Elm Tree Pollen Alert

Allergy Alert: Cedar Elm Pollen, Ragweed, and Grass!

Elm pollen have bee detected in air recently. Ragweed pollen have been in the air for many weeks triggering symptoms of allergy. Grass pollen has also been moderately high. This week Elm Tree pollen has been reported. Elm pollen is known to be moderately allergenic. This is not a common season for tree pollen. However, Cedar Elm can pollinate in early fall.

Identifying Elm Trees:

Elm Tree

Elm Tree

Elm trees are round-headed; American Elms are about 100 feet tall; their barks are furrowed; their leaves are elliptical, with serrated edges, and prominent veins. For more information visit the following sites:

http://www.pollenlibrary.com/Local/Specie/Ulmus+crassifolia/in/Vermilion%20County/LA/
http://www.pollenlibrary.com/Local/Specie/Ulmus+americana/in/Vermilion%20County/LA/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulmus_americana

Allergy Alert: Ragweed Season

ragweed

ragweed

ragweed

Ragweed

Ragweed Season Alert!

Ragweed Allergy

Ragweed Allergy

We are in the ragweed season now; At this time, ragweed pollen is the predominant allergen in the air; it a bad news for people
with ragweed allergy. Ragweeds are very prevalent in USA, but the allergy symptoms occur only in the seasons at which the pollen
are distributed in the air.
There are different types of ragweeds: giant ragweed, short ragweed, perennial ragweed, southern ragweed, and canyon ragweed.
Ragweeds are mostly distributed on pastures, open fields, and waste places. The pollen gets airborne and reaches areas near the
fields in high concentration.
Ragweed pollen entering the nose, most of them, are held back in the nose by filtering mechanisms of the nasal passage, If you
are allergic to ragweed pollen, antibodies present in the cells of the nose put up a fight,resulting in release of a chemical
called histamine in the nose. Histamine increases the blood flow to the area of contact. The glands of the nasal passage release
mucus to digest the proteins of the pollen. This results in a watery discharge from the nose (runny nose). Histamine induces
sneezing, which helps to expel the allergenic pollen in the sinuses. Thus, sneezing, runny-nose becomes common problems for those
with ragweed allergy.

How to take care of Ragweed Allergy?

The main tool to take care of any allergy is avoidance. However, it not easy easy to completely avoid exposure to ragweed.  It is helpful to recognize the weed and try to stay away from them as much as possible. We have posted information about ragweed of different types on our webpage on ragweed allergy.

Regular use of steroid nasal sprays prescribed by your physician will help to reduce the inflammatory reaction in the nose and sinuses.

Use of antihistamine like claritin during the ragweed allergy season will help to alleviate symptoms.

Your allergist can start you on allergy shots to become immune to allergic reaction to ragweed pollen.

 

Contact Dermatitis from Flowers:

 Clematis

Clematitis - Irritant dermatitis

Clematis – Irritant dermatitis

Clematis  is a colorful evergreen deciduous seen as twining climbers; they are often cultivated, and grown in trellises. Clematis can cause irritant dermatitis due a certain chemical present in the flowers and plants. Usually fresh plants only carry the chemical that can cause dermatitis. For more images of Clematis to help you identify visit here.

Dahlia

Dahlia

Dahlia

Dahlias are beautiful plants that add to the visual pleasure in our backyards. These are perennials, and they provide colors to our back yards for years.  However, there have been reports of allergic dermatitis of face and mouth and hands on those who handle Dahlias. These are reports of air-borne contact dermatitis. Rarely, when patients come to the office with rashes, we are unable to locate the source of it. Allergy tests for common allergens may be negative. It helps to know that common flowers which we do not associate with allergies could be connected to a rash. Only patients can know if they are exposed to these uncommon sources of allergies. Test for Dahlia allergy is not commonly available. Patch tests are used to make a diagnosis for contact allergic reactions.       For more images of Dahlia plants to help you identify visit here.

Euphorbia Plants

Euphorbia - contact dermatitis

Euphorbia – contact dermatitis

Euphorbia irritant dermatitis

Euphorbia irritant dermatitis

Euphorbia are attractive plants raised in home gardens. At times we do not know what causes a skin allergy or contact dermatitis. The contact with these plants can rarely cause a skin reaction due to irritant dermatitis or contact dermatitis in those with allergy to this plant. For more images of related Euphorbia plants go here.

