In The News: Charleston Allergy

Over the Counter Medicine Charleston Allergy & Asthma

Do Over the Counter Allergy Medications Really Work?

Patients, friends, and acquaintances often ask, “what is the best over-the-counter medication for nasal allergy symptoms?” Adults and children with mild to moderate allergy symptoms are fortunate in that most of the best allergy medications are now available over-the-counter. Over the past several years and in part due to efforts by consumer advocacy groups, safe and effective medications for allergies including long-acting, nonsedating antihistamines and nasal steroid sprays have been made available without prescription. While there are still a few types of allergy medications that require a prescription, these prescription medications are not always superior in efficacy to the over-the-counter medicines.

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PPIs and Asthma

Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) Getting Bad Press: Still a Great Medicine for Asthmatics

Asthma is unfortunately a common condition (1 in 13 in U.S. populationand many people who have it also suffer from gastroesophageal refluxa digestive disease in which stomach acid or bile “refluxes” back onto the swallowing tube (esophagus) and ] irritates the lining. Reflux can be a reason for worsening asthma symptoms. What happens is acid comes up ancan spill tiny amounts into the lungs at the level of the larynx (voice box). If someone has twitchy, asthmatic lungs, this tiny bit of gastric acid in the lungs can cause acute asthma. These episodes happen most frequently at night, as we often hear people describe waking up coughing and choking in the middle of the night. 

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What is Food Oral Immunotherapy?

People with food allergies have traditionally been advised that the only option for treatment is to avoid the food and treat any reactions that may occur from accidental exposure. This can be very difficult and anxiety provoking for patients and families, especially as children start attending school, camps and birthday parties.  Many allergists are working hard to find other, more effective, ways to manage food allergies.  One strategy that has shown benefit is food oral immunotherapy, or OIT.  

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2nd Annual Peanut Free Night SOLD OUT!

We got off to a rough start with having to cancel our original date due to some pretty terrible weather back in July. Luckily, our rescheduled night couldn’t have been better weather wise. We had a cool breeze sweeping through the stands as we watched the RiverDogs beat Columbia!

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Female Athlete with Vocal Cord Dysfunction VCD

Vocal Cord Dysfunction – A Very Common and Often Misdiagnosed Condition

Katie is a 16-year-old high school student who is a very good soccer player. She is currently playing on her high school team and a traveling squad of All-Stars. In the last 6 months, Katie has begun having excessive shortness of breath with wheezing while playing soccer. Symptoms are worse when she is playing a match but she also notes similar symptoms during practice. She has had one recent episode which was sufficiently severe and caused her to faint. Katie has seen her family physician and he has suggested that she may have exercise – induced bronchospasm (EIB). She has tried treating with inhaler prior to exercise however this medication has been ineffective and the symptoms continue.

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Charleston Allergy & Asthma Peanut-Free Night Charleston Riverdogs

Charleston RiverDogs Peanut-Free Night!

We are excited to announce the second annual Charleston RiverDogs Peanut-Free Night! RiverDogs baseball is great fun for the entire family and fans of all ages. To ensure safety for fans with peanut allergies, we will have a special peanut-free section and the entire stadium will be power washed and scrubbed to remove any traces of peanuts! Additionally, bags will be inspected at the gates and all peanut products will be confiscated.

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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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