Featuring Dr. Ellen Sher
Allergy Partners of New Jersey
Featuring Dr. Ellen Sher
Allergy Partners of New Jersey
For many asthmatics, winter time can be problematic. You may have been doing well last year, but you now find yourself reaching for your rescue inhaler all the time. There are several reasons for this.
1. First, the cold air is a common trigger for asthmatics. Typically, our nose does a good job of warming and humidifying the air we breathe; however, when colder, dryer air reaches our airways, it can trigger immediate symptoms. Asthmatics are particularly sensitive to sudden changes in temperature and will often experience wheezing and tightness in this setting. Some may only experience this with exercise as they breathe more cold air through their mouths. If possible, try to avoid the cold but when unavoidable, cover your nose and mouth and try to breathe through your nose.
2. We tend to spend more time indoors during the winter. For those with indoor allergies, this may worsen asthma symptoms. Indoor allergens such as pets, dust mites, and mold are often the culprits. Many use humidifiers due to the dry air; unfortunately, dust mites and molds prefer a more humid environment. Knowing what your allergies are is the key. This will help guide you to appropriate avoidance measures (such a dust mite mattress/pillowcase encasements) or allergy treatment directed by a board certified Allergy Partners Allergist.
3. Infections such as the common cold and the flu are more likely to occur in the winter. Infections can subsequently trigger asthma symptoms. Washing hands and avoiding sick contacts are essential for asthmatics. Additionally, the CDC recommends that everyone with asthma, 6 months or older, should get the flu shot. Influenza A (H3) predominates this year and the CDC predicts flu activity for several more weeks. It is not that asthmatics are more likely to get the flu; rather, the flu can trigger asthma attacks and is associated with a greater risk of pneumonia and other acute respiratory diseases.
4. For those who have had good asthma control, many have become more relaxed about taking their medicines. The winter months are often a reminder for those with asthma that this is a chronic disease and compliance with your regular medicines/inhalers, may help prevent increased symptoms during these winter months. Additionally, it is important that you have an action plan in order to respond to changes in symptoms quickly.
If you are struggling with your asthma this winter, see your trusted Allergy Partners Allergist to help determine what changes need to be made.
Allergy Partners of Dallas-Fort Worth
“Rhinitis”, the medical term for inflammation of the nose, gets no respect. Rhinitis is a common disorder that affects quality of life and has medical consequences if left untreated. Many medical professionals dismiss rhinitis as trivial, despite the fact that it ranks 5th among chronic conditions in terms of overall economic burden.
Nearly everyone suffers from infectious rhinitis, the “common cold”, at some point in their lives. Infectious rhinitis starts with a virus then resolves on its own.
Allergic rhinitis feels like a cold that lasts for weeks or months. Allergic triggers exist year round, even during winter. Allergic rhinitis can impair physical and social functioning. Persistent nasal congestion is associated with sleep-disordered breathing. Sleep disordered breathing affects our ability to focus, and can lead to irritability and depression. Sleep-disordered breathing in children causes inattention and poor learning. The classmates of children with rhinitis are distracted by sniffing and sneezing. Adults isolate themselves socially due to embarrassment caused by frequent nose blowing.
Untreated rhinitis takes a negative financial toll on other respiratory disorders, increasing treatment costs for asthma, chronic sinusitis and ear infections. Patients struggle to alleviate their misery with over-the-counter and prescription medications, while their health care providers overestimate patient satisfaction with medications.
Some patients take daily allergy medications but are not allergic. They suffer from a different type of rhinitis termed non-allergic rhinitis. Non allergic rhinitis symptoms worsen with certain prescription medications, smoke, and strong odors, including perfumes. These patients do not improve with allergy therapy, but instead of getting an accurate diagnosis, they often add more medications. Non allergic rhinitis sufferers can spend hundreds of dollars on medications and antibiotics that may not help.
Proper rhinitis diagnosis can improve treatment outcomes and cut medical costs. If you are regularly purchasing medications and your rhinitis is not controlled, it’s time to see an Allergy Partners Allergist for an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan.
Leigh Anne Schwietz M.D.
Allergy Partners of Western North Carolina
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The Centers for Disease Control recommends everyday actions to help
prevent the spread of respiratory diseases.
If you have an appointment scheduled and are suffering from cough, fever, or other symptoms of any respiratory infection, please call our office prior to your visit for instructions.