Allergies, Asthma, Allergy Injections
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Asthma and Allergies

When you can’t breathe, nothing else matters.” The American Lung Association

26 million Americans live with asthma, a chronic disease with chest tightness, shortness of breath, and wheezing. It is one of the leading causes of school and work absence. Allergies also can be very disruptive; resultant congestion, itching, sneezing and sinus disease contribute to poor performance, low productivity and overall decreased quality of life. With asthma, constriction and inflammation of the bronchial tubes are present, making it difficult to breathe. These two conditions are often seen together because allergies are a common cause of asthma.   An allergist is a physician who can determine whether asthma is present, and if so, whether allergies are involved. Pollen, mold, dust mites, animals, cockroaches all can act as “allergens”, triggering allergies that can easily lead to life-threatening asthma.

Allergists often act as detectives, analyzing clues. Seasonal allergy and asthma can be triggered by the seasonal variation of tree, grass or weed pollen. Important perennial allergens include mold, dust mites, and beloved household pets. Sometimes symptoms are brought on by non-allergic irritants, such as environmental tobacco smoke, vehicle exhaust fumes, perfumes, candles or changes in temperature. For example, exercise-induced asthma can be triggered by physical activity from rapidly inhaling dry, cooler air. 

Both asthma and allergies can be managed by careful interpretation of individualized allergy tests and applying the results to the specific home and work environment. Identifying and reducing allergen exposure is a good first step. Prudent use of the right combination of medication controls inflammation and usually improves the quality of life. However, in the cases of stubborn symptoms due to obligatory exposure to allergens, patients are looking for a more durable or permanent solution. (such as dogs and cats) Allergy immunotherapy (allergy shots) can provide dramatic, long term relief, often without medication, by eliminating the underlying allergies that cause the problem. Immunotherapy enables those working outdoors on tolerating pollen, K-9 officers to handle their dogs, and families to live with their pets.  

How do allergy injections work?

 Allergies are caused by an overreactive immune system. Harmless particles trigger an overly aggressive response by white blood cells just under the skin and mucous membranes. Injections bypass these cells and deliver harmless allergens to more complex immune cells which regulate and turn off this destructive allergic response. Immunotherapy injections are very precise, safe, and only affect the specific immune response to the ingredients contained in the serum. Evidence-based clinical literature has shown that nuances of dose, frequency, and formulation can make the difference between effective and ineffective allergy treatment. Dr. Duane Gels, a board-certified allergist and director at Annapolis Allergy & Asthma, has successfully treated thousands of allergic patients with customized, effective allergy immunotherapy over 25 years.  The knowledge and experience of his team to appropriately use this technique adjust the immune system and provide long-lasting results. Come be evaluated by the knowledgeable and experienced team at Annapolis Allergy and Asthma and experience relief!

Allergy Tips

A quality, low-allergen lifestyle can be achieved by following your allergist’s action plan.                                       

Asthma and Allergies can be triggered by poor indoor air quality, so change your A/C filters frequently. 

Have your heating/AC ducts cleaned frequently as, over time, dust and other allergens accumulate within the system.

Be aware of environmental weather extremes, as outdoor exercise can trigger asthma and other respiratory conditions

Identify your specific allergies, and minimize exposure in your home. Dust, mold/mildew, animal dander all may contribute.

Use of daily nasal saline rinse, such as a NetiPot can be beneficial to flush out allergens.

Over the counter antihistamines, decongestants and nasal corticosteroids to control nasal congestion and discharge.

Beware of addictive nasal decongestant sprays; after several days of use, rebound congestion often develops. 

Learn your specific allergens: if pollen allergic, stay indoors on dry, windy, high pollen days. Close your windows when the pollen count is high.  Remove and wash your clothes; wash hair before bed, as static can attract pollen.  

In conclusion, there are medical diagnostic and treatment options for asthma and allergies. With patient commitment and confidence with their professional medical doctor, one can resume and enjoy daily activities. Come visit the specialists at Annapolis Allergy & Asthma to determine what allergies you may have. We will help you develop a management plan that works for you. Call us today at 410-573-1600.

