Posted on Dec 29, 2017 8:00am PST

Immunodeficiency (or immune deficiency disorders happen when the body’s immune system becomes inefficient or weak. The immune system is what helps people fight off harmful bacteria, viruses, and other threats. If someone has a compromised immune system, it means he or she is less able to fight off infections.

These types of disorders are either congenital or acquired, meaning you could have had the disorder since birth or could have developed it later in life. Those who are born with a disorder have what are called primary immunodeficiency diseases. Alternatively, those who develop it later in life have what are called secondary immunodeficiency disorders. These later disorders could be caused by severe burns, chemotherapy, radiation, diabetes, or malnutrition.

If you’re unsure whether you might have an immunodeficiency disorder, you could check for symptoms. However, each disorder has unique symptoms that could be frequent or chronic, meaning it could occur often or periodically throughout your life. Some of these symptoms can include the following:

  • Pink eye
  • Sinus infections
  • Colds
  • Diarrhea
  • Pneumonia
  • Yeast infections

If these types of symptoms don’t respond to treatment or don’t get better over time, your doctor should test you for an immunodeficiency disorder. If you visit a physician, he or she will ask you about your medical history, perform a physical exam, determine your white blood cell count, assess your T cell count, and determine your immune globulin levels. In addition, your doctor might also administer a vaccine to test your immune system’s antibody response.

Using these results, a doctor will determine the likelihood you have an immune deficiency disorder. Once a problem has been detected, a physician will then try to pinpoint which disorder you might have. Many immunodeficiency disorders can be treated to keep symptoms in check. Most doctors agree people with these disorders can lead full and productive lives, but early identification and treatment are essential.

If you’re interested in getting tested for an immunodeficiency disorder, don’t hesitate to call our Georgia immune deficiency disorders physicians at the Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia. Let us help you provide treatment options for healthier living.

Contact us at (404) 994-3574 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment today.