Researchers evaluated children ages 2-16 years of age and found that 42% of the time, proper steps for inhaler technique were not followed. And 18% of the time, a spacer device was not used with their inhaler. A spacer is a device that is recommended for use with certain inhalers to help the medication reach the lungs. Though the study looked at very young children, they found that teens were the MOST likely to make mistakes or to not use a spacer. Also, it is common to think that spacer devices are only for children, when in fact we recommend them for adults and teens as well. Using a spacer deivce boosts the amount of medication getting to the lungs from 34% to 83%! Improper inhaler technique can lead to uncontrolled asthma, more symptoms and “sick visits” to doctor’s offices, ER’s, or urgent cares. It can also lead to stronger medication being prescribed unnecessarily. Other studies have shown that many patients misuse their inhalers or miss an important step, even if they have been on the same inhaler for many years. If you are prescribed an inhaler for asthma, staff at AAAI are more than willing to demonstrate proper use of your inhaler and spacer device. If you are not sure if you are using it correctly, or your inhaler recently changed, be sure to ask staff for a demonstration and proper teaching. If the right medication is being used properly, this can lead to optimal asthma control and a full, rich life despite being an asthma patient!
Q: Is there such a thing as a hypoallergenic dog? A: The answer is No! This may surprise you – There’s no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog breed! Many people think that dog allergies are caused by a dog’s fur, but the real source is a protein that’s found in the saliva and urine. […]
Many patients at AAAI suffer from hives or urticaria. Hives are itchy welts that appear on the surface of the skin. They are caused when special cells in your immune system, called mast cells, release histamine. Sometimes mast cells are affected in deeper layers of skin and this causes swelling (angioedema), most commonly in the lips, eyes, hands and feet. Hives typically come and go and move around throughout different areas of the body and of course are very, very itchy.
Acute Vs. Chronic Hives:
When hives have been occurring for less than 6 weeks, they are called “acute” hives. Acute hives that happen randomly are most commonly caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Patients that have food or drug allergies may get hives immediately after accidentally ingesting their allergen, which is a sign of an allergic reaction. Others that are allergic to different airborne allergens can get hives when exposed to those allergens as well (such as hives when petting a dog, or from sitting in the grass).
Chronic hives are when hives have been occurring pretty consistently for more than 6 weeks. Chronic hives are often caused by over-stimulation of the immune system which results in mast cells releasing histamine. This condition is often called, “chronic idiopathic urticaria.” The term “idiopathic” means it occurs randomly with no known cause. Chronic, random hives are not caused by a food, a drug or the environment. Often if a patient has suspicion that a food or drug was involved, working with your allergist we can perform a complete history and examination and blood or skin tests if needed to help determine the underlying cause. However, with chronic hives, often no cause is identified.
The good thing is that chronic hives are not dangerous and do not affect one’s long term health. There are multiple safe medications patients can take to control hives and itching while we are waiting for the condition to resolve. There medications include both second generation antihistamines (such as Claritin, Zyrtec or Allegra) and sometimes first generation antihistamines (such as Benadryl and Hydroxyzine). We will often use antacids such as Zantac and Pepcid, which are acid reflux medications but can also help hives. Singulair can sometimes be used and if hives are severe we can use oral steroids to improve the condition. If hives or itch are severe and uncontrolled with medications, we can use a biologic (an injected drug that works with your immune system) to improve the hives called Xolair. Allergy medications prescribed for hives need to be taken every day, sometimes twice daily, to help control the condition. Your allergist or PA will help you determine what the best treatment course is for you!
- Food Allergy Awareness Week – May 12 – 18May 15, 2019 - 10:16 am
- A new study suggests that almost half of children and teens with asthma misuse their asthma inhalers!April 23, 2019 - 3:28 pm
- Is there such a thing as a hypoallergenic dog?March 15, 2019 - 4:43 pm
- CHRONIC URTICARIA (CHRONIC HIVES):February 13, 2019 - 9:05 am