Is this the year you get a diagnosis that will change your life? Dr Clifford Bassett was among the best physicians in America docs who recently appeared on the Dr Oz Show to help kick off our 2011 new year’s health resolutions. The video above is the first in the 4-part video of the Dr Oz “How Healthy Are You? quiz. Find out how healthy you really are. Click Here to watch the video and take the quiz now.
Seems that allergies are not just a springtime problem. Turns out this is a big allergy season too. It’s about all the things that make this a special time of year, and for some people, a pretty miserable one too, Dr. Max Gomez reports.
‘Tis the season to bring out your inner Martha Stewart – wreaths, candles, that beautifully decorated tree, all part of the holiday spirit. And for some people, they’re all part of a season of “a lot of itchy eyes, swollen eyes I would say definitely the big one. Not so much breathing, sometimes sneezing and so forth but its mainly swollen eyes,” said Pauline St. Denis.
Worse yet St. Denis said she can’t just say “bah humbug.” She’s a professional photographer who shoots a lot of holiday family portraits surrounded by holiday decorations.
This is a pretty busy time for her and her doctor.
“It’s surprising that every December we see a mini allergy explosion, many patients calling, coming in for the very first time and they are indeed having allergy symptoms in the month of December,” said Dr. Clifford Bassett of Long Island College Hospital.
The biggest culprit is that icon of the season, the live Christmas tree. After a few days indoors, the mold on the tree explodes with spores, but before you think going artificial will solve your troubles, there are more bad guys in your home.
Last year’s decorations are also probably moldy and covered in dust from being stored in your attic or basement all year. And even the newly-bought holiday accessories can be troublesome.
“Potpourri, scented products, incents, candles, thats the worse thing you can do during holidays that can really be irritating for a variety for your eyes, nose and throat,” Bassett said.
So what’s a sufferer to do? Well, humidifiers can help some as long as you don’t let the air get too damp – no more than 50-percent humidity – and follow the manufacturer’s directions to keep the unit clean.
Air cleaners can also help some. The best at scrubbing tiny mold spores have what are called hepa filters.
Serious sufferers, however, may need medication. Pauline gets allergy shots and uses a variety of other medications.
“The first thing I do is when I wake up I put in eye drops and I put them in before I go to sleep and I also take anti-histamine in the morning and another one at night,” she said.
Some over-the-counter medications and saline sprays may also give some relief, but if they don’t help, see an allergist for prescriptions or shots.
Or you can always play Scrooge and avoid the holidays altogether.
Better yet, celebrate in Aruba or Barbados where the Christmas trees are all shaped like palms.
Is there something you can do with the heating or ventilation in your homes? Well, as we’ve made our homes and apartments more air tight to conserve energy, we’ve made indoor allergies worse because all the indoor pollutants accumulate.
So if it isn’t too cold, open a window and exchange some of that stale air for fresh air.
And folks with forced air heat can add hepa filters, air scrubbers and humidifiers to the system to clear the air in the entire house without being environmentally incorrect.
Dr. Bassett gives us tips and tricks on avoiding holiday allergens such as dust from decorations, mold on trees, food and fragrances in candles and potpourri. See the ABC News Report.
Fox TV News reports that doctors say nearly 22 percent of everyone tested for allergies react to chemicals in cosmetics- – mostly the fragrances and preservatives are the culprits. Dr. Clifford Bassett says, ‘skin allergies are on the rise, particularly cosmetics among other things and it’s important to get a simple investigation to find out if it affects you.’
Cell Phone Allergies? Talking endlessly on your cell phone can also cause problems because of the nickel in the phones. Dr. Bassett says, ‘they’re having the cell phone right up against the face and they may come in complaining of a skin rash.’ About 17 percent of women have allergies to nickel and about 3 percent of men. Doctors suggest you use a blue tooth or a plastic cover on your phone. CLICK FOR FULL REPORT
CBS News Reports that from your cell phone to your makeup, even something as sweet as a kiss could trigger an allergic reaction. The annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology is happening this week in Phoenix. It’s calling attention to some unusual allergies and what people can do about it.
Allergy experts also say if you have itchy or puffy eyes, check your makeup; you may be allergic to it and not even know it. Doctors say nearly 22-percent of everyone tested for allergies react to chemicals in cosmetics — mostly the fragrances and preservatives are the culprits.
“Skin allergies are on the rise,” says Dr. Clifford Bassett. “Particularly cosmetics among other things, and it’s important to get a simple investigation to find out if it affects you.” CLICK TO READ FULL REPORT
NEW YORK (CBS 2) – Asthma affects more than 23 million people in the United States, and while the condition is treatable, it still causes 4,000 deaths every year. CBS 2HD’s Dr. Max Gomez report there’s evidence that something in your food or maybe even in your medicine cabinet, could be part of the problem.
It’s something in milk, in your own body makes if you sit out in the sun, and it’s the hottest new supplement many doctors and their patients are taking.
It’s Vitamin D, and areas in the northern hemisphere where millions of people are Vitamin D-deficient are the same areas where asthma is most common.
If you have asthma or ever had a lung problem, you know what a spirometer is. Bailey Irwin used one in a pulmonary function test, a way to tell how he’s doing with the asthma he’s had since he was a child.
“It’s very scary,” he said. “There’s not much that’s more frightening than not being able to breathe. I mean you suck in air as hard as you can and you’re not getting as much oxygen in your lungs.”
Like Bailey, David Laufer’s asthma is pretty well controlled with medication, but now we’re learning that lack of a simple Vitamin D could be making their asthma worse and may even have a role in treatment.
“Vitamin D deficiency, not getting enough Vitamin D in the diet can affect asthma. And there are studies now looking at asthma control. Lung function will suffer with low levels of Vitamin D,” said Dr. Clifford Bassett of the Long Island College Hospital.
That comes from a recent study in the annals of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology that suggests that there may be a cause-and-effect relationship between Vitamin D deficiency and uncontrolled asthma.
“It’s probably true. Coincidentally or not I have a Vitamin D deficiency. I’ve been diagnosed with that,” said Dr. Clifford Bassett of Long Island College Hospital. “Simple blood test to check a Vitamin D level. And we can determine pretty easily whether there a deficiency in Vitamin D.”
The main source of Vitamin D in the American diet is milk, which is fortified with Vitamin D by law. But most people who are deficient will need supplements which are readily available over the counter.
And while the study didn’t address whether taking Vitamin D would make asthma better, Bailey said”I’m taking a very sizeable Vitamin D supplement, and sure enough actually this Spring was probably the best spring I’ve had for allergies or asthema in 10 years.”
Now if you have asthma, do not stop taking your medications just because you start taking Vitamin D. Talk it over with your doctor, have the simple blood test to check your levels and then decide on how much of the vitamin you need. Either way, a couple thousand international units a day of Vitamin D has very little risk and may help your asthma.
Original article on CBS New York
Are you suddenly reaching for the box of tissues? Are your eyes itchy and watering all the time? If so, you are not alone. Late summer allergies are in full bloom.
And the biggest culprit is known as ragweed. Allergist Dr. Clifford Bassett stopped by Fox 5 this afternoon to talk about other things you may not know about that could be triggering your suffering.
Dr. Bassett is also the Medical Director of Allergy and Asthma Care of New York.
For more information visit his New York City Allergist website.
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