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Home > ASA Newsletter > April 30, 2007: Volume 3, Issue 2
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Allergy, Sinusitis, and Asthma Newsletter

Table of Contents:
1. From the Editors
2. News Links
3. Allergy, Sinusitis, and Asthma Articles
4. Sinusitis Experience - Acupuncture for Sinusitis
5. Feature - New Asthma Study

FROM THE EDITOR

Welcome to another edition of the Allergy, Sinusitis, and Asthma newsletter. And happy Memorial Day Weekend for our US readers.

In the last issue I asked people if they had an Allergy Plan and if they cared to share. One person, Tom Hefter shared with me an article he had written titled "76 Tips to Reduce Dust Mites and Indoor Allergens." You can read it by clicking here (this takes you to the article on his Website).

Another reader, James O'Grady sent us his plan:

"First and foremost... Go to my doctor to get a check-up. He gives me an allergy shot, and decides what medication I should be taking. For now I take an OTC allergy pill and Nasonex and Patonal eye drops.

Second... Spring cleaning. open the windows, dust down the house making sure ceiling fans, shades and windows are clean. Put new filters in the furnace. Clean out the electrostatic filters.

Third... Make sure the air conditioner is ready to go, especially if the pollen count starts popping up.

Fourth... Take a bath or shower after exposure to allergens. This eases the itching around the eyes."

Thank you for that, James!

We're looking for more Allergy Plans readers may have that we can share with our readers. Just write down the steps you take to battle allergy season and send them to us so that we can share them with other readers.

And now, on to the rest of this issue's updates...

Cheers,

Joe Tracy, editor
ASA Newsletter


NEWS LINKS

Here are the most recent major media articles concerning allergies, asthma, and sinusitis:

The TimesPlus : Don't Blow Off Help for Sinusitis
Quote: "...your physician can help determine if there is an underlying cause of the rhinosinusitis, such as a deviated septum, nasal polyps, or poorly managed allergies. From surgery to polyp removal to allergy medication, the path of treatment varies depending on the diagnosis...."

Joplin Globe : Pollen Makes May Difficult for Asthma Sufferers
Quote: "...There’s no doubt the effects of springtime allergies can be frustrating — but for millions of asthma sufferers nationwide, the pollen can trigger a potentially deadly reaction. Pollen is one of many triggers of asthma..."

The Enquirer: Blood Test Detects Allergies
Quote: "...Updated technology lets doctors use a blood test to check patients for hundreds of possible allergens. For some patients, it’s a more comfortable alternative to the old standby skin-prick test, in which tiny amounts of suspected allergens are scratched onto the skin’s surface..."


ALLERGY, SINUSITIS AND ASTHMA ARTICLES
Here are the most recent articles, published by NEWSdial.com, that deal with allergies, sinusitis, and asthma:

Asthma Sufferers May Soon Have New Option
A new asthma study has revealed some effective results from use of a daily pill versus twice a day use of inhaled steroids to help control the disease... Click here to read the entire article.

Owning Cats Increases Allergy Risks
A new study contradicts other studies about cat allergies and children. This newest study reveals that young children are at a higher risk of allergies when there is a cat in the household... Click here to read the entire article.

Balloon Sinuplasty is Safe
A study released last year shows that Balloon Sinuplasty is a safe and effective procedure for sinusitis sufferers... Click here to read the entire article.


SINUSITIS EXPERIENCE - Acupuncture for Sinusitis

...
I had extensive sinus surgery (not endoscopic) that removed the "windows" between my sinuses. I continued to have sinusitis for five years. I was constantly on broad spectrum antibiotics and exhausted all the time... Click here to read the entire experience.


FEATURE - New Asthma Study Survey Results
A new survey released this month by the National Consumers League shows that asthma sufferers in the United States are not exactly breathing easy these days.

Four in ten asthma sufferers understand asthma medication categories somewhat or not at all, and the more recent the diagnosis, the less knowledgeable adult patients tend to be about asthma. In addition, 62 percent of adults with severe asthma report being in fair or poor health, and one quarter of all asthma sufferers report their condition limits their ability to participate in sports.

