What should you do if you lose a fight with a bee?

Dr. Jackie on BuzzFeed

BuzzFeed Life reached out to two insect-sting allergy experts and fellows of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology: Dr. Jackie Eghrari-Sabet, who runs Family ENT, Allergy & Asthma Center in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and Dr. Clifford Bassett, founder of Allergy and Asthma Care of New York, to find out.

First, don’t freak out if your lips swell up A LOT. It’s actually normal.

“Just because your lip swells up so big, it doesn’t mean you’re allergic. It’s reacting like any part of your body when stung by a bee or wasp, it’s just more visible because it’s your face,” Eghrari-Sabet says. As for first-aid, she suggests carefully removing the stinger if you can, applying ice, and taking an antihistamine like Benadryl or Allegra to help with the swelling.

But make sure to look out for signs of a more serious reaction.

“If the reaction goes past where you were stung, you might have a severe allergic reaction, or ‘anaphylaxis’. This can include swelling of additional areas of your body where you weren’t stung such as the eyes and neck, itchiness, hives, difficulty breathing and swallowing, and even loss of consciousness,” says Eghrari-Sabet. If you experience any of these, you should go to the hospital for treatment and an epinephrine autoinjector (EpiPen).

Fortunately, this is very rare. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, only 3% of adults in the United States will have a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction to insect stings.
And try to be extra careful when you’re outside this summer.

You can read the whole post on BuzzFeed Life: 7 People Who Learned The Hard Way Why You Shouldn’t Mess With Bees.


If your child has food allergies, Halloween can be tricky. Dr. Jackie Eghrari-Sabet, of Family ENT, Allergy & Asthma Center in Gaithersburg, Md. has Halloween safety tips to keep your family happy and healthy.

1 in every 13 kids has food allergy — many will figure that out for the first time on Oct 31st when they bite into a candy bar. In this informative NBC4 video, Dr. Jackie talks about several pertinent questions:

  1. Does every one have to worry and how do you know if your infants, toddlers, or older kids have food allergy?
  2. If you are at risk — what to do as you go door to door? What are the new “teal” pumpkin we may see this Halloween?
  3. What about eating things that say “MAY contain nuts” or processed in factory with nuts — can you eat them?
  4. What to do if you child is having a reaction ?
  5. Overall tips to keep your food allergic child safe with a simple SAFE rule to follow:
  • Stay in a group when trick-or-treating through neighborhood streets.
  • Avoid eating candy you’re not familiar with and carry hand wipes in case of accidental exposure.
  • Feel free to say “no thank you” to treats you are allergic to.
  • Epinephrine, cell phone and emergency contact should always be carried in case of an allergic reaction


Dr. Jackie on Fox News: Late spring causing severe allergies

NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) – It’s spring allergy season…

And the pollen combined with the air quality where you live can be the cause behind your suffering.

Cooler temperatures delayed spring allergies in parts of the country.

Doctor Jackie Eghrari-Sabet, an allergy / immunology specialist, says if you start with the west and the drought, certainly those dry and hot winds will make your allergies worse because what’s in the air can travel further and faster.

“Then as you come across the country to the Midwest or certainly now in the east where we’ve had this unbelievable amount of rain the problem here again can be it washes away the pollen but the molds are going to be incredible” she said.

Cooler temperatures delayed spring allergies in parts of the country.

Dr. Eghrari believes this delay could end up having many suffering all summer long.

“Because we’ve had the late onset of the spring and what we don’t know is what’s the weather going to be in terms of blooming of other pollens like weeds” she said. “ We could certainly have this parade of one leading into the other that the tree pollen leads to the grass pollen leads to the ragweed. And you can have a stuffy nose through every single month of the whole spring and summer.”

The FDA recently approved two new pills to help grass and ragweed allergy sufferers.

Doctors say if you know you are allergic to ragweed, the time to address it is now.

Dr. Eghrari says the reason you want to know about that now is you need to start the therapy for that about four months before hand. And that would be now in many parts of the country.


