• Is it a Cold or Allergies?

    This is the time of year you start to hear lots of sneezing and sniffles.  Allergy symptoms and cold symptoms are often very similar. However, it is important to determine the difference so you can properly treat the cold or allergy.

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    Allergy Symptoms:

    • Runny, stuffy nose
    • Sneezing
    • Watery, itchy eyes
    • Itchy nose and throat
    • Dry cough
    • Symptoms come on quickly when exposed to allergen
    • Symptoms could last for several weeks and do not away until allergen is gone

    Allergy symptoms occur when the body reacts to an unwanted substance that is usually inhaled or ingested. If you are allergic to this substance, known as an allergen, your body produces histamine and other inflammation causing chemicals that cause a runny nose, congestion, sneezing and itchy eyes and nose. 

    Allergy treatment begins with identifying and avoiding the offending allergen. This may require a trip to see an allergist and skin testing.Medications such as antihistamines and decongestants help to decrease the symptoms.  Immunotherapy  (also known as allergy injections or allergy drops) will alleviate the symptoms when avoidance or medications are not providing adequate relief. 

    Woman with flu virus

    Cold Symptoms:

    • Runny, stuffy nose
    • Sneezing
    • Watery, itchy eyes
    • Fever
    • Body Aches
    • Sore throat
    • Wet, productive cough
    • Symptoms come on gradually and subside in 7 to 10 days

    A cold is caused by transmission of a virus, the rhinovirus, from an infected person or object. This virus causes upper respiratory inflammation. 

    Treatments for cold symptoms include acetaminophen or ibuprofen to alleviate the fever, sore throat and body aches.  Decongestants will relieve nasal congestion.  Drink plenty of fluids, get plenty of rest and gargle with warm salt water.

    If you think your “cold” symptoms are really allergies, see the allergists at Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM.

    Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM provides treatment for patients of all ages with allergies, asthma, rashes, congestion and recurrent infections. If you live in the greater King of Prussia or Philadelphia region and suffer from allergies or asthma, our board certified allergy doctors and immunologists can help. Call us at (800) 86-COUGH to schedule an appointment at one of our eight convenient locations. 

  • Cat Allergy Relief Tips

    Of all the different types of environmental allergens, cat dander is among the smallest, meaning that the allergen remains airborne for at least 30 minutes after being disturbed and can constantly trigger symptoms. 

    This video provides several tips on managing cat-dander allergies. Some great ways to reduce allergic reactions caused by cat dander is to ensure that your cat is not allowed to walk or sleep inside of your bedroom. You may also consider preventing dander from accumulating by investing in hard-surfaced floors and leather furniture rather than fabric. Watch this clip for more tips.

    Don’t let your allergies get in between you and your pets. Contact the allergy doctors with Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM online or call (610) 825-5800 for more information on our allergy testing and asthma screening services

  • Don’t suffer with SINUSITIS one more day

    Sinusitis is defined as inflammation of one or more of the sinus cavities.

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    Types of Sinusitis

    • Acute bacterial sinusitis in adults most often presents with > 7 days of symptoms of purulent drainage, nasal congestion, postnasal drip, facial or dental pain/pressure, and cough, especially at night. Often preceded by a cold. Children with acute sinusitis often have cough, runny nose, and nasal congestion.
    • Acute bacterial sinusitis is defined to be less than 4 weeks duration. 
    • Chronic sinusitis, with inflammation lasting longer than 12 weeks, is associated with allergic rhinitis in 36% – 60% of children and 40% – 80% of adults.  An allergy evaluation should be done so that environmental control measures or other interventions, appropriate for allergic and non-allergic diseases can be started.

