Friday, March 19, 2010

Kick Butts Day March 24, 2010

Kick Butts Day is a day of activisim to encourage youth to take action against tobacco.

Check out the website for details for more information and local events. www.kickbuttsday.org

Monday, March 15, 2010

Weekly Pollen Counts

Looks like the pollen counts are starting to rise!

Weekly Allergy Outlook

Customized for BROOKLYN, NY 11211, March 15, 2010

Courtesy of the Makers of ZYRTEC®.

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Pollen Chart Range Pollen Chart for BROOKLYN, NY

Pollen Chart Header
Pollen Chart Range Pollen Chart for BROOKLYN, NY

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Asthma Management 101

Spring is about to be sprung in NYC. The daffodils are just poking there sprouts through the ground this weekend and there really isn't a more beautiful time in the city.

Along with the beautiful weather comes, lots and lots of tree pollen, and we should see the counts start to rise in the next few weeks.

As the pollen counts rise, in many people so do asthma symptoms. I wanted to review with you how to tell if you asthma is controlled or not.

1) Cough
-Do you cough more than 2 x per week?
-Do you have more than 2 night time awakenings because of cough?

2) Chest tightness and shortness of breath
- Do you have these symptoms more than 2 x per week?

3) Rescue Inhaler Use
- Are you using your rescue inhaler more than 3 x per week?

4) Quality of Life
- Do you feel your symptoms are interferring with your everyday activities, work or school?

If you've answered yes to any of these questions, it's a good idea to touch base with your doctor to tune up your regimine before the pollen counts become elevated.

Let me know if I can help!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Doctor, I looked like Dr. Dolittle!

I hear this complaint at least weekly in my practice. Patients come in with horror stories & pictures of their lips, eyes or ears kept swelling to the point that they looked like Eddie Murphy's character in Dr. Dolittle. So what's going on?

Most commonly, they are having an allergic reaction called angioedema. Angioedema is a transient, non-pitting, localized swelling of the subcutaneous (just beneath the skin) or mucosal tissues.

This is most commonly from:
- food (kids- eggs, milk, peanut, and adults- tree nuts, peanut, shellfish, and fish)
- drugs (most commonly ACE inhibitors (blood pressure medication), aspirin, or ibuprofren), or
-environmental allergens (air born allergens like pollens).

What does that mean? basically, hives form on areas of the thin skin allowing an watery (exudative) like fluid to fill the space. Because the skin is thin, it easily swells and grows in size leading to the Dr. Dolittle look. You might also experience nausea, abdominal paint, hypotention, and itchy eyes.

Up to 15% of the population will experience an episode of angioedema. There are other genetic and aquired conditions that cause angioedema, but these are much rarer than an allergic reaction.

If you have an episode of angioedema, take an antihistamine (like benadryl) and seek medical help. You should be evaluated by an allergist/immunologist to determine the specific cause.