What is an Allergic Rhinitis – Hay Fever?

By Atul N. Shah, MD, FACAAI, FAAAAI,
Medical Director, Center4AsthmaAllergy.com;
Founder, AmazingAllergist.com;
Bestselling Author of “Allergies, and Awesome You

If you can not reduce or come off the allergy medications, you are likely a candidate for allergy vaccination (also known as “allergy shots” or allergen immunotherapy).

Now the allergen immunotherapy is availble as oral drops as well, for patients who can not commit to weekly injections in a medical setting. The oral or sublingual drops are considered safe and can be administered at home. Either form of allergen immunotherapy helps reduce and in many patients, eliminate the dependence on allergy medications.

About the Author:
Atul N. Shah, MD, FACAAI, FAAAAI, is a board certified allergist and the bestselling author of the children’s book, Allergies, and Awesome You. He is also a medical director of www.Center4AsthmaAllergy.com and the founder of the educational website www.AmazingAllergist.com. He has earned an honor of fellowships in both the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. He has personally treated more than 20,000 patients, made a significant impact on more than 100,000 lives as an allergist and earned the nickname “AmazingAllergist” from his patients and peers. He has been recognized with various awards, including the America’s Top Physicians’ Award, the Patients’ Choice Award, and the Most Compassionate Physicians’ Award. He believes that every allergic child and individual has a potential to live a great life, allergy-free.

As a reader of this article, receive a FREE copy of Dr. Shah’s eBook- ALLERGY. You Asked, We Answered .
(FREE download at www.Center4AsthmaAllergy.com and www.AmazingAllergist.com)

You Can Live Better Despite Allergies – Less Medications, More Life.

By Atul N. Shah, MD, FACAAI, FAAAAI,
Medical Director, Center4AsthmaAllergy.com;
Founder, AmazingAllergist.com;
Bestselling Author of “Allergies, and Awesome You

If you know what triggers your allergy symptoms, either through observation, diary or with confirmation through skin tests or blood tests, the next thing is to take steps to minimize the exposure. As you know, there are things that can be done to reduce the need for allergy medications. The primary aim is to avoid the exposure to your allergy triggers to the extent possible.

Q: How do we avoid dust mites?

A: Dust mites are microscopic creatures found mainly in the mattress, pillows, and spaces that
collect dust. You can reduce your exposure significantly by encasing the pillows, mattress, and
box spring with dust mite barrier covers with zippers. Reducing the clutter, especially in the
bedroom, and removing stuffed toys can be very helpful.

Q: What can we do for pets?

A: The best solution is to find another home for your pet. If this is not possible, at least do not
allow pets in the bedroom, have someone wash the pets frequently, and consider air purifiers.
Also, washing hands and changing clothes after direct pet exposure can be helpful.

Q: Is there any way to reduce pollen exposure?

A: Keeping the bedroom windows closed and car windows rolled up during the high pollen
season can reduce exposure. Planning outdoor activities around the low pollen count and taking a
shower, washing hair, and changing clothes after outdoor exposure can help.

Q: What are the nondrug supportive methods?

A: Avoidance of allergen exposure is the beginning. Washing nose, sinuses, and eyes with saline
can remove allergens and restore normal functions. Some of the nutritional supplements and
herbs used under professional guidance can reduce the need for medications. Some nasal and
breathing exercises and facial massage and posturing are showing promising results in reducing
symptoms and draining secretions.

If you can not reduce or come off the allergy medications, you are likely a candidate for allergy vaccination (also known as “allergy shots” or allergen immunotherapy).

Now the allergen immunotherapy is availble as oral drops as well, for patients who can not commit to weekly injections in a medical setting. The oral or sublingual drops are considered safe and can be administered at home. Either form of allergen immunotherapy helps reduce and in many patients, eliminate the dependence on allergy medications.

