Asthma Allergy book by Susan Mahoney, Sarah Pekkanen

By Susan Mahoney, Sarah Pekkanen

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Often, a person who has a severe food allergy learns about it only after exposure to the trigger. Such exposure can happen as a result of breathing in or eating the substance. After the symptoms are treated, contact an allergist for follow-up care. The allergist can help determine what trigger caused the reaction. This is very important in preventing anaphylaxis from happening again. Although triggers that are foods may be easy to avoid, it might be trickier when the allergen is a food additive.

Pharmaceutical companies are in the process of developing other MDIs with propellants that, unlike CFCs, do not damage the ozone layer. Two types of inhaler that deliver medication without using CFCs are rotary inhalers and dry-powder inhalers. A device called a nebulizer delivers a fine liquid mist through a mask that is placed over the nose and mouth or through a mouthpiece. These devices make inhaling medication easier, especially for infants, children, and those unable to use a standard inhaler.

A study published in the Journal of Asthma (July 1999) revealed that hospitalization rates for asthma in New York City were 21 times higher among those who lived in low-income neighborhoods and minority neighborhoods. Physicians at the New York Academy of Medicine studied 107 children with severe or chronic asthma, most of whom were Puerto Rican or African American. Only 39% of these children were using anti-inflammatory medications daily. There appears to be some evidence that certain aspects of community life among Hispanics and African Americans account for their higher rates of asthma.

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