Welcome

Celebrating Over 75 Years Of Service

The American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy (AAOA) represents over 2,700 Board-certified otolaryngologists and health care providers. Otolaryngology, frequently referred to as Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT), uniquely combines medical and surgical expertise to care for patients with a variety of conditions affecting the ears, nose, and throat, as well as commonly related conditions. AAOA members devote part of their practice to the diagnosis and treatment of allergic disease. The AAOA actively supports its membership through education, research, and advocacy in the care of allergic patients.

"Dedicated to enhancing knowledge and skill in the care of the allergic patient."

ADVOCACY UPDATES

USP Update

Final Standards for Allergen Extract Compounding under USP Chapter 797 The long-awaited new USP Chapter…

read more

Impact OF 2019 Physician Fee Schedule on Allergy and Sinus Services

Specialty Impact The conversion factor for 2019 will be $36.0391 and remains essentially flat.  The changes…

read more

Your AAOA at the AMA

I want to urge you to consider membership in the AMA because your membership in…

read more

Changes in MACRA

Macra 101 Image

Before the close of 2017, all physicians must take action to avoid the 4 percent cut that will be assessed in 2019 for not participating in the new Quality Payment Program (QPP) authorized by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA).  Read More

CMS Announces Changes in MACRA Implementation Timeline. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced major changes to the implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Re-authorization (MACRA).
Read More

Upcoming Dates

07/31/19: Membership Application Deadline to be voted in at the 2019 Annual Meeting and to be eligible for AAOA Member Rate (FREE) for the 2019 Annual Meeting
Learn more

12/01/19: Research Grant Cycle
Learn more

04/01/20: Fellow Exam Application Deadline
Learn more

06/01/20: Research Grant Cycle
Learn more

06/01/20: Call For Scientific Abstracts Deadline
Watch Your Email

06/7/20: Membership Application Deadline to be eligible for AAOA Member rate for the 2020 Basic Course

EDUCATION

New Orleans: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Much like the Clash song lyrics, many of you will flip through this AAOA Today issue trying to assess whether it is worth the cost to get on a plane to participate in the AAOA’s Annual Meeting. We recognize you have lots of CME options, some are even competing with our meeting in New Orleans. Read More

IFAR

IFAR Impact Factor: 2.454

aaoaf-ifar

Now Available

Changes in Managing Practices

Mission

Working together with AAOA staff, volunteer leadership and members will enable us to have a positive impact on our members’ practices.

Read More

Live and Online CME

2019 AAOA Annual Meeting
September 13-15 | New Orleans, LA
Learn More and Register

2019 Advanced Course in Allergy & Immunology
December 12-14 | Austin, TX
Learn More and Register

2020 Basic Course in Allergy & Immunology
July 9-11 | Orlando, FL
Save the Date

AAOA Clinical Insights
Learn More and Register

PATIENT CORNER

Off to College: Tips for Managing Allergies

Heading to college is an exciting time. What are the best ways for students to avoid exacerbation of their symptoms as they enter the hallowed halls of higher learning?

Read More

College Allergy Symptoms Treatment Back to Shcool

News and Updates

New Orleans: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Much like the Clash song lyrics, many of you will flip through this AAOA Today…

read more

International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology Top Articles 2018-2019

Read top articles published in the International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology 2018-2019. Most Cited International Consensus…

read more

CEO Update – Re·im·ag·ine

re·im·ag·ineverb reinterpret (an event, work of art, etc) imaginatively; rethink Reimagined, Reinvented, Reinvigorated….these are all…

read more
Menu
Happiness 1866081 1280

Seasonal Allergies

Back to School and Allergies

In the late summer of each year millions of students return to college, where the usual challenges of class work and crusty professors are expected, as are camaraderie with peers and the fall football season.  Parents should be aware that allergy problems can flare as the students leave their homes and enter an environment that tends to have far more allergens than does the home environment.

