Archive for July, 2010

Peanut Allergy

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America allergic reaction to peanuts is the most common cause of food-related death. Peanut allergy is currently estimated to effect about 1% of the population but studies have shown that this is on the rise in the United States. Only 25% of children with peanut allergy will outgrow it and an estimated 100 people a year die of peanut allergy in the United States. Peanut allergy is connected to the body’s absorption of protein in peanuts. This protein effects the production of histamine and causes inflammation and the constriction of airways.  Recent studies have shown that peanut allergy may be preventable through the exposure to peanuts earlier in life.

An allergic reaction to peanuts occurs when the protein from the peanut is ingested. The body absorbs the protein in the mucosa of the esophagus. This effects the action of Immunoglobulin E and other anaphylatoxins, which act to release histamine from the mast cells. Histamine works to dilate arterioles and constrict bronchioles among other regulatory activities. When the action of anaphylatoxins is effected by the protein in peanuts this can cause an excess of histamine to be introduced into the system leading to inflammation and constriction of the airwaves and other common symptoms of peanut allergy.

The absorption of the protein would seem to be the key to peanut allergies. Studies have shown that earlier exposure and absorption of the protein can lead to a lower sensitivity to the allergen. There was a recent study showing that middle eastern societies where they gave their children peanuts at a much younger age had a lower incidence of peanut allergy than children in western countries. In particular, children in Israel and England were compared and it was found that English children had a higher incidence of peanut allergy, because they were exposed to peanuts later than the Israeli children. More studies have shown that delayed exposure to peanuts can result in a higher rise of developing peanut allergy. This lead to the American Association of Pediatrics rescinding their prior recommendation to delay peanut exposure.

Peanut allergy is a reaction to the protein in peanuts that causes an overproduction of histamine. Severe reactions can be fatal if untreated. While treatments for peanut allergy are still under development the allergy may be preventable by exposing children to the food earlier. Questions and concerns about peanut and other food allergies can be addressed with an appointment at our office. Please contact us to learn more.

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Sinusitis Leaves a Bad Taste in Your Mouth has a brief overview of possible causes for persistent bad taste perception. Among the possible causes are rhinitis or sinusitis. Any sort of nasal or oral infection may have an adverse effect on your ability to taste. It may seem odd that a sinus infection could cause a change in taste perception. The sense of taste is a combination of reaction not solely restricted to the taste buds on the tongue and in the mouth. Smell is key component to taste and when your sense of smell is effected by blocked and infected sinuses it has an effect on the sense of taste.

Of the possible symptoms for sinusitis an alteration of taste may not be the first or most obvious. A stuffy nose, runny nose, difficulty breathing, facial pain, and headaches that seem to come from behind the eyes are more likely to be noticed. If you have questions or concerns about sinusitis and its symptoms, contact our office for an appointment.

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Diagnosing Adult Asthma

Saint Louis University has an article about the diagnosis of adult asthma. The perception is that adult asthma is rare and that asthma is a young person’s disease. Often cases of adult asthma are misdiagnosed as sinusitis, bronchitis, or other respiratory conditions, because of the perception that asthma is a rare development in adults.

The article at Saint Louis University focuses primarily on elderly patients and how untreated asthma negatively effects their quality of life. Many respiratory ailments in people of all ages present with shortness breath and someone without a history of asthma is more likely to be diagnosed with sinusitis or allergies or other common conditions unless symptoms indicate that it may be something else. Be sure to report all symptoms, no matter how small, to your doctor. If you have questions or concerns about adult asthma, sinusitis, or allergies contact our office to set up an appointment.

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Positive Results for a Dry Nasal Spray

The Sacramento Bee is reporting that Teva Respiratory’s Phase III trial of their new beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP) hydrofluoroalkane (HFA) Nasal Aerosol has seen positive results. The Phase III trial was testing the safety and efficacy of the treatment a “dry” nasal spray designed to avoid the post-nasal drip that comes with “wet” nasal sprays. The spray is designed to help in the treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR), known more commonly simply as seasonal allergies.

If the new spray passes future phases of testing it may serve as a big step forward for those suffering from seasonal allergies who find the post-nasal drip of “wet” sprays off putting. Treating allergic rhinitis can help avoid sinusitis and also with asthma management as allergic rhinitis can cause or worsen these ailments. Contact our office if you have questions or concerns about treatment for allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, or asthma.

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Reasons to See an Ear, Nose, and Throat

The Osceola Sentinel Tribune published a list of reasons to go and see an ear, nose, and throat specialist. It’s a quick overview of symptoms and possible conditions. As is indicated in the list many of these symptoms can be related to allergies, sinusitis, or even physical deformities or obstructions in the sinuses or nose.

