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    Asthma Awareness Night at the Phillies!

    Last updated 16 days ago

    Dr Shashank Sheth and staff screened more than 200 Phillies fans for asthma at the Asthma Awareness Night at Citizens Bank Park on May 6. Award winning singer and actress Kristin Chenoweth helped kick-off Asthma Awareness night by performing the national anthem. Chenoweth suffers from asthma and is sharing her story by serving as the spokesperson for the KNOW YOUR COUNT (knowyourcount.com) program.

    Dr. Sheth see patients in the Jenkintown, Doylestown, and Pottstown offices of Allergy & Asthma Specialists.

    Treatment Options for Hives

    Last updated 1 month ago

    Hives are the result of an allergic reaction within the body. These raised, welt-like bumps or wheals on the skin can appear suddenly and are often uncomfortable or itchy. If you experience hives, it is a sign that you have an allergy. See your King of Prussia allergy doctor for a diagnosis so you can begin effective treatment for your hives. 

    Antihistamines

    The most common treatment, especially for mild cases of hives, is antihistamine medications. These medications address symptoms such as itching to improve patient comfort by reducing the effects of histamine, which is produced by the body when it encounters an allergic trigger. Although antihistamine medications will not combat the actual cause of the hives, they will ensure you are comfortable until your body naturally reduces the production of histamine.

    Anti-Inflammatory Medication

    In more severe or chronic cases of hives, anti-inflammatory medications may be recommended. Oral corticosteroids can be used for comfort over the short term but should be avoided for long-term treatment because they can produce undesirable side effects. Other anti-inflammatory medications may also be suggested by your allergist if you experience consistent or recurring hives.

    Antibacterial Medication
    Dapsone is an antibacterial medication originally developed for the treatment of leprosy. However, dapsone has also proven effective in the treatment of chronic hives, particularly in patients whose symptoms are resistant to antihistamine medications. Dapsone not only stops the growth of bacteria, it also reduces inflammation and swelling to improve comfort and reduce the appearance of and discomfort associated with hives.

    Board certified allergists/immunologists comprise the entire physician staff of Allergy & Asthma Specialists. Allergy doctors at this premier medical practice provide comprehensive allergy and asthma diagnostics and state of the art treatment, including two types of immunotherapy, at offices located in center city Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Schedule today online at www.AllergyandAsthmaWellness.com or by calling 1-800-86COUGH.

    Recognizing Signs of an Allergic Drug Reaction

    Last updated 2 months ago

    Although drugs are meant to improve your health, they can also cause adverse reactions in some individuals. Drug allergies account for up to 15% of negative reactions and are most often the result of antibiotic medications. The symptoms of a drug allergy may take hours or even weeks to manifest after taking a drug. These symptoms include a rash or hives, swollen joints, tightness in the throat, swelling of the face, coughing, vomiting or diarrhea, and an increase in blood pressure. In cases of a severe reaction, a drug allergy can cause life-threatening anaphylaxis. If you believe you or a family member could have a drug allergy, it’s important to seek allergy testing as soon as possible to avoid a serious situation. 

    Board certified allergists/immunologists comprise the entire physician staff of Allergy & Asthma Specialists. Allergy doctors at this premier medical practice provide comprehensive allergy and asthma diagnostics and state of the art treatment, including two types of immunotherapy, at offices located in center city Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Schedule today online at www.AllergyandAsthmaWellness.com or by calling 1-800-86COUGH.

    Managing Your Asthma Symptoms

    Last updated 2 months ago

    Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that causes discomfort or difficulty breathing. Although there is no cure for asthma, your doctor can help you manage your symptoms for better health and comfort. In addition to asthma diagnosis and management, Allergy & Asthma Specialists offer allergy immunotherapy for patients with Asthma in King of Prussia. 

    Avoid Triggers

    Just like allergies, asthma can be triggered by exposure to certain substances. Dust, pollen, animal dander, and cockroaches are some of the most common airborne asthma triggers. Identifying your asthma triggers with the help of your allergy doctor will let you know which substances you should avoid to reduce or prevent asthma symptoms. Taking steps to improve the air quality in your home or office can also have beneficial effects.

    Take Medication

    There are a variety of medications that can help patients to manage asthma symptoms. Medications that are taken daily to control asthma are often called controller medications. Such medications include inhaled corticosteroids, long-acting beta-agonists, and leukotriene modifiers. Additionally, fast-acting quick-relief medications, sometimes called rescue medications, can help to manage more severe symptoms when they occur. These medications include short-term beta-agonists and oral or intravenous corticosteroids.

