Tuesday, September 22, 2015

What is The Teal Pumpkin Project?

·        Did you know that one in 13 children under the age of 18 years of age are affected from food allergies? 

·        This number is only on the rise and according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since 1997-2011, food allergies have increased by 50%. 

·        Sadly, we don’t know why these numbers are increasing. 

·        Children with food allergies often feel left out and isolated as it’s difficult for them to “share” food.  Halloween proposes a particular challenge for parents with food allergies.  The candy filled pumpkin offered up with generosity and fun is a perilous bowl of potential threats for those with food allergies.

·        Candy typically may contain milk, egg, soy, peanuts, tree nuts and latex, some of the most common causes of food allergies.
·        Launched as a national campaign by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) in 2014, the Teal Pumpkin Project™ raises awareness of food allergies and promotes inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season. 

           AMAZINGLY! Last year, households from 50 states and 7 countries participated in the Teal Pumpkin Project™ by putting out a teal painted pumpkin to signify that their treats were “food allergy safe”. This year, you can be part of an even bigger movement by joining 100,000 households pledging to participate in the Teal PumpkinProject™!

Gramercy Allergy and Asthma Took The Pledge Have You?

What Do You Have to Do To Participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project™?
·       Place a teal painted pumpkin outside your home or a sign signifying you have non-food related treats available to trick-or-treaters.

·       Take the Pledge!
     Join FARE and 100,000 other households across the USA in providing allergy free treats. 
·       Want to download a sign?  Visit the FARE website http://www.foodallergy.org/teal-pumpkin-project/downloads#.VgFbFt9VhBc

What are Some Easy Ideas for Non-Food Treats to use for the Teal Pumpkin Project™?
·        Glow sticks, bracelets, or necklaces
·        Pencils, pens, crayons or markers
·        Bubbles
·        Halloween erasers or pencil toppers
·        Mini Slinkies
·        Whistles, kazoos, or noisemakers
·        Bouncy balls
·        Finger puppets or novelty toys
·        Coins
·        Spider rings
·        Vampire fangs
·        Mini notepads
·        Playing cards
·        Bookmarks
·        Stickers
·        Stencils

How Can You Get More Involved with Food Allergy Awareness? 

Participate in the FARE WALK For Food ALLERGY- and Help us Say Farewell to Food Allergies. 

When? Saturday October 10, 2015

 Where? Westchester NY- Glen Island Park (Weyman Avenue, New Rochelle, NY 10801

Check In @ 1PM with Walk Ceremony starting 230.

Or visit the FARE Website

Need help managing specific food allergies?  Please visit click here to schedule an appointment.

* "The TEAL PUMPKIN PROJECT and the Teal Pumpkin Image are trademarks of Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE)."

Halloween and Food Allergy

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

What Are the Top 5 Ways that Allergies Can Make You Tired?

As New Yorkers, many of us are running on empty.  Work, social, and family demands are often great and push us to our limits. Many of us blame our lack of energy on "doing to much" and not taking enough downtown, but if you have uncontrolled allergies they actually may be contributing to your lack of energy and feeling of brain fog.

What are the Top 5 Ways that Allergies Can Cause You to be Tired?  

1) Nasal Congestion

Many over the counter and prescription allergy medications cause a side effect of drowsiness and fatigue.  This can happen suddenly, or with increased use over time.
Did you know that our beds are filled with allergic triggers such as dust mites, feathers, and pet dander.  These allergic triggers can cause severe nasal congestion that happens about 20-30 minutes after falling asleep.  A stuffy nose is the number one cause of sleep disturbances in allergy suffers.  Incorrect breathing, via your mouth or even snoring, can mimic sleep apnea, a dangerous condition.  

2) Post Nasal Drip

Many allergy suffers have a chronic post nasal drip.  During the day time it's less noticable then when lying flat because we swallow the mucous.  At night time, post nasal drip can cause throat itching and coughing that can wake you up from sleep.

3) Side Effects of Allergy Medications
Many over the counter allergies medications can have the side effect of fatigue and grogginess.  This can occur on the first dose or after long term use.

4) Production of Inflammatory Mediators From an Allergic Reaction

People who suffer from allergies have allergic inflammation in their bodies.  These inflammatory mediators are similar to those that our bodies produce during a cold or viral infection and can cause symptoms of feeling fatigue, brain fog, and feeling drained.

