Archive for November, 2011

Holiday Allergies

How did you fare the first big holiday weekend?

In NYC we were very lucky with beautiful weather, allowing for outdoor excursions, maybe cracking windows open a bit.

Allergies, however can easily get in the way of holiday festivities.  You’re at risk of being exposed to a multitude of potential allergens; food, scents, pets, dust from freshly fired heating systems and even Christmas trees, which have been sitting outdoors collecting pollen, or in storage collecting dust.   And, because the cooler weather in our immediate future means more time spent indoors, it will be harder to escape allergens.

If you find that you are struggling with allergies, or symptoms from OTC allergy products seek help sooner than later.  Untreated allergies can become sinus infections and/or asthma. Talk to your allergist, we have many tools in our arsenal to help you overcome your allergy symptoms.

If you live in NYC, I’d be happy to assist you. call 866-632-5537 or go to nycallergydoctor.com for more information.

 

 

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Managing Asthma through an Allergist

The Bismark Tribune has published an article on the benefits of managing asthma through an allergist.

An estimated 22 million Americans have asthma, a chronic inflammation of the airway passages.  Some common symptoms are cough, shortness of breath and wheezing.  During severe asthma attacks, the airways contract and the patient cannot get enough air into the lungs.

The article continues by explaining how an allergist diagnoses asthma and explains the role of allergy triggers, allergens that are catalysts for asthma attacks.

Allergists maintain asthma through a multi-faceted approach. This includes prevention, appropriate use of medications and other interventions to prevent symptoms.  The allergist is uniquely qualified to work with patients to ensure proper use of long-term controller medications, avoid over-reliance on quick-relief medications and prevent hospitalization, emergency room visits, days lost from work and other debilitating and expensive outcomes associated with poorly controlled asthma.

For more on asthma you can view my video on Allergic Asthma

 

Visit nycallergydoctor.com for more information.

Do you suffer with asthma? Contact an allergist who can help you identify your triggers.  Live in NYC, contact my office at 866-632-5537 for a consultation.

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Affected by Asthma, a Look at Seniors’ Emotional Well-being and Quality of Life

There are 2.5 million people with asthma that are 65 or older.

Another study presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Annual Meeting in Boston discussed how depression and emotional well-being greatly affect asthma control and quality of life for the senior adult population suffering with asthma.

To assess “quality of life”, researchers  charted the number of asthma attacks and unscheduled physician visits within 12 months, self-reported depression, body mass index and confidence in managing their asthma in 70 participants over the age of 65 who had been diagnosed with asthma.

The result showed depression and poorer physical and emotional status correlated with a lower quality of life  in addition to the traditional indicators of poor asthma control.

“A more integrative approach is necessary in treating older adults with asthma,” says allergist Jacqueline Ross, MD, ACAAI member. “If we treat the physical aspects of the disease as well as the psychological and social aspects, we may find greater success in asthma control and improved quality of life for seniors.”

Contact your healthcare provider if you have questions regarding your treatment plan.  Understanding your asthma management plan is central to controlling your asthma – and maintaining a good quality of life.

If you live in the NYC area, you can contact my office at 866-632-5537 for a consultation, or more information is available at nycallergydoctor.com

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Cholesterol-lowering Drugs May Worsen Asthma

Nearly 25 million Americans have asthma. About 68 million Americans have high cholesterol.

Millions use cholesterol-lowering medications to lower cholesterol. This type of pharmaceutical treatment may help millions, but a study presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Annual Meeting in Boston found this class of drugs may worsen asthma control.

Preliminary study researchers compared 20 patients with asthma taking prescribed cholesterol-lowering medication or statins, to 20 patients with asthma who did not take the cholesterol lowering drugs.  Patients taking statins had more airway inflammatory obstruction at three, six and 12 months compared to those not on statins.

“The research showed patients taking statins more frequently used their rescue medication, had increased nighttime awakenings and had increased asthma symptoms throughout the day,” said allergist Safa Nsouli, MD ACAAI member and director of Danville Asthma and Allergy Clinic, Calif. “These potential effects of statins on the inflmmatory cascade of asthma indicate the need for a larger scale study.”

Coordinating patient healthcare across specialties is important to optimum health.  Be certain you share all medications you are taking with each treating physician.

If you have questions about your asthma treatment plan and live in the NYC area, please feel free to contact me at 866-632-5537 for a consultation. Or visit nycallergydoctor.com for more information.

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Stomach Flu Virus linked to Food Allergies?

Findings published in The Open Immunology Journal suggest that researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin have discovered there may be a link between norovirus (a virus that causes “stomach flu” in humans) and food allergies.

Researchers fed egg protein to mice infected with norovirus .  Examining the mice for signs of an immunoglobulin E, or IgE (the response that leads to allergic reaction), researchers are building on a previous result that has shown an IgE response to an inhaled protein during a respiratory infection in another a mouse model. These earlier findings suggest early respiratory infections in children could lead to allergic diseases like asthma later in childhood. Similarly, an IgE response to a gastrointestinal virus could signify a likelihood of developing a food allergy after the viral infection.

“Food allergies are a dangerous, costly health issue not only in the United States, but worldwide,” said Dr. Grayson. “This study provides additional support for the idea that allergic disease may be related to an antiviral immune response, and further studies are planned to continue exploring the exact series of events that connect the antiviral response with allergic diseases.”

If you have questions regarding the testing, diagnosis, or treatment of allergies or asthma and live in the NYC area, please call my office at 866-632-5537 for a consultation.  For more information visit nycallergydoctor.com

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Air Fresheners and Asthma

Air fresheners and  scented candles used to “freshen air” can actually have an adverse affect on health, experts say.

Allergists at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) reported that people with allergies may be more sensitive to these scents than they realize.

They can “trigger allergy symptoms, aggravate existing allergies and worsen asthma,” Stanley Fineman, M.D., president-elect of the ACAAI, said in a statement.

Some of these “air freshening” products contain ingredients that can increase asthma risk among kids. High levels of these ingredients can irritate eyes and the respiratory tract as well as causing headaches and dizziness.

“Products marketed as ‘all-natural’ or even those that are unscented can emit hazardous chemicals,” Fineman said in the statement. “The safest option is to avoid exposure to pollutants that air fresheners emit.”

MyHealthNewsDaily reported that a 2009 study shows that almost one third of people who have asthma also are hyper-sensitive to chemicals.

read more about allergens found in the home here

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