Hi! My name is Dr. Chet Tharpe and I’m a board certified allergy-immunology and internal medicine physician.
I’m here to walk alongside you through a productive journey to better health while living with allergies and asthma.
My mission is simple. I’m here to provide you with the information you need to know about your allergic conditions to make living life with allergies easier.
You may feel as though your allergies are controlling your life and are frustrated by the overwhelming amount and sometimes contradictory information out there. And you may be discouraged by the lack of partnership and meaningful solutions you have with your physician. If you can relate to any of this, you’re in the right place.
Just like you, your kids or loved ones, I grew up with allergies.
I can remember the dread of visiting a friend’s house in the country or a family member’s house who had cats. It was a given that I’d feel miserable with swollen, itchy eyes and a stuffy nose. And it was inevitable that I would end up leaving early. Embarrassingly, I would uncontrollably make a grunting sound from when I would use my tongue to scratch the roof of my mouth (if you have allergies you can probably relate). Medications helped but they also wasted my day because of the sedation I experienced.
Despite the misery of the allergy testing and repeated doctor visits, I was only ever diagnosed with what I already knew – that I was allergic to molds, dust mites, pollen, cats, and more. Although I was given handouts about my condition, no one from the team of medical professionals I interacted with really took the time to explain the options I had to gain results that would work for me and my situation at the time. I was prescribed a cocktail of allergy medications and my visits were abruptly over with a brief follow-up in six weeks.
I often had more questions after a doctor’s appointment than when I arrived. I remember saying to myself,
“Was that it?
“What did I gain from the results of that miserable testing?
“I hate medications, am I going to have to be on these forever?
“Are there other treatment options?”
Confused and frustrated, I concluded that allergies would just always be a part of my life and I would have to cope with them as I always had, avoiding certain environments and taking medications as a last resort.
Going to medical school and becoming a doctor was a path I was always on, whether I knew it or not, as I love science and am passionate about helping others.
As I got further into my studies and training, becoming an allergist was a no-brainer since struggling with allergies was personal and I felt I would be able to better help patients whom I could personally sympathize and relate with.
What I’ve come to discover is the same realization I experienced first-hand as an allergy patient myself:
Most people with allergies, especially those with conditions much more complex than mine, can’t learn to live with them and improve their quality of life with the typical rushed, time-limited doctor visit.
It takes a considerable amount of time to connect with you, the patient, and understand all the intricacies and concerns you have regarding your allergic conditions. Then it takes just as long or longer to educate patients so they really understand their allergies, their options, and discover together the solutions that will work for you.
I spend time with my patients – not just evaluate, but to listen and educate. We need to spend time together, thoroughly going over test results, discussing the benefits and risks of the treatment recommendations, and answering questions.
Perhaps most importantly, I make sure my patients and I are on the same page regarding goals and expectations for treatment, timelines for results, and additional options down the line.
In my experience, when I establish this kind of time-intensive connection with a patient, I get the honor of watching their initial feelings of confusion and frustration that I had as an allergy patient myself, turn to enlightenment and optimism.
Having treated thousands of allergy patients with a variety of conditions including severe food allergies and anaphylaxis, skin conditions like eczema and hives, asthma, allergic rhinitis and allergic conjunctivitis among others, I am well aware that for you to thrive and take control of your life, your concerns require attention, care, and diligence on the part of your doctor.
You need someone with experience who will listen to you and maintain an ongoing, non-judgemental, open dialogue about your condition.
You need someone who will educate and empower you to truly understand your allergic conditions and all the possibilities available to you.
You need someone who will work with you as a partner to help you discover the best solution or custom plan to build a better quality of life.
There may not be a cure for allergies, but there are opportunities, options, and real solutions available to you.
It is my privilege, through this website, to provide the information and educational resources you need to help you on your journey to a better life. Thanks again for visiting my site. Here’s to better days ahead!