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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 - Send Yours Today
5. Feature - Back to School - Kids and Asthma


Welcome to another edition of the Allergy, Sinusitis, and Asthma newsletter.

Sometimes when battling a bad case of sinusitis, it's easy to feel all alone, particularly when those around you don't fully understand the pain that sinusitis inflicts and the power it has to mess up your daily routine. So it's always interesting when you hear of someone famous having sinusitis.

President Bush this week is recovering from a serious bout of sinusitis. In addition, Bush regularly suffers from seasonal allergies, although his doctors do a good job of keeping it under control. Maybe all those trips to Camp David weren't vacations at all! :-)

If you have fall allergies, you may be see your symptoms starting sooner than expected. Read our news link about "Fall Allergy Season Already in Full Swing". And speaking of allergies...

For any of you who used to watch The Bachelorette, you may be familiar with the only "reality TV" couple to have true success - Ryan and Trista. They are expecting a baby boy soon and they're pretty sure he'll have allergies because both Ryan and Trista have them. So they had an environmentally friendly nursery built by a company that is good at eliminating toxins from homes. Complete with a special air purifier and the use of low-fume paint, they believe that "every little bit helps." The couple are also using organic cotton in the baby bedding.

I'd be interesting in hearing from an allergy specialist about what Ryan and Trista are doing. Is this is a good idea or is it better for them to allow the baby exposure to allergens? Email me via

Finally, did you know that even superheroes sometimes suffer from asthma? On the last episode of "Who Wants to be a Superhero?", Whip-Snap was forced to use her asthma inhaler after running around Six Flags Magic Mountain.

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


Joe Tracy, editor
ASA Newsletter


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

The Daily Star: Area Doctors: Patients Don't Follow Orders
Quote: "...Do you finish all your antibiotics after getting a sinus infection or strep throat? Do you keep taking your medication, even after you feel better? You’re not alone if you don’t..."

11Alive: Bad Air Aggravates Asthma Sufferers
Quote: "...Atlanta is ranked the number one most challenging city in the United States for asthma sufferers, because of the climate, pollution and pollen. On Wednesday, the city lived up to that reputation..."

The Reporter: Fall Allergy Season Already in Full Swing
Quote: "...It may be summer, but the fall allergy season has officially begun — with a bang. According to the Kagen Allergy Report, people face very high risks for allergy symptoms this week. Primary allergens include nettles, ragweed, grass and English plantain..."

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

Create a Dust Free Bedroom
Part of fighting allergies is getting rid of the allergens in your home. This article provides great tips on creating a dust free bedroom... Click here to read the entire article.

The Connection Between Allergies and Sinusitis
This article explores the connection between allergies and sinusitis and includes information on symptoms and treatment... Click here to read the entire article.

Don't Let Allergies Ruin Your Wedding Day
Before you have your wedding, be sure to read these tips on being prepared so that allergies don't ruin your wedding... Click here to read the entire article.

Send Yours Today!
Our most popular sections are the sinusitis experiences, allergy experiences, and asthma experiences. This is because those reading the experiences can relate to the author. Help us build out our experiences section by sending in your experience today. You can email it to

FEATURE -Back to School - Kids and Asthma
Back-to-school time is always tough for 11-year-old Mark Janiga – not just because he leaves behind the fun of summer vacation, but also because it’s the time of year when his asthma starts to get worse.

“The start of the school year is kind of my bad season,” says Janiga, who is treated for asthma at the University of Michigan Health System. “All the leaves fall down, and the pollen starts to grow and makes me congested.”

Like many of the 9 million children in this country who have asthma, Janiga needs more than just pencils and notepads when he returns to the classroom each fall. He requires easy access to his inhaler and other medications, and the awareness of his teacher and school officials about his condition.

“Parents need to make sure the school has some sort of mechanism to get asthma medications to their child, whether they carry their own inhaler or rescue medicine, or if they have it in the nurse’s office where the student can get it,” says Andrew Singer, M.D., clinical instructor in the Department of Internal Medicine’s Division of Allergy and Immunology and in the Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases at the University of Michigan Medical School.

The start of the school year coincides with one of the worst allergy seasons, Singer notes, when asthma attacks can be triggered by pollen or ragweed. Adding to the problem, he says, viruses such as the rhinovirus, which causes the common cold, tend to spread around schools during the first few weeks of the year.

“That can exacerbate the impact of a child’s asthma and set them up for hospitalizations, emergency room visits or the need for more medications,” he says.

As more children develop asthma, the impact on their academic lives also is increasing. Singer notes that some 14 million school days are lost each year because of asthma.

Typically, asthma in children and adults is associated with allergies such as hay fever (allergic rhinitis), reactions to dogs or cats, food allergies, or second-hand smoke, he says. Other triggers can include exercise, stress and sudden changes in temperature.

Asthma occurs when there is an inflammation in the airwaves, which causes reversible episodes of wheezing or coughing. Asthma attacks (also known as asthma episodes) can be mild, or they can be so severe that they are fatal.

Long-term medications can be used to help prevent asthma attacks, and they are available as pill and inhaled medications. Rescue medications – known as bronchodilators – act quickly to help the airways open up during an asthma attack.

While asthma can have an impact on one’s quality of life, Mark Janiga and his family aren’t willing to let him miss out on activities at school. “I just feel that a child with asthma can do anything they want to, as long as they have the right medication and the right maintenance control,” says Mark’s mother, Joanne Janiga.

Mark Janiga puts it another way: “My asthma won’t stop me from playing.”

Kids, Asthma and School
Here are five facts from and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

1. Asthma is one of the leading causes of school absenteeism, with about 14 million school days lost each year due to the condition.

2. Low-income populations, minorities and children in inner cities experience more hospitalizations and death related to asthma.

3. The child’s teacher and school nurse should know the medications the student takes and the dosages, the student’s asthma triggers, and how to recognize the early symptoms of a flare-up.

4. Parents may want to request that the school make changes to decrease the child’s exposure to triggers, such as using dust-free chalk or dry-erase boards, and avoiding perfumed cleaning products and soaps.

5. With proper management of children’s asthma, most can fully participate in school activities, including games at recess and sports during gym class.


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