UAS WAO Abstract Published Online

Congratulations to Frederick M. Schaffer, M.D., CMO; Larry Garner, allergy consultant; and Andrew Naples, clinical research coordinator; on the recent publication of The Safety of the United Allergy Services Immunotherapy Protocol. The abstract was published online in a supplement to the World Allergy Organization (WAO) Journal on February 3, 2014.

WAO

Click the link to access the publication: http://www.waojournal.org/content/7/S1/P24

The data was presented at the WAO Annual Symposium on Immunotherapy and Biologics in Chicago. The team earned Top Abstract Award by the WAO and was honored at the symposium in December.


Something To Sneeze At: National Survey Reveals That Majority Of Seasonal/Perennial Allergy Sufferers Want To Be Treated By A Primary Care Physician--Not An Allergist

SAN ANTONIO, Jan. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- According to the results of a recent United Allergy Services survey, two-thirds (68 percent) of U.S. seasonal/perennial allergy sufferers would rather seek treatment for their allergy symptoms from a primary care physician (PCP) than an allergist. Allergies are the fifth leading chronic disease in the U.S. among all agesi, and, with repeated exposure to allergens, many patients can develop allergic asthma. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that today, approximately 50 million Americans suffer from allergies and allergic asthma, and the prevalence is increasing.

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Allergists Accused Of Shutting Out Competition

The Academy of Allergy & Asthma in Primary Care and United Allergy Services hit several coalitions of board-certified allergists, including the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, with a lawsuit in Texas federal court Monday, alleging anti-competitive practices.

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Less Variety in Babies’ Gut Bacteria May Lead to Asthma Risk

Swedish study followed 47 infants for 7 years.

FRIDAY, Jan. 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Infants with fewer types of intestinal bacteria are at increased risk for developing asthma, a small new study suggests.

Researchers assessed the varieties of gut bacteria in 47 infants and then followed them until they were 7 years old. At that age, 17 percent had chronic asthma, 28 percent had hay fever, 26 percent had the skin condition eczema, and 34 percent reacted to the allergens in a skin prick test.

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Data presented at World Allergy Organization Annual Symposium demonstrates safety of self-administered allergy shots

SAN ANTONIO– December 13, 2013 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 that data from a recent retrospective study citing the safety of UAS’ protocols for seasonal and perennial allergy treatment in the primary care setting will be presented at the World Allergy Organization’s (WAO) Annual Symposium on Immunotherapy and Biologics in Chicago. The abstract was also recognized with a Top Abstract Award by the WAO.

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Your Month-by-Month Guide to Allergies

You may feel as though you have year-round allergies, and you may be right. See what's most likely to be causing you to sneeze and wheeze as the months go by.

If you suffer from allergies for even part of the year, you may wonder when you'll get a reprieve. People with spring allergies, fall allergies, or winter allergies might feel relief during their off seasons, but for those who experience allergy symptoms year-round — it's a constant battle with allergens in the air. Here's a look at which allergies plague people most — and when.

January

During the winter, there's less pollen (if any) floating around, but cranking up the heat indoors can kick up house dust, a winter allergy trigger. If you're allergic to dust, winter allergies can be just as bad as in the spring and fall. To reduce dust exposure, it helps to keep your home's humidity below 55 percent, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter regularly, and encase pillows and mattresses with dust-mite-proof covers.

February

Mold and dust can cause year-round allergy symptoms, but even if dust and mold don't bring on the sniffles for you, trees can cause your allergies to flare at this time of year, depending on where you live. "We can see tree pollen as early as February, even in the Northeast," says Marjorie L. Slankard, MD, an associate attending physician and director of the Allergy Clinic at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. In the United States, trees that commonly cause allergies include catalpa, elm, hickory, olive, pecan, sycamore, and walnut. Tree pollen can cause the same symptoms as most spring allergies — watery eyes, sneezing, and nasal congestion

March

Tree pollen remains high on the list of allergens for March, which marks the beginning of spring. "If the trees, grasses, and pollens start coming out early, March can be rough going for people with spring allergies," Dr. Slankard says. Though nice spring weather beckons you outside, if you have spring allergies, keep your eye on the pollen count. The higher the count, the worse the allergies will be. A good place to check pollen counts is at the National Allergy Bureau of the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology.

