• How to Use a Diskus Inhaler

    Your asthma specialist may prescribe a diskus inhaler. It contains a dry powder form of your medication. The device looks like a disk. You can see a demonstration of its proper use by watching the accompanying video. You’ll learn about the different parts of the inhaler, and you’ll discover how to hold it properly.

    This asthma educator walks a patient through using her new diskus inhaler. To use yours, you’ll place your thumb on the thumb grip and push this part back until you hear a clicking sound. Then, you’ll inhale deeply and quickly through the mouthpiece. Hold your breath for 10 seconds before exhaling away from the inhaler.

     

    Patients who have questions about their asthma treatment can consult a board-certified immunologist at Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM. Call 1(800)86-COUGH to reach one of our asthma treatment centers in Blue Bell, Center City, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, King of Prussia, or Collegeville, Pennsylvania.

  • Eczema: What Patients with Allergies Should Know

    You may already know that allergies and asthma are closely intertwined. For example, a patient’s asthma may be triggered by exposure to an allergen. But did you know that eczema is also linked to both allergies and asthma? If you develop any unusual symptoms, such as changes to your skin, it’s a good idea to tell your allergy and asthma specialist about them.

     

    What Eczema Is

    Eczema is also known as atopic dermatitis. It’s an allergic skin disease that often develops in early childhood, but may arise later in life. It’s a chronic problem that tends to flare up in episodes. The signs and symptoms of atopic dermatitis include the following:

     

    • Dry skin
    • Small, raised bumps
    • Thickened, scaly skin
    • Moderate to severe itching, especially at night
    • Reddish, brownish, or grayish skin patches

     

    The frequent scratching can cause the skin to become raw and sensitive, and it may cause the bumps to crust over. In severe cases, excessive scratching can lead to skin infections.

     

    How Eczema Is Linked to Allergies and Asthma

    According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), about half of all patients who have moderate to severe atopic dermatitis are also diagnosed with asthma, food allergies, and/or allergic rhinitis (hay fever). While the exact reason for the connection is still under investigation, there are a few theories. Some people with eczema have errors in the Filaggrin gene. This means that the skin lacks a specific protein it needs to maintain a strong barrier against germs and irritants. As a result, the skin is more sensitive to the irritants that can trigger eczema. In addition, that same defect may allow for greater exposure to allergens, which is thought to make people more sensitive to those substances.

     

    At Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM, patients with allergies, asthma, and related conditions will find a complete spectrum of compassionate care delivered by board-certified allergy doctors. New and current patients can schedule a visit with an asthma doctor by calling 1(800)86-COUGH. Our offices are conveniently located in Blue Bell, Center City, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, King of Prussia, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania.

  • Common Cold vs. Seasonal Allergies [INFOGRAPHIC]

    Knowing the difference between a cold and allergies means you can get the right treatment and feel better, faster. When you know the right allergy doctor to call, you can be confident that your doctor will find the solutions you need to control your allergies. At Allergy & Asthma Specialists SM, we use allergy skin testing and asthma screening to determine the source of your discomfort. If you’re suffering from asthma or allergies, we offer immunotherapy to alleviate the problem. Our goal is to provide you with top-quality medical care focused on controlling allergic reactions and asthma here in a comfortable environment. Call us at 610-825-5800 or reach us through our website for an appointment, or to learn more about all we have to offer.

  • Flying with Your Auto-Injector? Here’s What You Should Know

    As part of your allergy treatment plan, your doctor may have advised you to carry an auto-injector of epinephrine everywhere you go. When you’re traveling domestically or abroad, it may not be easy to refill the prescription if you use one auto-injector. Because of this, allergy specialists recommend taking two auto-injectors on all trips out of town. When flying, you’ll need to take certain precautions, such as keeping your epinephrine easily accessible in your carry-on luggage. Do not store it in your checked bags, just in case your bags are lost in transit or you have an emergency on the plane.

     

    It’s safe for auto-injectors to go through the X-ray machine at airport security. In fact, many allergy doctors believe this is preferable compared to the potential risk of accidental activation from handling by TSA officials. To ensure easy passage through airport security, be prepared with the printed label of the medication and a note from your allergy doctor.

     

    Allergy doctors in Blue Bell, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, Doylestown, King of Prussia, or Collegeville, Pennsylvania can help you prepare to have a safe trip despite your allergies. New and current patients can call Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM at 1(800)86-COUGH to request our next available appointment.

