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Chattanooga One of Most Challenging Place to live with Fall Allergies

Predicted Severe Weather May Cause Additional Problems for Chattanooga

Landover, M.D., September 17, 2013 – This year, Chattanooga ranked 9 out of 100 on the 2013 Fall Allergy Capitals™ report, released today by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), which ranks the most challenging cities to live in with allergies this fall in the United States. In addition to Chattanooga’s top 10 ranking, AAFA predicts this fall could be the perfect storm for allergy sufferers as global warming conditions boost ragweed levels and fall storms disperse allergens and outdoor mold. The report is based on pollen levels, use of allergy medications per patient, and the number of allergists per patient. For specific allergy risks in 100 U.S. cities and tips on managing allergy symptoms, visit www.AllergyCapitals.com.

The Fall Allergy Capitals report is an independent research project of AAFA and is sponsored by DYMISTA® (azelastine HCl and fluticasone propionate) Nasal Spray 137 mcg / 50 mcg per Spray. DYMISTA is a prescription nasal spray indicated for the relief of symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis in patients 12 years of age and older who require treatment with both azelastine hydrochloride and fluticasone propionate for symptomatic relief. For full prescribing information for DYMISTA, please visit www.dymista.com.

“Fall can be a challenging season for people with seasonal allergies, particularly in Chattanooga” said Marc Cromie, MD, Chattanooga Allergy Clinic. “It’s important for allergy sufferers to know that they don’t need to suffer in silence. They should learn more about allergies and visit an allergy specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment.”

“If allergies are left untreated or treated with the wrong medication, it can cause some serious complications,” said Michael A. Kaliner, MD, Institute for Asthma and Allergy, Chevy Chase, MD. “It is important for allergy sufferers to learn more about the signs and symptoms of fall allergies and to visit an allergy specialist to seek treatment for their seasonal allergy symptoms.”

There are several factors that could make this fall allergy season particularly difficult:

  • Recent studies suggest that rising temperatures and carbon dioxide levels could be extending ragweed season by as much as a month or more.1,2 This is especially true in the northern states in the U.S. where there are now longer periods of warm weather than before.
  • Pollen from weeds is a greater problem in the fall than in the spring, and fall weeds are surprisingly more prevalent than spring gardens in major urban areas and locations with significant construction.
  • Although the season has gotten off to a late start, with an above-average hurricane season predicted in the East3 and tornadoes expected in the Midwest, high winds from these weather patterns can cause increases in pollen distribution, leading to an increase in allergy symptoms.
  • Outdoor mold resulting from previous storms, including Superstorm Sandy, continues to grow and could be spread further by fall weather and wind patterns.

Allergic reactions to pollen and outdoor mold are often confused with a cold or the flu, particularly in the fall. This misdiagnosis can prevent patients from getting the correct treatment and lead to other medical problems.

“AAFA encourages the approximately 40 million Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies to learn more and consult an allergy specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment of seasonal allergy symptoms,” said Mike Tringale, Vice-President of External Affairs at AAFA.

There is no cure for allergies. Nearly half of seasonal allergy patients are unhappy with how slowly their prescription medicines work and many patients still experience breakthrough of severe symptoms despite using a seasonal allergy medication.4 The best way for people to manage seasonal allergies is to avoid allergy triggers like pollen and outdoor mold, get properly diagnosed, and use effective medications to treat symptoms.

Highlights from this year’s Fall Allergy Capitals report include:

  • Wichita, KS claimed the top spot, followed by Jackson, MS (#2) and Knoxville, TN (#3).
  • Charleston, SC showed the biggest jump from last fall’s allergy season, rising 16 spots from #42 to #26.
  • Nashville, TN went from #36 to #24, an increase of 12 over last year’s rankings.
  • In the major metropolitan areas, Dallas, TX (up 8 places to #18) and Detroit, MI (up 9 places to #19) joined New Orleans, LA (#11) in the top 20.