5) Night Awakenings from Coughing

Did you know that uncontrolled asthma can present just at nighttime with a dry cough or wheezing? This is called nocturnal asthma.  Asthma symptoms that seem worsen in the middle of the night, typically between 2AM and 4AM, are a significant cause of fatigue and poor sleep for those with allergies. Interestingly, nocturnal asthma can affect anyone with any type of asthma.  What might trigger the worsening asthma at night?  Sinus infections, post nasal drip and your body clock can trigger asthma.  

What should you do if you believe your allergies and asthma are triggering fatigue?
See an allergy specialist for full evaluation.  Poor sleep and fatigue is a leading cause of poor concentration at school and work.  By knowing what is triggering your symptom of fatigue and brain fog, you can avoid and treat the problem.

Want my help?  Please click here to make an appointment or visit gramercyallergy.com

Friday, September 4, 2015

My Recent WABC-TV New York View Point Interview - Talking Women Entrepreneurship and Vision for Gramercy Allergy and Asthma

My Recent WABC-TV Interview - Talking Women Entrepreneurship and Vision for Gramercy Allergy and Asthma

A lot of you know me as an Allergist and Immunologist but I’m also a small business owner.

This past Sunday, I joined Julie Weeks, research adviser to American Express OPEN and author of the 2015 State of Women- Owned Businesses Report, in-studio at WABC-TV’s “Viewpoint” program   to discuss women entrepreneurship in the New York metropolitan area and my vision for Gramercy Allergy and Asthma.

The interview with host Ken Rosato  centered around my thoughts on being a successful small business owner in New York City and  included my practice philosophy of spending time with my patients to better understand the impact of their allergies and asthma on their health.  I associated being an allergist with being a detective as the focus is on investigating what's trigging disease, rather than just masking symptoms with medications.  I also spoke to the benefits of being in private practice, such as  having more time to spend with my patients to fully investigate what is making them so sick.  The segment concluded with me addressing the keys to being a successful physician and entrepreneur, such as tapping a trusted network of mentors.  

Want to see the full interview?   WABC's New York View Point- Sunday August 30, 2015

Thursday, August 6, 2015

August is National Immunization Month- Why Should You Get Immunized?

August is National Immunization Month- Why Should You Get Immunized?

The month of August brings reminders and memories of back to school, meeting your fist college roommate or trying out for sports teams.  It’s also a great month to check in with your physician to make sure your vaccines are up to date.  The CDC has labeled August as National Immunization Awareness Month to raise the importance of vaccination not just in childhood, but through our entire lives.

Vaccination is one of the great victories in medicine in prevention of disease.   In 1000 AD, the Chinese and Turks began the practice of inoculation with small pox to prevent disease.  Edward Jenner didn’t bring vaccination to small pox into practice until 1796.  Since, we’ve expanded our ability to protect infants, teens and adults against many preventable diseases that before were serious and often led to death. 

Despite these advances, every year, thousands of children and adults in the US needlessly are sick and suffer and are hospitalized from diseases that could be prevented by vaccination.

What are A Few Reasons Why Vaccines Are So Important?
·       They help protect children, teens and adults against many serious and sometimes deadly diseases.
·       Vaccination to protect against 15 diseases is available in the United States.
·       Through this program many diseases such as measles, mumps rubella, influenza, and small pox that used to wreak havoc on communities have now been brought under control. 
·       They help prevent disease such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, human papilloma virus, influenza, shingles, pneumonia caused by pneumococcal bacteria, hepatitis, and whooping cough

Despite knowing this we aren't doing a great job vaccinating adults.

According to CDC data, in 2013:
·       Only 17% of adults 19 years or older had received the tetanus and whooping cough vaccine (Tdap)
·       Only 24% of adults 60 years or older had received shingles (herpes zoster) vaccination. – National Health Interview Survey 2013
·       Only 21% of adults 19 to 64 years at high risk had received pneumococcal vaccination. – National Health Interview Survey 2013
·       Only 42% of adults 18 years or older received a flu vaccine during 2013-2014
vaccination. – National Health Interview Survey 2013

·       The importance of vaccination ends in childhood
o   Adults should continue to receive vaccinations depending on their health age, and occupation throughout their life
o   Common vaccines for adults include: influenza, pneumonia (Pneumovax), shingles, hepatis B, and whooping cough.  Speak with your doctor to make sure yours are up to date.
o   Check out the CDC's Vaccine Scheduele for Adults to see what vaccines you should have received
·       I’m Egg Allergic and Can’t Get the Flu Vaccine
o   Speak with your allergist regarding specific advice regarding vaccination for flu and egg allergy.