My Health News Daily quotes Dr. Eghrari-SabetIf you have pet allergies, chances are it is Fluffy rather than Fido that’s making you sneeze. While an estimated 10 percent of people are allergic to household pets, cat allergies are twice as common as dog allergies, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Nothing to Sneeze At: Cats Worse Than Dogs for Allergies

Nothing to Sneeze At: Cats Worse Than Dogs for Allergies

Among children, about one in seven between ages 6 and 19 prove to be allergic to cats.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not cat fur that causes those itchy, watery eyes. Most people with cat allergies react to a protein found on cat skin called Fel d 1…

Limiting a cat’s access to the bedrooms of allergic people, using high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, bathing the cat and removing allergen-trapping carpeting may also help.

For those who can’t avoid cat dander, allergy shots may be an option. Small injections of the allergen can help build immune system tolerance over time. “It takes about six months of weekly injections of increasing potency to reach a maintenance level, followed by three to five years of monthly injections, for the therapy to reach full effectiveness,” said Dr. Jackie Eghrari-Sabet, an allergist and founder of Family ENT, Allergy and Asthma Center in Gaithersburg, Md.

A less burdensome fix for cat allergies may be on the horizon. Phase 3 clinical trials are set to begin this fall for a cat allergy vaccine that Larché helped develop. Early tests have shown the vaccine to be safe and effective without some of the side effects of allergy shots, such as skin reactions and difficulty breathing. Larché receives research funding from pharmaceutical companies Adiga Life Sciences and Circassia.

Read the full article at MyHealthNewsDaily.


Women’s Health Magazine: Are Your Allergies Making You Fat?

Allergy medications may interfere with your appetite and your energy levels. Here’s how to keep allergy season from derailing your diet

Are Your Allergies Making You Fat?

Allergy season is upon us, and the record pollen levels we’re experiencing this year may have you heading to the allergy relief aisle at your local drugstore. But what you take to alleviate your symptoms could have unpleasant side effects on your waistline. Researchers have suggested that allergies and weight gain go hand in hand, and that could have to do with the drugs you take or more subtle underlying problems.

In August 2010, researchers from Yale University published a study in the journal Obesity finding that people who took antihistamines regularly were heavier than people who didn’t take them at all. The study’s authors used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005–2006 to compare the body weight of 867 adults and their prescription antihistamine use. The two drugs most common in the study were cetirizine, now sold over-the-counter as Zyrtec, and fexofenadine, also now sold over-the-counter as Allegra, and the effect was more pronounced in men. The researchers warned that this was an observational study, and couldn’t demonstrate whether antihistamines actually caused the weight gain or if obesitypredisposes people to allergies.

The latter was suggested in a separate study, published in 2009 in the Journal of Clinical Allergy and Immunology. Using data from the same CDC survey, researchers found that obese children were more likely to suffer from allergies, specifically food allergies, than normal-weight children. “It wasn’t clear to us if that really meant that the obesity was the cause of that allergic propensity or not,” says Cynthia Visness, PhD, the study’s lead author and a research scientist at Rho Inc., the research firm that conducted the study.

There isn’t much literature available on the link between obesity and allergies, so possible explanations for the associations seen in these two studies are simply theories at this point, Visness says. In her study, she suggested that inflammation could play a role. Fat cells release cytokines, chemicals that promote inflammation, and an allergic reaction triggers inflammation as well. So people with high levels of inflammation in their bodies are likely to suffer from both conditions.

Another theory suggested in the Yale study was that histamine, which is the neurotransmitter that overreacts when you come into contact with an allergen, has a secondary role in regulating your appetite. Animal studies have shown that dosing mice with histamine reduces their food intake, while dosing them with antihistamines increases their appetites. Therefore, it stands to reason, the authors noted, that if you take a lot of antihistamines, that might cause you to eat more. (Some older antihistamines are even used as appetite stimulants in young children.)

Then there are even more basic explanations. “Some older medications are so sedating that they cause you to be a couch potato,” says Jackie Eghrari-Sabet, MD, a fellow of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and an allergist with a private practice in Gaithersburg, MD. Drugs that make you that tired are more than likely to interfere with your getting regular exercise. Secondly, she says, antihistamines can dry you out and make you thirsty. “In some people, the signal for thirst can be confused with the signal for hunger,” she adds, making you more likely to eat when you really should be reaching for a glass of water.

