Saturday July 4, 2020



October 02

Is it allergies or is it a cold?




Is it allergies or is it a cold? Even in colder weather, you can still be knocked out by allergies.

"Mold spores are released by the billions and trillions in a small area when you have some change in weather," says Dr. Leonard Bielory, director of STARx Allergy and Asthma Center in Springfield and fellow at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.Even if the season's first frost has killed off the ragweed pollen most of us associate with fall allergies, you could still suffer an allergic reaction to those new mold spores.Some of the symptoms of colds and allergies will be the same, says Bielory: coughing, sneezing, postnasal drip. If it's a cold virus, though, you also will most likely suffer from fever and muscle soreness, and the symptoms will go away after three to seven days.

If you're not running a temperature and the symptoms persist? Get yourself to the allergist, even if there's frost on your car windows in the morning.

In Jersey Magazine © 2010 The Asbury Park Press.


The picture above  is an artist rendition of birch pollen commonly released in the month of April  in the New York - New Jersey metropolitan area.

Sneezes and sniffles require right diagnosis


October 01

Allergy Shots

Allergy Shots: Tips to Remember

If you have allergies, you may be wondering if allergy shots are the best treatment for you. After all, getting regular shots isn't anyone's idea of fun, but the possibility of being free from your allergy symptoms may be worth it.

Allergies are the result of a chain reaction that starts in the immune system. Your immune system controls how your body defends itself. For instance, if you have an allergy to pollen, your immune system identifies pollen as an invader or allergen. Your immune system overreacts by producing antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies travel to cells that release chemicals, causing an allergic reaction.

Immunotherapy (allergy shots) is aimed at increasing your tolerance to allergens that trigger your symptoms every time you are exposed to them. An allergist / immunologist, often referred to as an allergist, is the most qualified physician to test which allergy you have and tell you if allergy shots are right for you.

Who Can Be Treated with Shots?
Allergy shots are recommended for patients with allergic asthma, allergic rhinitis/conjunctivitis and stinging insect allergy. They are not recommended for food allergies. Before a decision is made to begin allergy shots, the following issues must be considered:
• Length of allergy season and the severity of your symptoms
• Whether medications and/or changes to your environment can control your allergy symptoms
• Your desire to avoid long-term medication use
• Time: immunotherapy requires a major time commitment
• Cost: may vary depending on your region and insurance coverage

Immunotherapy for children is effective and often well tolerated. It might prevent the onset of new allergen sensitivities or the progression to asthma.

In some patients suffering from other medical conditions or who take certain common medications, allergy shots may be more risky. It is important to mention other medications you take to your allergist.

Who Should Be Giving Allergy Shots? 
Because adverse reactions to allergy shots may occur, your allergist has the right staff and equipment to identify and treat these reactions. If possible, allergy shots should be given in your allergist's office. If not, your allergist should provide the supervising physician with complete instructions about your treatment.

How Do Allergy Shots Work? 
Allergy shots work like a vaccine. Your body responds to the injected amounts of a particular allergen (given in gradually increasing doses) little by little, developing a resistance and tolerance to it. Allergy shots can lead to decreased, minimal or no allergy symptoms when you are again exposed to the allergen(s) in the shot.

There generally are two phases to immunotherapy: build-up and maintenance.

The build-up phase, generally ranging from three to six months, involves receiving injections with increasing amounts of the allergens. The frequency of injections is once or twice a week, though more rapid build-up schedules are sometimes used.

The maintenance phase begins when the most effective dose is reached. This dose is different for each person, depending on how allergic you are and your response to the build-up phase. Once the maintenance dose is reached, there are longer periods between injections, typically two to four weeks.

When Will I Feel Better? 
For some people, a decrease in symptoms is seen during the build-up phase; for others, it may take as long as 12 months on the maintenance dose.

If you don't respond, it may be caused by:
• Not enough dose of the allergen in your vaccine
• Missing allergens not identified during your allergy testing
• High levels of the allergen in your environment
• Major exposure to non-allergic triggers (i.e. tobacco smoke)

If there is no improvement after a year of maintenance allergy shots, your allergist will discuss other treatment options with you.

