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Common Mistakes in Treating Spring Allergies

Spring Trees, courtesy of Tom Curtis from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Some of the most common ways people combat their spring allergy symptoms may not be providing relief at all. Here are five common mistakes and advice on how to better control the sneezing and wheezing that comes with pollen season:

  • Treating symptoms without knowing their specific cause. More than two-thirds of spring allergy sufferers actually have year-round allergies! It is important to see an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of allergies and asthma. Your board-certified allergist will perform tests that will determine what your specific triggers are and find the right treatment to improve your quality of life.
  • Treating after the symptoms start. Don't wait until you're feeling bad to take allergy medication that has worked for you in the past – begin taking it just before the season starts. Make sure you follow the pollen count at atlantaallergy.com or sign up to receive a daily email with the count and the contributing pollens. But know that as soon as the weather begins to warm, pollens and molds will be released into the air and your symptoms won’t be far behind.
  • Racking up drugstore receipts with no relief. Eight in ten allergy or asthma suffers said self-medication falls short of being “very effective" in treating their symptoms. Often people try numerous combinations of drug store meds prior to seeking the advice of an allergy specialist. If over-the-counter medications aren’t working, speak with your allergist about treatment alternatives such as nasal sprays or allergy shots, which can provide relief from your allergies and save you money in the long run.
  • Not avoiding triggers. It is important to find the right treatment plan, but it is also important to minimize your exposure to your allergic triggers. If you have a pollen allergy, click here for tips on avoiding triggers and minimizing symptoms.
  • Eating produce that can trigger spring allergy symptoms. One in three seasonal allergy sufferers experience an itchy mouth, lips, or throat, and may sniffle and sneeze after eating certain raw foods or fresh fruit. This condition is called oral allergy syndrome. The immune system of people who are allergic to pollen can sense a similarity between the proteins of pollen and those in foods. If you are allergic to tree pollen, eating apples, cherries, pears, apricots, kiwis, oranges, plums, almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts may cause a reaction. Cooking or peeling these foods may help, but be sure to talk with your allergist if you are experiencing any reactions to foods.

Participants Needed for Asthma Research Study

Atlanta Allergy & Asthma’s Research Department is looking for qualified participants for an asthma research study. We are looking for people with uncontrolled asthma. To be considered for this study, you must:

  • Be between 18 and 75 years of age
  • Have received an asthma diagnosis at least one year ago
  • Be taking an inhaled Corticosteroid and a second controller medication for the last 6 months, with no dose changes to these medications in the 4 weeks prior to the study
  • Have asthma that is not controlled by these medications

All study-related visits, tests, and drugs will be provided at no cost. In addition, reimbursement for time and travel may be provided.

To learn more:

Stockbridge Research - 770 996-5354 or email mcoggins@atlantaallergy.com 

Marietta Research - 770 592-4210 or email smaner@atlantaallergy.com


New Treatment Option for Allergies

The physicians of AAAC are pleased to announce an additional treatment option for management of your allergies. Sublingual Immunotherapy, SLIT, is a desensitization treatment in which patients’ self-administer allergen drops under their tongue on a daily basis. Although not as effective as allergy shots, medical research done both in Europe and the United States has found that SLIT therapy is quite safe and effective at building a patient’s tolerance to allergic triggers and ultimately improving symptoms.

SLIT may be an option for certain types of allergy patients. SLIT is not yet approved by the FDA, therefore at this time, insurance companies are not reimbursing for this form of immunotherapy. Please contact our office if you have additional questions or make an appointment to see your allergist to review your management plan to see if you may be a candidate for this new treatment.


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Pollen Count

Total Pollen Count for 4/24/2014: 1375

Trees
Grass
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