Health&Wellness Magazine May 2016 - Page 41

For advertising information call 859.368.0778 or email | May 2016 & 41 What’s New in Allergy Research? New laws, new drugs, clinical trials impact those with allergies By Jamie Lober, Staff Writer Here are some breakthroughs and insights about allergies and how to cope with them. • A recent poll shows people do not like proposed laws that would change how you can buy pseudoephedrine, a popular over-thecounter drug used for nasal congestion. “New laws would change it to a prescription-only medicine,” said Alex Burgess, marketing and communications director with the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Most people want overthe-counter access. • Global warming is to blame for the increase in allergies. Some experts are saying changing climate conditions can help lower the amount of fungal allergies in the air. “Ragweed growth rates increase and the plants produce more pollen when carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases,” said Burgess. “If fossil fuel emissions continue Clinical trials can provide hope to people with allergies. unabated, pollen production is projected to increase.” • Preventing allergic reactions, controlling allergies and creating an allergy management plan with the help of a doctor are top goals for people who have allergies. Be sure to take medicines as prescribed. If you are at risk for anaphylaxis, keep your epinephrine auto-injectors with you in case you have a severe allergic reaction. “Keeping a diary, tracking what you do, what you eat, when symptoms occur and what seems to help may help you and your doctor find what causes or worsens your symptoms,” said Burgess. Be in tune with your body and know how to respond to symptoms or reactions. “It is crucial to recognize that you are having an allergic reaction and to respond quickly and properly,” said Burgess. • Researchers are studying possible treatments for certain food allergies, including oral immunotherapy, sublingual immunotherapy and other methods, but so far it is all experimental, not proven. “The studies are testing the safety and effectiveness of these treatments, so before you enroll in these types of studies, talk to your allergist about the risks and benefits,” said Burgess. • Food Allergy Research and Education, Inc. is funding investigators who are searching for data about who gets food allergies and the possible role of factors such as diet, hygiene, geography, ethnicity and more. This information helps guide the creation of laws and policies that create safer environments for people with food allergies and for federal funding for research. • In the past two years, a drug called quilizumab that can be inhaled came out. It treats mild allergies and asthma by interrupting the production of an immunesystem protein that triggers allergic reactions. Quilizumab is said to be more convenient and longer-lasting than drugs available previously. If effective, patients would only have to inhale it once every three months. • Clinical trials can provide hope to people with allergies. Researchers in the University of Kentucky’s Department of Internal Medicine are examining the impact of hot and humid air upon the lung function of patients with allergic rhinitis. \