Treatment for Food Allergy?

peanut allergy

Peanut s could cause an acute allergic reaction.

Many patients seek advice from physicians concerning their food allergy. This could be due to an immediate unpleasant, often serious reaction following consumption of some food, or due to a reaction occurring, hours to days after eating the suspected food. The most accurate diagnosis is an experience of a reaction to a certain food, such as having hives and itching immediately after eating peanut or crabs. This scenario is good after the occurrence of a reaction.

Hives - peanut allergy

Hives – peanut allergy

The clinical diagnosis is often confirmed by blood tests (RAST) ordered by the primary-care doctor, or allergy skin tests performed by an allergist. Traditionally, the tests are helpful in order to avoid eating the allergenic foods in the future. Avoiding the specific food has been the only treatment recommended by allergist in the past. However, allergy treatment for food allergens has been researched, and the results are being published. A recent study showed oral immunotherapy (similar to allergy-shots by given by mouth) along with treatment with a medication showed promise to tolerate allergenic foods. We need to wait for a lot more data before this method could be administered in daily practice.

What causes allergy in May?

Allergic rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis

 Tree pollen allergy is the most common cause of allergy symptoms in May. Tree pollen appear in air starting in March and continues for the next few months. The following is the list of the predominant tree pollen in the month of May.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mulberry Pollen

Mulberry Tree

Mulberry Tree

May is the month in which mulberry trees start pollination. Pollen of red and white mulberry, and paper mulberry are released in  large quantities. Pollen of red, white, and paper mulberry are highly reactive to those with an allergy to mulberry pollen. Red mulberry is native to the whole of Eastern  United States, while white and paper mulberry are seen in the warmer regions of the country. Symptoms of sneezing, blocked nose, and itchy eyes are very frequent when the allergenic pollen is inhaled or in contact with the eyes.

 Grass Pollen Allergy

Grass pollen allergy

Grass pollen allergy

Early spring is marked by green, and that means grass pollen in the air. Allergy to grass pollen is commonly associated with allergic rhinitis (sinus allergy) with sneezing and blocked nose, allergic conjunctivitis with eye watering, swelling of eye lids, and triggering of an asthma attack. Grass pollen allergy is diagnosed by skin tests or blood tests. If allergy tests show positive results and if the symptoms are worse during grass pollen season,  allergy shots are prescribed to help develop a tolerance to grass pollen. Recently oral allergy treatment by sublingual route has been introduced.

Pecan Tree Pollen Allergy

Pecan trees are producing the flowers  in April and continue with pollination in May; many individuals are allergic to pecan pollen. The trees are identified by its long sickle shaped leaves, with pointed tips. Pollen is associated with sinus symptoms – sneezing, blocked nose and post-nasal drip.

Pecan Pollen Allergy

Pecan Pollen Allergy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oak Tree Pollen Allergy

Oak trees started pollinating in March and continue to produce large quantities of pollen in air.  Different types of pollinating oak tress include: Chapman Oak, Post Oak, Swamp  Oak, Overcup Oak, Bur Oak, White Oak, Southern Red Oak, Turkey Oak, Black Oak, Northern Pin Oak, Scarlet Oak, Pin Oak, Bear Oak, etc., depending on which part of the country you live. Time of appearance of pollen in air can differ based the onset of warm weather. You develop symptoms of allergy to Oak Tree Pollen because of presence of an antibody called IgE antibody to Oak Tree Pollen, which is usually an inherited mechanism. When the pollen appears in air, and when you come into contact with them in the nose or the eyes, you release a chemical called histamine, which cause redness and itching of eyes.

Oak tree pollen allergy

Oak tree pollen allergy

 Walnut Tree Pollen Allergy

Walnut tree pollen appear in May and are associated with symptoms of sneezing, blocked nose, runny nose, and itchy-eyes. Black Walnut trees are large with open rounded crown of dark green color. The trees carry pinnate leaves. They pollinate in early spring. Diagnosis of Walnut Pollen allergy is made by allergy skin tests or blood tests. Once diagnosed allergy shots are prescribed if the symptoms are severe enough. There is no connection between Walnut pollen allergy and allergy to Walnuts.

