Friday, April 19, 2013

Global Warming and Allergies

Global Warming and Allergies

While there's still debate over whether or not global warming is real, everyone agrees that it will have an impact on allergies.

How will global warming affect allergies?

  • The increase in Earth's temperature is caused by increases and accumulation of various gases, especially carbon dioxide (CO2).  
  • Increases in temperature change the way plant and trees pollinate
  • Increases in temperature prolong the pollination seasons.
  • Increases in CO2 directly impacts the way plants and trees grow
  • This translates to early symptoms of allergies and a longer duration.
How will longer pollen seasons affect allergies?  
  • Early exposure to pollen causes priming of the immune system
  • Priming means that less pollen (allergen) will cause a bigger symptoms
  • Increases in symptoms means more severe allergies, more missed school/work, and a bigger impact on your day to day.  

Want to see me?  Call the office for an appointment 212-679-3574 or click here to Schedule an Appointment 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Beat Your Allergies

I recently sat down with Linda Clarke from Metro Magazine to talk about how to beat your alleriges.

Check out the publication online at Beat Your Allergies

Sunday, April 14, 2013

How Do You Know You Have Allergies?- Here's an Easy Screening Tool

As an Allergist, I get asked this question everyday.  Often my patients think they just have frequent colds, "sinsusitis", or a lingering cough.   Even as a doctor, it can be difficult to distinguish a cold from allergic inflammation in your nose, eyes, and throat. 

Are you worried you might have allergies and want to do an easy screen at home?

Check out this easy screening tool Screening tool for asthma and allergies

It'll take about 5-10 minutes to complete. 

If your results suggest you may have allergies and or asthma go and speak with your doctor or an allergist to get help.

Want to see me?  Call the office for an appointment 212-679-3574 or click here to Schedule an Appointment

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Have Asthma? Be Careful with Aerosolized Cleaning Supplies

Have Asthma? Be Careful with Aerosolized Cleaning Supplies

Aerosolized cleaning supplies are a common trigger of an asthma attack in some people.
The strong detergents and scents can trigger the airway to spasm and an asthma attack.

What's the Safest Way to Clean if You Have Asthma?
  • Use liquid products rather than aerosolized ones
  • Make sure the area you are cleaning is well ventilated- open the windows if you can
  • If using a squirt bottle device, spray the cleaner directly onto your towel
  • Avoid strong scented products
  • Make your own cleaning products  Want recipes- See my entry, Cough, cough, cough for recipes- Recipes for cleaning products

Need more tips on how to battle your allergies?  Call the office for an appointment 212-679-3574 or click here Schedule an Appointment to schedule an appointment.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Thunderstorm Induced Asthma

Did you see the lightening storm in NYC this past week?  Wow- it was amazing! The sky was filled with an amazing display of electricity and air with loud claps of thunder.   I really enjoyed watching it, but also waited for the second wave you may not know about...

The day after a thunder/lightening storm there is a  10 fold increase in asthma admissions to the emergency department!

So what's going on? 

Many would think that the rain would "clean the air" of pollen and pollutants knocking the irritants from the air to the ground, but this doesn't seem to be the case.  Why do thunderstorms trigger asthma? 

We don't know...

Some possible hypotheses on why thunderstorms trigger asthma are:
  • Perhaps it's a device used by nature to pollinate when there's water available for things to grow.
  • Others hypothesize that pollen grains rupture with contact from rain drops.  The grains get picked up by the winds occupanied by the storm spreading them down stream. 
  • Fungal and mold spores increase the day after a storm along with pollen counts. 

Regardless of the reason, if you suffer from thunderstrom induced asthma, be prepared with your medications so you don't end up in the emergency room!

Here are some tips to prevent thunderstrom induced asthma:
  • Stay indoors the day after a storm
  • Have your medications on hand, make sure they aren't expired.
  • Keep your windows closed the day after the storm
  • Follow your asthma action plan
Most of all- if you are having signs/symptoms of asthma see your doctor early on.  Sadly, each day 9 people die from asthma. 
Need help getting your asthma under control this spring or what other tips?  See an allergist and find relief! Click here to find an allergist in your neighborhood

Want to set up an appointment with me? Call the office 212-679-3574 or  Click here 

Tips for Managing Springtime Asthma

Springtime Asthma

The past few days in NYC have been beautiful.  It's been an exceptionally long winter here, and New Yorkers are ready to enjoy spring!

