The Itch: Allergies, Asthma & Immunology
The Itch: Allergies, Asthma & Immunology
The Itch: Allergies, Asthma & Immunology
A podcast bringing you easily digestible information on all things allergies, asthma and immunology
#35: How to treat environmental allergies (allergies of the eyes and nose)
Dr G and Kortney take another deep dive, this time exploring how to treat environmental allergies (allergies of the eyes and nose). A quick recap - when we talk about allergies of the eyes and nose, we are talking about allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis. These are two forms of allergic responses that can be caused by things such as environmental allergens like pollen and grass, dust mites, and animal dander. What we cover in this episode Treatments for allergies of the eyes and nose: avoidance, natural methods, drug therapy and immunotherapy. Types of drug therapy for treating allergies of the eyes and nose: antihistamines, nasal sprays, eye drops If avoidance is not possible tips to create a safe space free from environmental allergies Demystifying hypoallergenic pets When to use and care for a Netti pot Different types of nasal sprays: intern-nasal antihistamines, intern-nasal decongestants, intern-nasal steroids. What to look out for and tips for using eye drops and artificial tears Topical antihistamine for the eyes Mast cell stabilizer eye drop & steroid eye drops Is it possible to use one treatment to treat both allergies of the eyes and nose? Additional Information & Links Signs of allergies of the eyes and nose and they are diagnosed. How to use nasal spray:
Nov 19
28 min
#34: What are allergies of the eyes and nose (environmental allergies)
A deep dive episode about allergic conjunctivitis and allergic rhinitis, also known as allergies of the eyes and nose respectively.    These are the two most common types of allergies affecting individuals. In the first part of our deep dive, Dr G goes into detail about the symptoms of the allergies of the eyes and nose, some things that may pose as them, and more. Part two will cover how to treat allergies of the eyes and nose.  What we cover in this episode What are allergic conjunctivitis (eyes) and allergic rhinitis (nose)? How common are allergies of the eyes and nose? Can you develop symptoms at any age? Signs and symptoms of allergies of the eyes and nose What you should know about environmental allergies. Environmental allergies, and the difference between seasonal and perennial allergies.  Why uncontrolled asthma can make allergies of the eyes or nose worse. How allergies of the eyes and nose are diagnosed and the testing involved: patient history, skin prick, blood test, intradermal testing, and patch testing.  Other conditions that look like allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis Allergies of the eyes and nose in pregnancy Nasal Polyps Medications that can cause a runny nose/congestion.  Why you need to be cautious when using Afrin. Additional Information & Links Pollen count app to download: Klarify American Lung Quit Smoking What to know about skin testing What are allergic shiners What is the Allergic Salute
Oct 22
36 min
#33: All you need to know about face masks
A bonus 'mini' episode all about wearing a mask to help prevent catching and spreading COVID-19. This is an excerpt focusing on face masks from episode #32 about COVID-19 and asthma with Melanie Carver of Allergy Asthma Foundation of America.  What we cover in this episode: Best practices for handling a face mask What to look for when buying or making a face mask How to clean your face mask Can you wear a face mask with asthma
Sep 17
9 min
#32 - COVID-19 and Asthma: What you need to know
September is known as September Asthma Epidemic or Asthma Peak Week because of the increased hospitalizations due to asthma. Since we are entering the fall during the COVID-19 pandemic there are some additional preventative steps those with asthma should take this year.    Dr G and Kortney are joined by Melanie Carver, the chief mission officer of Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Melanie has been working on creating more resources surrounding COVID-19 and Asthma. She shares her expertise about the impacts of COVID-19 on asthmatics, schools, and wearing face masks.    What we cover in this episode: Why September is a peak month for asthma What you can do to help ensure you will not be negatively impacted by your asthma during September peak How COVID-19 impacts those with asthma  Back to school: what are asthma triggers that kids are being exposed to and how you can address them Back to school: what you need to know about preparing for being in the classroom The symptoms of COVID-19 versus the symptoms of asthma Does wearing a mask impact asthma Tips on wearing a mask What you can do to help protect yourself from COVID-19 this fall/winter (get a flu shot!) Additional resources: Full list of resources for COVID-19 from AAFA Information about face masks September asthma peak information COVID-19 and Schools How to use a spacer with your inhaler Stay up to date with the latest COVID-19 news with AAFA
