NEW PEER-REVIEWED ARTICLE DEMONSTRATES SAFETY OF SELF-ADMINISTERED ALLERGY SHOTS

NEW PEER-REVIEWED ARTICLE DEMONSTRATES SAFETY OF SELF-ADMINISTERED ALLERGY SHOTS


December 17, 2014

(Dec. 16, 2014) SAN ANTONIO – United Allergy Services (UAS) ®, a leading healthcare services company assisting family physicians and health systems to deliver safe and effective allergy testing and customized immunotherapy services, today announced the publication of an original article that analyzes the safety of implementing a self-administration protocol of allergen immunotherapy characterized by patient pre-selection and a slow buildup process. The peer-reviewed article written by Frederick M. Schaffer, M.D., a board certified allergist and lead investigator of the study, Andrew Naples and Larry Garner has been published online in the International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology.

The article, “The safety of self-administered allergen immunotherapy during the buildup and maintenance phases” concludes that the risk of systemic, or adverse, reaction is lower with UAS treatment protocol than traditional dosage and fast buildup, or RUSH, methods that involve immunotherapy shots administered at a physician’s office. The UAS protocol in the study was administered by primary care physicians and is characterized by self-administration at home. Investigators conclude that the results are driven by UAS patient pre-selection to exclude those with a high risk of adverse reactions and slower, more incremental, immunotherapy buildup phase as a self-administered treatment for patients suffering from seasonal and perennial allergies.

The article states, “The enhanced safety of this protocol results in a decreased frequency and severity of adverse reactions. This safety report corroborates and expands the observations of previous studies of self-administered, subcutaneous immunotherapy in a low-risk patient population by assessing self-administered allergen immunotherapy during the buildup and maintenance phases.”

Until recently, the only real relief for allergies and allergic asthma remained primarily in the hands of allergists who administer immunotherapy shots. This already small community of approximately 5,000 U.S. specialists is expected to decline 6.8 percent by 2020, while demand for allergy-related services is projected to grow 35 percent in the same timeframe. This forecast only scratches the surface of the true demand for allergy and asthma care, as only a portion of the approximately 60 million Americans suffering from allergic rhinitis are aware of their condition and seek specialty care.

About United Allergy Services
United Allergy Services ® (UAS) brings effective and convenient allergy testing and immunotherapy to primary care physicians, pulmonologists, ENT physicians, pediatricians, internal medicine physicians, and healthcare systems that treat the vast majority of patients with seasonal and perennial allergies. UAS’ complete service line features in-office UAS Certified Clinical Allergy Technician staffing and training; quality assurance and compliance; and supply and inventory management. By collaborating with physicians to safely administer allergy testing and shots, UAS has assisted the expansion of access to effective allergy care for thousands of patients that suffer from seasonal and perennial allergies.

“Allergist-Immunologists.” US News. U.S.News & World Report, n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2013.

“Number of Board Certified Allergists in the United States.” American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2013. .

Allergist report.(n.d.). Retrieved from http://college.acaai.org/SiteCollectionDocuments/PDF/AllergistReport.pdf


Allergy season not quite over yet

Sneezing, itchy nose and watery eyes — each a symptom of allergic rhinitis.

Coined “hay fever” after farmers would commonly experience these fever-type symptoms working out in the fields, seasonal allergies has symptoms country boy Craig Anderson has experienced all his life.

“We would play in the weeds until our eyes got so inflamed that we couldn’t even find our way home. It was kind of the question of the blind leading the blind, trying to find our way home," he said. "But we managed it.”

Johnnie Cook, M.D., said seasonal allergies are caused by pollens in the air: “What happens is that you breathe in that pollen and your body has a reaction because it thinks that’s a foreign thing.”

In the springtime, grass and tree pollens are high. Pollen from weeds trickle in as early as August and sticks around until the first hard frost," he explained. Symptoms include itchy nose, sneezing, itchy eyes and nasal congestion, and seasonal allergies can lead to irritability and trouble sleeping.

“There are studies where we see more allergies and more asthma now than we used to in the past.” Cook said although there are no official studies yet available, he suspects the reasoning may be attributed to more pollution and kids spending more time indoors than playing outside.

Cook added that allergies can come at any age, typically after you've been exposed for several years. Thirty to 40 percent of seasonal allergies can be treated with over-the-counter medications. The doctor urges reading labels closely and pay special attention to how long the medication lasts.

“Some studies show that Benadryl in a 25 mg. dose can be as impairing as alcohol at a legal limit,” Cook said. If symptoms persist, make an appointment with your doctor to explore the one of the many options for treatment. “There are some great solutions out there. (Allergy sufferers) should really seek a physician rather than be miserable and miss out on life. Life’s too precious.”

