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Monday, 07 July 2014 14:12

The Worst U.S. Cities For Spring Allergies

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Photo-of-states-worst-allergies-PremierAllergyWatery eyes. Itchiness. Trouble breathing. Some of us know much better than others that the effects of spring allergies can be very problematic during that certain time of the year. While others see beautiful sunny skies and flowers blooming, some of us are just waiting for the months to pass, so we can get back to normalcy. Did you know that some cities are much worse for these reactions than others? Take a look at some of the worse cities to live in for springtime allergic reactions. 

Birmingham, Alabama 

With so much pollen in the air at springtime, people living in this southern city can find it difficult to walk outside without dealing with itchiness and water eyes. Spring allergies in Birmingham are very common. 

Dallas, Texas 

Dallas is guilty of having one of the highest pollen counts in the United States. The cypress, elm, ash and cedar trees that heavily populate this city are to blame for the allergic reactions that Dallas residents have to deal with throughout March and April. The area is also low in doctors, so appropriate allergy treatment can be scarce. 

Jackson, Mississippi 

Jackson is the largest city in the state of Mississippi, and its citizens understand how complicated it can be to live there when the allergy season is at its worse. Unlike some other cities Jackson is home to a high number of doctors who specialize in this area, so the future may be bright for people dealing with itchy, watery eyes. 

Louisville, Kentucky 

Are you noticing a pattern here? The cities with the worst spring allergies are all located in the south of the U.S., and Louisville is at the top of the list for the worst cities to experience those troublesome allergic reactions during springtime with pollen counts getting high as early as February. 

Monday, 07 July 2014 14:12

The Types of Allergy Tests

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Photo of allergist looking at allergy testing If you suffer from allergies, you are probably curious about what exactly causes your specific problems. Allergy testing can help you to get to the bottom of the cause of your symptoms. Whether you get red, itchy eyes when you go outside during springtime, or you can't pet a cat without become extremely itchy, these thorough examinations can help you discover what exactly is causing your issue. Depending on the nature of your reaction, a different examination may be more appropriate for your needs. There are two main types of examinations that can be conducted.

 

Skin Test

During this examination, different allergens will be placed on your skin. The doctor will take note of the reactions that you exhibit. There are a few types of skin allergy tests that can be conducted. The intradermal exam involves injecting an allergen into the skin. The prick test is conducted by putting a small allergen solution onto the skin. Needle pricks or scratches are made to allow small amount of the allergen to get into the skin. Skin patches can also be placed onto the skin for extended periods of time to reveal skin allergies.

This type of allergy testing leads to on-the-spot results where your skin may or may not react within a few minutes to the allergens you are exposed too.

Blood Test

Your blood can be analyzed for substances that may cause allergic reactions. Skin testing is the more common form of examination, but blood allergy tests are common for people who have an existing skin condition, or people who are unable to stop taking a certain medication. This test is a bit more comfortable for patients considering that the allergens are not being directly exposed to the skin, but this also means that results may take a while longer to return from your doctors lab.

The results of your examination can reveal what kind of treatment you that you may benefit you best. Consult your doctor today to learn more about which allergy tests will be right for you.

For people who suffer from allergies, the home can be an unexpected source of irritants. In almost every room in your home, there are allergens lurking that can make you miserable. Here are 4 tips for combatting them in your home:

1. Is there a fireplace in your house? If your fireplace is made of wood, it can be a source of displeasures. The wood you’re using may be growing mold. Be sure to check any wood before bringing it into your house.

2. Are any of your rooms carpeted? If you can replace your carpet with hardwood or tile floors, this would be a great way to reduce the amount of allergens in your home. Transitioning to hardwood floors will prevent any unwelcomed irritants from claiming a residence in your plush carpet.

3. Are your windows and doors in good shape? If replacing the carpet is not a possibility, you should make sure all windows and door entrances are in good shape and are sealed as tightly as possible. Allergens that make their way inside of your home will normally find someplace to settle.

4. Have you taken a good look at your bathroom, lately? Mold can be a huge problem on many different bathroom surfaces. It can grow on shower curtains and even be circulated through the air. To prevent this problem from spreading, you can use mold killing solutions, and an exhaust fan to help reduce the humidity in your bathroom.

Scientists have studied that those who suffer from allergies have bodies that produce a specific antibody in response to its exposure to substances that are harmless in most cases; these substances can include peanuts, pollen, cat and dog dander, and more. Scientists also discovered that symptoms tend to change as people age.