    Conditions associated with, or predisposing to sinusitis:

    • Allergic Rhinitis
    • Viral “colds”
    • Asthma
    • Anatomic obstructions – nasal polyps, septal deviations, enlarged                                       adenoids, foreign body, cleft palate, dental infection
    • Aspirin Allergy or Sensitivity

    Treatment:

    1. Antibiotics for acute and chronic sinusitis. The goal is to improve drainage of the nasal passages, eliminate the source of the inflammation and relieve the pain.
    2. Oral decongestants and topical nasal decongestant sprays  may reduce congestion.
    3. Saline sprays or irrigations can help liquefy secretions.
    4. High dose guaifenesin is used to thin the mucous and promote drainage.
    5. Nasal steroids and nasal antihistamines reduce the congestion, swelling and inflammation of sinusitis.
    6. Oral steroids may be prescribed for a few days to relieve pressure, reduce inflammation and decrease pain. 

    Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM provides treatment for patients of all ages with allergies, asthma, rashes, congestion and recurrent infections. If you suffer from allergies or asthma, our board certified allergy doctors and immunologists near King of Prussia and Philadelphia can help. Call us at (800) 86-COUGH to schedule an appointment at one of our eight convenient locations.

  • Why does SINUS CONGESTION give me a headache?

    Sinus congestion causes headaches and can make you feel grumpy and tired. Sinuses are hollow air spaces.  There are four pairs of cavities or spaces known as paranasal sinuses.  These cavities located within the skull or bones of the head surrounding the nose, include the frontal sinuses over the eyes in the brow area; the maxillary sinuses inside each cheek bone; the ethmoids just behind the bridge of the nose and between the eyes; and behind them, the sphenoids in the upper region of the nose and behind the eyes.  Each sinus has an opening into the nose for the free exchange of air and mucous, and each is joined with the nasal passages by a continuous lining.  Sinusitis is defined as inflammation of one or more of the cavities.

    Anatomy of Sinuses

    Symptoms of Sinusitis may be one or more of the following:

    • Headache
    • Pain and pressure in the face
    • Prolonged discolored mucous from the nose or down the back of the throat
    • Stuffy nose
    • Productive cough
    • Fever
    • Tooth pain
    • Reduced sense of taste or smell
    • Cough
    • Asthma flare

    Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM provides treatment for patients of all ages with allergies, asthma, rashes, congestion and recurrent infections. If you live in the greater King of Prussia or Philadelphia region and suffer from allergies or asthma, our board certified allergy doctors and immunologists can help. Call us at (800) 86-COUGH to schedule an appointment at one of our eight convenient locations. 

  • Does Your Baby Have a Rash?: The Eczema and Asthma Connection

    “Research indicates that the early treatment of eczema may decrease the risk for developing asthma.”

    Baby with Eczema

    Eczema, also called atopic dermatitis (AD), is one of the most common skin disorders seen in infants and children.  It usually begins during the first six months of life. Approximately half of patients with AD will go on to develop asthma. The more severe the AD, the greater the likelihood of developing asthma.  Also, two thirds of patients with AD will develop allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever.  In one study looking at 1,314 children over a span of seven years, researchers found that 50% of the children with AD and a family history of asthma developed asthma.

    Most children display the natural progression of allergic symptoms call the “atopic march”.  Eczema is considered the beginning phase of the development of other allergic diseases. Most patients’ eczema resolves at puberty or shortly thereafter only to develop allergic rhinitis and asthma.

    Children with eczema are at high risk for developing asthma.  Fortunately, research indicates that the early treatment of eczema may decrease the risk for developing asthma. Skin testing the child to determine allergic triggers is the first step to developing an effective therapeutic plan.  The plan may include dietary management for food allergies including the gradual introduction of solid foods to infants. Topical creams may be prescribed. Indoor allergens are considered to have the strongest effect on the development of asthma in high-risk individuals. Reducing indoor allergen exposure will be of great benefit.

  • Are Allergies Making Your Student Fuzzy?

    Does your student often drag out the door every morning sniffing, snorting or coughing? Do sneezing, wheezing, and watery eyes accompany evening homework? Unfortunately, these are not the only symptoms of allergic disease. Many individuals with allergic disease often report they have trouble concentrating and remembering when their allergies act up. 