What causes allergy symptoms in April?

Iris Flowers?

Iris Flowers in April
Iris is one of the very common ornamental plants in April producing beautiful flowers for a short duration. Iris flowers have been reported to be sensitizers related to skin reactions, contact dermatitis. Positive patch test reactions to iris flowers have been reported.

Iris Flowers allergy

Iris allergy

Grass Pollen Allergy

Early spring is marked by green, and that means grass pollen in the air. Allergy to grass pollen is commonly associated with allergic rhinitis (sinus allergy) with sneezing and blocked nose, allergic conjunctivitis with eye watering, swelling of eye lids, and triggering of an asthma attack. Grass pollen allergy is diagnosed by skin tests or blood tests. If allergy tests show positive results and if the symptoms are worse during grass pollen season,  allergy shots are prescribed to help develop a tolerance to grass pollen. Recently oral allergy treatment by sublingual route has been introduced.

Grass pollen allergy

Grass pollen allergy

Pecan Tree Pollen Allergy

Pecan trees are producing the flowers  in April; many individuals are allergic to pecan pollen. The trees are identified by its long sickle shaped leaves, with pointed tips. Pollen is associated with sinus symptoms – sneezing, blocked nose and post-nasal drip.

Pecan pollen allergy

Pecan pollen allergy

Allergy tests are available for diagnosis of pecan pollen induced allergic rhinitis and symptoms of airway reactivity such as asthma. Allergy tests are done using skin tests and blood tests for pecan pollen allergy.

Pecan Pollen Allergy

Pecan Pollen Allergy

Pine Tree Pollen

Pine tree are starting to bloom in the Southern United States. In places where pine trees are plentiful, pine pollen could be a significant factor  causing sinus allergy symptoms. The pine pollen is too large to enter the lower  airway.  Hence, a symptom of lower airway allergy such as asthma is usually not  triggered by  pine pollen allergy.

Pine-tree-allergy

Pine-tree-allergy

Hickory Tree Pollen

Hickory Tree allergyHickory Trees are in bloom in April. If you are allergic to hickory pollen, symptoms such as sneezing, blocked  nose, runny nose,and cough appears. Allergy symptoms due to pollen from Hickory tree are very common April in those areas where the trees are present such as southern United States. The tree carries lance-shaped leaves and small nuts. Some of you may be interested in learning more about Hickory-Pollen and the different variety of hickory trees in your area. Please follow the link.

hickory tree allergy

hickory tree allergy

Allergic Rhinitis, allergic sinusitis; allergic conjunctivitis and tree pollen

allergic conjuctivitis

allergic conjunctivitis

Allergic sinus symptoms such as sneezing, watery eyes, blocked nose, post-nasal drip and cough are much more common in April compared to March. Tree pollen are   the main cause of allergy symptoms in April.

Oak Tree Pollen

Oak-tree allerg

Oak-tree allergy

Oak trees and pine trees started pollinating in March and continue to produce large quantities of pollen in air.  Different types of pollinating oak tress include: Chapman Oak, Post Oak, Swamp  Oak, Overcup Oak, Bur Oak, White Oak, Southern Red Oak, Turkey Oak, Black Oak, Northern Pin Oak, Scarlet Oak, Pin Oak, Bear Oak, etc., depending on which part of the country you live. Time of appearance of pollen in air can differ based the onset of warm weather. You develop symptoms of allergy to Oak Tree Pollen because of presence of an antibody called IgE antibody to Oak Tree Pollen, which is usually an inherited mechanism. When the pollen appears in air, and when you come into contact with them in the nose or the eyes, you release a chemical called histamine, which cause redness and itching of eyes.