Sep 10
31 min
#31 Setting up a 504 plan for food allergies and asthma
How do you set up a 504 plan for food allergies and asthma?   Whether it is food allergies, asthma, ADHD or another disability, a 504 plan is an essential part of your child's school experience because it states in black and white why they need accommodations and what they are.   Kristin Osborne joins Kortney and Dr G as she outlines how to set up a 504 plan, what accommodations you can arrange for food allergies and asthma, what happens if your child's 504 plan is violated, and more! Kristin is a trained disability advocate and mom to three boys with multiple life-threatening food allergies, so you bet she knows all about what it takes for setting up a plan and navigating the federal school system.   What we cover in this episode: What is a 504 plan and who can get one? When can you start a 504 plan for your child? Preschool to high school. Can you have a 504 plan if your child goes to private school? How to qualify for a 504 plan: the eligibility meeting, the criteria, and who is involved in this process. The types of accommodations food allergies and asthma can have in a 504 plan. What would be considered a violation of the 504 plan? The steps to take if the 504 plan has been violated. The role of class parents in ensuring the 504 plan is respected. When and how you should get your food allergy child involved in the 504 planning process. What is your doctor’s role in setting up a 504 plan. Could COVID impact your 504 plan? Kristin’s honey and hot sauce method Helpful Resources: Kristin's website and how to get in touch with her: Sample Section 504 Plans for Managing Food Allergies from Kids with Food Allergies SAMPLE ACCOMODATIONS FOR 504/IEP/IHP from FAACT Section 504 and Written Management Plans from FARE Megan explains what she has in her son's plan for food allergies and EOE from Allergy Awesomeness
Aug 5
33 min
#30 Racial and economic disparities in food allergies, interview with Emily Brown
How do disparities (racial and economic) impact people with food allergies? Dr. G and Kortney explore disparities in food allergies with Emily Brown, the founder of Food Equality Initiative. Emily shares her story of food allergies and food insecurity, and how this impacts so many Americans.  Emily started Food Equality Initiative (FEI) to ensure that no mom has to feel like she did when she first stepped into a food pantry and could not find any safe options for her family.  FEI’s mission: Improve health and end hunger in individuals diagnosed with food allergies and celiac disease through access to safe and healthy food, nutrition, education and advocacy. What we covered on this episode: Why Emily started Food Equality Initiative and her journey into becoming an allergy mom. The role of family support in food allergy management. Food disparities and food insecurity - what does this mean. Why there is no shame in asking for help. American food programmes: WIC, SNAP (supplemental nutrition program). The struggles food allergy families may face at food banks and pantries.  How you can benefit from FEI or get involved. Since avoidance of allergens is the only treatment, access to safe food is therefore also the treatment. Emily and FEI are working to make safe food covered by insurance. Asthma and food allergy disparities - how they are linked. Why doctors need to screen for food insecurity. Helpful resources: Emily’s open letter to the food allergy community #ForTheHealth: Ending food allergy healthcare disparities series hosted by FEI Infographic of the impact of food allergies on a food budget
Jul 1
35 min
#29 - Nutrition and food allergies during pregnancy