·       Vaccination is dangerous and can lead to disease
o   Vaccines are thoroughly tested before licensing and carefully monitored even after they are licensed to ensure that they are very safe
o   Side effects from vaccines are usually mild and temporary.
o   Some people may have allergic reactions to certain vaccines, but serious and long-term side effects are rare.

·       Vaccination will weaken my immune system
o   Vaccination will not weaken your immune system.  Vaccines act like germs to stimulate the immune system against the virus or bacteria so it will mount a response and offer protection against disease.  Vaccines strengthen your body’s response against these illnesses.

·       Vaccination can cause autism

o   No.  Vaccination does not cause autism.

o   Numerous studies have found no link between vaccination and autism.  In 2004, a groundbreaking study from the Institute of medicine found that thimerosal (a preservative in vaccines) does not cause autism.

Have specific questions about vaccine and the importance of them?  Speak with your doctor to get accurate information or look at the CDC’s website.

If you need vaccines, have questions regarding allergy to vaccines, or have questions about vaccines, contact us and we'll help! Want more specific advice on vaccination with one of New York’s Top Allergist?  Visit our website http://www.gramercyallergy.com or click here to schedule an appointment online.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

How Can You Conquer Exercise Induced Asthma?

The benefits of exercising outside are many.   Conquering a hill or moving against the wind can intensifies a workout.   Not only is the workout harder, but recent studies suggest that exercising outdoors over indoors boosts their mood and overall well being. The simple act of taking a walk outside increased participates self esteem, and energy while decreasing depression, anger and tension.
For many though, exercising outdoors and exercise in general is a potential trigger for asthma.  This is called exercise induced asthma.

Did you know?
  • About 12-15% of athletes  will have exercise induced asthma.
  • Allergic and non-allergic triggers of exercise induced asthma can trigger symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and wheezing.  
  • Persons with exercise induced asthma often don't have regular asthma and often only have symptoms during exercise.  

How Do You Know If You Have Exercise Induced Asthma?  
Ask yourself a few simple questions.  If you answer yes, then speak with your Allergist about being screened.  
  • Do you have cough, chest tightness or SOB associated only with exercise?
  • Does going outside on a cold day trigger a cough?
  • Are you sensitive to cold temperatures and dry air? 
  • Does air pollutants (tobacco smoke car pollution, and air quality issues) trigger symptoms?
How Are you Diagnosed with Exercise Induced Asthma?
  • See your allergist for a complete health history and testing.
  • Have a breathing test (Spirometry) done
  • A follow up test after exercise may be performed.
What Can You Do to Prevent Exercise Induced Asthma?
  • Warm up slowly to humidify the air in your lungs
  • Make sure you add a cool down period into your routine
  • Check pollen and air quality levels prior to heading out
  • Speak with your Allergist about setting up an individualized plan to prevent symptoms and keep you performing at your best!
Want more specific advice on exercise induced asthma with New York’s Top Allergist?  Visit our website http://www.gramercyallergy.com or click here to schedule an appointment online.

Want more information on Exercise Induced Asthma?

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Why do I have Itchy Water Blisters on My Hands and Feet?

Summer and warm weather bring oh so much fun!  Everyone wants to catch up, vacation and spend as much time outside as possible.  For some though, the warm weather causes the recurrence of itchy water filled blisters appearing on their hands and feet.  These blisters look like grains of tapioca coming out of the skin.  The itch can be intense! And can cause many sleep disturbance, social embarrassment and disruption.  Symptoms start with intense burning and itching on the hands and feet.  Scratching will cause the appearance of water blisters underneath the skin.  Skin can be red and wet appearing.  Symptoms without treatment last about 3-4 weeks and then reoccur. 

What Are These Itchy Water Filled Blisters?
·       For most these water filled blisters are caused by a form of eczema called dyshidrotic eczema.
·       Other causes may be from fungal infection and other autoimmune diseases and should be evaluated by an allergist or other physician.

