“Research indicates that the early treatment of eczema may decrease the risk for developing asthma.”
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- If medications are not effective, your allergist may suggest immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots or allergy drops.
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. 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.
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
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.
- 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.
- If you experience exercise induced coughing or shortness of breath.
- Experiencing symptoms of a cold for more than two weeks.
- 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.
- Antihistamines, decongestants and/or over-the-counter medications do not control your allergy symptoms, or create unacceptable side effects, such as drowsiness or nervousness.
- Suffering from more than three ear, sinus, throat, or lung infections in a year. Our allergy doctors are board certified to treat recurrent infections and immunological deficiencies.
- 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.
#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.
Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM offers two types of Immunotherapy:
- Traditional Allergy Injections
- Sublingual Immunotherapy – Drops under the tongue
Medications such as antihistamines and decongestants can treat only allergy symptoms such as runny nose, cough, itchy eyes, sinus congestion, headaches or asthma. For more effective relief, an allergy doctor prescribes immunotherapy to allergy sufferers. Immunotherapy treats the underlying cause of the allergic reaction and is the only available treatment that can effectively result in the elimination or reduction of allergic disease.
How does immunotherapy work?
- When you have allergies, your immune system reacts to allergens such as pollen, dust mites or food with an inflammatory response resulting in congestion, cough, itchy eyes, or asthma. Immunotherapy works by gradually introducing the allergen to your body and desensitizing the immune system. Overtime, this gradual introduction of allergens helps your immune system build up its own natural immunity, safely and effectively, making you much less allergic.
What does immunotherapy involve?
- The first step in the immunotherapy process is to determine exactly what triggers your allergic symptoms. Triggers can include allergens such as pollen from specific types of grasses, trees, or weeds, molds, dust mites or foods. An allergy doctor will conduct allergy skin testing. 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.
- Once the allergy triggers are identified, the allergy doctor develops a personalized prescription to begin immunotherapy. The prescription consists of carefully calculated doses of allergy extracts. Allergy extracts are scientifically produced allergen substances that are approved by the FDA for injection purposes.
- The allergy extract prescription will then be prepared for administration in one of two ways, subcutaneous (allergy shots) or sublingual (allergy drops) immunotherapy. The allergy extract is then administered in small doses over an extended period of time. The doses gradually increase in potency, training your immune system to NOT react to the allergen with an inflammatory response. The patient will suffer from fewer and less severe allergy symptoms.
Are there any side effects of immunotherapy?
- The majority of allergy sufferers experience no ill side effects from immunotherapy. With allergy injections, on occasion, a patient may have minimal redness or swelling at the injection site. Some individuals will notice a brief increase in nasal congestion or sneezing immediately after treatment. There is also a very small risk of an anaphylactic reaction. However, each injection is followed by a 30 minute observational period to monitor for an adverse reaction to the injection.
- Sublingual immunotherapy or allergy drops are administered at home. Some patients experience tingling under their tongues for a short time after administration. There is no risk of an adverse reaction with sublingual immunotherapy.
Who is a candidate for immunotherapy?
- Anyone who has allergies is a potential candidate for immunotherapy. However, only a board certified allergy doctor can determine if you qualify for treatment. If you suffer year after year with allergy symptoms and allergy medications such as antihistamines and decongestants are not helping, contact your allergy doctor today to discuss immunotherapy.
Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM provides safe and effective immunotherapy treatment for patients with allergies. 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.
Though many people may suffer from food intolerance, far fewer have food allergies. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease states that only about two to three percent of all adults and six to eight percent of children have true food allergies. Though food intolerance and food allergies share many of the same symptoms, only food allergies stem from an autoimmune response.
Most food allergy symptoms show within minutes of consumption. For many people with food allergies, symptoms are mild and non-life-threatening. However, it is vital that an allergy doctor properly diagnose a person’s food allergies, as exposure to some common food triggers can cause significant bodily harm and even death.
Common Food Allergies
- Though any food has the potential to be an allergy trigger, the following items constitute the eight most common foods that can produce an allergic reaction : milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat.
Symptoms of Food Allergies
- When a person who is allergic to one of these foods inadvertently ingests it, the most typical reaction is itchiness in the mouth or breathing and swallowing problems. As the food reaches the stomach and intestines, the person may experience symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain. In some individuals, hives or eczema will develop once the food allergens enter the bloodstream and reach the skin. As those allergens continue to move through the bloodstream, a person may begin to feel weak or lightheaded. In rare cases, he or she will go into anaphylactic shock, a sudden and severe drop in blood pressure. This reaction is potentially fatal, which is why allergy testing by a qualified allergy doctor is necessary to avoid such serious situations.
Allergy & Asthma Specialists, P.C. offers patients precise and reliable allergy testing and asthma screening services. If you live in the greater King of Prussia or Philadelphia region and suspect that you may have food allergies, contact any one of our eight convenient locations. To learn more about our treatment methods, or to schedule an appointment, please call 1 (800)86-COUGH.
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