About the Author:
Atul N. Shah, MD, FACAAI, FAAAAI, is a board certified allergist and the bestselling author of the children’s book, Allergies, and Awesome You. He is also a medical director of www.Center4AsthmaAllergy.com and the founder of the educational website www.AmazingAllergist.com. He has earned an honor of fellowships in both the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. He has personally treated more than 20,000 patients, made a significant impact on more than 100,000 lives as an allergist and earned the nickname “AmazingAllergist” from his patients and peers. He has been recognized with various awards, including the America’s Top Physicians’ Award, the Patients’ Choice Award, and the Most Compassionate Physicians’ Award. He believes that every allergic child and individual has a potential to live a great life, allergy-free.

As a reader of this article, receive a FREE copy of Dr. Shah’s eBook- ALLERGY. You Asked, We Answered .
(FREE download at www.Center4AsthmaAllergy.com and www.AmazingAllergist.com)

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Pollen Season is Here!

By Atul N. Shah, MD, FACAAI, FAAAAI,
Medical Director, Center4AsthmaAllergy.com;
Founder, AmazingAllergist.com;
Bestselling Author of “Allergies, and Awesome You

Pollen Season is Here!

For most, the arrival of spring season means looking forward to outdoor activities. For the pollen allergic individuals, it is again, that time of year to suffer. An estimated 26-30 million Americans have hay fever symptoms each year.

Seasonal allergy symptoms can be prevented and minimized with certain steps. If you have seasonal symptoms every year, you can get tested to identify the triggers. Depending on where you live and the time of the year when you have symptoms, your triggers can be tree pollen, grass pollen, weeds, ragweed or mold spores. Limiting outdoor activities when the pollen is very high and staying indoors with air conditioning can reduce exposure to pollen and other triggers. Keeping the bed room windows closed and car windows rolled up while driving can be helpful. You may consider taking a shower, washing the hair and changing the clothes after pollen exposure outdoors. There are many prescription and non-prescription alternatives available to start before the pollen season. Allergy Vaccination or allergy immunotherapy is a great treatment option for a long term relief.

AmazingAllergist's Five Steps to Awesome Life, allergy-free.
 
1. Recognize the allergy symptoms – runny nose, sneezing, itchy nose, stuffy nose, post nasal drip, scratchy throat, itchy palate, itchy watery eyes, red eyes and ask for help.
2. Get tested- identify the allergy triggers. This can be done through needle free allergy skin tests or through the blood tests.
3. Avoid these triggers to the extent possible.
4. Use supportive methods and medications to alleviate the symptoms
5. Get started on Allergen immunotherapy or allergy vaccination (this helps you develop tolerance to your allergy triggers) 
Those with seasonal allergies, especially children, can at times be very symptomatic. These symptoms affect the sleep, day time alertness and day to day functioning. The quality of life is very much compromised and allergic individuals do not enjoy outdoor life while everyone around them is having outdoor fun. Help your children understand what allergies are and what they can do to live great lives, allergy-free. The www.AmazingAllergist.com has a lot of resources, including the stories of others who got better, to empower your allergic children. The information and education are the usual starting points to a future of an allergy free season. The support of family and friends is very valuable at any stage of being miserable with allergies.

Now the allergen immunotherapy is available as oral drops as well, for patients who can not commit to weekly injections in a medical setting. The oral or sublingual drops are considered safe and can be administered at home. Either form of allergen immunotherapy helps reduce and in many patients, eliminate the dependence on allergy medications.

About the Author:
Atul N. Shah, MD, FACAAI, FAAAAI, is the bestselling author of this AmazingAllergist book series, founder of www.AmazingAllergist.com, and the medical director of www.Center4AsthmaAllergy.com. He is a board-certified allergy and asthma specialist who has been honored with fellowships in both the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. He has personally treated more than twenty thousand patients, made a significant impact on more than one hundred thousand lives as an allergist so far, and earned the nickname “AmazingAllergist” from his patients and peers. His work is rewarded daily with numerous compliments from smiling patients and their families. He has been recognized with various awards, including the America’s Top Physicians’ Award, the Patients’ Choice Award, and the Most Compassionate Doctors’ Award. He has appeared on the ABC, NBC, and many TV and radio programs for very informative interviews. He believes that every allergic child and individual has a potential to live a great, allergy-free life. His desire to empower allergic individuals has resulted into this series of books. Dr. Atul Shah enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with his family. He calls Long Island, New York, his home, supports various charities, and loves making a difference. A portion of the proceeds from his books help fund research and education in the areas of allergy, asthma, and immunology.

