This time of year a lot of my patients tell me they are heading all around the country to visit family for the holidays. I tell them it’s important they take their allergy and asthma medication with them because the environment they may be traveling to may induce allergic or asthmatic reactions.
Interestingly, the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) reported in their annual Baltimore conference in November, said that number of people with asthma that are also allergic to cats has more than doubled over an 18 year old period. And as Dr. Leonard Bielory, MD, ACAAI fellow said “those with asthma are also 32 percent more likely to be allergic to cats than those without asthma.”
And the holidays can suddenly spur allergy symptoms in people with asthma and those that have never before had allergies. So if you’re visiting your aunt Mildred in Iowa and she has a cat, well you can have suddenly have itchy eyes, sneezing and a runny nose. Even for those who are not asthmatic, there is the Thanksgiving Effect, says the ACAAI “where college students return home to a pet they didn’t have symptoms to before and are now allergic.”
The ACAAI says that “60 to 85 percent of people with asthma have at least one allergy. However, the allergens in which most are allergic to has not been well researched.”
I tell my patients that allergies can strike people at any age, with symptoms disappearing and reappearing years later. It’s important they get treated for their symptoms right away, because some can be life threatening.
For over 25 years, I’ve been dealing with a variety of asthma, allergy and other respiratory problems, such as the flu. For all your allergy questions, please contact me, Dr. Arthur M. Lubitz, allergist/immunologist, tel.#212-247-7447, http://nycallergydoctor.com/blog. I’ll provide the treatment that’s right for you. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter.Tweet