Oak tree pollen allergy

Oak tree pollen allergy

ADHD, Aggressive Behavior, Defiance Disorder and Parents

Parent’s actions may contribute to children’s behavior

Seeing the ever-increasing incidence of behavior problems in children, such as ADD, defiance, and poor anger control, I have come to wonder whether some aspects of parenting is part of the problem. I will start with and example: a child while in the office, is climbing up and is about to fall from the examination table, running around and spilling water from the faucet; mother shows no concern and is busy with her cell-phone. This has become a frequent observation in our setting. Parents being very occupied with things other than parenting is a factor, the child never receiving a consistent model to follow, lacking a proper direction. After seeing children with ADHD for more than 35 years, the problem is getting worse. Single parents are always multitasking; this leaves very little time for parents to give enough attention they seek for. When the child feels a lack of concern, he or she may act out to get what the child wants, such as some personal time with the mother. That is not the only factor, it could be adding to other issues leading to undesirable behavior.

What causes allergy symptoms in March?

What is causing, sneezing and wheezing in March?
The number of patients coming to the office with cough, sneezing, and headache has increased substantially during this week in March. In addition to oak tree pollen and pine pollen, willow tree blooms add to symptoms of allergy. Willow trees are seen more in the wet areas; they have long pointed leaves. . These trees produce small yellowish greenish flowers, now appearing in the southern states.
Allergy to willow tree pollen is common in the states where willow trees are present. The symptoms are produced by histamine and serotonin produced on the nose and sinuses of patients who are allergic to willow pollen. Asthma symptoms can also be triggered by allergic reaction to willow pollen. Allergy shots are available, which may help to develop resistance to willow pollen.

Willow tree allergy

Willow tree allergy 

Willow pollen allergy

Allergy causing pollen in March: Oak tree

Allergy season is open in Louisiana in March. Based on the patients already presenting with an acute attack of sinus allergy and watching the trees blooming, I can confidentially affirm that allergy season for 2014 has started in Louisiana. Oak tree pollen can be observed plentifully on trees all around us in Louisiana. This is especially applicable to water oak trees, which shed leaves in winter.

Oak-tree-pollen allergy

Oak-tree-pollen allergy

 

Oak tree pollen allergy

Oak tree pollen allergy

What happens when pollen is inhaled in patients with allergy?

Oak tree pollen entering the nose, most of them, are held back in the nose by filtering mechanisms of the nasal passage, preventing it from going into the lungs. The antibodies present in the cells of the nose put up a fight, and that results in release of a chemical called histamine in the nose. Histamine increases the blood flow to the area of contact. The glands of the nasal passage release mucus to digest the proteins of the pollen. This results in a watery discharge from the nose (runny nose). Histamine induces sneezing, which helps to expel the allergenic pollen in the sinuses. Now you know how it works.

 

 

 

 

 

Pine Pollen Allergy

sinus allergy

sinus allergy

pine-pollen-allergy

pine-pollen-allergy

 Recently patients coming to office for sneezing, cough, itchy eyes and misery went  up sharply. I find many pine trees starting the bloom.
In places where pine trees are plentiful, pine pollen could be a significant factor                                                                                                                     causing sinus allergy symptoms. The pine pollen is too large to enter the lower                                                                                                                       airway.  Hence, a symptom of lower airway allergy such as asthma is usually not                                                                                                                     triggered by  pine pollen allergy.

Pine-tree-allergy

Pine-tree-allergy

What is blooming in your backyard?

Trees and Plants with Blooms in March in Louisiana

There are many trees with blooms already in Louisiana in early March. Some patients could allergy to contact to some of them:

Japanese Magnolia is in bloom now in March in Louisiana.

Japanese Magnolia

What is blooming in your backyard?

Japanese Magnolia

What is blooming in Louisiana in March?

Jap.magnolia
What is blooming now in Louisiana in March?

Allergy reactions to Japanese Magnolia are rare.

Sinus headache in winter, not due to allergies!

Sinus headache

Sinus headache

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sinus Headache

Sinus problems with congestion of the nasal passage and headache are very common complaints in winter. Many patients will show up in an allergy clinic with headache to rule out allergies. Even though allergy is a common cause of sinus congestion and headache, in winter it is usually not the case. In winter in most of the country pollen and mold are not present in the air. During this time of the year sinus headaches are associated with dryness in the environment, especially with the heater being used. Use of humidifiers may be of help in this situation. Saline nose spray also helps to keep the sinus passage from the effect of dryness.