Are there special precautions you need to take when pregnant with food allergies?   Chelsey Amer joins Dr G and Kortney to talk about her experience being pregnant with food allergies. As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Chelsey also shares information about proper nutrition during pregnancy for those with and without food allergies.   Dr G also shed some light on allergic reactions and what you need to know about taking allergy and asthma medications during pregnancy.   What we cover in this episode: Chelsey's journey with food allergies, chronic lung disease and how she became a registered dietitian. Can you use anti-histamines, epinephrine, topical steroids while pregnant? Pregnancy and asthma, can you continue to use controller medications and does anything change with asthma during pregnancy? Tips on how to eat a well-balanced diet during pregnancy and what that looks like. The role of supplements during pregnancy: what to look for and what to take. Is it ok to be a vegetarian while pregnant? Will your baby get all the nutrients they need to thrive? Why omega 3 fatty acids should not be neglected during pregnancy. What foods to avoid during pregnancy. Should you avoid eating allergenic foods while pregnant if you are not allergic to them? If you have a child with food allergies, should avoid eating their allergens during pregnancy? Can vitamin D help prevent allergic disease in babies? Why you want to introduce allergenic food to your child early on. Breastfeeding: what foods should be avoided, and when should you avoid allergenic foods while breastfeeding? When should someone consider working with a registered dietitian? What concerns Chelsey had about food allergies for herself and for her son. How to safely introduce your food allergens to your baby, and what Chelsey has been doing with her son. Sugar and gestational diabetes during pregnancy.   Helpful Resources:
Jun 10
41 min
#28: How to feel comfortable in your skin with eczema - Interview with Alexis Smith
What is the secret to feeling comfortable in your skin, especially when you have eczema?   Dr. Gupta and Kortney interview "skinfluencer" Alexis Smith, who shares her eczema journey on Instagram. Alexis has appeared on the cover of People Health Magazine, and Dove Beauty campaigns openly displaying her skin. Alexis shares how to feel comfortable in your skin, how to date, and wear makeup when you have eczema.   Dr. G goes into detail about patch testing for contact dermatitis, and how it is an integral part of eczema management.   What we cover in this episode: The role Instagram played in her eczema journey and the doors that it has opened from collaborations to developing a community How Alexis's family adapted to her diagnosis and the changes they had to make as a household The emotional toll eczema puts on you  Alexis's story of not covering up her eczema and why is it important to know and remember that "people don't care" Advice on how to be more comfortable in your one skin and gain confidence in your body How to interact with people who comment on your skin and don't really understand it? Navigating makeup with eczema Tips for rocking your eczema routine The testing used to help diagnose eczema Dating with eczema Mental health & resources for people who are feeling emotionally drained from their skin condition   Additional resources:
May 12
34 min
#27 - How to treat atopic eczema
What can you do to avoid atopic eczema flares?   In part two of the atopic eczema series, Dr G and Kortney discuss treatments and management techniques. From oral steroids to bleach baths, get ready to learn about all the ways you can help maintain healthy skin and avoid flares.   What we cover in this episode: What types of creams should you use to help maintain your skin Medicated creams: steroid cream, non-steroidal creams: Protopic and Crisaborole Sun exposure’s impact on your skin Other atopic eczema therapies: Phototherapy, Oral steroids: the pros and the cons, Dupilumab - dupixent: use and side effects, and Antihistamines Skin care for atopic eczema: soaps, bathing, moisturising Bleach baths General tips on how to avoid a flare. Can eczema be cured?   More resources: Atopic Eczema Treatments
Apr 8
24 min
#26 - What is atopic eczema? Part 1
What is the itch that rashes?  Dr G and Kortney are at it again; this time, they are doing a deep dive into atopic eczema. In part one, they go through all the terms associated with atopic eczema, what causes it, the symptoms, and the triggers. In part two, they will be covering treatments and maintenance. What we cover in this episode: Eczema and dermatitis Atopic eczema/atopic dermatitis Contact dermatitis Neurodermatitis What happens in the body to cause atopic eczema?  Why the skin barrier is essential in understanding atopic eczema and why you need to keep it moisturize What does atopic eczema look like/how to recognize it. How atopic eczema in effect different age groups. What are the triggers of atopic dermatitis: weather, temperature, environmental allergens, food allergies, stress. How to diagnose atopic eczema and why it is crucial to work with an allergist while diagnosing a baby, especially if they are being tested for food allergies.  How food allergies and eczema present in adults.
Mar 14
27 min
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