• Summer Camp Safety Issues for Kids with Allergies

    Summer camp doesn’t have to be an experience that kids with allergies must give up. With a little planning and help from your allergy doctor, kids with allergies can have a fun and safe camping experience right alongside all of their friends. If you want your child to go to summer camp but are concerned about allergy management, this advice will help.

    Get the Lowdown on Camp Activities

    Start by talking to the camp your child wants to attend to get as much information as possible about their activities and their food plans. Find out what kinds of physical activities will be done each day, what plants and wildlife are common in the area, and how meals are handled. Many camps will already have plans in place to accommodate the needs of kids with allergies, such as special meals for kids who have food allergies. Gather information about the existing plans the camp has for kids with allergies, and find out how—or if—they can make adjustments for your child’s needs.

    Make an Appointment with the Allergy Doctor

    Before camp starts, bring your child to his or her allergy doctor for a checkup and to discuss the camp. Ask the allergy doctor if the camp sounds appropriate for your child’s health and if your child will need to bring any additional medication to the camp outside of his or her usual treatment. Be sure to get restocked on prescriptions well in advance of camp.

    Talk to the Counselor

    Before you leave your child at camp, have a one-on-one conversation with his or her counselor to ensure that the counselor understands your child’s needs and what to do in case of an emergency. Talk to the counselor about symptoms to be aware of, when to provide emergency treatment such as an EpiPen, and when to call 911.

    Let the allergists at Allergy & Asthma Specialists SM help your child get ready for a fun and safe adventure at camp. Visit AllergyandAsthmaWellness.com or call 800-86-COUGH for an appointment with an allergy doctor in Doylestown, Philadelphia, King of Prussia, Bluebell, Lansdale, Jenkintown, Pottstown, or Collegeville.

  • Get the Answers to Your Questions About New Sublingual Immunotherapy Tablets

    The FDA has approved new immunotherapy treatments for patients with seasonal allergies. If you suffer from grass or ragweed allergies, consider talking to your allergy doctor about whether these new treatments might be right for you. They are available in the form of sublingual immunotherapy allergy tablets, which are different from the allergy shots that were already available.

    Is sublingual immunotherapy right for me?

    Only your allergy doctor can determine if sublingual immunotherapy is appropriate for you. In general, this allergy treatment is prescribed for patients with grass or ragweed allergies that have been confirmed with allergy testing. Sublingual immunotherapy may be right for you if you have allergy symptoms, such as sneezing, nasal congestion, itchy or water eyes, and a runny or itchy nose. Make sure your doctor knows about all of your other medical conditions and medications.

    Which allergies can sublingual immunotherapy treat?

    There are three sublingual immunotherapy treatments for grass and ragweed that have been approved within the last few years. One of them is only intended to treat adult patients with ragweed allergies. Timothy grass and related grass pollen allergies are treatable with a second type of tablet. The third treatment offers protection from five grasses: Timothy, perennial rye, Kentucky blue grass, orchard, and sweet vernal.

    How long do patients take the tablets?

    Generally, allergy doctors recommend beginning immunotherapy treatment about two to four months before the start of allergy season. Patients will continue to take the tablets throughout the allergy season, and then discontinue treatment until the following year. Patients who continue to take the tablets for at least three, but preferably four or five years, will be protected for an undetermined length of time thereafter.

    How is this treatment administered?

    Patients place the tablet under the tongue, wait one to two minutes, and then swallow it. The first dose is usually administered in the allergist’s office because of the risk of a severe allergic reaction.

    At Allergy & Asthma Specialists℠, we’re excited to connect our valued patients to the latest medical treatments, including the new sublingual immunotherapy tablets for grass and ragweed allergies. To find out if immunotherapy is right for you, you can call us at 1 (800) 86-COUGH, extension 2 or schedule online. You can request an appointment with a board-certified allergy specialist in Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, or Collegeville, Pennsylvania.