When Should Allergy Shots be Stopped? 
Once the maintenance dose is reached, effective immunotherapy is generally continued for three to five years. The decision to stop should be discussed with your allergist at that time. Some individuals may experience a permanent reduction of their allergy symptoms but others may relapse and a longer course of allergy shots can be considered.

What Are the Possible Reactions?
There are two types of adverse reactions that occur with allergy shots. Local reactions are fairly common and occur as redness and swelling at the injection site. This can happen immediately, or several hours after the treatment. Systemic reactions are much less common, are usually mild and typically respond quickly to medications. Signs include increased allergy symptoms such as sneezing, a stuffy nose or hives. Rarely, a serious systemic reaction called anaphylaxis (an-a-fi-LAK-sis) can develop, with swelling in the throat, wheezing, a feeling of tightness in the chest, nausea or dizziness.

Most serious systemic reactions develop within 30 minutes of allergy injections. This is why it is strongly recommended you wait in the office for 30 minutes after your injections.

Your allergist is trained to watch for such reactions and his or her staff is trained and equipped with the proper medications to identify and treat them.

Healthy Tips
• Allergy shots are a treatment aimed at building up your tolerance to the substances that trigger your allergy symptoms.
• Allergy shots work like a vaccine. Your body begins to respond to the injected amounts of an allergen by developing resistance and tolerance to it.
• While most people may experience a permanent reduction of their allergy symptoms, others may not respond to allergy shots.
• An allergist can test you for allergies and tell you if allergy shots are right for you.
• Reactions are possible, but your allergist is trained to watch for them and his or her staff is trained to identify and treat them.

Feel Better. Live Better.
An allergist / immunologist, often referred to as an allergist, is a pediatrician or internist with at least two additional years of specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of problems such as allergies, asthma, autoimmune diseases and the evaluation and treatment of patients with recurrent infections, such as immunodeficiency diseases.

The right care can make the difference between suffering with an allergic disease and feeling better. By visiting an allergist, you can expect an accurate diagnosis, a treatment plan that works and educational information to help you manage your disease.

September 30

Top Doc Inside New Jersey September 16, 2010



In addition to being one of the most consistently honored as Top Doctors that included,Dr. Leonard Bielory, New York Metro Area Top Doctor for 5 years in a row, Inside new Jersey, a Special Start Ledger issue has also recently recongnized dr. Bielory’s services.

This was originally reached in 2006, but has since been consistently appointed to received this award for the past 10 years.  Each year your award has been a result of Castle Connolly's rigorous peer nominated, expert reviewed selection process.

September 29

Food Intolerance versus Food Allergy

The 50% to 90% of self-reported food allergies that are not really allergies are actually reactions to food that are not mediated by the immune system. This is the critical difference. Non-allergic food reactions, referred to as "food intolerances," typically occur 3-4 hours after ingesting a certain food or similar food and produce symptoms that vary depending on the nature of the intolerance. Because they can mimic immune reactions, food intolerances are often confused with food allergies, but the underlying mechanisms differ. Food intolerance can be metabolic, pharmacologic, or toxic in nature, and can involve components of food or additives such as lactose, caffeine, monosodium glutamate, tyramine, artificial colors, or sulfites.

September 27

Allergic Reactions

Allergic Reactions: Tips to Remember

Allergies often bring to mind sneezing, runny nose or watery eyes. While these are symptoms of some types of allergic disease, an allergic reaction is actually a result of a chain reaction that begins in your genes and is expressed by your immune system.

What is happening inside your body when you have an allergic reaction? Read on to find out.

The Immune System
Your immune system controls how your body defends itself. For instance, if you have an allergy to pollen, your immune system identifies pollen as an invader or allergen. Your immune system overreacts by producing antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies travel to cells that release chemicals, causing an allergic reaction. This reaction usually causes symptoms in the nose, lungs, throat, sinuses, ears, lining of the stomach or on the skin.

Each type of IgE has specific "radar" for each type of allergen. That's why some people are only allergic to cat dander (they only have the IgE antibodies specific to cat dander); while others have allergic reactions to multiple allergens because they have many more types of IgE antibodies.