It is possible that some of the conditions listed are unrelated to allergies or sinus problems, though the commonness of allergies and sinus infection or viruses that cause congestion make them more likely candidates. If you’re suffering from congestion, facial pain, and headaches located in the face or behind the eyes you may be suffering from a sinus infection and you should seek help for that. Contact our office to set up an appointment.

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Nasal Spray Could Protect Infants from Bacteria

The UK’s Daily Mail is reporting on a new nasal spray under development that will vaccinate children under five against the bacteria pneumococcus. Pneumococcus can cause sinus infections, pneumonia, blood poisoning, meningitis, and ear infections. There are more than 90 varieties of the bacteria and the vaccine aims to give children, who are particularly susceptible to the bacteria, a chance against all these types before they may even be exposed to them.

The vaccine is particularly aimed at children under five and previous reports on the vaccine, which is currently being tested for its effectiveness as a nasal spray, have suggested that the vaccine is not as effective for children over the age of five.

Bacteria sinusitis infections can be treated with antibiotics, though some bacterial strains are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics. A vaccine for children will go a long way to preventing infections and saving lives. If you have questions or concerns contact our office to set up an appointment.

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Mold Can be Deadly

An article on Sify is suggesting that the deaths of actress Britney Murphy and her husband in late 2009 and early 2010 may have been linked to mold. As the article states certain varieties of mold can cause health problems when inhaled. Mold typically causes respiratory problems, including sinus infections and bronchitis.

Being aware of potential causes for sinus infections or allergies in the home can help your doctor determine the best treatment. Mold is typically associated with high humidity or water damage. Any flooding or leaking in your home can lead to the formation of mold. Proper ventilation can help prevent the formation and spread of mold. Be aware of the conditions that could lead to the formation of mold in your home and if you start experiencing sinusitis symptoms mention these with your doctor so you can investigate the possibility that mold is the cause of your symptoms. If you have questions or concerns, contact our office today.

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Burning Ears

The LA Times Health blog reports on the FDA warning people about the use of ear candles. Ear candles are an alternative treatment offered as a kind of cure-all for everything from excess ear wax to sinusitis to cancer. The use of ear candles involves placing a wax coated tube of fabric in your ear and setting it on fire. As the FDA states there is no valid scientific evidence of any kind of medical benefit from using ear candles. In fact, there are many reports of injury from burns, wax blockage of the ear, and ear drum puncture.

It’s nice to think there’s an easy solution to health problems. Unfortunately, the alternative medicine offerings that claim to relieve a variety of ailments rarely have any evidence to back up their claims. Choosing to use an alternative method to relieve a case of sinusitis could lead to the worsening of that condition if the method is questionable like these ear candles. More dangerous than the alternative method itself is not pursuing treatment for the condition. Sinusitis can become extremely painful and even life-threatening should it go untreated. Before pursuing any treatment consult with a special. For questions and concerns contact our office to set up and appointment.

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An Extreme Example of Sinus Infection

BC Local News has an article about Bonnie Shortreed, a woman suffering from an extreme case of chronic sinusitis. Mz. Shortreed’s case has persisted for 22 months and is causing her extreme pain. She has undergone multiple treatments for her condition but has found no relief. Treated with antibiotics the infection persists having become immune to the treatment. Mz. Shortreed’s only option now is surgery, which she may have to wait years for with the backlog of patients currently faced by the area’s specialist.

This is an extreme example of chronic sinusitis. Mz. Shortreed has blockage behind the eyes and a mastoid bone infection. She’s leaking blood and fluid from the ear. She suffers from extreme headaches due to the excess pressure build up in her head. This serves as an example of just how bad a chronic sinus infection can get and how seriously the condition should be taken. If you’re suffering from symptoms of sinus infection over the course of months you may have a chronic sinus infection. Contact our office to pursue your treatment options.

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Cyclist Sinusitis is Nasal Polyps

Velonation has a story about Tour de France cyclist Oscar Freire’s recent health issues, first attributed to allergies and then to sinusitis, being identified as nasal polyps. Nasal polyps are not necessarily a dangerous condition. They can cause difficulty breathing as they have with Oscar Freire and as with any athlete this can cause performance problems.

The misdiagnosis is not unreasonable. Allergies and sinusitis are far more common conditions than nasal polyps. Also, both sinusitis and nasal polyps can be caused by or related to nasal allergies. Luckily, nasal polyps can be removed without much difficulty and Oscar Freire should be back to cycling soon without the health issues that have been plaguing him because of these nasal polyps. If you have questions or concerns about allergies, sinusitis, or are having difficulty with breathing or other symptoms related to these conditions, contact our office.

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