“I’ve had spring allergies for over 35 years. I am very surprised that allergy symptoms improved dramatically in less than 1 year. I have increased energy, sleep better, and am physically more comfortable with my spring allergies. I use only a few eye or allergy medications if needed.”
Thomas E., VT
Take the next steps to treat the cause of your allergies with allergy drops. Allergy immunotherapy is a great investment in your health and well-being.
Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is the latest, most convenient treatment option to treat allergies. SLIT is often referred to as allergy drops. This treatment replaces the need for allergy shots by allowing you to self-administer the drops under your tongue once-daily.
Allergy drops reduce your need for weekly or monthly office visits that accompany out-dated allergy shots/injections. Allergy drops can also improve long-term allergy control. They may significantly reduce your need for prescription and over-the-counter allergy medications.
To dye or not to dye Ester eggs- that is the question! I’ve always personally dreaded dying Easter eggs, although my children seem to have enjoyed it. First of all, boiling eggs. Yes- seems easy and straight-forward enough. However, even with an egg timer, I’m constantly wondering if they are done enough. I often boil the water too long, and an egg breaks, which creates a bit of a mess. Then there’s the inevitable ‘oops’ as at least one egg rolls off the counter onto the floor. Then, after the fun and the kids are long gone, the mess is cleaned up, and the eggs are safely put away in the refrigerator, the reality sets in. I am going to be eating AND smelling boiled eggs for the next month!
Or- I can choose an alternative called eggnots. Eggnots is a dyeable ceramic replacement for traditional Easter eggs. This is a great alternative for vegan families and for kids with egg allergies. I love the fact that they are ceramic, dyeable, and non-perishable. They can be displayed proudly on the kitchen table as part of your Easter decor, instead of being tucked away in your refrigerator mere seconds after dying ‘real’ eggs. I wish I would have come across this product years ago, before my children grew into teen/pre-teen non-believers of magical beings!
I ran across a discussion in one of my allergy Facebook groups the other day in which members were discussing the AUVI-Q epinephrine auto-injector. (Most of us are more familiar with the brand Epi-Pen.) The AUVI-Q is an alternate brand of epinephrine auto-injector used to treat life-threatening allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, in people who are at risk for or have a history of serious allergic reactions.
This brand boasts features such as a retractable needle, voice instructions, and a two-second countdown. The most exciting part of the conversation is that people were talking about getting the auto-injector for $0 out-of-pocket. So- I thought I’d pass along the information here. Please conduct your own research and talk to your prescriber for more information about which auto-injector is best for you.
Working for a company that treats food allergies, I’m always on the lookoutfor Facebook posts, allergy blogs, or practically anything related to allergies.
Today, I ran across a really cool app while reading my son’s school monthly newsletter. Our school district has adopted the use of an app called Nutrislice. I can digitally find the school menu for the month, and with a few clicks I’m able see a real picture of the food with a description, nutrition information, and allergen information.
For example, on Monday, my son will have the choice of a Classic Chicken Sandwich or a PB & Grape Jelly Uncrustable as a main item. Good for him to be able to see the options, along with pictures. Great for a mom who may be dealing with a child with food allergies. I can tell that the chicken sandwich contains both wheat and soy, and the pb&j contains wheat, soy, and peanuts. We can also see the nutrition information for all of the sides, milk choices, and condiments.
For our family, this is a great tool to plan lunches for the week, and for my son to determine if school lunch really looks gross or not. (OK- the turkey nachos don’t look appetizing, so I can’t blame him for not liking that choice!)
For food allergy families, this app could literally be a lifesaver! Kudos to our school district for providing this app!
A team of chemical and biomolecular engineers at the University of Notre Dame designed nanoparticles, or “nanoallergens”, that mimic natural allergens by displaying each allergic component one at a time on their surfaces. These nanoallergens are used to dissect the critical components of major peanut allergy proteins and evaluate the potency of the allergic response using the antibodies present in a blood sample from a patient.
“The goal of this study was to show how nanoallergen technology could be used to provide a clearer and more accurate assessment of the severity of an allergic condition,” said Basar Bilgicer, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and a member of the Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics initiative at Notre Dame. The goal of this new testing procedure is to replace the oral food challenge; which requires a patient to ingest small amounts of the offending food to the point of intolerance or anaphylaxis; and skin prick testing, which may have false-positive test results.
“We are currently working with allergy specialist clinicians for further testing and verification of the diagnostic tool using a larger patient population. Ultimately, our vision is to take this technology and make it available to all people who suffer from food allergies.”
Many Major League Baseball teams are now offering ‘peanut controlled’ baseball games at their venues. This concept is quite refreshing, and is a positive step towards the inclusion and awareness of food allergies in the sports community.
The Milwaukee Brewers have scheduled four games this season featuring ‘peanut-controlled’ sections. Although they warn that these areas are not specifically peanut-free, they are taking great measures to create a peanut-controlled atmosphere by posting signs restricting peanut products in those specific sections and performing additional cleaning in advance. However, they do warn that they ‘cannot guarantee the absence of peanut particle and residue.’ Fans with peanut allergies should still take precautions. Their website also gives instructions as to which entrance/exit to use that will help eliminate undue exposure to peanuts.
Other MLB teams are also offering sections or sky boxes that are peanut-free or peanut-controlled. Kudos to all of the participating teams! It’s not always ‘peanuts and cracker jacks’ for every MLB fan.
Allergy immunotherapy is a form of long-term treatment that decreases symptoms for many people with allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, conjunctivitis (eye allergy) or stinging insect allergy.
Allergy immunotherapy treats the cause of your allergies, not just the symptoms. It builds tolerance by exposing your immune system to small amounts of what you’re allergic to on a regular basis. This can be done with weekly injections of “allergy shots,” the daily self-administration of “allergy drops” or “allergy toothpaste”, or by taking dry “allergy tablets”.
Over time, immunotherapy changes your immune system so that it is more “tolerant” of the allergens. As allergen tolerance grows, your allergies and their symptoms decrease, sometimes to the point that an allergy sufferer does not notice them anymore. Immunotherapy may also prevent conditions that often go along with allergies, like chronic sinusitis or asthma.
Allergies are an overreaction of a person’s immune system to an allergen, an otherwise harmless protein that has no effect on a non-allergic person. Common sources of inhaled allergens are tree, grass and weed pollen, mold spores, dust mites, cockroaches, cats, dogs, birds, cows, horses, rabbits and rodents. The overreaction of the immune system that results from contact with one or more of these inhaled allergens may cause annoying symptoms like coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose, and scratchy throat. A person will often have allergies to more than one allergen.
Many of our patients have been prescribed epinephrine in case of a rare anaphylactic reaction to their allergy drops, so I wanted to pass along some information about a voluntary recall of Mylan’s popular brands of epinephrine: EpiPen 2-Pak® and EpiPen Jr 2-Pak®.
If you or someone you know were prescribed one of these medications, please click on the link below for more information about the lot numbers of the recalled products and for replacement information. If your lot number matches one of the recalled products, you will need to contact Stericycle at 877-650-3494. If not, your EpiPen product is not affected by the recall and there is no further action necessary.