Modena Allergy + Asthma works to treat ailments with comfort and custom care

Modena Allergy + Asthma is at 9850 Genesee Ave. in La Jolla.
(Courtesy of Dr. Brian Modena)

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Newly opened to serve La Jolla, Modena Allergy + Asthma is on a mission to find the cause of — and solution to — allergy-related ailments. The facility offers testing and treatment for asthma, chronic sinusitis, inflammatory diseases, immune disorders, eczema, allergies and more.

The clinic’s allergy testing involves scratching the skin with a tool that has an allergen on it and then waiting to see if a reaction develops. To create a relaxing space, the clinic offers a lounge-inspired waiting room.

“A lot of times when people come in for allergy testing, they are here for hours, so we have a comfortable lounge with a TV and a playroom for children,” said clinic director Dr. Brian Modena, a board-certified physician in internal medicine and allergy and immunology. “We also use a process called desensitization therapy, which is where you get small but increasing amounts of something you are allergic to to help reduce your sensitivity to that allergen, and that, too, can take several hours. Being in a nice space for that time is a whole lot easier than being in a sterile room.”

When Modena opened his own clinic in March after years at Scripps Health, “I wanted to create a clinic that was a place of comfort and was family-based and close-knit,” he said. “There used to be walls and doors throughout the lobby and a big glass barrier. We knocked them down to create a personal experience. It’s a very different vibe. The new-age clinic in my mind is more of an experience than the old way of doing medicine.”

The 2,600-square-foot clinic in the Ximed building at 9850 Genesee Ave. assists with different treatment options once an allergy is identified.

With the desensitization therapy, “we’re building up your body’s immunity to allergies,” Modena said. “Not a lot of places offer this.” There also are immunotherapy and medical treatments.

“The new-age clinic in my mind is more of an experience than the old way of doing medicine.”

— Dr. Brian Modena

In addition to addressing allergies, the clinic treats asthma-related issues.

“My specialty is asthma and spirometry, which is a breathing test that tells us what lung function is,” Modena said. “We also use an exhaled nitric oxide test that tells us how much inflammation is in the lungs.”

Once a problem is identified, the clinic uses an individualized approach.

“We used to treat people with moderate to severe asthma with inhalers, but now there are personalized monoclonal antibody therapies to target the specific type of asthma,” Modena said. “That helps people improve their lung function and reduce the dependence on inhalers and steroids.”

Addressing asthma and allergies can “have a huge impact on people’s quality of life,” Modena said. Patients with asthma, for example, can go from being unable to breathe or exercise to having their lives “transformed,” he said.

Modena Allergy + Asthma can be reached at (858) 260-2977 or (858) 429-9845. Learn more at

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