All posts by CharlestonAllergy

Can’t Catch Your Breath During Your Workout?

Did you know that over 25 million Americans suffer from asthma, 17+ million are adults and 6+ million are children? If you suffer from asthma, it is likely that you might experience symptoms when you exercise, known as Exercise Induced Bronchospasm (EIB). Additionally, there are some who cough, wheeze or get excessively short of breath only when they exercise. These individuals have what is termed Exercise Induced Asthma (EIA); many are elite athletes whose frequent training or overtraining can cause damage to the lungs.  Researching this condition might confuse you and honestly, it’s just semantics when you break it down between EIB and EIA. For all intents and purposes, we’ll refer to this condition as EIB.    

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Mouth Get Itchy When You Eat Certain Foods?

If you suffer from hay fever and you have experienced itchy mouth, palate, or scratchy throat after eating certain raw fruits and vegetables or tree nuts, you may have oral allergy syndrome (also known as pollen-food syndrome).  Oral allergy syndrome (OAS) is caused by cross reacting allergens (proteins) found in both pollens and raw fruits, vegetables, and some nuts.  As these food and pollen proteins are very similar in structure, our immune system recognizes them as identical and directs an allergic response against both of them.

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High Pollen Counts Affect Children’s Test Scores

With 50 million Americans suffering from allergies, it’s not surprising that there are two million missed school days due to pollen allergies. Dr. Thomas Harper states “allergies are often thought of as only nasal or eye problems, but it really can be a global issue. Allergies can affect your quality of life, quality of work, your basic day-to-day functioning.” Several studies have been done all over the world comparing pollen counts and student test scores. These studies indicate that when allergy suffers attended school they perform worse than their peers who do not suffer from allergies.

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Have You Been Misdiagnosed with Asthma?

A new study indicates as many as one in three individuals with a current diagnosis of asthma may have been misdiagnosed. This apparently is not uncommon when proper testing is not obtained with initial diagnosis. This study emphasis that diagnosis and long term management of asthma requires objective measurements of lung function and that without pulmonary function data in long term asthma management, misdiagnosis can often occur. We routinely perform breathing tests at Charleston Allergy & Asthma including spirometry, impulse oscillometry and methacholine inhalation challenge.

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Food Allergy Testing: The Dangers of Improper Testing and Misdiagnosis

Recent research published in the journal Pediatrics indicates that many general pediatricians are ordering the wrong tests to try and diagnose food allergies. This is leading to over diagnosis of food allergies, unnecessary food avoidance and increased health care costs. Given that many patients are currently paying up to $650 for EpiPens, proper diagnosis of food allergy is critical not only for patient lifestyle, but also for controlling costs.

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Asthma and Illness: When to Stay Home From School

“Mom, I don’t feel good.”

“Dad, I have a sore throat.”

You hear these words just as your child is waking up to get ready for school.  You think, “Oh no, do I keep them home, do they need to go to the doctor, or are they not really sick at all?”  For parents of kids with asthma this can be a difficult decision, as asthma flares are often triggered by respiratory illnesses.  A child with asthma not only has to battle cold symptoms but also manage the additional asthma symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, and wheezing.

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Dr. Word’s Allergy Friendly Valentine’s Day Cupcakes!

Dairy & Egg-Free Cupcakes

Approximately 2.5% of children suffer from cow’s milk allergy and approximately 1.3% of children suffer from egg allergy, making them the greatest causes of food allergy in children (greater than both peanut and wheat combined). Therefore it is not surprising that as an allergist I frequently have to tell parents of young children that their child has either or both of these allergies. As these diagnoses are often made before a child’s first birthday, parents often ask me “well what about our little one’s first birthday cake?” For years, I have mentioned great online sources for recipes, but never with the confidence of knowing the recipes found online were any good. As a mom who loves to cook and especially bake, I decided it was time to put a few recipes to the test.

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Is An Antibiotic Really Necessary?

Have you ever taken your child to the doctor only to be told that they will not prescribe you an antibiotic? You leave feeling frustrated, annoyed and not to mention you have a very sick kid on your hands. Well, the reasoning behind not providing you a prescription is because physicians are trying to make sure they are treating the appropriate infection the appropriate way. 

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