Atlanta jumped 12 spots last year on the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America’s (AAFA) list of Top 100 Most Challenging Places to Live with Spring Allergies. Atlanta rose from #72 in 2013 to #60 in 2014 on this AAFA Allergy Capitals list. As trees blossom and grasses sprout this year, it helps to know which plants peak during which months (see the chart below). Talk to your allergist today to plan your best method of defense against these allergens!
Spring is right around the corner, and now is the time to schedule a visit with your allergist. The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI) suggests five things you should know about spring allergies. Click Here to read more!
- Allergies are on the rise.
Studies show pollen counts have been gradually increasing over time, and even if you’ve never had allergies before, you could start developing them. You can track Peachtree City pollen counts Here.
- It matters when you medicate!
If you suffer spring allergies, ACAAI recommends starting your medication two weeks before your symptoms typically begin.
- No “cure” exists for spring allergies…
…but allergy shots (immunotherapy) can help your symptoms in a big way.
- Allergies can trigger or worsen asthma.
If you are coughing, wheezing, or having trouble breathing, this could be asthma that is triggered by your allergies. Be sure to talk to your allergist about these symptoms.
- “When in doubt, get checked out.”
If you have been suffering symptoms for more than two weeks, such as coughing, ongoing colds, nasal congestion, or trouble breathing, it would be a good idea to see an allergist for allergy testing and potential treatment.
Children with allergies and asthma often suffer much more than a stuffy nose, itchy eyes, or shortness of breath. Kids with allergies can experience emotional stress, sleeping difficulties, academic troubles and peer conflicts. Even young children with food allergies can worry about eating foods that may be cross-contaminated with an allergen, and their parents experience their own unique challenges, searching for foods free of allergens. Pediatric allergists can recognize and navigate through these unique stressors. Pediatric allergists understand what types of treatments are safe for children, and can develop action plans for schools. They are trained to help children with allergies lead healthy and enjoyable lives.
Pediatric allergists complete medical school, plus three to four years of pediatric residency training. After that, they must obtain board certification with the American Board of Pediatrics, and complete two more years of an allergy-immunology fellowship. Dr. Agrawal specializes in both pediatric and adult allergies and asthma. He is board certified with the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, and with the American Board of Pediatrics. He is happy to care for you and your entire family!
Click here to learn more about the importance of pediatric allergists!
Enjoy this kid-friendly explanation of how allergies work, and how the immune system responds in the case of an allergic reaction.
Video courtesy of eMedTV.
The percentage of children with food allergies has increased over the years, which has ultimately led to increasing numbers of anaphylactic reactions. Parents who have ever witnessed their child suffer an anaphylactic reaction know how unsettling this can feel. Anaphylaxis is a severe, potentially life-threatening reaction that can occur after being exposed to certain including foods, insect stings, medications, or latex. Anaphylactic reactions often involve swelling, hives, reduced blood pressure, and in some severe cases, shock. Warning signs include rash, flushing, swelling, wheezing, lightheadedness, chest or throat tightening, trouble breathing, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Epinephrine is the only medication proven to save lives during anaphylactic reactions. A 2014 study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice found that early administration of epinephrine during an anaphylactic reaction (ie, administering epinephrine before arriving to the emergency department, versus upon arrival to the hospital) led to fewer hospital admissions, and fewer treatments with antihistamines, steroids, and inhaled medications. Continue reading
Asthma and allergies are two of the most common health problems in America. Approximately 50-55 million Americans suffer from asthma, hay fever, eczema, food allergies and other allergic disorders.
You should schedule an appointment with an allergist if your asthma or allergic disorders are not controlled by over the counter medications or current prescription medications.
Board certified allergists are medical doctors who complete three years of internal medicine or pediatric training, and then go on to complete two- to three more years of fellowship training. Allergist are trained to diagnose and treat conditions ranging from uncontrolled runny nose and congestion to severe immune deficiency disorders.
Let’s talk about a few conditions for which you should see an allergist:
Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever): Allergic rhinitis plagues many Americans. If your allergies are not controlled by over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamines (Zyrtec, Allegra, Claritin, Benadryl, etc.) or nasal steroids (Nasacort is approved OTC, and Flonase will be available OTC in 2015), you should schedule an appointment with an allergist. An allergist will evaluate your allergy triggers and suggest treatments accordingly. Treatments may include medications, sublingual (under the tongue) allergen immunotherapy, or allergy shots. Allergen immunotherapy is a very effective long-term allergy treatment, and 85-90 percent of patients experience relief with this treatment. Continue reading
- Asthma is a chronic inflammation of the lung airways that causes coughing, chest tightness, wheezing or shortness of breath.
- The number of Americans with asthma grows every year. Currently, 26 million Americans have asthma.
- Asthma mortality is almost 4,000 deaths per year.
- Patients with asthma reported 13.9 million visits to a doctor’s office and 1.4 million visits to hospital outpatient departments.
- Asthma results in 456,000 hospitalizations and 2.1 million emergency room visits annually.
- Asthma is the most common chronic illness in childhood, accounting for 10.5 million missed school days each year. It also accounts for 14.2 million lost work days for adults.
- The estimated economic cost of asthma is $20.7 billion annually.
- Direct medical expenditures associated with asthma, including hospital care, physicians’ services and medications, are estimated at $15.6 billion annually.
- Indirect medical expenditures, including decreased worker productivity and lost work days for adults suffering from asthma or caring for children with asthma, and other losses total $5.1 billion annually.
- Triggers that can initiate an asthma attack include allergens such as pollen, dust, animal dander, drugs and food additives, as well as viral respiratory infections and physical exertion.
- Asthma is often hereditary.
- Weather conditions such as extremely dry, wet or windy weather can worsen an asthma condition.
- Effective asthma treatment includes monitoring the disease with a peak flow meter, identifying and avoiding allergen triggers, using drug therapies including bronchodilators and anti-inflammatory agents, and developing an emergency plan for severe attacks.
- There are two types of asthma medications: long-term control and quick-relief medications. Long-term control medications are preventive, taken daily to achieve and maintain control of asthma symptoms. Quick-relief medications are used to treat asthma attacks. They relieve symptoms rapidly and are taken on an as-needed basis.
- One of the most effective medications for controlling asthma is inhaled corticosteroids, which are anti-inflammatory medications. Taken early and as directed, these well-tolerated and safe medications can improve asthma control and normalize lung function.
- Immunotherapy or allergy shots should be considered if asthma is triggered by exposure to unavoidable allergens, or if symptoms occur three days a week and more than two nights a month. The shots are especially helpful when symptoms occur year-round or are not easily controlled with medication.
- Allergists are the medical specialists with the most expertise in treating asthma. An allergist can find the source of your suffering and stop it. To find an allergist, visit AllergyAndAsthmaRelief.org.
- The greatest rise in asthma rates is among black children with an almost 50 percent increase from 2001 through 2009.
Source: American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Asthma Facts. 2014. http://www.acaai.org/allergist/news/Pages/Asthma_Facts.aspx.