It is not yet fully understood why some substances trigger allergies and others do not, nor why some people have allergic reactions while others do not. A family history of allergies is the single most important factor that puts you at risk of developing allergic disease.

Types of Allergic Disease 
Approximately 50 million Americans suffer from some form of allergic disease, and the number is increasing. There are several types of allergic disease, which you can learn more about by reading the other Tips to Remember articles.

Allergic rhinitis may be seasonal or year-round. The seasonal allergy, often called "hay fever," typically occurs in the spring, summer or fall. Symptoms include sneezing, stuffy or runny nose and itching in the nose, eyes or on the roof of the mouth. When the symptoms are year-round, they may be caused by exposure to indoor allergens such as dust mites, indoor molds or pets.

Allergic conjunctivitis occurs when the eyes react to allergens with symptoms of reddening, itching and swelling. Atopic dermatitis, or eczema, often results from allergen exposure to your skin. Symptoms include itching, reddening and flaking or peeling of the skin. Symptoms begin in childhood for 80% of those with atopic dermatitis. Over 50% of those with atopic dermatitis also develop asthma.

Urticaria, or hives, is characterized by itchy, red bumps that can occur in clumps and be either large or small. Hives are often triggered by certain foods or medications.

Asthma is a chronic lung disease characterized by coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and wheezing. Up to 78% of those with asthma also have allergic rhinitis. The role of allergy in asthma is greater in children than in adults.

When you experience asthma symptoms, your inflamed airways become narrowed, making it more difficult to breathe. If you have allergies, inhaling allergens may cause increased swelling of your airway lining and further narrowing of your air passages. Asthma may also occur as a result of respiratory tract infections or exposure to irritants like tobacco smoke.

People with food allergies may have severe and possibly life-threatening reactions if they eat those foods. The most common triggers are the proteins in cow's milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish and tree nuts.

Food, medications, insect stings and exposure to latex can trigger anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis (an-a-fi-LAK-sis) is a serious allergic reaction that comes on quickly, causing mild to severe symptoms that affect various parts of the body.

Symptoms of anaphylaxis include a feeling of warmth, flushing, tingling in the mouth or a red, itchy rash. Other symptoms may include feelings of light-headedness, shortness of breath, throat tightness, anxiety, pain/cramps and/or vomiting and diarrhea. In severe cases, you may experience a drop in blood pressure that results in a loss of consciousness and shock. Without immediate treatment with an injection of epinephrine (adrenaline), anaphylaxis may be fatal.

Sinusitis and otitis media are other common allergic diseases often triggered by allergic rhinitis. Sinusitis is a swelling of the sinuses, which are hollow cavities within the cheek bones around your eyes and behind your nose. Otitis media – or ear infections – is the most common childhood disease requiring physician care. If not properly treated, it can affect a child's speech and language development.

Diagnosing and Treating Allergic Reactions 
An allergist / immunologist, often referred to as an allergist, is best qualified to treat allergic diseases. To determine if you have an allergy, your allergist will take a thorough medical history and do a physical exam. He or she may perform allergy skin testing, or sometimes blood testing, to determine which substance is causing your allergy.

Once your allergy triggers are identified, your allergist can help you establish a treatment plan that is right for you. In many instances, allergy shots (immunotherapy) is an effective, cost-efficient long term treatment approach.

While there is not yet a cure for allergic disease, your allergist can properly diagnose the problem and develop a plan to help you feel better and live better.

Healthy Tips
• Allergy symptoms are the result of a chain reaction that starts in your immune system.
• If you have a family history of allergies, you are at a much higher risk of developing allergic disease.
• The types of allergic disease include allergic rhinitis (hay fever), eczema, hives, asthma and food allergy.
• Food, medications, insect stings and exposure to latex can trigger anaphylaxis, which is a serious allergic reaction that happens very quickly and in some instances may be fatal.
• If you (or anyone you are with) begin to have an allergic reaction, call for medical help to get to the closest emergency room.
• Talk to your allergist about the many treatments available to help you feel better.

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Location: Springfield, NJ
Today's Date: July 04, 2020
Station Director: Leonard Bielory, M.D
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