An interactive map of 100 cities, resources about diagnosis, prevention and treatment for people with allergies, resources for physicians, and more information on the study methodology are available at www.AllergyCapitals.com.

About the Research

The Fall Allergy Capitals™ ranking is an annual research and educational project of AAFA, designed to help patients recognize, prevent and safely treat allergy symptoms. Through this ranking, AAFA raises awareness of allergies and provides helpful information designed to improve the quality of life for people with allergies. AAFA and DYMISTA® are working together this year to promote the findings of the report, educate the public about seasonal allergies, and encourage people to get diagnosed and properly treated.

The Allergy Capitals™ are identified and ranked based on pollen levels, use of over-the-counter and prescription allergy medication and number of Board Certified allergists in each city.

About AAFA

Now in its 60th year, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) is the leading nonprofit consumer and patient organization dedicated to fighting asthma and allergic diseases. AAFA provides free information to the public, offers educational programs to consumers and health professionals, leads advocacy efforts to improve patient care, and funds research to find cures. For more information, visit www.aafa.org.

About Dymista®

DYMISTA® (azelastine HCl and fluticasone propionate) Nasal Spray 137 mcg / 50 mcg per Spray is the first and only prescription seasonal allergy nasal spray to both block histamine and treat inflammation of seasonal allergy symptoms.

Use of Dymista®

Dymista Nasal Spray is indicated for the relief of symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis in patients 12 years of age and older who require treatment with both azelastine hydrochloride and fluticasone propionate for symptomatic relief.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

  • Dymista Nasal Spray can cause drowsiness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything that you need to be alert for until you know how Dymista Nasal Spray affects you
  • Do not drink alcohol or take any other medicines that can cause you to feel sleepy while using Dymista Nasal Spray. This can increase your chances of having serious side effects
  • Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that bother you or any side effects that do not go away
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant; it is not known if Dymista Nasal Spray will harm your unborn baby
  • The most common side effects with Dymista are changes in taste, nosebleeds, and headache
  • Dymista Nasal Spray may also cause the following side effects
  • Nasal problems. Symptoms of nasal problems include crusting in the nose, nosebleeds, runny nose, or a hole in the cartilage between your nostrils (nasal septal perforation). A whistling sound when you breathe may be a symptom of nasal septal perforation
  • Slow wound healing. If you have a sore in your nose, if you have had surgery on your nose, or if your nose has been injured, you should not use Dymista Nasal Spray until your nose has healed
  • Thrush (Candida), a fungal infection in your nose, mouth, or throat. Tell your doctor if you have any redness or white-colored patches in your nose, mouth, or throat
  • Eye problems. Some people may experience eye problems, including glaucoma or cataracts. You should have regular eye exams when using Dymista Nasal Spray
  • Immune system problems. Dymista Nasal Spray may cause problems with the way your immune system protects your body against infection.
  • Use caution when taking Dymista if you have an existing infection (eg, fungal, bacterial, viral, or parasitic). When using Dymista Nasal Spray, avoid contact with people who have contagious diseases such as chicken pox or measles. Symptoms of infection may include fever, aches and pains, chills, or feeling tired
  • Adrenal insufficiency. Adrenal insufficiency is a condition in which the adrenal glands do not make enough steroid hormones. Symptoms of adrenal insufficiency may include tiredness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, or low blood pressure
  • Slowed or delayed growth in children. A child's growth should be checked regularly when using Dymista Nasal Spray
  • These are not all of the possible side effects of Dymista Nasal Spray. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

References

  1. David Freeman, WebMD article (2009). Ragweed Pollen and Fall Allergies. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/allergies/features/ragweed-pollen
  2. Ziska L, et al. Recent warming by latitude associated with increased length of ragweed pollen season in central North America. Pro. Natl Acad Sci 2011; doi:10.1073/pnas.1014107108
  3. NOAA Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook Update, August 8, 2013. Retrieved from http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/outlooks/
  4. Harris interactive survey of U.S. adult allergy patients. Commissioned by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, October 10-17, 2005.

