World Allergy Week 2019: Allergic Rhinitis


Allergic rhinitis is a major disorder causing  morbidity, disturbance in the quality of living and is a major reason for loss of days of work.

Symptoms of allergic rhinitis are

  • sneezing
  • running nose
  • watering of eyes
  • itching of eyes, ear and throat
  • stuffiness of the nose

Allergic rhinitis can lead to breathing problems and asthma

Allergy symptoms can be controlled with medication. Consult your doctor for help.

What causes these allergies?

  • Pollen: pollen allergies or hay fever are common, more in Europe and in the US, due to birch pollen. It is troublesome in the warm summer months when trees release their pollen in the air. Pollen is the mode of reproduction for plants and travels long distances in the air. Especially for plants with small flowers like grasses.pollen image

How to avoid pollen?

  • Keep doors and windows closed especially early mornings and late evening when pollen counts are high
  • wear a mask and full sleeve clothes while doing outside activities
  • take a shower and put your clothes immediately for washing after spending a long time outdoors for work or games, etc, to remove pollen stuck to your body and clothes.
  • get your allergy checked by allergy testing. Immunotherapy helps to control allergies

House Dust mites:

aca6f6a4578dfa837640286fdfd31485--dust-mite-allergy-allergy-treatmentdust mite cycle

They are the most common cause of allergies

How to avoid dust mites:

  • They are destroyed by heat, so wash bed-sheets, blankets, pillow covers in hot water at least twice a week and dry them in the sun
  • Minimize dust in your house by removing soft furnishing like carpets, curtains, sofa covers, soft toys, etc. Or vacuum them regularly
  • Immunotherapy helps in controlling dust mite allergies.

Fungi or Molds:

fungus image 2

  • They are the cause of allergy in warm and humid climates.
  • Fungal spores become airborne and cause allergies
  • They are found in air conditioning, on damp bathroom walls or walls where there is seepage of water or pipe leakage
  • they can cause sinusitis and allergic asthma

Prevention of fungal allergy

  • Basic cleanliness helps
  • Servicing of AC vents regularly, cleaning the bathroom with bleach, treating water leakage, removal of junk in the home, etc
  • Vaccines help


pet allergy image

  • Animals like cats, dogs and even birds can cause allergies
  • Cats are very common since they lick their fur and the saliva on it is highly allergenic

Prevention of pet allergies:

These are very difficult since the pet is a family member and minimizing contact with them is not possible. Vaccines help.


Cockroach dust causes a lot of allergy. Cockroaches like tight places so even if 1-2 are visible outside, most of them will be hidden in crevices.

Proper pest control should be done for allergy prevention

Minimize environmental pollution. These are irritants which worsen symptoms of allergy such as:

  • Cigarette smoke
  • petrol and diesel fumes
  • industrial pollutants
  • insect repellents and plug in liquids

Consult your doctor as soon as possible for allergic symptoms for immediate relief and further management

World allergy week April 7-13 2019


Hello. welcome to World Allergy Week 2019

Allergic disorders are increasing in the past 10 years, due to lifestyle changes, global warming, diet, etc. We need to address this problem and treat the diseases at a critical level

In The Upcoming days we will discuss various aspects of allergy

World hearing day March 3

March 3 is celebrated as international hearing day.

Take care of your hearing especially in children and the elderly.

  • If your baby does not respond to sound, get the child checked early it is advisable to treat hearing problems before speech develops, since this improves chances of recovery
  • Children with Ear pain, pus from the ear should be checked as soon as possible
  • Elderly who can’t respond to sounds or listen to the TV in high volume need to get assessed immediately
  • Take care of your ears.
  • Avoid loud music
  • Wear protective headphones while working in machinery with loud noise.
  • Don’t try to clean your ears on your own. Don’t put any object like hair pin, sticks, keys in your ear
  • In case of cold take proper precautions while flying.
  • Don’t go swimming or diving with Ear problems
  • Check with your ENT specialist before using any ear drops or medications. Certain medicines can damage your inner ear and excess use of ear drops can cause fungus and other complications
  • Don’t blow your nose hard during colds

Motion sickness

Image result for motion sickness images stock

Motion sickness is the feeling of sickness,  dizziness, nausea or vomiting and sleepiness while travelling in a moving vehicle. This can be a car, bus, train, aeroplane or in a boat or ship.