As many understand today, the explanation is relatively simple. When someone is very young, between birth and the age of 18, they tend to remain in the same environment and therefore, around the same substances. Parents or other adults probably serve them the same types of food and use the same laundry detergent and cleaning supplies for most of their life, so far.

When someone moves out of their family’s home, the substances around them will be different. In a college dorm, for instance, pets aren’t there, mattresses are covered in plastic, and tiles are on the floor rather than carpet. Removing potential allergens can help to lessen allergic reactions and symptoms in this stage.

Once the thirties begin, however, people tend to report an increase in their symptoms. This can be a result of many things. Having children in their home can be one of the reasons. Kids carry huge amounts of germs and allergens; they spread them to anyone who’s around.

Some reasons can be purely psychological. For instance, a person in their twenties is normally better at distracting themselves from symptoms by engaging in so many other pursuits. The logic here is simple - someone who is young and having fun won’t let allergies stop them. Someone in their thirties is more likely to notice and complain about their symptoms.

So what can someone in their thirties do to get rid of their resurgence of allergies? The perfect answer is being researched. However, you can choose to live such an exciting life that you don’t even notice, like twenty year olds, or you can simply continue taking your allergy medications.

Drastic climate changes have been known to affect the environment in a great way. Most simply notice hotter summers and colder winters, but many haven’t considered the effect extreme climate changes have on allergies.

For an allergy sufferer, there is an immense amount of evidence that shows how climate change can complicate their comfortable lifestyle. Many doctors this season have reported an increased number of patients who were sneezing or complaining about itchy eyes. This can be attributed to an increase of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. Higher levels of CO2 is always great for plants because it makes them grow quicker, producing more. For instance, it can help a rose bush grow more flowers. However, the increased growth in plants causes them to produce more pollen and other allergens. As a direct result, the increase of pollen in the air will lead to more people suffering from allergies and asthma.

So, what is being done to help alleviate the problem? Today, studies are being funded by the EPA to help analyze any long term effects of more pollen counts in the air. They are also studying to learn if other types of allergies, such as food or hay fever, will also be affected. Scientists and physicians are working on the problem from many different angles, to both alleviate patients’ symptoms and to mitigate climate change and its effects.

Thursday, 05 June 2014 16:10

Will the Polar Vortex Make Allergy Season Worse?

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Polar Vortex Makes Allergy Season Worse Premier Allergy You may think the misery of the “polar vortex” winter is over, but sadly, it can still have an effect in months to come for allergy sufferers this allergy season. It seems as if the extreme cold temperatures should have killed everything, but that, unfortunately, is not the case.

Since we had extreme cold temperatures for much longer than our average winter months, it shortened the typical growing season for all of the spring plants that produce allergens. So now, the new spring temperatures, that we are all so excited for, have caused the pollen producing plants to come into bloom at once! This can compound problems for allergy sufferers. The growing season would usually take place over several weeks, but this spring and summer, it is taking place all at the exact same time.

Normally, we think of different allergens as having different seasons. This means that trees tend to cause problems during the spring and that grass tends to cause problems during the summer. However, when the weather gets warmer very quickly, it can cause some complications for allergy season.

So, what can you do to lessen your suffering this year? One thing is to keep your windows closed to prevent any pollen or other allergens from getting into your home. You should also shower before you get in bed to get any errant pollen off of you. A neti pot would also be very helpful. Hopefully, you can enjoy a safe allergy season!

Tuesday, 22 April 2014 00:00

How Do You Choose an Allergist?

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We know you have choices when it comes to picking an allergist., and we think there are a lot of reasons to pick Premier Allergy. First, we have eight convenient locations in the Columbus metro region. This makes appointments for your whole family easier, whether you are coming from school, work, or home.  

We can offer faster results with our rush immunotherapy solution. Instead of waiting weeks or months for full relief, you can ask your allergist to speed up the process. And typically, they can do it!  

If you suspect a penicillin allergy, our allergists have a unique testing procedure that tests for all components of the drug allergy. Our testing is more comprehensive than the standard penicillin test. Don’t take chances with this potentially life-threatening allergy.  

We use a special tool called a nasal endoscope to look inside of your nose and throat. Our endoscope is smaller than what is typically used, so we can see more potential issues than others can.  