As a reader of this article, receive a FREE copy of Dr. Shah’s eBook- ALLERGY. You Asked, We Answered .
(FREE download at www.Center4AsthmaAllergy.com and www.AmazingAllergist.com)

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Are You One Of Them ? – Allergy Facts

By Atul N. Shah, MD, FACAAI, FAAAAI,
Medical Director, Center4AsthmaAllergy.com;
Founder, AmazingAllergist.com;
Bestselling Author of “Allergies, and Awesome You

Are You One of Them? Look at these Allergy Facts.

There are more than 60 million Americans with allergies.
Allergy prevalence has been increasing across all age, sex and racial groups.
Allergies are the fifth leading chronic disease among all age groups.
Allergies are the third most common chronic disease among children under 18 years.
40 million Americans have indoor/outdoor allergies as their primary allergy.
10 million Americans are allergic to cat dander.
7% of allergy sufferers have skin allergies.
6% of allergy sufferers have food/drug allergies.

Allergies account for more than 17 million outpatient office visits each year.
Food allergies account for 30,000 emergency room visits each year.
The annual cost of allergies is estimated to be nearly $7 billion.
Allergies cause 4 million missed or lost workdays per year.
Allergies cost U.S. companies more than $700 million in lost productivity each year.

Percentage of the people in the U.S. who believe they have a food allergy: up to 15%.
Percentage of the people in the U.S. who actually have a food allergy: 3% to 4%.
Indoor pollution in U.S. homes exceed levels of outdoor pollution by two to 100 times.

An estimated 10 percent of the U.S. population may be allergic to animals.
Approximately 20 to 30 percent of individuals with asthma have pet allergies.
An estimated 26-30 million Americans have hay fever symptoms each year.

The treatment of a runny nose from allergies includes many other things besides allergy pills and prescription nose spray. Allergy skin tests or blood tests help determine the source of the allergy. Avoiding the cause can help significantly. In severe conditions, allergy vaccinations with shots or drops can be very useful and help prevent the recurrence of allergy-related symptoms. Vaccinations improve asthma, nasal, eye and sinus conditions and help reduce the amount of medications needed to control allergy symptoms.

So, once you realize that you have allergies, the next step, and a very important one is to believe that you can live a great life despite the allergies. It’s been a reality for many people who have believed and followed the advice of the AmazingAllergist and his team. If you agree that you’ll get better, you’ll be open to learning, discovering and using resources that can help you get there. Professionals are there to guide you, but only you can take the necessary actions to better your health and quality of life.

Now the allergen immunotherapy is available as oral drops as well, for patients who can not commit to weekly injections in a medical setting. The oral or sublingual drops are considered safe and can be administered at home. Either form of allergen immunotherapy helps reduce and in many patients, eliminate the dependence on allergy medications.

About the Author:
Atul N. Shah, MD, FACAAI, FAAAAI, is a board certified allergist and the bestselling author of the children’s book, Allergies, and Awesome You. He is also a medical director of www.Center4AsthmaAllergy.com and the founder of the educational website www.AmazingAllergist.com. He has earned an honor of fellowships in both the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. He has personally treated more than 20,000 patients, made a significant impact on more than 100,000 lives as an allergist and earned the nickname “AmazingAllergist” from his patients and peers. He has been recognized with various awards, including the America’s Top Physicians’ Award, the Patients’ Choice Award, and the Most Compassionate Physicians’ Award. He believes that every allergic child and individual has a potential to live a great life, allergy-free.