Copyright Duane Gels 2019

Written by Page Anderson

New Treatments for Asthma

Asthma is an increasingly common health problem in the United States. Asthma is a swelling and tightening of the airways that presents itself in the form of wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. There are multiple reasons for this. One source is outdoor air quality. Smog and smoke, industrial waste released into the air and carbon emissions from cars all add to the problem. The quality of indoor air is also an issue. Buildings that have repurposed air tend to have lower air quality, even with the most effective air filters.

Asthma is not curable, but it can be controlled. Inhaled corticosteroids are one regularly used treatment. The aim of all asthma treatments is to provide long-term control as an intervention for prevention of symptoms, offer quick relief if an individual is having an asthma attack and identifying triggers in order to prevent future asthma attacks.

The most common remedies include medications that prevent the onset of asthma. In the case of an ongoing attack, there are quick acting medicines that stop or lessen the severity of an asthma attack.

New interventions include:

• Biologics. These are medications that enhance and work with the immune system, preventing the airways from expanding and causing a shortness of breath. These are antibiotics with antibodies. Some can be ingested orally, and others are given via an injection.
• Bronchial thermoplasty. When asthma is too severe, it may require a surgical intervention such as bronchial thermoplasty. In this case, the airways are targeted by radiofrequency energy. Interestingly the aim is to destroy smooth muscle linings in the airways. This prevents the airway muscles from performing their normal function of constricting and expanding, ultimately expanding the opening by preventing its narrowing. The current protocol calls for three sessions that are given in three-week intervals.

Research is ongoing in the search for preventive measures and cures for asthma. A recent new pharmaceutical has been introduced – the first in two decades – that shows great promise. The end goal is to wipe out asthma in our lifetime.

If you are struggling with asthma, contact the professionals at Annapolis Allergy & Asthma. We are experienced in helping patients cope with and find relief from asthma symptoms.

Written by Page Anderson

Heating Sources and Asthma

Indoor air quality is one of the most common triggers for allergies and asthma. Unfortunately in many climates, over 26 million children and adults have no choice but to breathe in recycled air indoors because the climate does not allow for the flow of fresh air through the home. Statistics confirm that asthma attacks peak during the winter months. The reasons are part temperature change and part use of heating systems where dust has been piling up for months.

Temperature drops directly instigate decreased lung function in persons with asthma. Airborne dust and other pollutants in heating ducts are also to blame. Two direct interventions include nose breathing versus mouth breathing and having your home airway ducts cleaned regularly. Let’s consider the latter idea at greater length.

The EPA has weighed in on the best way to ensure your ducts are clean. They suggest you interview several duct cleaning companies prior to choosing a firm. You should be confident that the company you hire meets the National Air Duct Cleaners Association standards. Anyone with asthma or other breathing issues should become familiar with them.
The standards can be found at this website:

https://nadca.com/resources/nadca-standards-publications

According to the Environmental Protection Agency you should insist on a service that uses negative pressure to extract pollutants from the home during the cleaning process. They should also be able to identify ducts that cannot be cleaned and those that may contain asbestos. Fiberglass lining requires special attention during air duct cleaning as well.

Ultimately you may want to consider purchasing and installing a whole-house air filtration system that automatically eliminates dust and other types of particles throughout the entire heating system. These systems have been found to eliminate irritants year-round in all types of weather, addressing a variety of allergens, pollens, and other irritants. There are also a number of room air purifiers that are effective as well.

If you have more questions about allergy and asthma interventions, contact the professionals at Annapolis Allergy & Asthma. Our expert professionals are available to answer your questions and offer advice.

ATTENTION CENTREVILLE SHOT PATIENTS;

Our Tuesday and Thursday afternoon shot hours have  changed. We will still have morning hours 8:30-11:30 but our afternoon hours will now be 3:00- 5:30

Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you.