April

April showers can bring … spring allergies. All that rain can make for blooming flowers, but as beautiful as they are, flowers and their pollen means discomfort for people with spring allergies. In some areas of the country, grass pollen emerges in April, too. Between the pollen from the flowers and the pollen from the grass, spring allergies may make you feel especially miserable.

May

Allergic to tree pollen? Although tree pollination can begin as early as February, it can last through May. That means you might need to slog through spring allergies for four long months. Grass pollen can also emerge this time of year in some parts of the country.

June

June is a key grass pollen month in many areas, and it's likely that grass pollen will start to trigger your spring allergies by this time of year if it hasn't already. As the days get longer and the temperature gets higher, you'll probably want to spend more time outdoors. If you suffer from spring allergies, you may have good days and bad days — the temperature, the rainfall amount, and even the time of day will affect grass pollen levels, and you'll need to adjust accordingly.

July

The good news is that by July, grass pollen should subside and you might feel like your spring allergies are finally becoming manageable again. The bad news is that July marks the start of fungus spores and seeds, so if you're allergic to molds and spores, too, you may feel like your allergies never end. Mold can grow on fallen leaves, compost piles, grasses, and grains.

August

August is a prime month for people with summer allergies to mold spores, which peak during hot, humid weather. You might want to stay inside on days when the mold spore count is particularly high. The best way to keep away from these allergens is to run the air conditioning with a HEPA filter — this cool comfort indoors should help you feel better during the dog days of August.

September

Late summer/early fall ragweed is the most common cause of fall allergies. Depending on where you live, ragweed-fueled fall allergies can start in August or September and continue through October and possibly November. Pollen grains are lightweight and spread easily, especially on windy days. The more wet and windy autumn is in your area, the more easily the pollen spreads, and the worse your symptoms will feel

October

Chances that fall allergies will ease by October get better the farther north you go in the United States. But in warmer climates, fall allergies can linger well into this month. Seasonal rain and wind can also ramp up mold spores — if your fall allergies include mold or fungi spores, your symptoms may linger.

November

The ragweed pollen season usually ends by mid-November in most areas of the country. If you have fall allergies and react to fungi and molds, you probably face your worst symptoms in late summer and early fall. Although you might feel miserable from the end of March until November, making it seem like you have year-round allergies, you should get a break now. November may be one of the best months for people with outdoor allergies, which allows for enjoying the crisp weather. Then, just in time, indoor allergies to pet dander and indoor molds pick up.

December

As pretty as they are, real Christmas trees can make you wheeze and sneeze. It's likely not the tree itself that triggers allergies but the microscopic mold spores that can harbor in its branches. If you can't resist buying a live tree despite winter allergies, take it home a week before you plan to decorate it and leave it in a garage or an enclosed porch. Then give it a good shake to try to get rid of any spores.

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By Beth W. Orenstein
Medically reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH
everydayhealth.com

Study: Hay Fever More Commonly Found In Southern U.S. Kids

Children in the southern United States are more likely to suffer from hay fever, according to research conducted by the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI).

Researchers looked at data from over 91,000 kids, finding that over 18 percent suffered from the disorder. Hay fever rates were highest in the southern and southeastern U.S., while the lowest rates occurred in Alaska, Montana and Vermont.

"According to the study, wetter regions with average humidity were associated with a decreased number of children with hay fever," said Dr. Micheal Foggs, president elect of the ACAAI. "The study also found areas of the south with warm temperatures and elevated UV indexes seem to harbor more hay fever sufferers."

Over the counter hay fever remedies include nasal corticosteroid sprays, antihistamines, decongestants, montelukast (Singulair), allergy shots and sinus rinses.

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by RTT Staff Writer
November 15, 2013
rttnews.com


American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, Nov. 7-11

The annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology was held from Nov. 7 to 11 in Baltimore and attracted approximately 3,500 participants from around the world, including allergy and immunology specialists as well as other health care professionals. The conference featured presentations focusing on the latest advances in the prevention and treatment of asthma, food and medication allergies, immune dysfunction, and sleep apnea.

