps.

“Science has certainly evolved through the years,” Dr. Damin says. “In fact, the allergic antibody was discovered in 1967 – the same year the first knee replacement was performed in the U.S. We take these things for granted, but really only in the last couple of generations have we been able to perform these amazing medical achievements.”

Allergy Partners of Louisville is located at 163 South English Station Road in Louisville. For more information, give them a call at 502-882-2063 or visit them online at allergypartners.com/louisville.

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