As a reader of this article, receive a FREE copy of Dr. Shah’s eBook- ALLERGY. You Asked, We Answered .
(FREE download at www.Center4AsthmaAllergy.com and www.AmazingAllergist.com)

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Storm “Sandy” is Gone – What to Expect with Allergy – Asthma

Image: Our Long Island Neighborhood – Courtesy: US Coast Guard

By Atul N. Shah, MD, FACAAI, FAAAAI,
Medical Director, Center4AsthmaAllergy.com;
Founder, AmazingAllergist.com;
Bestselling Author of “Allergies, and Awesome You

As mother nature has once again re-validated her power through torrential rains, powerful winds and winter blizzard through “superstorm Sandy”, we are not only left with damaged properties, infrastructure but also with the renewed resolve to re-build. The immediate threat of danger has gone but also has left us with many potential health risks to deal with. Let’s prepare to prevent and minimize some of these, from allergy and asthma perspective.

Some of the general concerns:

1, Falling objects when returning to damaged homes.
2, Electricity risks from down power lines and damaged appliances and home wiring.
3, Carbon monoxide poisoning from using indoor heating and generators.
4, Gas leakage, fire hazard and explosions.
5, Water borne illnesses from contaminated water supply.
6, Health risks from consuming perishable food, such as eggs, milk, meat, fish – that’s been in a refrigerator without power.

Potential triggers for our patients and families with allergies and asthma:

1, Big storms can also boost concentrations of pollen and mold, two major allergy triggers.
2, Exposure to dust and chemicals during cleaning up.
3, Indoor gases and VOCs inside the damaged buildings.
4, Mold growth in wet walls and water damaged materials.
5, Stress of re-building life.
6, Lack of getting and using regular medications.

Simple reminders:

1, Be mindful of your environment.
2, Use masks to protect you from environmental triggers.
3, Accept the reality of life to reduce the stress.
4, Continue taking your regular medications, as prescribed.
5, Drink water from safe supply and stay hydrated.
6, Maintain well balanced diet despite the rebuilding work and stress.
7, Ask for help. Many helping hands will be happy to be of service.

Our Resolve:

At www.Center4AsthmaAllergy.com, we opened our doors, very next day after the storm, to accommodate the needs of patients and families. We still do not have phone service, internet or computer systems working as of today! We have been innovative in many ways to help our patients with available resources and infrastructure. We want you to know that we are all in this together and we will re-build again, even better. We are using the public library computers to stay connected with you!

About the Author:
Atul N. Shah, MD, FACAAI, FAAAAI, is a board certified allergist and the bestselling author of the children’s book, Allergies, and Awesome You. He is also a medical director of www.Center4AsthmaAllergy.com and the founder of the educational website www.AmazingAllergist.com. He has earned an honor of fellowships in both the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. He has personally treated more than 20,000 patients, made a significant impact on more than 100,000 lives as an allergist and earned the nickname “AmazingAllergist” from his patients and peers. He has been recognized with various awards, including the America’s Top Physicians’ Award, the Patients’ Choice Award, and the Most Compassionate Physicians’ Award. He believes that every allergic child and individual has a potential to live a great life, allergy-free.

As a reader of this article, receive a FREE copy of Dr. Shah’s eBook- ALLERGY. You Asked, We Answered .
(FREE download at www.Center4AsthmaAllergy.com and www.AmazingAllergist.com)

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Feel Better With Fall Allergies

Twitter @LifeAllergyFree

By Atul N. Shah, MD, FACAAI, FAAAAI,
Medical Director, Center4AsthmaAllergy.com;
Founder, AmazingAllergist.com;
Bestselling Author of “Allergies, and Awesome You

The Fall Allergy Season is in full swing. For those with fall allergy, this is the time with runny nose, sneezing, congestion, post nasal drip, cough, itchy eyes, watery eyes and many more allergy symptoms. The usual triggers are ragweed, some weeds and mold. Fall allergy symptoms can be prevented and minimized with certain steps. If you have seasonal symptoms every year, you can get tested to identify the triggers. Limiting outdoor activities when the pollen is very high and staying indoors with air conditioning can reduce exposure to ragweed and weed pollen and other triggers. Keeping the bed room windows closed and car windows rolled up while driving can be helpful. You may consider taking a shower, washing the hair and changing the clothes after pollen exposure outdoors. There are many prescription and non-prescription alternatives available to start before the pollen season. Allergy Vaccination or allergy immunotherapy is a great treatment option for a long term relief.

