Wednesday, April 24, 2013

How Asthma can be exacerbated by being in an urban city: Pollution + Pollen

Asthma is sadly one of the most debilitating conditions in America. It affects adults and children alike and according to the Center for Disease Control there are some 14 million school days lost each year as a result of asthma. Families are inconvenienced by having to drop everything to look after their child, requiring parents to take time off work, and in the worst cases, becoming one of the approximately two million asthma related emergency-room visits every year.
City dwellers are at even more risk of asthma attacks due to increased environmental factors such as heavy traffic, tightly condensed living quarters and parks with pollen producing trees and grasses. Back in 2002, research showed that up to 30% of childhood asthma is due to environmental factors and that constant exposure to air pollution can be a significant contributing factor to the development of asthma in previously healthy people.
Dr. Jason Price is a pediatric pulmonologist at Hudson Allergy and he knows what to look for when evaluating asthma symptoms in New York City’s children.
“There are four main kinds of air pollutants that city dwellers need to be aware of and monitor”, said Dr. Price.
“Ground Level Ozone is common in many urban centers and cities. It can trigger attacks and make existing asthma worse. It is created when pollution from traffic reacts with oxygen and sunlight and is a particular hazard to children as they usually spend more time outdoors than their parents, while at school and playing.
Sulfur Dioxide and Nitrogen Oxide are two of the other main respiratory irritants that can trigger attacks. They are created and released when coal and oil are burned. Diesel engines that use high-sulfur fuels tend to release this pollutant into the air.
The fourth type of pollutant is called Particulate Matter. This is the term that allergy professionals use when we talk about large pollutant particles like soot, ash, smoke and dust that can accumulate and build up in the lungs, making future attacks more likely.”
There are several things that Dr. Price and the other physicians at Hudson Allergy can recommend or perscribe to prevent asthma attacks in both children and adults.
If you would like to find out more on how to minimize the effects of pollution and pollen on your allergies, come visit us in Tribeca and see how we can help. Click here to book an appointment on line or give us a call at 212-729-1283.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Four Tips To Help You Get Through Allergy Season

Now that tax day is here, we are officially in heart of April and it is really starting to feel like Spring! When you make your way around the city we are sure that you are starting to notice the trees and flowers starting to bloom, and the grass beginning to sprout.  Hello allergies! For more than 30 million Americans, spring kicks off an annual search for ways to avoid spring allergies. Here are a few ideas for relief.

Check you local pollen index

This is a great way to check the pollen levels in your local area, and figure out what types of pollen are prevalent in your zip code. and are two great resources to check the pollen levels. This can be very helpful if you know which types of triggers you are allergic to so that you can change your plans if a particular pollen is running rampant near your particular destination.  

Keep your indoor space allergy free

You can help control you allergies by controlling your environment. If pollen levels are high outside, make sure that you keep your indoor environment allergy free (or as much as possible). One way we recommend minimizing indoor allergens is to get an air purifier, specifically a HEPA Air Purifier. HEPA Air Purifiers have a filter that captures up to 99% of mold spores, pollen, pet dander, smoke and dust, all of which are common allergens.

Another tip is to keep windows closed and if it’s hot turn on the air conditioning unit.  A/C unites have filter in them that should filter out most allergens.  The filter should be cleaned weekly or if not possible, change the filter prior to the pollen season.

Wash your hands frequently

It sounds so simple, but it’s important that you wash your hands frequently during peak allergy season and washing your hands should be a regular habit, regardless of your destination or time of year.  If you regularly feel the negative affects of allergies, you should also get into the habit of regularly washing your face as well, and when you get home from being out, you should also change your clothes. It is also recommended to shower at night time before you go to bed and thoroughly wash your hair. Remember that pollen sticks to everything and the more you can do to keep it off your body the better.

Talk to an allergist

If your eyes are puffy, your nose won’t stop running, and your throat itches, you may have more severe allergies than you think and you ought to talk to an allergist. There might be some additional measure that an allergist would want you to take to help you get through allergy season.

For example, one of the first things an allergist might recommend is doing a skin test to pinpoint exactly what you are allergic to. This can be very helpful to know, as it will guide you on what to steer clear of or pay special attention to during allergy season.

Here at Hudson Allergy, there have been many times that allergy shots have really helped our patients. Imagine what it’s like to feel “normal” during spring and fall?

If you are looking for more information about allergies or remedies for season allergies, we invite you to come to our website where you can learn more about our practice and the three wonderful doctors who bring it to life. Or, something else to consider is that we do take same day appointments, so don’t hesitate to give us a call if you’ve had it with your seasonal allergies. We are here to help!