Asthma, which affects an estimated 20 million Americans, is a condition of the lungs that, for different individual patients, ranges from minor inconvenience to serious health threats. As nearly 6 million asthma sufferers are under age 18, it is the most common chronic childhood disease.

The National Consumers League commissioned Harris Interactive to probe into the asthma sufferer experience, researching depth of knowledge, effects of symptoms, and degree to which treatment is being pursued. The results are nothing short of troubling. The survey of 1,105 adults, made up of both asthma patients and parents of child sufferers, reveals that many asthma sufferers are experiencing troubling asthma. It sheds light on a disconnect between how patients rate their asthma condition and the severity of specific symptoms, and reveals differences in symptoms, treatment and information-seeking among various demographic populations.

"Asthma is a highly personal, challenging condition that non-sufferers may not even be able to fathom. It's an overwhelming, isolating disease that requires heavy patient involvement and medication management," said National Consumers League President Linda Golodner. "It is our hope that our new consumer materials will help asthma sufferers live well with their asthma."

Major Findings Asthmatics: A Vulnerable Population:

> Exposure to triggers. About a third of adult (29 percent) and parents of child sufferers (35 percent) report living in a household with at least one smoker.

> Lack of guidance. Nearly two-in-ten (17 percent) parents of child sufferers and one-in-ten (10 percent) adult sufferers who have a medical professional currently managing their asthma, do not have an asthma treatment plan.

> More than two-in-ten adult sufferers (22 percent) have not received any information at all about lifestyle changes they can make to improve their asthma condition.

> General Health. 62 percent of adults with severe asthma report being in fair or poor health.

There appears to be a disconnect between how adult or parents of child asthma sufferers describe the severity of their or their child's asthma and the frequency or severity of symptoms asked of respondents:

> While 88 percent of adult asthma sufferers indicate their asthma is moderate or mild, at least one-quarter of adult sufferers report experiencing shortness of breath (29 percent), coughing (28 percent), and difficulty falling or staying asleep (28 percent) on a weekly basis. Additionally, 31 percent of adults report having a flare up within the last week.

> Similarly, 90 percent of parents report their child's asthma as mild or moderate, but nearly 20 percent report their child has very severe or extremely severe coughing (20 percent), difficulty breathing (19 percent), wheezing (18 percent), tightness in chest (18 percent) and difficulty falling or staying asleep (19 percent).

> The perceived mild symptoms may translate into underdosing: of those taking less than the prescribed dose of their fast-acting inhalers during a flare up, more than six-in-ten parents of child (67 percent) and adult sufferers (61 percent) do so because they do not feel their flare up is severe enough.

In regards to medication use:

> Overdosing. Of those asthma sufferers who report taking more of their fast acting inhaler than prescribed, more than half (51 percent) do so because the prescribed dose took too long.

> Switching medications. Nearly half of asthma sufferers (43 percent) have switched controller medications. Almost a quarter (23 percent) switched because they heard about a better controller medication.

According to adult asthmatics and parents of child sufferers, asthma is a condition that limits activities and affects job and school performance.

> One-quarter (26 percent) of all asthma sufferers report asthma limits their ability to participate in sports.

> About one-in-ten of all asthma sufferers report that their asthma impacts certain aspects of their work and school performance.

Comparing the experiences of adult sufferers with parents of child sufferers reveals a greater level of involvement, concern and anxiety on the part of parents, who may feel they are advocates for their child's health:

> Parents of child sufferers (34 percent) are more likely to contact their physician than adults (11 percent) when they have questions between doctor visits.

> Parents describe their child as having mild (46 percent) or moderate asthma (44 percent), which is very much under control or completely under control (75 percent). However, nearly 20 percent experience some very severe symptoms, and 35 percent report their child experiences asthma-related symptoms year-round.

> Parents are more likely to seek all types of information about asthma than adult sufferers, and parents of child sufferers are more likely to make lifestyle changes because of their asthma than are adult asthmatics.

> 63 percent of parents say they understand their children's condition very or extremely well (compared with 57 percent of adults), but only 17 percent report that their child currently uses a Peak Flow meter.

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