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Home > ASA Newsletter > November 30, 2005: Volume 1, Issue 7
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Allergy, Sinusitis, and Asthma Newsletter

Table of Contents:
1. From the Editors
2. Allergy, Sinusitis, and Asthma Articles
3. Sinusitis Experience - Local Bee Pollen Works
4. Feature - Battling Childhood Asthma

We were extremely saddened to hear about a 15-year old Canadian girl who recently died from a peanut allergy. The girl had kissed her boyfriend after he had eaten a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. He wasn't aware of her condition. The girl apparently went into anaphylactic shock, as a result, and died four days later in the hospital.

"It's hard enough being a teenager, and being one with food allergies can bring on additional social pressures," said Anne Munoz-Furlong, Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network CEO and founder. "This recent death is tragic, and we hope that other teens realize that their friends can help and be their strongest and best allies in their constant vigilance against food allergies."

Unfortunately peanut allergic reactions account for up to 100 deaths a year in the US alone. It's a serious problem for those who have it. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, nearly 1 in every 200 Americans have a peanut or tree nut allergy. You may have it.

Whether you are younger or older, if you have a food allergy our recommendations fall in line with the FAAN:

> Don't make it a secret, tell your friends about your food allergies. Your true friends will look out for you, and help you cope with living with food allergies.

> Tell your friends and that special someone that you can die from an allergic reaction.

> Don't wait for the first kiss before you tell! Instead of "spoiling the moment" talk about it before hand, and ask him/her to avoid the food you're allergic to. While it may seem "uncool" to bring up, it's much cooler to talk about it than to have a reaction. Be up front with people you are interested in. If they care about you, they will understand and want to learn how they can help keep you safe.

> Always carry your epinephrine with you. Don't leave home without it!

Our condolences go out to the family of this 15-year old girl. We will help spread the word in her memory so that more people, with or without the condition, will know about the condition and what to do if you have it or know someone who does.

Stay educated and alert,

Joe Tracy & Kim Lance - editors
ASA Newsletter

Here are the most recent articles, published by, that deal with allergies, sinusitis, and asthma:

Fungal Spores in Pillows Bad for Asthma and Sinusitis
Your pillow may not be as comforting a concept as you may think. Researchers at The University of Manchester funded by the Fungal Research Trust have recently found out that pillows may be full of millions of fungal spores and those spores can greatly exacerbate asthma in adults and contribute to sinus infections...
Click here to read the entire article.

Some Children With Tree Nut Allergies Will Outgrow It
A new study in the November 2005 Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology (JACI) reveals that about 9% of children with an allergy to tree nuts will outgrow their allergy, including children who have previously experienced a severe allergic reaction...
Click here to read the entire article.

Gel Reduces Pain After Endoscopic Sinus Surgery
A new study by researchers at Rush University Medical Center has revealed that a gel made from a patient's own blood reduces pain and may improve wound healing following endoscopic sinus surgery. The study, published in the September issue of the Annals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology, found that patients who received platelet gel reported an easier recovery than patients who received traditional packing to stop bleeding...
Click here to read the entire article.

Asthma Control Needs Continual Assessment
A new practice parameter listed in the November 2005 issue of the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology (JACI) explains that asthma should be assessed every time a patient visits his or her doctor in order to determine if the asthma is well controlled or not well controlled...
Click here
to read the entire article.

ALLERGY EXPERIENCE - Local Bee Pollen Works
I live in an agricultural county in Northern California, where allergies and asthma are increasing at an alarming rate. I have suffered with severe seasonal allergies and moderate to severe asthma for several years. Last winter a friend suggested that I try local bee pollen... I was skeptical when I first started the pollen, but now I am convinced that it is effective, and I will be using it every spring from now on...
Click here to read the entire experience.

FEATURE - Battling Childhood Asthma
If a child experiences shortness of breath, irregular breathing, whistling or wheezing upon exhalation, or a persistent cough, there is a good chance that he or she may be developing asthma. Asthma is one of the most chronic serious diseases in children and adolescents as it affects almost nine million children under 18 years old. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) notes that 80% of asthmatics develop asthma symptoms before they turn five years old. Because symptoms occur so early in life, early detection and working with a child's asthma specialist is extremely important. Asthma that goes untreated can lead to permanent airway damage, making it even more difficult to bring the condition under control.

"Children whose immune systems are not fully developed are most at risk for developing asthma," said Christopher C. Randolph, MD, FAAAI, and Vice-Chair of the AAAAI's Asthma Diagnosis and Treatment Interest Section. "However, with early detection, the disease is easier to bring under control, improving the quality of life for your child."

The AAAAI recommends three action steps to help parents recognize early asthma symptoms in their children: Look, Listen, and Learn. Look and listen go hand in hand. Because there are no clear markers to predict who will develop asthma, it is vitally important to pay attention to the clues and symptoms you can look and listen for in your child that may indicate asthma.

Through looking and listening to your child's symptoms, determine whether your child has allergies. The asthma and allergies relationship is very strong and a child with allergies may be at risk for asthma. Also listen to see if your child coughs or clears his or her throat a lot even when they aren't sick because this may also be an indication of childhood asthma. Listen for wheezing or whistling sounds when your child exhales or when he or she has an upper respiratory infection and pay attention to your child's breathing patters. Wheezing, shortness of breath, difficulty sleeping due to nighttime coughing, and rapid or irregular breathing are also asthma warning signs. If your child complains of chest tightness or pain or if he or she is tired or easily irritated, asthma may be the cause.

It is also important to learn what asthma warning signs are and be familiar with how to treat an asthma attack and manage asthma. Sadly, there is no cure for asthma; however, complete control of the disease can be obtained with appropriate management and treatment. Learning what triggers your child's asthma and what steps to take to decrease symptoms is a vital part of keeping your child's asthma under control. Children whose asthma is properly controlled should be able to participate in regular activities such as attending school everyday and playing sports.

If you suspect that your child has asthma, schedule an appointment with your doctor or an asthma and allergy specialist. An allergist/immunologist will work closely with you to create a daily management plan for your child, demonstrate proper medication use, and develop an asthma action plan, which outlines the actions to take if your child's condition worsens. By looking, listening, and learning, you can greatly reduce the role that asthma plays in your child's life.


That's it for this edition of the ASA Newsletter. The next issue will be delivered on December 7, 2005. Starting in 2006, the newsletter will be delivered on the first and 15th of every month.

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