Category Archives: Pennsylvania [PA]

Urban areas promote food as well as respiratory allergies

Urban area: Reading, PA, courtesy Nicholas_T on Flickr. Click here for usage rights.
Urban area: Reading, PA, courtesy Nicholas_T on Flickr. Click here for usage rights.
We’ve known for a long time that air pollution and smog of urban areas can trigger respiratory allergies. A new study shows that children in urban areas have higher incidence of food allergies as well.

The Chicago Tribune reported the study today:

The study, which followed almost 38,500 children under age 18, will be published in the July issue of Clinical Pediatrics. The researchers surveyed a representative sample of U.S. households with children about food allergies and mapped them based on their ZIP codes in every state.

According to the report, “Peanut allergies are twice as common in urban centers as rural communities.” Shellfish allergies were also more prevalent in urban areas studied.

A lead author of the study, assistant professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Dr. Ruchi Gupta, said, “What we’ve found for the first time is that population density and environment have an impact.” But what is triggering all of this? According to Dr. Gupta, one possibility is that all the hand sanitizers and anti-bacterial products we Americans use are causing our bodies to fight things they shouldn’t. But Dr. Gupta says that is just a theory at this point.

Rural climates tend to have more foliage for those with seasonal allergies, and urban allergies have more pollution triggers. Add new findings of increased food allergy of urban areas and we can also define allergy climates by rural or urban. Which is best for you, as with all climate choices, will depend on your particular set of allergies and your ability to manage environmental factors that trigger them. The problem now is that we don’t yet know the environmental triggers of these alarming new urban food allergy findings.

Coughing in Pennyslvania and South Carolina

Since I was 17 I have been getting the same thing, coughing uncontrollable every year I lived in PA. It is always Oct. or Apr. I moved last July to Myrtle Beach and all of a sudden I get this thing that nothing can help, coughing wheezing etc. No fever no other systems and I get it in June never did I get it in June. I have no answeres they try antibiotic, cought medicine, breather etc. It will leave me in 6 weeks everytim not until the 6 seeek is over. Can someone help me. Please. – submitted by Carmella, Myrtle Beach, SC

Allergies in Pittsburgh PA: Should I move to the ocean, southern FL?

I live in Pittsburgh, PA and have severe nasal allergies. I have nasal pressure but never any drainage. I experience constant headaches and cannot take it anymore. I am very allergic to grass, ragweed mix , Perennial Rye, Meadow Fescue, and dust mites.

When the weather changes (rain) or barometric pressure drops, it causes my sinuses horrendous pain.

I am thinking of relocating somewhere near the ocean (southern FL?) I hear that the ocean is good for keeping the nose lubricated and is good for knocking down the pollen.

Where in Florida would be a good place to move?

Thanks in advance for any help! – Jan, Florida

Allergies in IN,TN and AL: midwest or PA better?

My son and I lived in Indiana most of our lives. Normal seasonal allergies. Nothing major (our bodies adapted to the pollens well since we lived there for such a long time). In 06 we moved to Tennessee and my allergies became terrible. Had to use an inhaler. My son had to go on allergy medicine for the first time. His sinuses became clogged constantly. We moved to Alabama this May (09). It has been a living nightmare. I have had pneumonia twice. My son lost his singing voice and had to go to an allergist. I am unemployed and no insurance. I take the allergy medicine that didn’t work for him. We are considering Seattle, Washington or back to the midwest like Kansas City or Pennsylvania. Seattle is out top pick for many reasons. I don’t want to move across the country and find we are in a nightmare. So far I have seen only one posting that someone couldn’t live there. Other than that, it seems favorable. I will take all of the feedback I can get. I’m a single Mom and a move this large for nothing could be catastrophic for to us. Thanks so much! – Submitted by Michelle in Alabama

Allergy in Bucks County (Philadelphia), Orange County CA, Midwest

I have a job opportunity in Bucks County near Philadelphia. Until I was 22, I lived in the midwest and suffered horribly from allergies (mostly ragweed, grass and animals). I had asthma attacks every Spring and Fall. After moving to Orange County, California my allergies improved 90%. I would like to move to a more economical area. Am I making a mistake considering moving to Philadelphia? — Nichole, California

Moving: new allergies to the new place after a few months?

I have had similar situations with many of the other people on this website concerning allergies. I grew up in NY and had mild allergies and asthma (mostly exercised induced) when I was younger. I moved back to NY after being gone for almost 8 years. I was diagnosed with sinusitis in the fall of 2004 while I was living in Pennsylvania. After a few months of moving back to NY I began to get sinus infections every two months. Then I was diagnosed with chronic sinusitis.

I have seen numerous ENT doctors who all recommend surgery to remove the polyps from my nose. I would rather not have the surgery. I have been put on all types of allergy medication. After vacationing in a tropical area for an extended period of time, the polyps in my left nose completely disappeared. However, my right nostril is still filled with polyps.

My ENT and Allergist suggested that I leave NY because they believe that my sickness could be tied to my environment and/or they recommend allergy shots. What other areas would be a better place for me to live? Will I just develop new allergies to the new place after a few months? Any suggestions of advice would be appreciated. Thank you. — L.J., New York

Asthma Capitals for 2007 have been named: Atlanta #1

Each year the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America names the Top Ten Asthma Capitals for the year. This year, Atlanta Georgia, took the top spot, with Philadelphia, PA, and Raliegh, NC, second and third.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation says:

Don’t Move – Improve: Experts agree that people can’t move away from their asthma since every city in America has a variety of risk factors.

Click Asthma Capitals 2007 to see the whether your state ranked among the Top 10 Capitals (mind did!), as well as information about this annual research project, and links to more detailed information.

You can find information and links to last year’s studies as well as previous years on our February 18, 2006 post, Climate and asthma — Worst places to live.

Early autumn roundup

From California to Ontario, New York, and Florida, ragweed seems to have made it’s debut early and with a bumper crop this August.

Lansing, Michigan:
Worst summer for allergies in decades
“The pollen count is…the highest it’s been in fifty years…. Ragweed everywhere and no relief in sight.” [WLNS, Lansing]

Los Angeles, California
Bumper crop of ragweed kicks off allergy season
“Summer rains followed by hot, dry temperatures in many areas have produced a bumper crop of ragweed.” [NBC4, Los Angeles]

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania:
Break out of the mold
“A particularly bad year for mold spores and an accelerating ragweed season are giving them itchy eyes and runny noses.” [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review]

Ontario, Canada
Achoo! Ragweed arrives early
“Ragweed has made her a prisoner in her own house…. ‘It was July 30 when it started and it hasn’t stopped.'” [Hamilton Spectator, Ontario Canada]

Washington, DC
Ragweed arrives early in district
“If you’re an allergy sufferer who is feeling a little off this morning in that allergy-related kind of way, you can thank ragweed season for arriving two weeks early.” [DCist, Washington, DC]

Little Rock, Arkansas
Heat, humidity fueling hay fever
“Doctors say an increase in pollen, ragweed, and mold is creating more cases of hay fever.” [Today’s THV, Little Rock, Arkansas]

Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg, Florida
Ragweed season starting up for allergy sufferers
“Ragweed season is upon us…. And this year, people may suffer more than ever.” [WTSB, Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida]

New York City, NY
Ways to cope with a brutal allergy season
“Allergy sufferers, the early predictions are in and get ready for an especially brutal fall season.” [WABC-TV, New York]