High pollen counts the Spring might make allergy sufferers believe they are also allergic to certain types of foods. The condition is known as “oral allergy syndrome.” CBS News Dr. Max Gomez discusses oral allergy syndrome with NYC Allergist, Dr Clifford Bassett.
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Dr Clifford Bassett recently appeared on CBS New York News to be interviewed about carbon monoxide poisoning. A carbon monoxide leak at a Long Island mall restaurant left one person dead and dozens hospitalized over the weekend. Dr. Cliff Bassett, medical director of the Allergy and Asthma Care Of New York, talks about what you should do if you suspect a carbon monoxide leak and the warning signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. Watch the Video Here…
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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Six months after Superstorm Sandy, an unwelcome development is set to make the months to come miserable for allergy sufferers.
As CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez reported Monday night, one of the worst allergy seasons ever is expected this year.
All the signs are already there as the weather turns the corner to temperate conditions – nasal congestion, watery and itchy eyes, runny noses, and stuffed heads.
“This is a very severe allergy season,” said allergist Dr. Clifford Bassett. “It’s some of the worst pollen allergy levels in years.”
Bassett said heavy rain in the fall, as well as Sandy, are to blame for the pollen surge.
“Those trees and pollenating plants — they’re very happy right now,” Bassett said, “and they’re producing prolific amounts of pollen.”
“It just seems worse this year than ever before,” said Frank Cuzzi of the Lower East Side.
Bassett said the pollen spike is bringing in patients such as Alyssa Bain, who have never complained of allergies before.
“The last couple weeks, I’ve been having really obnoxious allergies. At first I thought I was getting sick, which was really annoying because I got sick a couple times this winter,” Bain said. “I guess it’s just really bad this season. This is my first time ever experiencing allergies.”
Other new patients have been coming in from Sandy-ravaged areas, where standing water caused overwhelming mold growth.
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NEW YORK (CBS 2) – Spring is just ten days away and it’s expected to be one of the worst for allergy sufferers in a decade. It’s not just pollen that can cause springtime allergies, Dr. Max Gomez reports.
Lukus Hasenstab has allergies almost all year, and they make him miserable.
“I’m allergic to pretty much anything in nature. Trees, the pollen,” he said.
What some allergy sufferers eat, like fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts can make them feel even worse.
“The food contains certain proteins that are similiar in nature to the pollens, and the body confuses the two and it reacts as if you’re having an allergy attack in your mouth or throat,” said Dr. Clifford Bassett of Allergy and Asthma Care of N.Y.
It’s called oral allergy syndrome, not an allergic reaction to the food itself but what is called a cross reaction.
Symptoms include itchiness or tingling on the lips or in the mouth and throat, and about one-third of allergy sufferers get it.
In the Spring, tree pollen can trigger reactions to fruits like apples and oranges, and vegetables like celery and peppers. In the Fall, bananas and cucumbers can be a problem for people allergic to ragweed.
Lukus has to limit some foods all year round. “Bananas are a big culprit, almonds oddly enough, various nuts, hazlenuts as well,” he said.
Allergists were predicting one of the worst allergy seasons, but there is a way to avoid problems with what you eat.
“If you peel the food or cook the food, a lot of times we can knock out the protein and the symptoms go away or are less pronounced,” Dr. Bassett said.
“I work in a restaurant and I love food so to have to really think about what I’m about to eat is kind of challenging,” Lukus said. He sticks to what he knows is safe, so he isn’t sorry after a meal.
To reduce the chance of having a heart attack, doctors tell us to lower our cholesterol and blood pressure, exercise more and eat less fat. Now a study says a simple device many of us already have might also help prevent heart attacks, Dr. Max Gomez reports.
The device is an air filter, but not just any air filter. It’s a special type called a High Efficiency Particulate Air filter, or as you probably know it: a HEPA filter.
Turns out by getting rid of a certain type of air pollution, some important risk factors for heart disease actually get better.
Exhaust from cars, trucks, and factories are downsides of modern life. In addition to noxious gasses, much air pollution contains billions of micro-particles that most city dwellers know all about.
“The apartment is perfectly clean and by evening time, if we keep the windows open,there’s soot. There’s a black film that we see within a few hours,” said Ruben Giron.
Turns out that when we breathe in those tiny particles, as Dr. Clifford Bassett of Allergy and Asthma Care of New York explains, “just being exposed to air pollution can increase your heart rate, your blood pressure.”
Those particles can also increase a couple of key risk factors for heart disease: inflammation and the health of the lining of blood vessels.
“Can lead to problems with blood flow to the heart and hence heart attacks or coronary artery disease,” said Dr. Leroy Rabbani of New York Presbyterian Hospital.
Now a new study looked at these two heart disease markers in 45 adults in Canada before and after running HEPA air filters in their homes.
The HEPA filters are very effective at taking micro-particles out of the air. They ran in the main rooms and bedrooms in homes that had wood-burning stoves, which put out lots of micro-particles.
After two weeks, inflammation went down and the health of the artery lining went up, which according to heart experts is very significant.
“Anything that we can do to improve the health of the inner lining of the arteries as well as to reduce inflammation will ultimately down the line lead to fewer heart attacks and better health so its an intriguing study in this regard,” said Dr. Rabbani.
Dr. Basset said HEPA filters also help reduce allergies and asthma triggers so you get additional benefit. Not to mention it keeps your home cleaner.
But it’s important to get a HEPA filter that’s the right size for your home or room, and to remember to change the filter.
This article was originally posted on CBS New York
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.
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