  • Allergy & Asthma Specialists Breathe IX

    Under the direction of program director, Elizabeth Bailey, MSN, CRNP and Dr. Robert Anolik, the ninth annual Breathe Allergy and Asthma Conference presented by the Allergy and Asthma Specialists Educational Foundation was a spectacular success. Over 100 physicians and nurses attended the conference on Friday, March 15 at the Hilton on City Avenue in Philadelphia to hear lectures about the latest treatments for allergies and asthma.  Continuing education credits were offered for both physicians and nurses.

  • Food Allergy Bullying: What Parents Need to Know

    It’s a scene that’s all too familiar in American schools: Bullies taunting and even physically attacking their victims. Bullies tend to target children who are different from their peers. This means that kids with peanut allergies and other food allergies may be at risk. In fact, experts suggest that as many as one-third of kids with food allergies experience some form of bullying. If your child has been diagnosed with a food allergy, here’s what you need to know to protect him or her.

     

    Types of Bullying

    Bullying can take several forms, and may be perpetrated by fellow students or teachers and staff. The most common form is verbal harassment, in which students with allergies are teased or taunted about their medical condition. Some students report being harassed about having to carry auto-injectors of epinephrine with them. Some bullies may even question whether the child has a real medical condition. Verbal harassment is highly damaging to a child’s self-esteem. Physical bullying can also occur, in which students may be confronted by their allergen. One student reported having peanut butter forcibly smeared on the forehead. Another found peanut butter cookie crumbs in her lunchbox.

     

    Signs of Bullying

    Children who are being bullied may become fearful of going to school. If they’re being bullied in a specific class, they may make repeated trips to the nurse’s office, feigning illness to get out of that class. Students might not want to ride the bus, suddenly start getting poor grades, drop out of after-school activities, or have unexplained injuries. Talk to your child if you notice any changes in behavior, emotional health, or personality.

     

    Steps to Take

    The first step is to encourage your child to talk freely about the incidents. The more you know about exactly what’s going on, the better you’ll be able to help your child. Tell your child what to do if bullying occurs. Then, set up a meeting with school administrators to discuss the problem and demand that action be taken. It may be necessary to ask your child’s allergy specialist to meet with school staff and/or students to explain that food allergies are life-threatening and must be taken seriously by the entire community.

     

    The compassionate, board-certified allergy specialists at Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM work with patients of all ages to help them understand their diagnosis and manage it effectively. We pride ourselves on our accessible approach to patient education, and we firmly believe that patient education can empower children and adults to live life well despite food allergies. Call 1(800)86-COUGH to get help from an allergy specialist in Blue Bell, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, Doylestown, King of Prussia, or Collegeville, Pennsylvania.

  • Why You Still Need a Flu Shot Even If You Have an Egg Allergy

    For a long time it was thought that patients with egg allergies shouldn’t receive a flu shot. This was because the vaccine is grown in eggs, which means there is a very minute amount of egg protein inside the vaccine. However, allergy doctors now know that it’s far more dangerous to leave patients unvaccinated compared to the risk of having an allergic reaction from the vaccine.

    You can hear more about this important issue by speaking with your allergy specialist and watching the accompanying video. The expert featured here explains the recent scientific evidence that supports the safety of vaccines for people with egg allergies.

     

    If you have any questions about managing your food allergies, you can find the help you need at Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM. Call 1(800)86-COUGH to request an appointment with an allergy doctor in Blue Bell, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, Doylestown, King of Prussia, or Collegeville, Pennsylvania.

  • What’s Causing Your Chronic Cough?

    Nagging symptoms that persist for days or weeks can sometimes indicate an underlying medical condition. A chronic cough, for instance, may be triggered by asthma, infections, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). An asthma specialist may diagnose a chronic cough in adults who suffer from it for eight weeks or longer, and in children who have it for four weeks or longer. But you don’t need to wait this long before you see the doctor, especially if your chronic cough is affecting your quality of life. When the asthma and allergy specialist figures out what is causing your chronic cough, you can get started on a treatment plan.

     

    Asthma

    Some patients with a chronic cough discover that they have cough-variant asthma. In this type, the primary symptom is the dry cough that doesn’t produce mucus. It’s important to note that this type of asthma doesn’t necessarily cause other classic symptoms, such as wheezing and shortness of breath. If you are diagnosed with this condition, your asthma treatment plan will include avoiding your triggers and using asthma medications.

     

    Infections

    When you visit the doctor, be sure to discuss your full medical history. Your doctor will need to know about any recent infections you’ve had. It’s possible for a lingering cough to develop long after an active infection has resolved. This is particularly true of sinus infections, influenza, colds, and pneumonia.