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By Jenniffer Michaelson, KSL
October 14, 2014
heraldtimesonline.com


Ragweed, not goldenrod, to blame for allergies

Goldenrod is a recognized sight this time of year with its showy yellow flowers held high on stems moving back and forth by autumn winds. A field full of these vivid yellow blossoms is a sight to see with a bright blue fall sky as a background. But too often this plant is blamed for the sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes that many people suffer while goldenrod is blooming.

The common culprit causing these allergy symptoms is ragweed, not goldenrod.

If there is a plant sitting back snickering while pulling a practical joke and letting someone else (goldenrod) take the blame, ragweed is it. Ragweed blooms at the same time as goldenrod, August to frost. Ragweed pollen is windborne. Goldenrod pollen is not.

Ragweed releases its billions of tiny, lightweight pollen grains into the air this time of year. This windborne pollen causes much of the hay fever problems. Goldenrod pollen is too large and heavy and sticky to be windborne. It relies on insects to carry its pollen. I suppose if you put your nose right up into a cluster of goldenrod flowers and took a big sniff, you might be bothered by the pollen. But otherwise, it is not going to get into your nose.

Goldenrod is an innocent bystander as ragweed remains camouflaged releasing its pollen. Ragweed visually blends in with other green plants. Despite the fact that common ragweed, an annual, can grow three to greater than six feet in height, it just does not get your attention. It is quite common along roadsides, vacant lots and abandoned fields. Its inconspicuous flowers start out as green, similar in color to the leaves, turn a yellowish green and finally dry to a brown color. They are never showy.

Goldenrod is in the plant genus Solidago of which there are more than 100 species. We have at least eight species native to Northwest Florida. Most are perennials. Many insects are attracted to and help pollinate goldenrod flowers, including numerous species of butterflies, bees, wasps and beetles.

Goldenrod can be grown in landscapes. But be careful because it can spread by seed and underground stems called rhizomes. It is best used in naturalized gardens where it has room to spread. Goldenrod is not difficult to transplant. Make sure you have permission to dig it on someone else’s property. Select plants when they are in bloom as individual plants differ in how attractive they are. Plants should transplant quite well If you keep them well-watered.

Enjoy the bright yellow flowers of goldenrod this fall. But please do not blame them for your allergies.

Contact Larry Williams at 689-5850 or 689-5050; or e-mail lwilliams@co.okaloosa.fl.us. He is the Extension horticulture agent with the Okaloosa County Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida.

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By Larry Williams
October 12, 2014
nwfdailynews.com


Allergy Sufferers Beware

There's something in the air that's sickening many people with allergies. We spoke to the allergy experts and found out how the weather is to be blamed.
San Antonio During a drought, pollen counts are not as high mainly because the trees aren't healthy enough to produce pollen. But with all the rain we've had recently, we can expect the count to be heavier this season.

Fall Allergies Expected To Be In Full Force

Flowers are no longer blooming, but that doesn’t mean allergies aren’t still in the air.

If you’re sneezing more, a fall allergy might be triggering your problem.

Read more


8 Solutions For Miserable Mid-Workout Issues

Your nose outruns you

Just as you look at the weather forecast before exercising outside, allergy sufferers should get in the habit of checking the pollen count. (The Weather Channel, for example, routinely predicts this.) If an alert has been issued for your area, Frederick M. Schaffer, MD, chief medical officer of United Allergy Services in San Antonio, recommends adjusting your outdoor workouts accordingly. Pollen counts tend to peak between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., he says, so avoiding this time can reduce symptoms by up to 50%. If your nose is running all the time, you may have non-allergic rhinitis, chronic sinusitis, or a virus, says Schaffer. To pinpoint the cause, ask your physician about having a simple skin-prick test done. If your symptoms are not allergy related, prescription medications such as nasal ipratropium bromide or nasal azelastine can help.

Full article link at Prevention.com


5 ways to tame seasonal allergies

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, about 40 million Americans are afflicted with seasonal allergies. NurseWise, a national multilingual nurse triage and health education provider, has assembled a few helpful tips to help you proactively manage your exposure and response to allergens and allergy triggers.

Read more


Recent storms may cause a spike in allergy suffering

PHOENIX -- Like many people in the valley, Stephanie Rusden suffers from allergies.

"[I'm] always stuffed up, eyes are always red and so I have to worry about that," Rusden said.

To get by, she has to do a couple of different things.

"I try Claritin, but it doesn't really help, and then I take Benadryl for night and red eyes," she said.

With the recent storms dumping an enormous amount of rain, Rusden's allergies might spike as new plants start to sprout, grow and bloom.

Read more


Study finds thunderstorms worsen asthma, allergy symptoms

In one of the first studies of its kind done in the United States, a University of Georgia professor teamed up with faculty at Emory University to research the effect thunderstorms can have on people with asthma and allergies.

Read more


For Kids, Risks of Parental Smoking Persist: Study

TUESDAY, Aug. 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Smoking while pregnant or around an infant has long been linked to development of asthma and allergies in young children. Now, researchers have found that the risk may persist into the teen years.

Read more