AmazingAllergist's Five Steps to Awesome Life, allergy-free.
 
1. Recognize the allergy symptoms – runny nose, sneezing, itchy nose, stuffy nose, post nasal drip, scratchy throat, itchy palate, itchy watery eyes, red eyes and ask for help.
2. Get tested- identify the allergy triggers. This can be done through needle free allergy skin tests or through the blood tests.
3. Avoid these triggers to the extent possible.
4. Use supportive methods and medications to alleviate the symptoms
5. Get started on Allergen immunotherapy or allergy vaccination (this helps you develop tolerance to your allergy triggers) 

Those with fall allergies, especially children, can at times be very symptomatic. These symptoms affect the sleep, day time alertness and day to day functioning. The quality of life is very much compromised and allergic individuals do not enjoy outdoor life while everyone around them is having outdoor fun. Help your children understand what allergies are and what they can do to live great lives, allergy-free. The www.AmazingAllergist.com has a lot of resources, including the stories of others who got better, to empower your allergic children. The information and education are the usual starting points to a future of an allergy free season. The support of family and friends is very valuable at any stage of being miserable with allergies.

About the Author:
Atul N. Shah, MD, FACAAI, FAAAAI, is a board certified allergist and the bestselling author of the children’s book, Allergies, and Awesome You. He is also a medical director of www.Center4AsthmaAllergy.com and the founder of the educational website www.AmazingAllergist.com. He has earned an honor of fellowships in both the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. He has personally treated more than 20,000 patients, made a significant impact on more than 100,000 lives as an allergist and earned the nickname “AmazingAllergist” from his patients and peers. He has been recognized with various awards, including the America’s Top Physicians’ Award, the Patients’ Choice Award, and the Most Compassionate Physicians’ Award. He believes that every allergic child and individual has a potential to live a great life, allergy-free.

As a reader of this article, receive a FREE copy of Dr. Shah’s eBook- ALLERGY. You Asked, We Answered .
(FREE download at www.Center4AsthmaAllergy.com and www.AmazingAllergist.com)

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Olympics, Asthma and You !

By Atul N. Shah, MD, FACAAI, FAAAAI,
Medical Director, Center4AsthmaAllergy.com;
Founder, AmazingAllergist.com;
Bestselling Author of “Allergies, and Awesome You

“If athletes with asthma can compete in London Olympics, there is no reason you have to restrict what you want to do despite having asthma” says Dr. Atul N. Shah, the board certified allergy and asthma specialist and a bestselling author of Allergies, and Awesome You. Those with asthma have over responsive small airways that go into spasm due to some triggers. When the airway diameter becomes narrow, it triggers cough, wheezing, shortness of breath and feeling of chest pressure or tightness. In majority of these asthma patients, this airway narrowing is reversible and right medication will help.
Based on a study by the University of Western Australia, around 8% of Olympic athletes have asthma and airway hyper-responsiveness. The author identified athletes with asthma and airway hyper-responsiveness among athletes of the last five Olympic games -from 2002 to 2010- who used inhaled bronchodilator, a drug used to relive spasm by those with asthma.
It was also observed that the athletes with asthma fair better in competition than non-asthmatic athletes. We do not know way. May be they are training harder to overcome asthma or there might be some body mechanism related to presence of asthma that stimulates performance, due to renewed ability to perform with compromised airways.
Some of these athletes have chronic asthma that require daily controller medications while others need only bronchodilator inhaler, prior to exertion or when symptomatic. The asthma specialists determine the type of medications needed based on symptoms, triggers and lung function tests.
Every single athlete participating in Olympics deserves standing ovation and they are very inspiring to all of us for their commitment level and the ability to persist despite challenges. Those with asthma deserve even more applaud as they are showing to every one of you with asthma that if asthma is well controlled, there is nothing that can stop you. If they can play at this level in sports and competition despite their condition, so can you. They also bring a point across- you don’t have to give up on being an athlete.
“Allergies play a significant role in triggering asthma symptoms. It is a known fact that 80% of asthma patients have underlying allergies and if we can control and manage allergies, the asthma improves by itself.” says Dr. Shah.
He recommends that if you have asthma or someone you know has asthma that is affecting their quality of life or limiting their potential, it is time to do something about it. Allergists are also asthma specialists and can help you live great life, despite having asthma.