Allergens such as mites and molds are frequently far more prominent in dormitory rooms and fraternity or sorority houses than they are in the home environment, and in the classrooms of older buildings that have poor air filtration and/or mold problems.  In addition, if the student travels more than a few hundred miles from their hometown, they can be exposed to the pollens of different trees and weeds than in their hometown.  So, when one couples the increased quantity and variety of allergens in a college environment with the healthy and reactive immune systems of most college students, one has an ideal recipe for allergy problems.

Such can impair quality of life and the student’s ability to concentrate, and also increase the likelihood of certain illnesses, particularly sinusitis, sore throats, otitis media and bronchitis.  In its mildest forms, allergy sufferers experience nasal congestion, a drippy and itchy nose and a feeling of fatigue.  With a higher degree of symptoms, headaches, nonproductive cough, a facial pain and pressure sensation, difficulty clearing the ears or “ear popping” and even asthma can result.  If a student so afflicted also develops a viral upper respiratory infection, a “cold”, the chances of that viral infection evolving into a bacterial infection is increased.

Fall is a particularly bad season for pollens, as one of the most powerful allergens, ragweed, blooms during that period.  The timing of the ragweed pollination varies depending on the north/south location in the country, with an August occurrence in the northern portions of the United States, but not until late September in the deep south.  Not only does ragweed bloom in the Fall, but so do most other weeds.  For the estimated 20-25% of Americans who suffer from allergies, some degree of relief can be obtained with across-the-counter medications such as decongestants or antihistamines.

Prescription products differ from the across-the-counter medications in that the prescription antihistamines are less sedating, and topical steroid sprays, without systemic side effects, are also available.  Just simple measures to decrease one’s exposure to allergens is effective for many, and such also adds to any relief achieved with medications.  For instance, the most active period of pollen release is in the mid-morning and the early evening; such is increased on dry, windy days, and is less on cool or rainy days.  A student with pollen sensitivities would be wise to minimize vigorous outdoor activities during the times of maximum pollen release.  In addition, the mattresses and pillowcases in most dorms harbor mites and molds.  Inexpensive mite-proof pillow and mattress covers are readily available in most department stores, and are very effective in reducing nocturnal exposures to mites and molds.  Room air cleaners are another option.  For carpeted rooms, anti-mite powders can be applied a couple of times a year.

The following is a sampling of weeds that can cause problems for students in the falls, and of trees that pollinate in the Spring.

  • NORTHWEST COASTAL – Lamb’s-quarter, Ragweed, Russian Thistle, Sage, Birch, Elm, Pine, Poplar, and Willow
  • CENTRAL PLAINS – Kochia, Pigweed, Plantain, Ragwee, Russian Thistle, Sorrel, Box Elder, Elm, Maple, Oak, and Poplar
  • ROCKY MOUNTAIN – Lamb’s-quarter, Pigweed, Ragweed, Sage, Russian Thistle, Birch, Elm, Juniper, Oak, and Willow
  • ARID SOUTHWESTERN – Lamb’s-quarter, Ragweed, Sage, Scale, Elm, Oak, and Poplar
  • SOUTHEASTERN COASTAL PLAINS – Pigweed, Plantain, Ragweed, Sorrel, Box Elder, Elm, Maple, Oak, annd Poplar

If the student has symptoms that are interfering with their ability to study or enjoy the social activities of the college environment, and if the simple environmental measures described above do not suffice, they should then try the across-the-counter medications.  If those likewise fail to fully relieve their problems, they should go to Student Health Service, and when back home a visit to the local otolaryngologist (an ear, nose and throat specialist) might be in order for a discussion of the various treatment options for allergies.  If the student develops a “cold” which begins worsening in intensity after 5 days (at which time most viral infections are beginning to wane), lasts beyond 10 days or causes particularly severe symptoms of ear pain, facial pain, nasal discharge or productive cough, a prompt visit to a physician is warranted.  In such a case, once the infection has been appropriately addressed with antibiotics and whatever else is necessary, the student should be counseled on an appropriate regimen for their allergies.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *