Thomas A. Kiefer, MD

  • Board Certified Allergy, Immunology, and Pediatrics
  • Asst. Clinical Professor of Allergy, Immunology, and Pediatrics, The Ohio State University College of Medicine
  • Attending Physician, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Section of Allergy and Immunology

Dr. Kiefer is an experienced allergy physician serving Columbus and central Ohio communities. He is also a dedicated teacher, instructing resident physicians from the Nationwide Children's Hospital and Grant Family Practice residency programs.

We care for patients of all ages and are dedicated to providing expert and compassionate care for the diagnosis and treatment of allergic disorders including:
  • Allergic rhinitis (hayfever)
  • Asthma (wheezing)
  • Hives and Angioedema (swelling)
  • Anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction)
  • Eczema and rashes
  • Sinus disease
  • Food and Drug allergy
  • Stinging insect allergy
  • Influenza (flu) vaccine and egg allergy
  • Immunodeficiency (recurrent infections)

Allergy Seasons: Spring

After a cold, dreary winter most of us welcome the spring for its warm weather and signs of new life. For patients with allergies, however, springtime can be a very uncomfortable time of year. Springtime allergens begin with the proliferation of molds followed by the pollination of trees and grasses.
Molds are plant-like organisms that multiply by releasing spores into the air. Molds thrive in the early Spring when there is warm, wet weather and an abundance of decaying vegetation from the previous winter. Those molds considered to be most important for causing allergy symptoms include Alternaria, Aspergillus, and Cladosporium. Mold allergy may lead to sinusitis and bronchitis.
In the Midwest, tree pollen, including Birch, Maple and Cottonwood is most abundant during the month of April, followed by grass pollen in May and June. Allergy symptoms due to pollens are classic and are often characterized by intense itching and watering of the eyes, runny nose, and sneezing. Wheezing due to asthma may worsen.
Pollen and mold allergies can be readily identified by a simple, painless skin test performed in the office by an allergist. An accurate diagnosis will help to prevent you from making unnecessary changes to your home or lifestyle, and also help you to best choose the proper medication.
At home you will be more comfortable during the allergy season if your windows are kept closed and air conditioning on. Smoking should be discontinued and must not be allowed in the home of any child with allergies or asthma.
Antihistamines are effective for the relief of most allergy symptoms and are available in non-drowsy formulations without a prescription. We discourage the use of Benadryl, especially in school-age children, because of its side-effect of drowsiness. Steroid nasal sprays, also available without a prescription, are “cortisone-like” medications which are safe and very effective for the relief of nasal allergy symptoms. A new nasal spray combines both a steroid plus an anithistamine for more complete relief.
Immunotherapy (allergy shots) is often recommended for patients whose allergy symptoms are difficult to control with medication and where allergen avoidance is either difficult or impossible. A sublingual (under the tongue) tablet is also available for grass pollen. Either allergy injections or tablets, if begun several months prior to the allergy season, will significantly decrease the severity of allergy symptoms and make outdoor activities more enjoyable.