Archive for September, 2012

Fall Allergies – Triggers and Facts

The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology ( recently shared 4 Things You Might Not Know About Fall Allergies.  It’s good information that comes to the forefront each fall, as sneezing, coughing, and sinus pressure/pain/infection kicks in and sufferers resign themselves to another bothersome allergy season.

Hay Fever? – Hay fever, is a general term that describes late summer allergy symptoms. Ragweed is a common cause of hay fever, which is also known as allergic rhinitis. The plant usually begins to pollinate August and continue until a hard freeze weather sets in.  OTC medications can treat allergy symptoms, but have side affects.  As an allergist, I have an arsenal of strategies and prescription medications designed to control allergy symptoms with minimal side affects.   Treatment plans and medications, including immunology, allergy shots,  are available and together we can determine your best option.

Fall allergies

* Lingering Warm Weather – Warm weather causes rhinitis symptoms to last longer. Mold spores can also be released when humidity is high, or the weather is dry and windy. Be sure to begin taking medications before your symptoms start. Track your allergy symptoms and visit with your allergist to find relief.

* Pesky Leaves –  Allergy sufferers, raking presents its own problem. Stirring pollen and mold into the air, raking triggers allergy and asthma symptoms. Those with allergies should wear an NIOSH rated N95mask when raking leaves, mowing the lawn and gardening.

* School Allergens – Students are often exposed to classroom irritants and allergy triggers, including chalk dust and classroom pets. Students with food allergies may also be exposed to allergens in the lunch room. Kids with exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) may experience attacks during recess or gym class. Help your child understand what can trigger their allergies and asthma, and how they can avoid symptoms. Be sure to notify teachers and the school nurse of any emergency medications, such as quick relief inhalers and epinephrine.

If you are experiencing allergy symptoms that are not responding to your current treatment plan, or need to see an allergist for the first time and live in the NYC area, feel free to contact my office for a consultation, 866-632-5537 or book online at

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School and Sleep Affected by Childhood Asthma

Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the publication of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) estimates asthma is the contributing factor in  10.5 million missed school days annually and affects urban children at a higher rate than their non-urban counterparts.

Lost sleep due to asthma is to linked to school absences, restrictions on playing and physical activities as well as increases in emergence room visits.  Rates are even higher for urban Latino children.

“Children with asthma from urban backgrounds are at increased risk of disrupted sleep, which can greatly impact their daytime functioning,” said Lauren Daniel Ph.D, lead study author. “It is important for parents and healthcare providers to routinely monitor sleep in children with asthma to minimize sleep disruptions and ensure proper asthma control.”

According to the research, children in an urban environment are at greater risk due to “poverty and neighborhood disadvantage, that can negatively affect asthma control.”

With treatment and proper management the affects of asthma can be greatly reduced.

According to the ACAAI with proper care from an Allergist or Specialist patients may experience these improved outcomes:

  • 54 percent to 76 percent reduction in emergency room visits
  • 60 percent to 89 percent reduction in hospitalizations
  • 77 percent reduction in lost time from school

If your child is experiencing asthma related difficulties,  I invite you to call my office for a consultation. 866-632-5537, I have 5 convenient Manhattan locations, and same day appointments are available.

Read the entire article on the research findings here.


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Understanding Rhinosinusitis through Genetic Profiling

Researchers used high-resolution microbiome genetic profiling to compare sinus microbiota (microorganisms that typically inhabit a bodily organ or part) from patients undergoing sinus or nasal surgery, 10 of which had chronic rhinosinusitis and 10 of which were healthy.

NY allergy doctor discusses genetic profiling of sinusitis


Nicole A. Abreu, from the San Francisco State University in Hensill, and colleagues found that the sinus microbiota from patients with chronic rhinosinusitis was less diverse, with a depletion of lactic acid bacteria and an enrichment of a single bacterial species, Corynebacterium tuberculostearicum. Inoculating mice with C. tuberculostearicum in the presence of a depleted microbiome induced sinusitis, while mice with a replete mucosal microbiota were protected from this species.

The presence of Lactobacillus sakei, which the microbiome analysis had indicated was potentially protective, was a defense against C. tuberculostearicum, even when the sinus bacterial community was depleted.

“These studies demonstrate that sinus mucosal health is highly dependent on the composition of the resident microbiota as well as identify both a new sinopathogen (an infectious agent within sinuses) and a strong bacterial candidate for therapeutic intervention,” Abreu and colleagues conclude.

If you suffer from sinus pain and pressure, an allergist may be able to provide you with some relief. If you live in the NYC area, feel free to contact me for a consultation.  Together we can ease your sinus symptoms.

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2 Netipot Deaths – FDA Issues New Guidelines

A neti pot is a vessel that resembles a teapot is used to flush the nasal passage.  Many netipot users find temporary relief from allergies, congestion and colds by proper use of the netipot.

Last month, FDA reported two more incidents in Louisiana in which patients contracted infections after using netipots filled with tap water contaminated with an amoeba called Naegleria fowleri , commonly found in lakes, rivers and springs.

Although this kind of infection is rare, it primarily occurs when people swim or dive in lakes or rivers.  The naegleria fowleri travels through the nasal passages into the brain, where it causes primary amoebic meningoencephalitis. This disease attacks brain tissue and is almost always fatal. According to the CDC, of the 123 known cases occurring in the US from 1962 to 2011, only one person has survived.

Why doesn’t drinking Naegleria fowleri harm you? Stomach acid kills the amoeba, drinking contaminated water does not lead to infection.

If you are a regular reader of this blog – you know that last year Louisiana reported 2 more deaths from using infected by tap water in netipots.  Both of these people had also used water contaminated with Naegleria fowleri.

The FDA has announced new warnings and suggestions for the use of netipots – use bottled water or water that has been boiled and cooled prior to use.

Statistics from the CDC help to keep  the risk of Naegleria fowleri contamination in perspective. Millions of people swim and dive in lakes and rivers each year, yet from 2002 to 2011 there were only 32 reported Naegleria fowleri infections far less than the 36,000 drowning deaths.

And while these most recent cases of amoebic infection may be terrifying, the public should not be alarmed or fearful about freshwater swimming or neti pot use according to Dr. Philip T. Hagen, vice chairman of the Mayo Clinic’s division of preventive medicine.

“If you talk about the general population, there are more common things to be aware of and worry about than a scary amoebic infection,” said Dr. Hagen, who is also the editor of “The Mayo Clinic Book of Home Remedies.” “It’s an opportunity to remind people to be cautious and use good cleaning approaches and maintenance of their neti pot.”

If you are suffering from chronic sinus conditions, the proper  use of a netipot may provide temporary relief. An allergist can help you identify the triggers and devise a plan that can lead to permanent  sinus and/or allergy relief.  Feel free to contact my office for a consultation 866-632-5537 – 5 convenient Manhattan locations.

Dr Lubitz discusses netipots

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