Tuesday, January 4, 2011

7 Tips for an Allergy-Free Winter

7 Tips for Allergy-free Winter by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI):

1. Reduce humidity (moisture) in your home to keep dust mites in check. Maintain humidity below 50-55%. Don’t use a humidifier or a vaporizer.

2. Filter out dust and other allergens by installing a high efficiency furnace filter with a MERV rating of 11 or 12. Change it every 3 months.

3. Banish allergens from the bedroom (where you spend a third of your life). Keep pets and their dander out, and encase mattresses and pillows with dust-mite proof covers. Limit curtains – use blinds that can be washed instead.

4. Keep your home clean. Wear a NIOSH-rated N95 mask while dusting. Wash bedding and stuffed animals in hot water every 14 days and use a vacuum with a HEPA filter.

5. Turn on the fan or open the window to reduce mold growth in bathrooms (while bathing) and kitchens (while cooking). Wear latex-free gloves and clean visible mold with a 5% beach solution and detergent.

6. Don’t overlook the garage if it’s attached to the house - noxious odors or fumes can trigger asthma. Move insecticides, stored gasoline and other irritants to a shed. Don’t start the car and let it run in the garage.

7. Box up books and knick-knacks and limit the number of indoor plants. When you are buying new furniture, like chairs or sofas, opt for leather or other nonporous surfaces to make cleaning easier.

Dust mite allergen avoidance. The main allergen is in the dust mite feces. Use 3 control measures for 3-6 months to see an effect on the allergy symptoms.

Leave Winter Allergy and Asthma Misery Out in the Cold Allergists Offer Tips for Eliminating Indoor Triggers.

Re-Blogged from http://www.allergynotes.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year's Resolutions for Allergies

This is the time of year when everyone makes promises of things that they will implement in the following year to better themselves. We all know the classics, like spending more time in the gym, eating a healthier diet, or controlling that pocketbook more efficiently. Since people are intuitively considering their health when developing New Years' resolutions, it would be a wise idea to also consider getting your allergies under control. Many people suffer year after year and take no measures to change this problem. A lot of people are just unaware that much can be done.

With a visit to our office we can do a quick skin test to determine what your body is allergic to. Once we have the results of that test, which can take measures to avoid allergic triggers in your everyday life that you may or may have not been previously aware of. We can also put you on our treatment method of sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) which is used by placing drops under the tounge on a daily basis. This method is much easier and cheaper to maintain than allergy shots, which requires multiple office visits per month.

If you would like some more information, visit our website:


Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Meal Tips for People With Food Allergies or Diabetes

It's one thing to toss aside thoughts of calories and weight gain on Thanksgiving. But indulging isn't so easy for people with food allergies and diabetes. Here is some Thanksgiving meal advice for people with special eating concerns—and for those preparing their dinner:
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People with food allergies should plan their strategy before Thanksgiving arrives. "If you're being invited to someone's house for dinner, tell the person that you have an allergy," advises Clifford Bassett, chair of the public education committee at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. The same goes for people who intend to dine in a restaurant on Thanksgiving. Call the restaurant a few days prior to your visit to inform a manager or the chef of your requirements. Besides ensuring that your meal itself doesn't contain allergens, it gives you the opportunity to ask that the chef not use the same utensils to prepare your meals as he does to work with food containing ingredients you're sensitive to, Bassett says. Parents traveling for Thanksgiving with children who have food allergies may want to take along safe snacks. You'll avoid questionable foods at the airport and ensure that your child doesn't graze on potentially dangerous treats or appetizers at a family member's house.

If you're cooking a meal for a large group on Thanksgiving, it might be a good idea to ask your guests about any food allergies, a health problem that is becoming increasingly common. A study published online by the journal Pediatrics this month found that, since 1993, the number of kids with food allergies has increased 18 percent and that the number of children who get treatment in hospital emergency departments for food allergies has tripled.

For those with diabetes, it's OK to indulge a bit on Thanksgiving, says Nora Saul, manager for nutrition services for the adult division of the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. But you should not skip a meal before dinner in an effort to keep calories down or control blood sugar. Instead, "still have regular meals but try to choose things that have good sources of fiber so you'll be more filled up by the time you get to dinner," Saul says.

Also, think ahead to what favorite foods you are likely to encounter during Thanksgiving dinner—your aunt's dinner rolls, for example—and try to limit consumption of foods that you're not so excited about. That way, your overall carbohydrate count for that day "may be a little higher than normal but [still] remains reasonable," Saul says. And try to fit in a little exercise; physical activity helps to lower blood sugar levels.

For cooks preparing Thanksgiving dinner for people with diabetes, there are simple steps that can help make the meal a healthier one for everyone, not just for diabetics. Saul advises using lower-fat ingredients, choosing lean cuts of meats, using sugar substitutes when preparing food, and offering low-fat desserts and other alternatives to sweet desserts, such as fruits.

Saul advises people with diabetes not to feel guilty for enjoying a good Thanksgiving meal. You can get back to your traditional meal plan on Black Friday.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

1 in 5 seasonal allergy sufferers misses work because of their symptoms

Researchers found pollen was the most commonly cited source of seasonal allergies (79%), followed by grasses (59%), ragweed (54%), and trees (52%).
Only 40% of spring allergy sufferers said they were completely or very successful at managing their allergy symptoms in the previous allergy season. Itchy eyes were the most common symptom (87%), followed by sneezing (80%), runny nose (77%), and watery eyes (73%).

Avoidance was the most popular type of treatment tried (74%), followed by over-the-counter medicines (70%) and prescription drugs (59%).
The most popular prescription medications mentioned in the survey were:

- steroid nasal sprays, such as Flonase and Nasonex
- Singulair pill
The over-the-counter allergy medications taken most often by people with spring allergies were the antihistamines Benadryl Allergy, Claritin, and Zyrtec, and the decongestant Sudafed.

Seasonal Allergy Relief Can Be Hard to Find. WebMD.

51% of adult patients with asthma had clinically significant anxiety

Of these only 21% had already been diagnosed and were receiving treatment.
Females reported significantly higher scores than males. More females (66.3%) registered clinically significant levels of anxiety as compared with males.

There was a positive correlation between the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) score and the prescribed dose of inhaled glucocorticoids. There was also a positive correlation between anxiety and the number of medicines taken by patients.

Physicians treating patients with asthma should be aware of the association between asthma and anxiety. Always assess patients for the possibility of anxiety disorders as part of asthma management plans.

Anxiety and the Management of Asthma in an Adult Outpatient Population. Medscape, 2010.