About the Author:
Atul N. Shah, MD, FACAAI, FAAAAI, is a board certified allergist and the bestselling author of the children’s book, Allergies, and Awesome You. He is also a medical director of www.Center4AsthmaAllergy.com and the founder of the educational website www.AmazingAllergist.com. He has earned an honor of fellowships in both the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. He has personally treated more than 20,000 patients, made a significant impact on more than 100,000 lives as an allergist and earned the nickname “AmazingAllergist” from his patients and peers. He has been recognized with various awards, including the America’s Top Physicians’ Award, the Patients’ Choice Award, and the Most Compassionate Physicians’ Award. He believes that every allergic child and individual has a potential to live a great life, allergy-free.

As a reader of this article, receive a FREE copy of Dr. Shah’s eBook- ALLERGY. You Asked, We Answered .
(FREE download at www.Center4AsthmaAllergy.com and www.AmazingAllergist.com)

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Reversing Food Allergy- Close to Reality.

By Atul N. Shah, MD, FACAAI, FAAAAI,
Medical Director, Center4AsthmaAllergy.com;
Founder, AmazingAllergist.com;
Bestselling Author of “Allergies, and Awesome You

In a July 19, 2012 issue of New England Journal of Medicine, the allergy specialists and scientists under the Consortium of Food Allergy Research (CoFAR) have published a very promising study under the title “Oral Immunotherapy for Treatment of Egg Allergy in Children”. It has been viewed by media as the cure for all the food allergies. Our team at the AmazingAllergist.com, asked Dr. Atul N. Shah, a board certified allergist, to share his view. This excerpt was prepared from his recent media interview on the topic.

The “reversal of egg allergy” is a very exciting step in the right direction. It is very promising to see the progress in the field of allergy and immunology that will offer hope to children and parents with numerous food allergies. The word of caution here is DO NOT try at home. It’s not ready for primetime yet.
Allergy is nothing but an over active immune response to a harmless trigger. When food is a trigger, this over active response can be life threatening. The under lying mechanism is development of IgE antibody to these triggers. The IgE is produced by one type of stimulated white cells, known as the B cells. The science is looking into developing ways to reduce or stop this IgE antibody production, that will translate into “out growing” the allergies.

The concept of allergy reversal is in practice for more than a century and is used by all the allergy specialists in the form of allergen immunotherapy given for indoor and outdoor allergies. When a tree or grass pollen allergic individual is receiving allergen immunotherapy, he is actually receiving the same tree or pollen as injections to reverse their specific high IgE related pollen allergy. We know that it works and is very effective for millions of allergic individuals.

The findings of recent studies are very encouraging to see the similar concept applied to the food triggers. It was tried for peanuts first and recently for eggs. Doctors have reversed allergies in some children and teens by giving them tiny daily doses of problem foods, gradually training their immune systems to accept them.

Don’t try this yourself, though. It has a potential for life threatening reaction. It takes special products, a year or more and close supervision and trained specialists to do this. The study had enrolled 55 children ages 5 to 18. They were divided into groups. In one group, forty were given tiny daily amounts of powdered egg white, the part that usually causes the allergy. The others group of 15 were given cornstarch, as placebo for comparison. The amounts were increased every two weeks until kids in the treatment group were eating about one third of an egg each day. They were monitored very closely by a team of trained specialists. At about a year, none receiving the placebo treatment passed the egg challenge and those on the egg white powder did better. Half of them passed in a year and at the end of two years, 75 percent of them cleared of egg allergy.

