• 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.

  • Climate Change and Your Health

    Climate change is a major shift that affects the entire world. But it can also have adverse effects on a local level, such as by increasing the number of patients seeking allergy treatment. Watch the accompanying video to hear an expert discuss why climate change is causing allergies and asthma to worsen.

    Since climate change brings more frequent and severe storms and floods, it has a direct effect on the mold in the environment. Mold allergies and asthma attacks are the result. Additionally, as levels of carbon dioxide increase, pollen production also rises. This triggers seasonal allergies.

    If you suffer from seasonal allergies, consider seeing an allergy specialist in Blue Bell, Center City, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, King of Prussia, or Collegeville, Pennsylvania. You can schedule an appointment regarding asthma or allergy treatment by calling Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM at 1(800)86-COUGH.

  • Got Asthma? Here’s Why You Need a Flu Shot

    Asthma treatments, such as inhalers, are only one part of your complete asthma management plan. Your asthma doctor will also help you learn how to prevent symptom flare-ups and complications. One important way to protect yourself is to get a flu shot at the start of every flu season. As a patient with asthma, you’re considered at a high risk of suffering from flu-related complications, including asthma attacks and pneumonia, which may require hospitalization.

    Although the flu shot is the most effective way to prevent transmission of the flu, you should still take other precautions. Wash your hands often, and try to keep your distance from people who are sneezing or coughing. Avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes because doing so will transfer germs to the mucous membranes. If you do contract the flu, see your doctor or go to an urgent care clinic right away. Anti-viral medications can help lessen the symptoms.

    At Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM, your health is our top priority. New and current patients can call 1(800)86-COUGH to request an appointment with an asthma doctor in Blue Bell, Center City, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, King of Prussia, or Collegeville, Pennsylvania.

  • Understanding Your Asthma Medications

    Your asthma doctor may prescribe two types of medications for you. You can learn more about these asthma treatments when you watch the featured video. The first is a rescue medication. It’s taken when you experience asthma symptoms, such as shortness of breath, coughing, or tightness in the chest.

    You may also be prescribed a controller medication, which is intended to prevent symptoms. You’ll take your controller medication every day, regardless of whether you experience symptoms or not. Consistent use is essential for managing the inflammation of the lungs.

     

    Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM provides complete diagnostic services and treatments for patients with asthma in Blue Bell, Center City, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, King of Prussia, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Call 1(800)86-COUGH to request an appointment with a board-certified asthma doctor.

  • Quitting Smoking When Your Child Has Asthma

    Smoking is one of the worst things you can do to your health. And if you’re a parent, it’s one of the worst things you can do to your child’s health. Cigarettes are deadly, and there’s no better time than right now to quit smoking. Quitting will help your child get his or her asthma symptoms under control, and it will benefit your own health as well.

     

    How Cigarettes Harm Your Child

    Even if your child never tries a cigarette, he or she is susceptible to health risks from secondhand and thirdhand smoke. Exposure to tobacco smoke and residue is linked to more frequent and severe asthma attacks. It can be more difficult for your child to control asthma symptoms, and your child may not respond as well to medications. Not only is tobacco a trigger of asthma attacks, but exposure to smoke is also linked to the development of asthma. Babies of smokers are more likely to be diagnosed with asthma in childhood.

     

    Why It’s Impossible to “Control” Cigarette Smoke

    Some smokers may think that they can adequately protect their kids by only smoking outdoors. But unfortunately, it’s impossible to control where cigarette smoke goes. When you open the door to go back inside, the smoke will follow you. It will get in through windows and drafty areas. There is also a danger of thirdhand smoke, which is the residue left on objects from tobacco smoke. This residue is found on smokers’ clothes, furniture, car upholstery, and anything else exposed to cigarette smoke. Thirdhand residue can be just as dangerous for a person’s health as secondhand smoke.

     

    How You Can Overcome Nicotine Addiction

    Quitting cigarettes is never easy, but it will be one of the most important and rewarding things you can do for your family. Start by talking to your doctor to find out about your medical treatment options. Try as many different cessation methods as it takes to finally quit. And never give up—most smokers require multiple attempts to quit for good.

     

    The board-certified allergists and asthma doctors at Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM can help you and your child understand the asthma treatment options. We provide compassionate care and patient education for individuals of all ages. Call 1(800)86-COUGH to speak with a friendly staff member at our locations in Blue Bell, Center City, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, King of Prussia, or Collegeville, Pennsylvania.