Allergy

Dishwashers Harmful to Kids? (Article)

It turns out there is truth in the statement “The old way is the better way,” according to a recent study that has found an association between dishwashers and the growing prevalence of allergy among children. In this study, Swedish researchers found childhood allergies to be less prevalent in families who hand washed dishes versus those who used modern dishwashing machines. It was just a few generations ago when parents and children alike, hand washed the dishes after dinner. In modern America today, this activity seems to be a only a distant memory. The majority of American families now have the convenience of an electric dishwasher to help with kitchen cleanup. Continue reading

Allergy, An American Disease? (Article)

One of the great medical mysteries of the 20th century is to explain why children are suffering from more allergic diseases, at least in America. Asthma, hay fever, eczema, as well as peanut allergy are becoming very common conditions among children in the US. It is estimated that 10% of American children now have asthma, and 20% suffer with eczema. Once uncommon conditions are becoming the norm for our children. What is going on?

Continue reading

Allergy shots without the Shot! (Article)

Allergy Shots without the Shot!   Allergists are beginning to retire those time honored allergy SHOTS, and instead, use under the tongue allergy DROPS to accomplish the same thing; to reduce the amount of asthma, food allergy, runny nose, and eczema a child might suffer. It’s called (sublingual immunotherapy) or SLIT.  SLIT is a new type of allergy therapy and is under intensive study by experts.  Not only does it not involve those nasty needles like (subcutaneous immunotherapy) SCIT, but also it seems to possibly be safer and equally effective for younger children. Traditional allergy shots are usually not given to children under age 5 years, but not SLIT.   SLIT may turn out to be a great alternative for children under 5.   Sublingual immunotherapy is still in the research phase and not ready for prime time just quite yet.  Like all medical therapies, it has some side effects like a taste that some children find unpleasant and some oral itching and gastrointestinal symptoms.  Fortunately, life -threatening reactions have not been seen to date. It also requires a long treatment course of years to show effectiveness.   Currently, a pediatric allergist with North Carolina connections, Dr. Wesley Burkes, is making history learning how to make peanut allergic children and adults tolerant of peanuts using SLIT.  This is important because currently, reactions to peanuts are the most common allergic reaction to food that kills children in the US. To date, he has had quite a bit of success in helping patients build tolerance.  His pioneering work may make it possible sometime soon for children with peanut allergy not to fear restaurants, birthday parties, cafeterias, and maybe even enjoy a candy bar with some peanuts once in a while. Let’s hope. Your comments are welcome at www.docsmo.com.  Share your knowledge. Until next time.

Smo Notes:

1. http://news.unchealthcare.org/news/2013/january/sublingual-immunotherapy-shows-promise-as-treatment-for-peanut-allergy

Written collaboratively by Catherine Wu and Paul Smolen MD