To keep bad spring allergies from ruining your summer beach body, here are a few tips:

• Opt for newer antihistamines. ”In the old days, there were sedating antihistamines that some would claim would make you hungry,” adds Dr. Eghrari-Sabet. Those antihistamines, most common in older over-the-counter medicines like Benadryl and Chlor-Trimeton, are being replaced by newer drugs like Zyrtec, Allegra, and Claritin. Though Zyrtec and Allergra were the most common drugs in the Yale study linking antihistamine use to weight gain, Dr. Eghrari-Sabet says that increased appetite is not a common side effect she’s seen in her patients.

However, Zyrtec may make you more tired than the others. It’s considered a minimally sedating antihistamine, unlike Allegra and Claritin, which are non-sedating. So if you want a medication that won’t make you prone to skipping workouts, choose one of the non-sedating medications.

• Get diagnosed. If over-the-counter medications are making you hungry, tired, or just generally miserable, see an allergist. Knowing what you’re allergic to makes it easy to find prescription medications without all the side effects, says Dr. Eghrari-Sabet. And, she adds, “the most important thing an allergist has access to is an allergy shot. Allergy shots don’t have side effects like antihistamines do.”

• Grab the water. Make sure you keep yourself well hydrated whenever you’re taking allergy medications, to prevent your mind from confusing thirst with hunger. Add fruit, cucumbers, or herbs to your water to make it a more interesting drink.

• Fight allergies with food. If you do find that allergies or allergy medications are causing you to overeat, try to indulge in healthy food. In fact, there are a number of healthy foods that provide allergy relief and fight back hunger pangs at the same time. For ideas, see Soothe Spring Allergies: 10 Food and Herb Fixes for Allergy Relief. For more ideas on how to fight allergies naturally, check out the Rodale Remedy Finder!

Published on May 14, 2012 by Women’s Health Magazine


Your Health: Got allergies? Maybe it’s actually non-allergic rhinitis

By Kim Painter, USA TODAY

If you have a drippy or congested nose today, you’ve got lots of company.

After all, it’s late August, and in much of the country, it’s hay fever season or, more accurately, ragweed and mold allergy season. But if the symptoms get bad enough to send you to an allergist, you might get a surprise: You might not have allergies at all.

You could, of course, have a cold — and some adults get so many they are convinced they’ve developed an allergy, doctors say. One hint to their true condition, says Albany, N.Y., allergist David Shulan: They often are teachers or parents.

“They’re really just catching a lot of colds from kids,” he says.

But there’s another possibility, one many people have never heard of: It’s called “non-allergic rhinitis.”

People with non-allergic rhinitis have many of the same symptoms as people with nasal allergies — the runny noses, congestion and annoying post-nasal drip. Some sneeze, too. But “when we do allergy testing on them, we don’t find anything,” Shulan says.

These patients often have no personal or family history of allergy and are older than the usual new allergy patient, averaging about age 35, says Jonathan Bernstein, an allergy researcher at the University of Cincinnati. They are more often women than men, he says.

Patients often say they have symptoms year-round or are bothered by irritants that are not known to cause the immune system responses associated with a true allergy, says Michael Blaiss, an allergist at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. The possible triggers include:

  • Perfumes and other substances with strong odors.
  • Cigarette smoke and car exhaust.
  • Cold air, wind and high humidity.
  • Foods — and not just the spicy ones (this variation is called gustatory rhinitis).

Just lying down triggers symptoms in some people, Blaiss says. Although these people don’t have allergies, “this is a real condition,” he says. “Some are suffering more than the patients I see with allergies.”

Bernstein says: “It can have an impact on sleep and concentration, cause headaches and lead to sinus infections.”

The underlying causes are not well understood. In some people, the problem seems related to changes in the nose that occur with aging, says Stanley Fineman, an Atlanta allergist and vice president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Older noses tend to be drier, he says, so sometimes simple saline nose sprays can help.

Doctors also often recommend certain antihistamines, decongestants, steroid nasal sprays and drying agents. But the popular non-sedating antihistamines sold in drugstores often don’t work, Blaiss says. Patients also won’t benefit from allergy shots — unless they also have some allergies, which is possible, he adds.

It should be noted that adults can, at any age, develop new allergies or redevelop allergy symptoms that faded decades earlier, says Jacqueline Eghrari-Sabet, an allergist in Gaithersburg, Md. Sensitive people who move to new areas with high pollen counts often get new symptoms after two or three years of exposure. The best way to sort it all out, she says: Go to an allergist and get a skin test.

View Complete Article on USA Today

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