    AD - Allergic Student Photo only

    Allergic rhinitis has been associated with decreased ability to concentrate, activity limitation, decreased decision-making capacity, impaired hand-eye coordination, problems remembering, irritability, sleep disorders, fatigue, missed school days, more motor vehicle accidents and more school injuries.

    Many parents of children with allergies observe increased bad mood and irritability in their child’s behavior during allergy season.  This is particularly true for young children with allergies, since they cannot express their discomfort. It is important that the irritability caused by the congestion and pain in the ears, nose and throat not be mistaken as attention deficit disorder.  With proper treatment, symptoms can be well-controlled and disruptions in learning and behavior can be avoided.

    Causes of cognitive (learning) impairment in students with allergies:

    • Sleep Disruption – Chronic nasal congestion will disrupt the sleep cycle.   Night after night of interrupted sleep can cause serious decreases in learning ability and performance in school.
    • Over-the-Counter Medications – The most commonly used over-the-counter medications for allergy symptoms are decongestants and first generation antihistamines, both of which cause sleep disturbances.  Decongestants can cause sleeplessness, appetite loss, and irritability.  Antihistamines cause drowsiness and affect learning, memory and performance.
    • Blockage of the ear canal can impair hearing.
    • Constant nose blowing, coughing and throat clearing, especially while in the classroom, can interrupt concentration and the learning process.
    • Missed days from school.

    Solutions

    • Identify the student’s allergy triggers and avoid them. Allergy skin testing by a board certified allergist will help identify the allergens that are triggering the student’s symptoms. Once identified, the allergist will provide guidelines as to how to avoid the triggers.
    • Prescription medications can help avoid the side effects of over-the-counter medications.

    Tip

    If you suspect your student is suffering from allergies, see your allergist for proper diagnosis. Treating allergies sooner rather than later can help prevent disruptions in learning and poor performance. 

  • Dr. Patrick Vannelli Joins Allergy & Asthma Specialists!

    Dr. Vannelli sees patients of all ages in the Blue Bell, Collegeville, Philadelphia, and Jenkintown locations.

    Patrick Vannelli, MD is a Physician with Allergy & Asthma Specialists,  a group practice with eight locations in Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs. He has practiced as a Board Certified Allergist/Immunologist since 2008.

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    Dr. Vannelli received his undergraduate degree at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts and his Medical Degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo Medical School. He completed his Pediatric Residency at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Goryeb Children’s Hospital where he was Chief Resident. He completed his Fellowship in Allergy/Immunology at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. He continues to be involved in numerous research studies and is a published author.

    The doctor is certified by the American Board of Allergy & Immunology.. He is a member of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, The Pennsylvania Allergy and Asthma Association and the Philadelphia Allergy Society.

    Hospital staff privileges include:

    • Abington Memorial Hospital
    • Montgomery Hospital

  • Anna Trebunskaya Talks about Persevering with Asthma

    If your asthma causes you to feel like you don’t have the strength to continue with your favorite sport or activity, you will benefit from finding your inner strength and maintaining an attitude of perseverance. This is the mantra that famed Dancing with the Stars ballroom dancer Anna Trebunskaya maintains. Since childhood, Trebunskaya has dealt with the obstacles that come with asthma but has found certain ways to cope and carry on.

    For Anna, the most important resources she turned to for support were her mother, her fellow dancers, and her love for the art. She speaks about the importance of informing those around you that you have asthma so that they can be prepared if you experience symptoms of an asthma attack. If you are suffering from asthma, turn to this video and Anna’s compassionate words for inspiration and encouragement. 

    The asthma experts at Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM understand how tolling this condition can be and make it their goal to effectively treat and alleviate your symptoms. Call us at (800) 86-COUGH to learn more about our asthma treatment in King of Prussia

  • Why You See a Board Certified Allergist

    • If you have a cough that will not go away.  All the allergists at Allergy & Asthma Specialists are highly experienced in evaluating and treating chronic cough.  State of the art computerized pulmonary function testing is available at all locations. 

