All posts by Charleston Allergy and Asthma

Girl touching arm

What is causing hives?

Hives (or urticaria) are often described as red, raised, itchy bumps or “welts” that move around and can occur anywhere on the body. Typically, individual bumps do not last for long periods of time, and once they go away, they usually leave behind normal skin with no bruising or scarring. 

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Winter Allergies Have You Down?

Winter allergy symptoms are the same symptoms that patients experience during other parts of the year. People often experience nasal congestion or stuffy nose, runny nose, itchy nose, sinus pressure, sneezing, postnasal drainage down the back of their throats, and itchy or watery eyes. Although there are not many grasses, trees, or weeds pollinating during the winter, there are plenty of other airborne allergens that can cause symptoms during the winter months. These primarily include indoor allergens that are present throughout the year, such as pet dander, dust mites, cockroach, and mouse. No matter how clean we all keep our homes and workspaces, environmental allergens are still present and can result in allergy symptoms.

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Allergy Friendly Fall Treats

The beginning of fall will hopefully bring with it cooler temperatures, lightly falling leaves and plenty of beautiful apples. It also makes a month since schools started back here in South Carolina.  Schools can be a stressful location for families of children with food allergies. Imagine sending your little one off to learn only to be riddled with worry that they could have food allergy exposure.

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Sesame: The New Peanut Allergy?

The United States has seen a rapid rise in the development of sesame allergy over the last 20 years.  Some experts consider sesame allergy to have “increased more than any other food allergy over the past 10 – 20 years” in the United States.  Increasing prevalence of sesame allergy has led to suggestions that our government issue regulations that require food labels to note the presence of sesame. Currently U.S. federal law does not require sesame contents in food packaging to be declared by food manufacturers.  These manufacturers are currently required to list the eight most common food allergens including milk, eggs, peanut, wheat, soy, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish.  

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First Peanut Allergy Drug On Cusp of Approval

AR101 is an investigational biologic oral immunotherapy produced by Aimmune therapeutics.  If that sounds like a mouthful, it is, so let’s break down what that really means. AR101 will be a commercially available “drug” with a proposed trade name of Palforzia. As such, it requires approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is currently considered “investigational” because it has not been approved by the FDA and is still under investigation. The term “biologic” refers to a product that is isolated from natural sources and not chemically manufactured. As explained by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, “oral immunotherapy (OIT) refers to feeding an allergenic individual an increasing amount of allergen with the goal of increasing the threshold that triggers a reaction.”  In the case of AR101, the product is designed for peanut allergic patients and the treatment goal is to reduce the frequency and severity of allergic reactions due to accidental peanut exposure. 

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Top 9 Asthma Triggers

Asthma is an inflammatory condition of the airways in your lungs. It effects 8-10% of the population – that’s 24 million Americans! Asthma usually begins in childhood but can occur in adulthood and is the #1 cause of missed school and work. Asthma is triggered by a variety of exposures detailed below.

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5 Hidden Allergies To Watch Out For

Sometimes allergies can be fairly obvious and occur in response to common exposures, for instance, when pollen covers your car in the springtime, and you can’t stop sneezing!  Other times it can be hard to recognize what is causing an allergic reaction. The cause may be something that you would never relate your symptoms to. We will discuss a few of these less recognized allergies below. 

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Pesky Summer Bug Bites: 101

Summer is here and the time is right for…tiny critters that sting and bite. While it is certainly nice to be able to go outside and enjoy the nice warm weather, this is the time of year when people suffer from reactions to insect bites and stings.  Some bug bites are painful, some spread disease, and some are uncomfortable but harmless. There are some misconceptions out there, so we’ll discuss specifically what you need to know regarding bothersome bug bites – which ones can cause life-threatening allergic reactions and which ones are just pesky pests. 

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