Archive for July, 2013

Heat Wave Increases Allergy, Asthma Symptoms


This week I noted my patients are complaining about an increase in their asthma or allergy symptoms due to the heat wave that is blanketing much of New York City and the rest of the Northeast.
A lot of this is due, as the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) reports to an increase in carbon dioxide (CO 2) concentrations.  It states that “earlier flower blooming resulting from temperature increases and increased carbon dioxide (CO 2) concentrations affects timing of distribution of aeroallergens such as pollen through plant photosynthesis and metabolism.  Certain aeroallergens may become more allergenic as temperatures and CO 2 concentrations increase.  Air pollution overcomes the mucosal barrier in lungs by inducing airway inflammation, which results in allergen-induced respiratory responses.”
When people are walking around outdoors, especially in Manhattan, vehicle exhausts, also can increase the ozone level adding complications to those who already have respiratory problems.
To help limit respiratory problems in the heat,  I suggest doing the following:
  • Wear a hat and loose fitting cotton clothing;
  • Carry all your asthma and allergy medications;
  • If feeling dehydrated, duck into an air-conditioned building and stay there for a while;
  • Change your  home air conditioner filter frequently. Indoor pollutants can affect your breathing, so it’s important to keep you filter clean.
  • Drink lots of water, hydration is very important. especially before going outdoors (this will help clear your sinuses and prevent excessive perspiration, which can complicate your lung function.  Once outdoors, carry water with you and drink frequently.  Even in the subway,  temperature there can even exceed temperatures on the street.
For over 25 years, I’ve been dealing with a variety of asthma and other respiratory problems.   You can find more information about asthma testing and treatment here.  Feel free to contact me at 212-247-7447 with questions regarding asthma testing and treatment.  
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“Lung On A Chip” Promises Effective Asthma Treatment

I read an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal, said recently that a new technology that has the promise of bringing more effective  asthma drugs to the market has been developed by the pharmaceutical giant – Merck & Company.

The process of a “lung on a chip”–miniaturizing human lung functions on a microchip– would bypasses the need for animal testing of asthma and other respiratory drugs.  Says Donald Ingber, the founding director of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering in an interview with the Harvard Gazette, that the new technique is better than animal testing since “animal disease doesn’t faithfully replicate asthma for instance, the condition is uniquely human.”

The Wall Street Journal continues by saying the way “the model works is that scientists are  binding together important cells that make up a lung, then they went about recreating the organ’s functions.  The mini-lung consists of a see-through strip of silicone rubber about the size of a memory stick, with tiny, hollow channels through which air and fluid can pass,” like breathing, the walls of cells can relax and contract, thanks to the application of suction.

The Journal cautions, however  “that the technology is not ready for widespread adoption-regulators have yet to allow it for use in deciding whether a drug will be tested on humans.  However, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) the Food and Drug Administration, (FDA) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency are all funding further research at Wyss where the ‘lung on a chip’ will be combined with nine other organ chips into a whole ‘human body on a chip,’ that could allow scientists to test drugs’ effects on the entire body’s physiology.” 

Read more about Lung on a Chip at here

For over 25 years, I’ve assisted my NYC patients overcome a variety of asthma and other respiratory problems.  For all your asthma questions, please contact me for a consultation. Dr. Arthur M. Lubitz, allergist/immunologist @ 212-247-7447. Together we can set up an asthma treatment plan that’s effective and easy to follow.


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