Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Help the American Academy of Allergy Allergy Asthma and Immunology Save Patient access to Allergy Shots.

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), a professional membership organization of more than 6,800 allergist/immunologists, is spreading the word that newly proposed regulations from the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) could dramatically limit patient access to allergen immunotherapy (allergy shots).
Help the AAAAI save patient access to allergy shots. Sign this petition to let USP know they should keep the existing requirements in place—and not move forward with these new proposed regulations.
What are allergy shots and who is proposing these new regulations?
Allergy shots, also known as allergen immunotherapy, are an important treatment for allergic diseases that has substantially improved patient care, reduced emergency room visits, decreased medication costs and decreased hospitalization.
As mentioned above, the new regulations are being introduced by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). There is no data in the peer-reviewed medical literature that allergy shots have ever caused infections in patients, but this is the concern driving USP to propose these new guidelines.
Sign the Petition! #saveallergyshots
If these new regulations go into effect, how will it impact patients?
The more extensive procedures for mixing under the new regulations would make it highly unlikely that allergists would be able to continue to mix allergen extracts for their patients in the office setting.
Non-healthcare system employed physicians will have very limited options to secure allergy immunotherapy prescriptions for their patients. There are only two facilities that have been identified as resources for this service in the United States. Having to use outside facilities may limit the timelines of allergy shot treatment, among other consequences. Also Medicare currently does not cover allergen immunotherapy manufactured by a third party vendor. Thus, Medicare recipients, and potentially commercially insured patients, would no longer have allergen immunotherapy as a covered service. USP’s proposed requirements would directly transfer the cost of a previously covered benefit to the beneficiary. 
Sign the Petition! #saveallergyshots
What can I do to prevent these regulations from going into effect?
Again, sign this petition to let USP know: 1) you are concerned about how these proposed changes will impact patient access to allergen immunotherapy and 2) they should keep the existing requirements in place.
Sign the Petition! #saveallergyshots
Want more information about allergy shots and how they work?
Gramercy Allergy and Asthma hopes you gain control over your allergies in the new year.  We are here to help.   Call the office or click her to schedule an appointment.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Why Should You Get Control Over Your Allergies in the New Year?

January is a time of resolutions and change.  The air is always a buzz with self reflection, inspiration, and people taking stock of their lives.  It's a time to ask yourself what's going well and where do you want to improve your life. The change in the calendar inspires us all to start fresh and change.  We tell our friends and family of our goals for the year hoping they'll support and encourage us.  These resolutions help drive the course for the new year and act as reminders of who we want to be and how we want to fill our year.

What are 5 reasons that getting control of your allergies may be one of the best decisions you make for 2016?

Uncontrolled Allergies Affect Our Day-to Day Life.
Those who suffer from allergies know how to well the social embarrassment of being on a day with a runny nose, a business meeting where you can stop sneezing our having to cancel a day to the park because of an asthma attack.  Allergies sufferers are often thought to have recurrent colds and to be sick all the time.  Allergies change our voice and the authority and confidence we present ideas with in meetings or school.  Asthma attacks and food allergies drive us to the emergency room every year.
Knowing what is triggering your symptoms and having a plan for prevention puts you back in control over the cause of these attacks. An allergist and immunologist will help you determine a specific plan to prevent your symptoms.  Treatments for allergies including action plans, environmental control measures, medications and immunotherapy (allergy shots).


Uncontrolled Allergies affect our sleep.
Daily fatigue and poor sleep is a common complaint of those who suffer from allergies.  Children and adults have difficulty concentrating during the daytime secondary to poor allergy control.  Nasal congestion during sleep and waking from sneezing can trigger snoring and sleep apnea.  Uncontrolled asthma can cause a persistent dry cough and frequent interruptions in your sleep cycle. Both of these disease leads to "allergic" inflammation that makes many feel groggy and tired.  Improved control over your asthma and allergies will improve your energy levels and focus.


Uncontrolled Allergies and Asthma are Preventing you From Exercising
So many of my patients tell me that they want to start to exercise, but feel they can't because of uncontrolled asthma or hives with exercise.    Asthma and hives are often triggered by exercise.  You don't have to have asthma at any other time other than during exercise to have exercise induced asthma.  Symptoms include chest tightness, air hunger, cough and shortness of breath.  Seeing an allergist will help you get control over your exercise induced symptoms so you can exercise and do the activities you want to do like hiking or run a race.

Your Allergies are Causing Skin Problems
Did you know that 12-17% of the population is affected with skin allergies including eczema  and chemical allergies.  Skin allergies cause social embarrassment, sleep disruption, and change the way we interact with others. Every day we put over 200 chemicals on our bodies that can cause allergic sensitization over time.  Treating skin allergies with topical steroids is only a band-aid approach- it stops the reaction, but does nothing to prevent it from happening in the future.    Knowing what is triggering the eczema or rash on your face and avoiding it can stop the cycle.  Seeing an allergist advice will help you determine the cause of your rash and how to prevent it from starting.


You Want to To Get Back to Nature
Many who suffer from allergy tell me how they dread the spring, summer and fall because despite wanting to go and enjoy nature, they get terribly sick from trips to the park, golf course, and being outside with their friends.  They say no to social engagements for fear of an allergy attack. They change the way they date because they are allergic to cats and dogs.  They suffer from "sinusitis" every spring and fall and have to take multiple courses of antibiotics before feeling well.Seeing an allergist now can help you put together a plan to prevent your symptoms.  Knowing what triggers your symptoms is the first step to taking back your life from you allergies.

Good luck with all of your resolutions in 2016! Gramercy Allergy and Asthma hopes you gain control over your allergies in the new year.  We are here to help.   Call the office or click her to schedule an appointment.