Allergic conjunctivitis — all kinds of misery

Allergic conjunctivitis — all kinds of misery

Dear Dr. K: My brother has vernal conjunctivitis and I have perennial allergic conjunctivitis. We both use the same eye drops but I seem to do a lot better than he does. What gives? What gives is that you have a less severe condition than your brother. Let me explain. Allergic eye problems fall into four general types: seasonal allergic conjunctivitis (SAC), perennial allergic conjunctivitis (PAC), allergic keratoconjunctivitis (AKC) and vernal keratoconjunctivitis (VKC). IgE (the allergic protein), plays a role…

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… And now the cat story

… And now the cat story

“Spoiler” alert! Between 5 and 10% of the human population has an allergy to cat. The major cat allergen is a protein called “Fel-D-1,” which is a protein in the cat’s saliva, sebaceous glands and genitourinary tract. Dried skin particles (dander) contain the protein, even though the protein is not part of the coat itself. Female cats produce less Fel-D-1 than male cats. Light-colored cats make less than dark-colored cats. Long-haired cats give off less allergen into the environment than…

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Child in crisis — Epi-Hug more than affection

Child in crisis — Epi-Hug more than affection

Because of the burgeoning of allergic disorders, more and more children are requiring auto- injectors of epinephrine. These devices are used to stop severe allergic reactions or anaphylaxis. If the device is required it is obviously at a time of crisis for both the child and the parent, which makes it more likely for mis-adventures to occur. Because it is life-critical that the medication be properly administered, it usually requires some form of child restraint. Thus has evolved the concept…

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Not real common, or innocent

Not real common, or innocent

Food additives are often suspected as a possible culprit for allergic reactions. A recent study done at LSU proves otherwise; that is, they are rarely a cause. Most food additives fall into one of seven categories: antioxidants, coloring, emulsifiers, flavorings, taste enhancers, preservatives or stabilizers. The three most common allergy troublemakers are two preservatives (sulfites and nitrites), and one taste enhancer (MSG – monosodium glutamate). Next most common are the dyes: carmine (red) and tartrazine (yellow). Other culprits include the…

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Quick Tips: Sjogren’s Syndrome

Quick Tips: Sjogren’s Syndrome

Another  recent study from that publication found that people with the chronic allergic “triad” of rhinitis, asthma and eczema have a much greater risk of developing Sjogren’s Syndrome (an auto-immune condition causing dry eyes and mouth) than the general population.

Celiac disease needs two genes and virus to switch on

Celiac disease needs two genes and virus to switch on

It has been known for some time that two HLA genes (DQ2, DQ8) predispose to celiac disease. What was recently discovered, and reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, is that is seems to take a virus to activate these genes that leads to the disease.  The research focused on the interplay between viruses and genes causing celiac disease, with its gluten sensitivity. The genes alone don’t cause celiac disease. The virus that appears to be the culprit is…

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Mighty mites proven peskier

Mighty mites proven peskier

Dust mites have long been known as the No. 1 cause for allergic asthma around the world. They are the “perfect respirable particle” – at only seven microns in size – and thus, easily inhaled into the lungs. Based on this information it has long been assumed that the development of dust-mite allergy must occur via breathing in the particles. Well, new research at the Pasteur Institute in Paris has found otherwise. It seems that the early development of dust-mite…

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