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When Allergies Trigger Asthma: Allergic asthma is the most common form of asthma. Proper diagnosis and treatment are key to preventing attacks.

More than 26 million Americans have asthma, and the number of people with it continues to rise. A chronic and potentially dangerous disease in which the airways of the lungs become inflamed, asthma is closely intertwined with allergies. “Anything that can cause allergies can also cause asthma symptoms,” said David Rosenstreich, MD, director of the Allergy and Immunology Division at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

As many as three out of four adults with asthma have at least one allergy. In fact, the most common form of asthma is allergic asthma, which accounts for 60 percent of all cases. Allergic asthma, also known as extrinsic asthma, is set off by inhaled allergens such as dust mites, mold, pollen, and pet dander. “When some people breathe in allergens, the tubes in their lungs become inflamed,” said Dr. Rosenstreich.

“People think of seasonal allergies as a runny nose, but your airway starts at your nose,” said Boyd Hehn, MD, a pulmonologist at Thomas Jefferson University and Hospitals in Philadelphia. “So it’s a chain reaction where that runny nose will cause the asthma to act up and the airway to become inflamed.”

Non-allergic, or intrinsic asthma, can be triggered by other factors such as anxiety, stress, exercise, cold air, and viruses. But many of the symptoms are the same for both kinds of asthma, including coughing, wheezing, tightness in the chest, and shortness of breath.

Rachel Lewis has been dealing with allergic asthma since she was a child, and she suffered her first asthma attack at age 7. “The doctors told me I would grow out of my allergies, but they’ve only gotten worse,” said Lewis, 30.

For people like Lewis, it’s critical to manage their exposure to allergens that may trigger attacks.

Doctors who suspect a patient has allergic asthma perform tests to see what they’re specifically allergic to. This can be done with a skin test, where a small amount of allergen is placed on top or slightly below the skin with a needle. Doctors then look for an immediate reaction, usually a rash resembling a mosquito bite. A blood test can also be done to look for allergen-specific antibodies in the bloodstream.

Fall allergy season is here, and people sensitive to common autumn allergens such as ragweed and mold are starting to feel its effects.

“Once the ragweed comes out, a lot of asthma patients are coming into the office,” said Dr. Hehn. “Controlling the allergies can only help in limiting asthma symptoms.”

Lewis lives in Texas, where fall can be a windy season with a lot of allergens blowing around. She’s looking forward to winter, “when I can go outside and actually breathe.”

Experts recommend those sensitive to seasonal allergies limit their time outdoors on days when there are high allergen counts. These daily counts can be found online through the National Allergy Bureau, part of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

There are several simple steps that someone with allergic asthma can take to control their symptoms. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Keep home and car windows shut during peak allergy times.
  • Use an in-home air filtration system.
  • Protective bedding covers can keep dust mites out of pillows and mattresses.
  • Limit cats and dogs to certain rooms in the home, and keep them out of the bedroom.
  • Bathing pets regularly reduces allergen counts, and frequent vacuuming can help control dander.

Lewis has her own strategies to manage her allergic asthma:

  • She takes hot showers after she’s been outside and exposed to pollen.
  • She only uses fragrance-free laundry detergents.
  • When she cleans, she wears a mask.
  • She keeps a lint roller with her to get pet dander off her clothing.

“It’s a constant effort to keep all my symptoms balanced and controlled,” said Lewis. “Some people think I’m overreacting and making my allergic asthma a bigger deal than it is. But until you go through that experience of not being able to breathe, then you don’t really know what it’s like and how scary it can be.”

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By Dr. Sanjay Gupta
October 29, 2013
everydayhealth.com


Allergy Testing and Treatment in Your Medical Practice

In this week's installment of revenue sources for your medical practice, I want to introduce to you different ways of thinking about testing and treating your patients for their seasonal allergies. The results for your patients and bottom line are nothing to sneeze at.

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