We know you’re busy and we want to be available when it’s convenient for you. Ask for an appointment as early as 7 a.m. or as late as 7 p.m. You can also come see us on a Saturday if you just can’t find free time during the week.

Tuesday, 08 April 2014 00:00

Take Charge of your Allergies

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Have you been suffering from seasonal allergies for months or years, but were afraid to get tested for fear of needles or discomfort? What if we told you that we could give you a skin test without needles and get you results in just 20 minutes? Yes, you read that right. Our office provides allergy testing that requires no needles.  

Our procedure uses small plastic devices containing a small amount of the allergen we test for. The allergy test can check for many different allergies including pet dander, local grasses and trees, molds, and pollen. Our allergist will place the plastic devices on the back and do a small scratch of the skin. The skin is then labeled so we know which allergen was tested in that spot. Then, you just have to hang out and wait about 20 minutes to see which allergens produce a welt. A welt is just a small bump similar to a mosquito bite. It may be itchy, but most patients do not experience pain from the procedure.  

Allergy testing doesn’t have to be scary. Once you know what your body is allergic to, you can work with your allergist to come up with a treatment plan that addresses your specific allergies.   In addition to skin testing, we offer other diagnostic procedures to test for asthma, lung diseases, food, and chemical allergies. Check out our procedures on our website: http://www.premierallergyohio.com/diagnostics-procedures/. 

Thursday, 03 April 2014 00:00

The Eight Most Common Food Allergies

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Food allergies are typically caused by eight common ingredients: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish. These foods can initiate annoying skin reactions or life-threatening breathing problems. Because of the danger posed to those who are allergic to these foods, companies are required to display allergy warnings on their ingredients list.  

Milk is the most common allergy among American children. Typically, 80% outgrow the allergy by the time they are six years old. Those allergic to cow’s milk must also avoid butter, yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese, cheese, and any other products made from cow’s milk.  

Eggs are second in the list of most common food allergies. Once again, 80% of children often outgrow this allergy by six years of age. Many immunizations are grown in hen’s eggs, so you’ll want to be sure to double check with your doctor before your child is given any shots.  

Peanuts are more likely to cause severe allergic reactions. Only 20% of children outgrow this allergy, while 80% will have to deal with it throughout life. In addition to the nut itself, you’ll need to avoid products that contain peanut oil.  

Tree nuts also tend to bring lifelong food allergies. Only 9% of children outgrow the sensitivity. As with peanuts, tree nuts are very likely to cause life threatening reactions. It’s entirely possible to be allergic to one type of nut, or many different varieties.  

An allergy to fish or shellfish tends to develop later in life. Once it’s discovered, this allergy is typically severe and lifelong. It’s especially important to inform restaurant staff of a fish or shellfish allergy as fish are often fried in the same oil as other foods. Soy and wheat allergies seem to be increasing in the United States. In addition to foods, soy and wheat products are used to make toys and other non-food items. As with foods, these ingredients should be listed on the products tag.

iStock 000012840607Small-300x199Ragweed sufferers may now be able to find relief in the form of a one-a-day pill. Ragweed allergy is commonly referred to as hay fever, or by the medical term seasonal allergic rhinitis. Sufferers often experience stuffy noses, itchy, watery eyes, and congestion, sometimes so severe that they seek relief from an allergist. Midwest residents are particularly susceptible to the condition, due to the amount of pollen the environment produces. However, until now, there was no medical remedy specifically targeted at this particular malady.  

A team of physician-scientists at Johns Hopkins have released information about a new, one-a-day pill that could end the suffering related to ragweed allergies. This pill contains a concentrated dose of ragweed pollen protein, or Ambrosia artemisiifolia, and is placed under the tongue to dissolve. Their studies show that the dose, taken 12 weeks before the onset of the allergy season, effectively prevents all the symptoms of the ragweed allergy. Doctor approval has been widespread, with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory committee ruling that the pill is safe and effective.  

So when will this revolutionary new drug be available to the public? That may take some time, experts predict. The FDA hasn’t officially approved the new drug, and warns that the pill only affects the symptoms of ragweed, so people who are allergic to other plants as well may not get the relief they expect.  

If you are currently suffering from pollen-related symptoms, consider visiting your local allergist. You can receive weekly or monthly shots that have proven to reduce allergy symptoms. People with severe allergies know how difficult living with this problem can be, and in some cases symptoms can actually hinder daily activities. Hopefully this new drug will ease the pain of millions of ragweed sufferers.

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