Category Archives: Allergies

It’s allergy season and what can I do?

The following YouTube video describes a process called “Rush Immunotherapy” conducted in Ohio.  It’s now a more common way to deliver #allergy shots and reduces the total number of shots required to achieve clinical relief from your #allergies.  Some caveats about #RUSH Immunotherapy need to be included and your bullet list is below the video.

I would make the following corrections to this video:

1.  Unfortunately, you can’t answer all questions about immunotherapy (allergy shots) in a 3 minute news clip.

Continue reading It’s allergy season and what can I do?

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Wacky Oklahoma Weather

I love  weather! Growing up on a farm in Kansas brought a variety of weather right to my front doorstep, and that must be one reason I became an allergist.

Nothing like the harvest!
Nothing like the harvest!

You have to be part botanist to do this job anyway, with monitoring pollen counts, making allergy recipes for allergy shots, and knowing what is pollinating at what time of the year. Oklahoma makes predicting weather patterns quite a challenge.  One minute it’s 80 degrees outside and 24 hours later the temperature has dropped back to 50.  We fluctuate from drought to 5 inches of rain in 1 week.  How are you supposed to take care of your lawn, much less predict the pollen counts?  Here’s some clues that might help you anticipate “bad pollen” days based on the weather patterns in Tulsa; and better yet, you might do better than the weatherman! Weather plays an important role in how much pollen is produced, its distribution and how much pollen is in the air at a given time.  (for the full article on weather and pollen counts go to: http://www.weather.com/health/allergy/news/how-weather-impacts-spring-allergies) Allergy symptoms are often reduced on rainy or windless days because pollen does not circulate as much during these conditions. Pollen tends to travel more with warm, dry and windy weather, which can increase your allergy symptoms. Pollen counts vary by time of day, season and weather conditions. Rain, wind and temperature are all important factors to consider when determining if pollen counts will be high, moderate or low on a particular day. Overall, pollen counts tend to be higher in the morning, as well as on warm, dry and windy days. Conversely, lower pollen levels are also typically observed during a stretch of cold and wet days. The National Institue of Heath Medline Plus recommends saving outside activities for late afternoon or after a heavy rain when pollen levels are lower. First, if we’re measuring pollen, what is it we’re measuring? The American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology defines pollen as tiny grains needed to fertilize many kinds of plants.

This is ragweed pollen floating around in the air
This is ragweed pollen floating around in the air

Pollen from plants with colorful flowers usually do not cause allergies. Plants that produce a powdery pollen can easily be spread by the wind and can cause allergy symptoms. Spring allergies are often caused by tree pollen, summer allergies by grasses, and fall allergy by weed pollen. Pollen is transported in the air and enters our respiratory system, triggering an allergic reaction technically called allergic rhinitis. According to the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, a branch of the National Institute of Health, approximately 35 million Americans complain of upper respiratory symptoms related to pollen. So how does weather conditions impact spring, summer, and fall allergies? Continue reading Wacky Oklahoma Weather

Food allergy “testing” is usually a bad idea

Thanks Dr Benaroch for your insights from a pediatricians standpoint. We see patients everyday that have been told based on a “test” that their child has food allergy. The percentages vary, but a majority of children that are found to have a food allergy by testing, tolerate the food just fine after challenge. What are the exceptions? Peanut, tree nut, milk, and egg anaphylaxis should always be asked during patient histories. This is why meeting your patient and asking directed questions is so important!

The Pediatric Insider

The Pediatric Insider

© 2015 Roy Benaroch, MD

People like tests. You get numbers, and maybe a printout, and there’s science and blood and things just feels more… serious, when testing is done. You can picture Marcus Welby  (or perhaps a more modern physician), looking solemn, declaring “We’d better run some tests.”

Are medical tests magical and mysterious, and can they unlock the secrets of life? Usually, no. And among the worst and most misunderstood tests we do are food allergy tests.