  • What’s the Link Between Asthma and Cockroaches?

    Cockroaches are a frequently overlooked asthma trigger. If you see an asthma specialist, he or she may ask you about pest control in your home and your exposure to cockroaches to determine if these pests are exacerbating your symptoms. A recent study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology has demonstrated the link between asthma and cockroaches once again.

    The study, which was conducted in low-income households with asthmatic children in New Orleans, tested the impact of pest control and cockroach reduction on asthma symptoms. The children in the homes that received pest control and successfully eliminated cockroach infestations had better lung function, fewer days with asthma symptoms, and needed fewer healthcare interventions for their asthma.

    Managing asthma is complex, but with the right asthma specialist and treatments, you can get relief for your symptoms. Schedule an appointment at Allergy & Asthma Specialists SM to get the care you need. Call 800-86-Cough to make an appointment, or visit our website to learn more about our asthma specialists in Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Collegeville, or Pottstown, Pennsylvania.

  • The Pregnant Woman’s Guide to Asthma

    During pregnancy, asthma can pose a significant health risk for both mother and baby, particularly when it is not well controlled. If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, it’s a good idea to speak with an asthma doctor promptly. Effective asthma treatment will manage the risk of pregnancy complications.

    Health Complications

    Poorly controlled asthma can increase the risk of the following maternal health complications:

    • High blood pressure
    • Preeclampsia
    • Severe morning sickness
    • Vaginal bleeding
    • Complicated labor

    Asthma during pregnancy can also contribute to serious health problems for the baby, including restricted fetal growth, low birth weight, and premature birth. The baby may be more likely to have a low APGAR score. In some cases, the baby’s life may be threatened.

    Asthma Treatment

    The potential health complications of asthma during pregnancy are certainly alarming, but the good news is that an asthma doctor can develop an effective treatment plan to manage the risk. Most asthma treatments are not known to cause harm to developing babies. In fact, doctors generally agree that the potential risks of these treatments during pregnancy are far lower than the risks of untreated asthma. The potential risks of asthma medications during pregnancy are lessened during the last two trimesters, as compared to the first trimester. Whenever possible, asthma doctors prefer to prescribe inhaled asthma medicines for pregnant patients, as inhalation does not introduce significant amounts of medication into the bloodstream.

    Prenatal Care

    Women with asthma may be considered to have a high-risk pregnancy. They may benefit from more frequent prenatal care check-ups. It’s preferable for the patient’s asthma specialist to coordinate her care with her obstetrician. To support a healthy pregnancy, the patient’s prenatal care can include:

    • Routine lung function monitoring
    • Daily fetal movement monitoring after 28 weeks
    • Ultrasound exams after 32 weeks

    Additionally, women are strongly encouraged to avoid asthma triggers and get a seasonal flu shot.

    Allergy & Asthma Specialists℠ provides sensitive, effective care for patients at every stage of life. New and current patients are invited to call 1 (800) 86-COUGH to request a visit with an asthma or allergy specialist. Our asthma specialists are conveniently located in Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania.

  • Tyler’s Story of Living with Severe Food Allergies

    The primary allergy treatment is strict avoidance of the allergen, but what can patients do when they have dozens of allergies? When you watch this featured video, you’ll meet Tyler, a young child who became seriously ill every time his parents fed him. As a baby, he was even allergic to his mother’s breast milk. An allergy doctor diagnosed him with food protein-induced enterocolitis (FPIES).

    FPIES specifically affects the gastrointestinal tract. It’s tricky for general practitioners to diagnose, since it isn’t detectable through standard allergy tests. When Tyler’s parents began working with an allergy specialist, they were able to identify a broader range of foods that he could safely eat.

    At Allergy & Asthma Specialists℠, we are committed to improving quality of life for patients with food allergies. Call 1 (800) 86-COUGH to find high-quality allergy treatment in Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, or Collegeville, Pennsylvania.