As recently as 30 years ago, only 5% of children and 3% of
adults had asthma in this country. The prevalence of asthma
has risen to as high as 14% in pre-adolescent boys and 10% in
pre-adolescent girls, and between 8-10% of adults. The rise
in asthma is due to a number of factors. More tightly insulated
homes, use of alternative heating sources, increased numbers
of pets and increased use of carpeting, as well as day care/babysitting
services (secondary to allergen exposure) has increased the prevalence of asthma tremendously.
Acetaminophen (Tylenol) appears to have been trigger to allergies and asthma in children and adults since its heavy use, starting in the late 1960's.
Asthma is an illness in which the airways become inflamed which
results in increased airway sensitivity, increased mucous production,
swelling of the lining of the airways and eventually spasm of
the bronchial muscles surrounding the breathing tubes. Ninety
percent of children over the age of two (about approximately
50% under the age of 2) and adults of any age have allergy as
one of the major triggers for asthma. Other major triggers include
viral upper respiratory infections, inside/outside air pollution,
gastroesophageal reflux of stomach acid, stress, and nose and
sinus problems (keeping one's nasal airway clear will decrease
the number of asthma symptoms). Asthma is often manifested as
bouts of bronchitis, chest colds, "every time I have a cold
it goes to my chest," and similar symptoms which often occur
both in the Winter months as well as the Summer months. Actually
asthma symptoms are more common in the Fall and Winter months
because of the increased numbers of viral infections as well
as increased indoor allergen exposures and molds (indoors and outdoors).
|A whole variety of nasal symptoms can be triggered by inhalant
allergies. These include nasal congestion, posterior nasal drainage,
sinus pain, pressure and tenderness, earaches and chronic cough.
Worsening of nasal symptoms can result in more lower respiratory
problems including asthma and frequent bronchitis. In children
over the age of four, greater than 50% of ear infections are
triggered by allergies and under the age of four at least 25%
are triggered by allergies. Millions of days are lost from school
and work yearly because of allergic nasal symptoms. Actually,
people note that nasal allergy problems interfere more with
their day to day lives than asthma. With newer medications,
allergen avoidance and use of allergy immunotherapy (allergy
injections) when appropriate, we can relieve most patients'
nasal symptoms and decrease the need for chronic antibiotics
as well as other medications which may have been necessary.
This office is expert in the diagnosis and treatment of food
allergies and intolerances. Dr. Shampain and Lisa Musician, registered dietitian, are able to evaluate
skin, gastrointestinal, respiratory and other symptoms of food
allergies. We effectively screen for food
allergies by skin testing, patch testing and blood allergy tests and then are able to use specific
diets and either open or placebo-controlled challenges to determine
whether people are actually clinically allergic to foods or
not. You will be asked to keep food records for 7 to 10 days
prior to your first appointment with the Dietitian. During this
first meeting your food records will be reviewed in relation
to your nutritional goals or the type of diet the doctor has
prescribed. Your food preferences, tolerances, exercise habits,
lifestyle, medication, health and dieting history will be evaluated.
An appropriate meal plan will be developed and you will be instructed
how to restructure your eating habits to make healthy food choices.
Recommendations will be made on how frequently you should return
to monitor your progress, adjust your meal plan, obtain more
information and assistance with your nutritional concerns. This
is a very scientific and well-studied approach to food allergy.
Our goal is to have you eat as many different foods as possible
and eliminate only those foods to which you are definitely allergic/sensitive.
Exciting treatments are now becoming available to decrease food allergies including oral tolerance induction and early introduction of foods for infants and toddlers to prevent the development of food allergies.
||Approximately 10% of the population of this country has allergies
to penicillin, sulfa or other antibiotics. Allergy for penicillins
and cephalosporins, (cousins to penicillins) can be tested in
the office to determine whether a person is clinically sensitive.
It is interesting to note that after 5-10 years most people
who have had penicillin allergy lose their sensitivity. This
can usually be confirmed by doing appropriate allergy testing
and challenging. Other medication allergies including insulin,
local anesthetics, aspirin, and acetaminophen can be evaluated
Hives and eczema (atopic dermatitis) are often caused by inhalant,
food and drug allergies. After taking a good clinical history,
performing appropriate allergy tests and institution of allergy
immunotherapy, appropriate medication use and avoidance procedures,
these often annoying and disabling conditions can be helped. There is increasing eveidence that eczema triggers nose and lung allergies (allergic rhinitis and asthma).
In the Northeastern part of the United States, five major
stinging insects cause local swelling or hives, or more serious
reactions including a drop in blood pressure or cardiovascular
problems. The five stinging insects are Yellow Jacket, Honeybee,
Wasp, Whitefaced and Yellowfaced Hornets. We generally recommend
testing of patients to see if they are allergic to stinging
insects if they have had a systemic reaction (hives, difficulty
breathing, drop in blood pressure or cardiac abnormalities)
after a sting. Generally testing is not recommended for even
very large local reactions. Approximately 20% of the population
has allergic antibodies made against insects even if they have
never had a reaction; therefore, routine testing is not recommended.
However, when testing is done and someone is found to have positive
allergy skin tests, desensitization to insects via immunotherapy
(venom injections) is between 98-100% effective in blocking
sting reactions at least two stings at a time. It is the most
effective form of therapy that any allergist can offer a patient.
PLEASE NOTE: If one has had a systemic reaction to Vernom sting(s), the treatment is desensitization, not just an emergency epinephrine kit.
advice given on this site in no way constitutes the
establishment of a physician-patient relationship.
Please check with your health care provider
pertaining to your specific care needs.