The plants and trees are ready to burst with beautiful flowers and pollen.  For many, this bounty of pollen, causes havoc for their allergies.  And for some, may trigger their asthma.  Asthma triggered by allergies is called allergic asthma.  Many people think, "I live in NYC- there's so few tree's here, the pollen can't affect me!"Tree pollens are airborne, and wind can carry them from over 100 miles away.

How Common is Allergic Asthma?  Really Common!

  • This is the most common type of asthma
  • About 90% of children with asthma will have allergic triggers
  • About 50% of adults with asthma will have allergic triggers
  • This is why knowing what your triggers your asthma is so important.  It can help you prevent an asthma attack.  It can help you manage an asthma attack.  Doing both of these things can help you keep your life as "normal" as possible.
What are Symptoms of Allergic Asthma?  
  • Cough
  • Chest tightness, 
  • Wheeze, and 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Symptoms/attack happens the same time each year or with the same exposure (cat/dog).
What Can You Do to Control Your Symptoms?
  • Talk to your doctor or allergist to have a plan for when to use your medication(s).
  • Make sure your asthma medication isn't expired!
  • You may need a daily medication to "prevent" symptoms.
  • Have an emergency inhaler with albuterol on hand in case you have an asthma attack.
  • Follow the pollen counts in your neighborhood.

Need more tips on how to battle your allergies? Call the office for an appointment 646-438-7893 or click here Schedule an Appointment to schedule an appointment.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Allergies and Your Pet

My practice loves your animals and we work with you to try to figure out how to keep them in your life without making you sick.

Love your dog and love to run with them?  Here's a simple tip for keeping the springtime pollen out of your home.

  •  Wipe there coats off with a wet washcloth when you come in from outside
  • The fur will collect pollen and bring outdoor allergens inside

Monday, April 1, 2013

The worst pollen season ever...?

Every spring you hear it... "This is going to be the worst pollen season ever."

You might be wondering what's going on. Are people just being hysterical and looking to complain? Or is there any truth to these claims?  If so, why are the seasons getting worse?  What actually makes for the worst pollen season ever?

What makes for the worst pollen season ever?

  • Warm temperatures in Jan-Feb are a pleasant relief from the biting cold of winter, but trigger trees to start blooming and pollinating early.
  • Low levels of pollen during these winter months "prime" our immune systems towards the pollen. 
  • When the pollen gets into full force in the spring, because our systems are primed, it takes less pollen to trigger a reaction

Are the allergy seasons getting worse? 

  • Warmer temperatures and shorter winter stretches are prolonging the pollinating seasons for plants.  
  • Plants are producing more pollen for you to have a reaction to.
  • Some believe that the increase in the warmer months is producing stronger pollen.
  • Longer exposure to pollens means that your allergy symptoms will be longer.
  • Increases in CO2 (carbon dioxide) causes plants to grow faster and more robust.  This may be an untold consequence of global warming on pollen.

So there may be some truth to the claim that it is going to be the worst pollen season ever.

Don't fear though, knowing what you're allergic to, early use of medications to prevent symptoms, and talking to your doctor or an allergist/immunologist can help you stay healthy and enjoy the spring.

Need more tips on how to battle your allergies?  Call the office for an appointment 212-679-3574 or click here Schedule an Appointment to schedule an appointment.

Allergies and Outdoor Exercise Tips

Now that spring is in full bloom, many patients are asking what's the best time to exercise outdoors if I have spring time allergies?

Want to hit the bike path or central park, but worried doing so will send your allergies into a tail spin?  Don't fear, pollen levels are highest in the morning between 5AM and 10AM.  Plan your route outside of these hours and you'll miss the peak levels.  Just in case you might want to take some allergy medication with you or just before you head out the door to prevent an allergic reaction.

Want to track pollen levels in your neighborhood?  There are some wonderful allergy apps that will give you pollen alerts.

Need more tips on how to battle your allergies?  Call the office for an appointment 646-438-7893 or click here Schedule an Appointment to schedule an appointment.