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Flu Shots Now Available in All Chattanooga Allergy Clinic Locations

Getting vaccinated each year remains the best way to protect yourself against the seasonal flu and lessen the chance you will spread the infection to others.  Early immunization is the most effective, but it is not too late to get the vaccine in December, January, or beyond.   The staff at Chattanooga Allergy Clinic looks forward to seeing you at one of our five locations soon.

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Is It Allergies?

You know the feeling. That tickle in the back of your throat. Runny nose. Congestion. Yep – you’re sick. But what do you have? Most adults don’t pay attention to what ails them. They muddle through and wait to feel better. But focusing on your symptoms can help you determine whether you have a passing virus or something more chronic, like allergies.

“If you have cold-like symptoms that are lingering more than a week with clear drainage, no associated fever, itchy eyes and runny nose it’s likely you have allergies,” says Dr. Marc Cromie of Chattanooga Allergy Clinic.

You may be saying to yourself, “But I’ve never had allergies.” Doesn’t matter. Allergic disease is skyrocketing, with some estimates at one in five Americans having an allergic condition according to the UCLA Food & Drug Allergy Care Center.

So how do you know if it’s allergies or a cold?

As you can see it’s not always black and white. Both can include runny nose, congestion and loss of energy. You can have a sore throat caused by drainage from allergies, but that’s something that usually develops over several days or weeks. If it begins immediately, you’re dealing with a cold. Same with thick/yellow mucus – it usually starts from the get-go with a cold but develops over time with allergies due to a secondary infection.

The easiest way to settle the allergies vs. cold debate is by duration and timing of your illness. If you’re still sniffling two weeks later, you’re probably dealing with allergies. Or if you get sick every time you mow the lawn or go to a friend’s house with cats, it’s likely allergies.

So why does it matter? Getting to the bottom of it makes treatment more effective, which is important since OTC (over the counter) medicine is the usual first course of action.

If you have allergies, your treatment will be completely different than with a common cold. You need to start with a daily antihistamine such as Zyrtec or Allegra. You also need to know what your triggers are so you can avoid exposure as much as possible.

WHEN TO CALL THE ALLERGIST?

Most people can muddle through allergy season with OTC medications. But over time they lose their luster. When they fail to help, it’s time to see the allergist. Prescription medicines such as nasal sprays that are antihistamine or corticosteroid based are particularly effective when paired with OTC oral antihistamines.

Allergists can also test to see exactly what is offending your immune system, which can help you avoid the allergen as much as possible and reduce your need for medication.

The other reason to see a doctor is for secondary infections (that yellow, thick mucus we talked about earlier) or if you’re having asthma symptoms. Roughly 80 percent of asthmatics have an allergic trigger, and 1/3 of all asthma deaths come from people with undiagnosed or mild asthma.

Bottom line, seeing an allergist can offer some much deserved relief. If you have allergies, you could find yourself sneezing almost half the year…sometimes all year if things like dust and mold are your triggers. That’s a lot of Kleenex (and missed work days).

In addition to hay fever symptoms, a board certified allergist (like the ones at Chattanooga Allergy Clinic) can help you get control of asthma, food allergies, chronic sinus infections, chronic hives, eczema, drug allergies, insect allergies and immune (IgG) deficiency.


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CAC Closed July 4th and 5th

Administrator · 06/13/2013 ·

Our offices will be closed on Thursday, July 4 and Friday, July 5, to allow our staff to celebrate the 4th of July with their families.  We look forward to seeing you again on Monday, July 8th.

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Vote CAC Best of Best Allergist 2013

Thank you for voting Chattanooga Allergy Clinic the Best of the Best Allergist in 2012. If you think the doctors at Chattanooga Allergy Clinic are still the BEST, please click here to vote for us again this year. If you prefer to vote by mail, ballots will appear in the Chattanooga Times Free Press on June 9, 12, 14, 15, and 19. For your vote to count, you must complete a minimum of 25 categories. Thank you in advance for helping us be named Best of the Best Allergist 2013!

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