Myth-busters in Medicine

As an allergist  in Tulsa, the myths that surround asthma, food allergy, hives, hay fever abound and patients often come in to the office telling ME what they are allergic to or how to fix the problem. Let me give you some examples:

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Well, you don’t say?

The Fall cometh and we all have allergies (particularly #ragweed) to deal with. It always amazes me how much information about #fall allergies can be found on the internet–some true, but much isn’t close to giving you good information about how to treat your allergies.  In fact, if you’ll remember, I asked where  most of you get your medical information and 100% said “from a medical journal”. I’m not sure I believe that result or there wouldn’t be so many allergy myths in Tulsa! I’ve often wondered, why does it make any difference to have good medical information about how to best treat your allergies? Continue reading Well, you don’t say?

Give Me Your Stories About Food Allergy

Several months ago, I asked you what was missing from your treatment of #allergy.  To my surprise, 50% of respondents wanted more information on food allergy, compared to only 36% who wanted cheaper medications for their #asthma. So I listened and here are some stories I find interesting about food allergy. Please share your stories with me by adding your comments at the end of this blog. Unfortunately, people don’t really think food allergy is a real health problem. Continue reading Give Me Your Stories About Food Allergy

911–Can We Prevent Trauma from Asthma?

 

Childhood trauma–it happens all around us, but rarely do we take the time to observe it’s devastating effects on our society and culture. Kudos to #Tulsa World for addressing this very complicated and at times hopeless situation. Doris Franstein, who recently retired as Continue reading 911–Can We Prevent Trauma from Asthma?

Where Do You Get Your Medical Information?

I recently found an article on the accuracy of #medical information on #Facebook–it was 85% (wrong that is).  With this much misinformation at our fingertips, no wonder medical advances seem to be muted…obesity, cost of medical care, gun violence, heart disease. If you’re relying on the internet for your medical information, perhaps this link on how to counteract medical-misinformation might be helpful.

Take a survey for me at the end of the article: I want to know your thoughts.

Continue reading Where Do You Get Your Medical Information?

Reflection on being a doctor

Flying home from San Francisco spending some time at the AAAAI (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology) was a powerful reminder of how thankful I am for the opportunity to practice allergy here in the Midwest. National meetings give you updates of new procedures, opportunities to meet colleagues, and just a general good time getting out of the routine. What’s new for allergy here in Tulsa is more use of #biologicals (for #asthma), more #food challenges/treatment, and more aggressive treatment of #hives. I’m excited to get started, so let’s go!

Isn’t everyone allergic in Oklahoma? I’ve come to the right state

Don’t sneeze on me!

“When I fly across the state border into Oklahoma, I start #sneezing.”  “There must be something in Oklahoma that causes my eyes to itch and burn.”  “I felt fine on vacation in California, but now I’m miserable with #allergies!” Comments like this are common if you practice allergy in Oklahoma, but are they really true? Continue reading Isn’t everyone allergic in Oklahoma? I’ve come to the right state

Myth is, after all, the never ending story Part 2

When it comes to asthma, it’s not easy fighting the myths of Facebook, Google, or e-mail campaigns. And why are we so resistant to the diagnosis of asthma for our kids and ourselves? For asthma, if you don’t make the correct diagnosis, you’ll never implement the proper treatment. By that I mean, you’re not likely to use prevention, but instead will wait for an asthma attack and then rush in to treat the symptoms. Health care providers are responsible for this phenomenon just as much as patients. Go to any emergency room or urgent care with an asthma attack and you’re likely to receive steroids, antibiotics and the admonition to “see your primary care doctor”. The problem is that patients feel better after steroids and guess what? they never seek medical attention for the prevention of #asthma. After practicing asthma medicine for over 25 years, consider the following reasons for why our asthma treatment often fails to meet the “standard of care” according to published #asthma research:

  1.  Asthma attacks don’t happen all at once. If I can get through an asthma attack in September, what’s the big deal of one course of steroids per year? This paroxysmal nature of asthma makes proper treatment very difficult because we tend to have a very short memory about our last asthma attack. 
  2. As a general rule, we all resist preventive care. Do you miss a regular dental floss or exercise session? As difficult as it seems to continue with good preventive care, think how much more difficult it is to take an inhaler everyday to prevent asthma! Antibiotics are so successful after 10-14 days that we can stop therapy and recover back to our original health. Asthma isn’t the same disease process and many times one attack leads to never ending asthma.

Can I get over asthma? The short answer is usually not. Asthma is a disease of inflammation which means the airways over react to allergy, infections, or irritation. In short, this means lungs with asthma are forever inundated with “triggers” that cause wheezing, coughing, and typical asthma symptoms. If you don’t use preventive inhalers for the next attack, you can be assured it will come.