 Taken from http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1122527-overview

Taken from http://images.medicinenet.com/images/slideshow/eczema-atopic-dermatitis-s13-photo-of-dyshidrotic-eczema.jpg

Who's Affected by Dyshidrotic Eczema?
·       About 50% of persons with dyshidrotic eczema will have a history of other allergic diseases like eczema, and allergies in the nose, eyes, or/or asthma
·       It affects men and women equally.
·       First episodes typically start anywhere from the 20’s to 40’s and reoccur each spring/summer
What Causes Dyshidrotic Eczema?
·       Causes are varied:
o   dysfunction of the sweat gland on the hands and feet
o   chemical allergy to metals (nickel allergy, cobalt allergy), and products like Balsam of Peru, preservatives and sunscreens we use just during the warmer months
o   Exposure to sun can trigger the onset of symptoms.
o   Stress can also bring out blisters.

Is There Treatment for Dyshidrotic Eczema?
·        Treatment depends on the cause of symptoms.
o   Evaluation for chemical allergy and/or other environmental triggers should be done by an Allergist
o   Evaluation for possible food allergy by an Allergist
o   Evaluation for potential fungal and/or bacterial infection
·        Avoidance of offending agent is key in prevent.  Topical use of corticosteroids, topical antibiotics, and/or UV light therapy may be helpful in prevention. 

Do you need help with your dyshidrotic eczema?  Please book book an appointment with Dr. Jennifer Collins for specific advice

Want more information? Check out the  National Eczema Association

Monday, June 22, 2015

Insect Allergy- What You Need to Know.

 Spending times outdoors this season is such a pleasure, but being bitten by insects can put a damper outside activities.
This is what you need to know now to protect yourself from reactions to insects.
What are signs and symptoms of an insect bite?
·       Pain, swelling and redness confined to the sting site
·       Intense itching at the site.
·       In severe cases, insect bites can cause severe allergic reactions that can result in death.
When Should You Be Worried about An Insect Sting?  
·       There are 3 types of reactions an insect can cause:  a local reaction, a large, local reaction and a systemic allergic reaction.
·       A normal local reaction will result in pain, swelling and redness confined to the sting site.
·       A large local reaction will result in swelling well beyond the sting site. For example, a sting on the forearm could cause the whole arm to swell - a condition that usually peaks two to three days after the sting and can last a week or more.
·       A systemic allergic reaction is the most serious and requires medical attention. Symptoms of a systemic allergic reaction can range from mild to severe.
·       If you’re worried at all, seek immediate medical advice.

What’s Most Likely to Bite Us?
·       Mosquitos, fleas, chiggers, and bed bugs- most likely will cause a local allergic reaction.
·       Wasps, yellow jackets, hornets, and bees are the cause of the majority of insect stings- sting insects that can cause a local and/or total body allergic reaction.  About 3 out of 100 adults have severe allergy to flying insects resulting in potentially deadly reaction. 
·       Fire Ants (red or black) - extend from the southern US up into NY.  Bites from these insects typically cause a blistering reaction.
How Can you Prevent Insect Stings/Bites?
  • Always wear shoes when walking in the grass. Many bees burrow in the ground and you can unsuspectingly step into their nest.
  • Wear bug sprays like Off or Deet.  Wary of harsh chemicals?  Geraniums and citronella are natural mosquito propellants.
  • Don’t drink from open soft drink cans; stinging insects are attracted to them and may crawl inside.
  • Cover food when eating outside.
  • Don’t use sweet-smelling perfume, hairspray or deodorant.
  • Avoid wearing brightly colored clothing with flowery patterns.
  • Protect your legs, arms and body with long pants/long-sleeved shirts when working outside.
  • Use caution near bushes, attics and picnic areas. 
How can you Treat Insect Bites?
Local and large local reactions can most likely be treated with OTC anti-histamines and topical steroids.  Some large local reactions will need medical care.
Systemic allergic reactions ALWAYS require medical attention.  Lifesaving epinephrine may be administered.  If you have a reaction, seek treatment from an allergist.  They have treatment that can potentially you of your insect sting.   

Need more help or have questions?  Schedule anappointment here.

Want more information?