A few recent studies illustrate this well. A review of about 800 patients referred to an allergy clinic found that almost 90% of children who had been told to avoid foods based on allergy testing could in fact eat them safely. The study, bluntly titled “Food allergen panel testing often results in misdiagnosis of food allergy” also found that the positive predictive value of food allergy blood…

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Do you Pick Your Nose?

Over-the-Counter Allergy Medications Warrant Caution for Some
Nasal allergy sprays can now be purchased without prescription.

The next time you’re at the local pharmacy, you may be surprised to see your prescribed allergy nasal spray available over-the-counter. Many drug manufacturers are pushing for this move to make finding relief easier for some of the 50 million Americans with allergies. But this warrants caution for some.

“Allergy sufferers may no longer need a prescription for certain allergy nasal sprays, but they might need an allergist’s advice.  Some medications merely mask symptoms without tackling the root of the allergy. And often patients will find what medication once suppressed their symptoms, no longer does.”

OTC nasal spray
OTC nasal spray

The over the counter availability of this new nasal spray may lead to questions from local Tulsa allergy sufferers. To help eliminate confusion, Dr. Lynn Wiens, along with the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) have answered the seven most common questions. Continue reading Do you Pick Your Nose?

Dealing with Problems by Self-Medicating

Couldn’t say it better for allergy & asthma meds!

123MyMD

Dealing with Problems by Self-Medicating

How many of us try to self-medicate ourselves. We might do it with alcohol; we might do it with drugs; we may do it with over-the-counter medications; we may do it with caffeine. All sorts of things are used to self-medicate. What you have to look at is what problem are you dealing with, and how are you trying to handle it? Self-medication is not a bad thing if you’re taking a cough medicine for a cold. But if you’re trying to grapple with something that’s beyond your skill, you need to get help. That’s why it’s important to see a doctor and get that advice.

For more information, please go to http://www.123MyMD.com.

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Looking to get rid of your feline allergies? Check this out.

Never hurts to ask if interested in participating.

The Allergista

the_cat_allergy_study

So, a week or so ago… I got an email from somebody asking me if I’d be interested in partaking in a research study that’s being done in an effort to rid people of their cat allergies. Since my skin reactions are so bad, I was definitely interested. I told them that as long as nothing in the study involved anything else I’m allergic to (such as chemicals) then I was game. I directed the person I spoke with to my list of allergies. She came back saying that I’m not an eligible candidate because I have seasonal allergies. Womp, womp. Seasonal allergies are really common, so it’s too bad that anybody with them can’t participate.

Anyways, not everybody HAS seasonal allergies, so I figured I’d pass along the information to you anyways – just in case you can use it!

Here ya go:

Cold Temperatures Force Pets Inside, Exacerbate…

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Why are allergies increasing?

The hygiene hypothesis explained very well. Another reason not to start antibiotics too soon.

ClinicalNews.Org

Public release date: 13-Apr-2010

In 1980, 10 percent of the Western population suffered from allergies. Today, it is 30 percent. In 2010

– one out of 10 children is said to be asthmatic and the mortality rate resulting from this affliction increased 28 percent between 1980 and 1994

Hygiene

 

Université de Montréal professor studies how probiotics can help

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What to Make of Dr. Oz and his Detox? Not much

Unfortunately, this has been my experience as well with allergy related topics. It’s difficult to come up with a new topic for your TV show EVERYDAY!

gutsandgrowth

Although my exposure to Dr. Oz has been limited, he is not one of my favorite TV doctors. He often offers opinions in areas where he clearly is not an expert.  By presenting himself as a doctor who is knowledgeable in so many areas, he has the potential of undermining the credibility of physicians more broadly.  A recent report provides some welcome pushback and at the same time indicates that “detox” treatments are unlikely to be helpful.

Here’s the link: Detox treatments by DrOz and others lack evidence, benefit  – CBC

An excerpt:

Despite bold promises that the treatments would purify, detoxify and boost energy and optimize organ function, the cleanses lacked any scientific evidence of efficacy, or clear idea of what toxins they would actually diminish…

“In looking at the medical literature on these things, there has never been a properly conducted scientific investigation of any of these treatments…

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