These findings excite Dr. Shah as he looks forward to having an established protocol that can be implemented into his and other AmazingAllergist.com practices. He also expressed that if we can do this for peanuts and eggs, very soon we might be able to tackle other common food triggers like tree nuts, milk, soy and wheat.

About the Author:
Atul N. Shah, MD, FACAAI, FAAAAI, is a board certified allergist and the bestselling author of the children’s book, Allergies, and Awesome You. He is also a medical director of www.Center4AsthmaAllergy.com and the founder of the educational website www.AmazingAllergist.com. He has earned an honor of fellowships in both the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. He has personally treated more than 20,000 patients, made a significant impact on more than 100,000 lives as an allergist and earned the nickname “AmazingAllergist” from his patients and peers. He has been recognized with various awards, including the America’s Top Physicians’ Award, the Patients’ Choice Award, and the Most Compassionate Physicians’ Award. He believes that every allergic child and individual has a potential to live a great life, allergy-free.

As a reader of this article, receive a FREE copy of Dr. Shah’s eBook- ALLERGY. You Asked, We Answered .
(FREE download at www.Center4AsthmaAllergy.com and www.AmazingAllergist.com)

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Increasing Allergies among Infants

Infants with Allergies: prevention and management

By Atul N. Shah, MD, FACAAI, FAAAAI,
Medical Director, Center4AsthmaAllergy.com;
Founder, AmazingAllergist.com;
Bestselling Author of “Allergies, and Awesome You

By Dr. Atul Shah, the ‘AmazingAllergist’ and author of Allergies, and Awesome You!
I was recently giving a presentation for a group of pediatricians and heard the common theme that many of them are seeing more and more infants with eczema, food allergies and other allergic conditions. This is a common observation, not only in the U.S., but all across the globe. There are many theories, including the hygiene hypothesis, but we do not know for sure the underlying cause of this influx.
It is a common misconception among many, including some physicians, that infants do not develop allergies or cannot be tested for allergies until two years of age. Our clinical experience and current medical literature supports early detection and proper management of infants and young children to minimize their suffering and prevent complications related to delayed diagnosis.
The development of allergies in infants is considered multifactorial, meaning there are other factors playing a role besides genetic predisposition. If parents, family members or siblings have allergies, infants have a higher chance of developing allergies. Other factors that influence immune systems include breast feeding, the type of formula, timing of introducing solids, respiratory infection, exposure to pets, secondhand smoke exposure, urban vs. rural living and gut bacterial flora. The relationship of these factors in developing allergies vs. protecting from allergies is very complex and we still do not have clear answers.
The common symptoms of underlying allergies in infants include eczema, rash, allergic reactions, poor weight gain, reflux, colic, vomiting, bloating, diarrhea, cough, nasal and respiratory symptoms, frequent ear infections, etc. Food allergies can cause life-threatening allergic reactions.
As we now know, restricting a mother’s diet during pregnancy and while breast-feeding has not been proven to be effective in preventing allergies. Restricting a mother’s diet can be beneficial only if the infant’s specific food allergies are confirmed. Breast milk is least likely to trigger an allergic reaction, and it strengthens an infant’s immune system. Most experts agree on exclusive breast-feeding for the first four to six months.
After four to six months of age, introduce one food at a time, starting with fruits, vegetables and cereal grains. This allows parents a chance to identify and avoid any food that causes an allergic reaction. Delaying introduction of solids beyond six months of age has not been proven to be beneficial in preventing food allergies.
Avoiding secondhand tobacco smoke exposure and reducing dust mites in the infant’s environment has been linked to reduced wheezing and respiratory symptoms.
The relationship between early life exposure to pets, such as dogs and cats, and the development of allergies and asthma is not clear. It was once believed that infants exposed to animals early in life were more likely to develop allergies and asthma. Recently conducted research and published data shows that early exposure to dogs, cats and farm animals may actually protect children from developing allergies and asthma.
What can you do?
1. Recognize the symptoms of allergies. Keep a diary of your infant’s progress and discuss with your physician
2. Find out the underlying triggers of your infant’s allergies with an allergy skin test and /or blood tests
3. Avoid the identified allergic triggers, whether the trigger is in food or in the environment
4. Control allergy symptoms with recommended treatment from a physician, and monitor the nutrition, growth and overall development of your child
5. Keep learning more about allergies and available options. New research findings happen all the time, and being on the forefront of information can only benefit you and your family.

