Archive for Sinus Conditions

It May Not Be a Cold

Sinusitis and the common cold are often confused as they have similar symptoms including congestion, post-nasal drip, fever, and coughing. However, the common cold usually only lasts a couple of weeks, at most, and a serious case of sinusitis can last for months.

Sinusitis can also develop after a bout of the common cold and that may be a reason people confuse it. It may start as a cold but then the inflammation of the sinuses leads to an infection that will persist after the virus itself has been cleared from the patient’s system. With winter on the way, colds are soon to start interrupting our daily lives again with some regularity. If your cold seems to be persisting and is coupled with headaches that seem to be located behind the eyes and facial pain, you may be suffering from a sinus infection. If you are concerned you may have a sinus infection, particularly if symptoms have persisted for 8 weeks or more, see a doctor. Live in the NYC area? Feel free to contact my office for a consultation.

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Fish Allergies

In recent years, the conventional wisdom is that the Americans consume too much meat in their diet. Public health officials have said that we should diversify our diet with dairy, vegetables and fish. Yet some Americans are allergic to fish and may be allergic to products that contain fish.

WebMD states that food products containing fish ingredients are: “Worcestershire sauce, barbecue sauces made with Worcestershire; Caesar salad and Caesar dressing, caponata (Sicilian eggplant relish), caviar and fish roe; artificial fish like imitation crabmeat, and fish sauce, oils, and gelatin.”

I tell my patients that those who are allergic to fish, may only be allergic to only a certain type of fish. Some allergists feel that a fish allergic person should avoid fish altogether, but that person may feel that he or she should be allowed to eat other types of fish in their diet. They can ask their allergist to test them for their specific fish allergy.

The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) website states that after your allergist tests you for your particular fish allergy “take extra precautions to avoid cross-contact (when two foods come into contact with each other and their proteins mix) when purchasing fish from a market or when dining out.”

Typical symptoms of fish allergies, like other food allergies, may include: nausea, stomach cramps, indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea, stuffy/runny nose, sneezing, headaches, and asthma. Yet some people are so sensitive to fish allergies, that merely touching fish or being in an area where it is being cooked can provoke a severe anaphylactic response. People that are so allergic adverse are advised to carry an epien (epinephrine injector) with them and to avoid fish contaminated areas.

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Your Child And Allergic Rhinitis

I’ve been asked by several of female patients who have allergies and are pregnant, “Dr. Lubitz, will I pass on my allergies to my children?”

It’s a fair question and I will answer it this way. Any child could become allergic, but children who have either parents with a history of allergy are more likely to be allergic. Or as an interesting article in the ACAAI (American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology) website states that “children may inherit the tendency to become allergic from their parents, but only some of them will develop an active allergic disease.”

One of the most common of childhood allergies is allergic rhinitis, sometimes referred to as hay fever or seasonal allergic rhinitis. The website says that “it occurs during certain times of the year, usually when outdoor molds release their spores, and trees, grasses, and weeds release tiny pollen particles into the air to fertilize other plants.”

In New York and the northeast states, allergy symptoms occur in February through May for tree pollen and for grass pollen from May through June; weed pollen is from August through October, so I tell parents their children will have increased symptoms during those seasons. Mold spores tend to peak in midsummer through the fall.

Symptoms of allergic rhinitis include: sneezing; itchy nose/ and or throat; nasal congestion; clear, runny nose; and coughing. It may also be accompanied by itchy, watery, and/or red eyes commonly known as allergic conjunctivitis. On rare occasions, a child may exhibit wheezing or shortness of breath where the allergy may have progressed to asthma.

Your allergist can suggest the treatment that’s right for your child.

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