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    • If you experience exercise induced coughing or shortness of breath.
    • To confirm the diagnosis of allergies or asthma.
    • To define the potential triggers of your allergic symptoms or asthma. At Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM the standard allergy skin testing regime involves skin testing for 48 allergens using a needleless method with results available in 20 minutes.  
    • If you have had an allergic reaction caused by food, insect sting, or medication . Food allergy testing & food challenges in a medically supervised environment are a practice specialty. Under the supervision of an allergist, sometimes in the well controlled environment of a hospital, we can safely determine if a patient needs to continue food restrictions. 
    • To decrease the need for daily medications to treat allergies and/or asthma.
    • Your allergies and/or asthma are interfering with your ability to fulfill your activities of daily living.
    • You are experiencing the warning signs of asthma, such as shortness of breath; wheezing or coughing often, especially at night or after exercise; or experiencing tightness in your chest.
    • When there is an increase of allergy symptoms after the introduction of a new pet to the home.
    • An infant or child has eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis. In children, atopic dermatitis is often the first step in a progression of diseases. Infants who present with atopic dermatitis may progress to allergic rhinitis by 18 months old and, if left untreated, may progress to asthma by four years old.
    • Allergic rashes such as hives, and contact sensitivities. 

    Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM provides treatment for patients of all ages with allergies, asthma, rashes, congestion and recurrent infections. If you live in the greater King of Prussia or Philadelphia region and suffer from allergies or asthma, our board certified allergy doctors and immunologists can help. Call us at (800) 86-COUGH to learn more or to schedule an appointment at one of our eight convenient locations.  

     

  • Allergy & Asthma Treatment Myths

    #1. “Needles are used to skin test for allergies.”

    • WRONG. The staff of Allergy & Asthma Specialists uses sterile plastic applicators to apply dozens of skin tests in a minute or two. No needles are used for most skin testing and there is no blood at the contact site. There is a twenty minute waiting period for the reaction to occur. The reaction consists of a hive that is measured to determine if the patient has specific allergies.

     

    #2.  “You cannot test infants and small children.”

    • WRONG. Infants can be effectively skin tested as young as two to three months old.

     

    #3. “ I need to be experiencing full-blown allergy symptoms to be skin tested.”

    • WRONG. You do not need to be experiencing any allergy symptoms at the time of your testing. In fact, if you are a seasonal allergy sufferer for whom the doctor recommends immunotherapy (allergy extract), it is wise to start your immunotherapy six months before your most symptomatic time of year. This way, the allergy extract will have time to be effective before the next allergy season.    

     

    #4. “Allergy immunotherapy is only available by injections with needles.”

    • WRONG. Allergy & Asthma Specialists, PC offers two types of immunotherapy. Traditional allergy extract administered by injections and sublingual extract (SLIT) administered by placing drops under your tongue.

     

    #5. “You never outgrow Food Allergies.”

    • WRONG. Kids really do outgrow food allergies. However, parents are often unsure if a forbidden food can be reintroduced into a child’s diet. FOOD ALLERGY TESTING AND FOOD CHALLENGES in a medically supervised environment are a practice specialty. Under the supervision of a board certified allergist, we can safely determine if your child needs to continue food restrictions. 

     

    #6.   There is no connection between skin rashes in small children and the development of allergies and asthma.”

    • WRONG.   Eczema or Atopic Dermatitis is one of the most common skin disorders seen in infants and children. Eczema is considered the beginning phase of a natural progression to other allergic diseases. Two- thirds of children with eczema develop allergic rhinitis. One half of children with eczema will go on to develop asthma. 
    • Fortunately, research indicates that early treatment of eczema may decrease the risk for developing asthma. The first step in the development of an effective treatment plan is to have the child evaluated by an allergist in order to identify potential eczema triggers.