“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.
Eosinophillic Esophagitis (EoE) is an inflammatory disorder which makes up a set of the eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders. This condition is characterized by infiltration of the wall of the esophagus with a type of white blood cell, eosinophil. EoE can develop at any age and commonly occurs in individuals with a past history of atopic diseases including allergic rhinitis, food allergy, atopic dermatitis, and asthma. Presenting symptoms in children usually include abdominal pains, vomiting, disinterest in eating, and failure to thrive. Presenting symptoms in adolescents and adults can include heartburn, difficulty swallowing, and most frequently, food impaction. Symptoms of EoE can be similar to those of gastroesophageal reflux but typically with the EoE, aggressive reflux therapy with proton pump inhibitors is usually ineffective in completely controlling symptoms.
The FDA has recently approved the first formulations of Sublingual Immunotherapy in the United States. Currently approved are two different formulations one for grass allergy and one for ragweed. It is likely that a formulation to treat dust mite allergy will also be approved in a couple of years. These come in the form of a dissolvable tablet that is placed under the tongue daily. Similar to allergy shots, sublingual immunotherapy exposes patients to the substances which they are allergic to in a way to decrease their sensitivity over time.
Who would benefit from these Sublingual Immunotherapy Tablets?
While Charleston is certainly a scenic, beautiful place to live, it can be tough on the allergies this time of year.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America ranks Charleston as the 26th-most-challenging city to live in with allergies this fall. The report is based on pollen levels, use of allergy medications per patient, and the number of allergists per patient.