     

    GERD

    Gastroesophageal reflux disease occurs when stomach acid flows upward into the esophagus. The acid irritates the esophagus, which causes the coughing. Patients with GERD may need to take medications. They can also follow certain lifestyle modifications, such as eating smaller meals, avoiding lying down for two hours after eating, losing weight, and avoiding alcohol.

     

    The board-certified allergists and immunologists at Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM provide state-of-the-art diagnostics and treatment plans. If you’ve been experiencing a chronic cough or other signs of asthma, call our office at 1(800)86-COUGH. Our asthma specialists are available in Blue Bell, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, Doylestown, King of Prussia, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania.

  • Coping with Food Allergies in College

    Food allergies can be tricky to manage, especially when you’re away from home. If you or your teenager is getting ready to head off to college in the coming months, it’s time to schedule an appointment with the allergy doctor. He or she will review your food allergy management plan and update it for the college campus environment. An allergy specialist is your best source of information regarding how you should handle the dining hall and who you should tell about your food allergies.

    Notify school officials about your needs.

    As soon as you enroll in a school, you should contact the campus disability services office. Let them know about your food allergy and find out about the available accommodations. The disability services representative can be your liaison with the staff at the dining hall, health clinic, and residential office. However, you should also speak directly with the dining hall staff. Schedule an in-person meeting with the director or manager of dining services. Discuss your food allergies and accommodations. If you do have an allergic reaction to the dining hall food, contact the dining hall and disability office to follow up.

    Talk to your roommate and RA.

    Set up a plan with your roommate for keeping food separate. You should also talk to the resident advisor (RA) for your floor. If permitted by the school, show the RA how to use the auto-injector in the event of an emergency. Don’t forget to take your auto-injector with you everywhere.

    Check the menus online.

    Most campus dining halls will post menus online. Check them daily and make a note of allergen information. Don’t eat anything unless you’re certain of the ingredients. You should also check the online menus of any restaurants you plan to patronize.

    Get the complete care you need at Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM. We treat patients with food allergies in the following areas: Blue Bell, Center City, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, King of Prussia, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania. For assistance managing food allergies while in college, you can call 1(800)86-COUGH and request an appointment.

  • Sinusitis 101

    Chronic sinusitis involves the inflammation of the sinuses. The condition can make everyday life challenging and uncomfortable for patients. Since many patients with chronic sinusitis also have allergies or asthma, allergy doctors have expertise treating this condition.

    Causes and Risk Factors of Sinusitis

    Each time you visit your doctor, you should update your medical history. Certain health problems can increase the risk of developing chronic sinusitis. Allergies such as hay fever, for example, cause inflammation that can block the sinuses, resulting in congestion. An allergy specialist will also consider whether an anatomical issue is causing your symptoms. Nasal polyps, enlarged adenoids, and a deviated septum can all lead to sinusitis. Other co-occurring conditions can include:

    • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
    • Asthma
    • Aspirin allergy or sensitivity
    • Systemic diseases, including cystic fibrosis

    In addition, smokers and those exposed to secondhand smoke are at an increased risk of sinusitis.

    Signs and Symptoms of Sinusitis

    An allergy doctor can make a diagnosis of chronic sinusitis when at least two of the following primary symptoms are present:

    • In adults, a reduced sense of smell and taste, or in children, a cough
    • Pain, swelling, and tenderness in the facial region
    • Nasal congestion or obstruction that results in difficult breathing
    • Postnasal drip or thick, discolored drainage from the nose

    Chronic sinusitis can cause other uncomfortable symptoms as well, such as ear pain, a sore throat, and a cough that tends to get worse later in the day. Other possible symptoms may include:

    • Nausea
    • Fatigue or irritability
    • Bad breath
    • Discomfort or aching in the upper jaw and teeth

    Treatment Options for Sinusitis

    Allergy doctors treat sinusitis with the goals of minimizing inflammation and improving the drainage of the nasal passages. If a bacterial infection is to blame, the doctor might prescribe antibiotics. Other possible treatment options may include:

    • Non-drug nasal irrigation
    • Short-term oral decongestant or decongestant nasal spray
    • Short-term oral steroids

    Patients may also find relief by using a humidifier in the home, avoiding chlorinated pools, and avoiding exposure to cigarette smoke and air pollution. Occasionally, surgery may be needed if the condition is caused by anatomical issues.

    Board-certified allergy doctors comprise the physician staff here at Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM. We offer compassionate care and effective treatment plans for patients with sinusitis, allergic rhinitis, and asthma near Blue Bell, Center City, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, King of Prussia, or Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Get in touch today at 1(800)86-COUGH.