About the Author:
Atul N. Shah, MD, FACAAI, FAAAAI, is a board certified allergist and the bestselling author of the children’s book, Allergies, and Awesome You. He is also a medical director of www.Center4AsthmaAllergy.com and the founder of the educational website www.AmazingAllergist.com. He has earned an honor of fellowships in both the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. He has personally treated more than 20,000 patients, made a significant impact on more than 100,000 lives as an allergist and earned the nickname “AmazingAllergist” from his patients and peers. He has been recognized with various awards, including the America’s Top Physicians’ Award, the Patients’ Choice Award, and the Most Compassionate Physicians’ Award. He believes that every allergic child and individual has a potential to live a great life, allergy-free.

As a reader of this article, receive a FREE copy of Dr. Shah’s eBook- ALLERGY. You Asked, We Answered .
(FREE download at www.Center4AsthmaAllergy.com and www.AmazingAllergist.com)

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Allergy and Rainy Weather

Managing Your Allergies in Rainy Weather

By Atul N. Shah, MD, FACAAI, FAAAAI,
Medical Director, Center4AsthmaAllergy.com;
Founder, AmazingAllergist.com;
Bestselling Author of “Allergies, and Awesome You

The nasal allergic condition is known as allergic rhinitis and it can be triggered by indoor or outdoor allergens. Some people have both, indoor and outdoor allergies. The common outdoor allergens include pollen from grass, trees, ragweed, weeds and mold spores. The indoor allergy triggers are mainly in the form of dust mites, pet dander, cockroaches and mold spores.

Short term rain is a blessing. The outdoor pollen usually settles down with rain and it spells relief for many allergy sufferers. Ongoing rain, followed by dry, warmer weather allows higher amount of pollen to circulate in the air which will increase allergy symptoms. If the moisture from the rain is allowed to affect the home or indoor environment, it can increase mold growth, exposure and allergy symptoms.

The mold and mildew needs dampness and gets worse in the basement, bathrooms and in the areas with the water leaks. Continued running of humidifiers despite the high moisture in the air during the rainy days, will add the possibility of mold growth. The dust mites found in the mattress, pillows and the carpet love humidity for their survival and growth. Ongoing high moisture will also increase dust mite exposure.

The tips to help reduce the allergy symptoms in rainy weather.

1, Manage humidity in the home environment. The aim is to bring the humidity around 40 to 50%.
Running dehumidifiers, especially in the basement, can be very helpful. This will reduce the mold growth.

2, Avoid carpet on the concrete or damp areas

3, Reduce clutter and do not store in the damp areas

4, Identify, repair and seal all the leaks to minimize dampness

5, If mold is present, get the professional help

6, If you need to handle stored items with visible mold growth, use a mask and protective gears

Some of the allergy sufferers also have non allergic rhinitis that gets worse with irritants. Some patients experience increased sinus pressure and nasal symptoms due to the high humidity, mainly due to associated non allergic rhinitis. Your allergy specialists can recommend the best options for you.

As a reader of this article, receive a FREE copy of Dr. Shah’s eBook- ALLERGY. You Asked, We Answered .
(FREE download at www.Center4AsthmaAllergy.com and www.AmazingAllergist.com)

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