    Develop a Plan

    Together with your allergy doctor, you can develop a long-term asthma management plan. This plan may include medication, exercise, and immunotherapy or other treatments to reduce the severity and frequency of your asthma symptoms. Your personal asthma management plan will depend upon your age, health, lifestyle, and many other factors. The plan may include daily, weekly, or monthly diagnostics to monitor your health and lung function to help your allergist take steps to improve your health and reduce symptoms over the long term.

    Board certified allergists/immunologists comprise the entire physician staff of Allergy & Asthma Specialists. Allergy doctors at this premier medical practice provide comprehensive allergy and asthma diagnostics and state of the art treatment, including two types of immunotherapy, at offices located in center city Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Schedule today online at www.AllergyandAsthmaWellness.com or by calling 1-800-86COUGH.

    People don't usually complete allergy shots or drops BY SHEREEN LEHMAN

    Last updated 2 months ago

    (Reuters Health) - Doctors may recommend allergy shots or under-the-tongue drops to their patients, but most don’t start the treatments, reports a new study.

    Researchers also found that among patients who do begin so-called allergen immunotherapy, most don’t complete the full course of therapy, which takes years.

    The study looked at people with allergic rhinitis, which includes seasonal allergies and sensitivities to dust mites and pet dander, for instance. It is one of the most common reasons people go to the doctor: up to one third of adults and 40 percent of kids suffer from a runny nose, sneezing and watery eyes in the presence of particular allergens.

    When symptoms aren’t fully managed by allergy medications, doctors may suggest a course of allergen immunotherapy, which can include getting regular allergy shots or taking under-the-tongue (“sublingual”) drops at home for three to five years.

    “It is, I guess unfortunately, the best kept secret amongst allergists because it is the best allergy treatment that we have available and the only treatment that is a disease modifier,” Dr. Robert Anolik told Reuters Health.

    Patients on the treatments can help control their symptoms and those that use immunotherapy for enough time may see long-term benefits, he said.

    Anolik, from Allergy and Asthma Specialists of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, led the study. His team’s findings were published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

    The researchers reviewed the medical records of patients with allergic rhinitis who doctors had recommended start allergy shots or sublingual drops between January 2005 and June 2011. The patients were all from one allergy clinic in Pennsylvania.

    Out of 8,790 patients, only 36 percent chose to start allergen immunotherapy. About three quarters of them chose allergy shots and the rest opted for sublingual drops.

    People who were sensitive to a greater number of allergens were more likely to try one of the therapies.

    Among patients who started the allergen immunotherapy, 40 percent quit before completing three years of treatment and most quit before five years.

    In general, patients kept using allergy shots longer than drops and children continued either treatment longer than adults.

    Most patients did not give a specific reason for stopping treatment. Others stopped because of the cost of treatment, side effects or lack of benefit. About half of those who stopped taking the drops did so because they didn’t like the taste.

    “Immunotherapy has been around for 90 years so there’s enormous experience with it and I think pretty much that what they wrote about is fairly standard,” Dr. David Rosenstreich told Reuters Health.

    Rosenstreich directs the Division of Allergy and Immunology at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York. He wasn’t involved in the study.

    “People often prefer getting the drops under the tongue, but surprisingly they tend to drop out from that more often,” he said. “People who are on the injections tend to actually - surprisingly - stay on them more consistently than people who are on the drops.”

    Rosenstreich said patients who take the drops don’t have the same supervision from their doctor, which offers additional benefit beyond the injections.

    “You’re seeing a health professional on a regular basis and at the same time you’re getting your medications renewed and if you’re having problems, they’re being taken care of and there’s a large psychological benefit also from being seen frequently by a health professional.”

    “I think an effort has to be made from physicians, through education and through social media, so that once patients start to keep them involved,” Anolik said.

    He said his office uses a combination of emails and text messages to remind patients that their allergy shots are due or to keep up with their allergy drops.

    Both Rosenstreich and Anolik mentioned two new immunotherapy tablets that are available for treating grass and ragweed allergies, Ragwitek and Grastek.

    Anolik is hopeful that awareness of the new sublingual products will help the general public learn more about immunotherapy in general.

    “I think with the power of large pharmaceutical organizations to market and advertise I am hopeful that more and more people will be aware of immunotherapy as an option. And then our goal is to match up the patients with the appropriate therapy,” he said.

    The study was funded by Merck, which markets both new products.

    SOURCE: bit.ly/1jOopiq Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, online May 7, 2014.

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