Monday, March 15, 2010

Pet Allergies and Travel Again

Question of the Week from AAAAI

Posted 3/15/2010
How do I prepare for plane travel if I have allergies to pets?

Cats and dogs are allowed in plane cabins which for some people may cause allergy symptoms, such as itchy and watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, wheezing and hives. If you are extremely sensitive to pets, you must have a plan in place, which often may include pre-treatment of your allergy and asthma condition by your allergist. Even when you have tolerated an allergen such as from a cat and/or dog, a subsequent exposure may provoke an asthma attack or a more severe allergic reaction, at that time.

Flying with pets has caused enough of a concern that in an editorial by the Canadian Medical Association Journal, a complete ban of pets on planes was recommended. The Canadian lung association also reported that more than three-quarters of those polled in a survey wished that airlines offered pet-free flights.

It is essential to have the proper prescribed medications on hand in your carry-on if you suffer from pet allergies, especially if you find yourself soaring at 30,000 feet with pets on your flight!

Please talk to me about this if it is a concern for you.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Eczema in Early Childhood May Influence Mental Health Later

Eczema in Early Childhood May Influence Mental Health Later

ScienceDaily (Feb. 10, 2010) — Eczema in early childhood may influence behavior and mental health later in life. This is a key finding of a prospective birth cohort study to which scientists of Helmholtz Zentrum München contributed. In cooperation with colleagues of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU), Technische Universität München (TUM) and Marien-Hospital in Wesel, North Rhine-Westphalia this study followed 5,991 children who were born between 1995 and 1998.

The study has been published in the current issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Researchers, led by Assistant Professor Jochen Schmitt of Dresden University Hospital, Dr. Christian Apfelbacher (Heidelberg University Hospital) and Dr. Joachim Heinrich of the Institute of Epidemiology of Helmholtz Zentrum München, discovered that children who suffered from eczema during the first two years of life were more likely to demonstrate psychological abnormalities, in particular emotional problems, at age ten years than children of the same age who had not suffered from the disease. "This indicates that eczema can precede and lead to behavioral and psychological problems in children," Dr. Heinrich explained.
Children whose eczema persisted beyond the first two years of life were more likely to have mental health problems than children who had eczema only in infancy.
Within the framework of the GINIplus study, scientists tracked the family history of the children, collected data on their physical health and emotional condition at age 10 years and gathered information on their daily lives. Questions were asked about the course of disease -- also in early childhood -- with special focus on diseases such as eczema, asthma, allergic rhinitis, stress tolerance and behavioral abnormalities.
Eczema is a non-infectious skin disease characterized by scaling itchy skin rashes. It is the most common skin disease in children and adolescents. Children who suffer from eczema are known to have an increased predisposition for hay fever and allergic asthma. Eczema symptoms are accompanied by a broad spectrum of secondary symptoms, such as sleep disorders.
"We suspect that it is mainly the secondary symptoms that have a long-term effect on the emotions of the affected children," Joachim Heinrich said. The authors of the study therefore recommend documenting the occurrence of eczema as potential risk factor for later psychological problems in the children's medical records, even if the actual primary disease abates and disappears during the course of childhood.


Have you ever thought what it must be like to pump gas all day long? Apart from inhaling fumes constantly, the only conversation is "Fill with regular" or "$20 of premium"...and so on.  Compare this to a visit to the barber (or hairdresser) where we try to fill the void with small talk. So now that I use the same gas station every time, I try to greet the attendant with a smile and hello and try to make some conversation beyond the needs of my gas tank. To date reward is a big smile and "my" attendant who hurries over to serve me each time I fill up.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Back Again!

It's been a while since I have posted. first, the Winter is generally quiet on the allergy scene, and there has not not been much news. Second, I follow the readership statistics and I am only seeing a few readers, so I am thinking about changing the focus of this blog to add more short comments on new drug developments, the passing scene and life in general. If you can give me feedback, I would love to know what you would like to see in this blog that you don't find somewhere else.