It is triggered by abnormal motion, such as winding roads , turbulence during long flights, travelling in boat or long distance sea travel.

Related imageImage result for bus stock photo

It is hereditary for some people. it may be genetic


Image result for seasick stock photoRelated image

The cause of motion sickness is disturbance in the signals of your eyes and the organ of balance of the inner ear. This sends signals to your brain which stimulates vomiting.

Image result for labyrinth ear

Solution for motion sickness:

  • While travelling in a car look straight ahead at the road
  • Avoid eating and drinking , especially excessive alcohol.
  • Avoid smoking
  • Avoid reading on the road or in a bus.
  • Take a seat up front in a bus or in front or over the wing in a plane. The back seat is subject to a lot of rocking
  • In a ship or a boat take a cabin on an upper deck
  • breathe fresh air deeply

Consult your doctor for medication and advice for motion sickness

Dermatitis and Skin Disorders. Skin allergy patch testing.

With the ongoing cold and dry weather, skin disorders are coming up. With uncontrolled use of cosmetics, allergies to cosmetic products are on the rise too.

Patch testing is done for cosmetic products such as  PPD and  metals like nickel, chromium and various other chemicals.


Contact Dermatitis: Contact dermatitis is when an outside allergen comes in contact with your skin and causes allergic and/or irritant response. Irritation to external chemicals is more common.

Sometimes the skin can become red and angry due to hypereactivity

A systemic response like extreme redness of skin, especially on the buttocks can be seen.

Contact Urticaria: When you get a typical wheal and flare reaction to an external allergen. In extreme cases you can get an anaphylactic shock.

Irritant Contact Dermatitis

The skin will look glazed, parched or scalded, with a sharply circumscribed margin. Once you remove the external irritating agent, healing will start.

Atopic dermatitis:

  • There is a family history of atopy or allergic diseases
  • It’s common in early childhood due to food allergies. The child may grow out of most of them or develop allergic rhinitis,asthma or allergic conjunctivitis later on.
  • It is characterized by dry, scaly and itchy lesions, in early childhood and babies this is a rash on the face, back of joints
  • In adolescents and young adults it is more common in the folds of the elbow and knee joints, armpit, groin, etc.
  • It can be treated by avoiding the allergen, allergy skin prick tests to identify the cause. Local emollient creams help.
  • Immunotherapy will help control the disease, prevent development of other allergies and prevent progress to further complications.

Seborrheic Dermatitis: It is common in areas like the scalp, face and chest. It is related to sebum or the greasy substance produced by the sebaceous glands in the skin.

  • It is common in cold weather, and can be triggered by stress
  • It is seen in infants, healthy young people, but can be common in people with Parkinson’s or HIV infection.
  • It is not related to diet.
  • It is caused because of a yeast like fungus in the skin.


  • Reddish areas covered with greasy looking white or reddish skin scales.
  • In the scalp: It could result in mild flakes leading to dandruff, or a redder, scalier weeping rash. Cradle cap in infants could be due to seborrheic dermatitis
  • On the face: It affects the inner part of the eyebrows, the crease on the side of the nose, and the cheeks. Eyelids can become red, sensitive and inflamed.(blepharitiS)
  • Ears:  the skin behind the ear can show reddish scaly lesions. the ear canal and Pinna too. It can lead to Otitis externa.
  • Chest : Front of the chest.
  • Folds: Elbow, armpit, knee, groin. In children the nappy area is affected.

Treatment: Treatment with seborrheic dermatitis has to be continued. Once you stop the treatment the lesions tend to recur

On the scalp: 

  • Remove dense scales with olive oil.
  • Shampoos containing Zinc, selenium sulphide, or ketoconazole can be used. They should be kept for 10-15 minutes before rinsing them off.
  • Sometimes a strong steroidal cream will help.

Over the body: Mild steroidal and antifungal creams will help.

Ear canal: Antifungal creams used in the ear canal and antifungal/steroidal ear drops.

  • Application of olive oil can prevent, itching dryness and scaly lesions.

Regular use of a moisturizer or anti-fungal cream, shampoo, body lotion will help in control.

PSORIASIS: Dry silvery white scales like mica. On removal they leave a white patch with punctate bleeding.

Causes of Contact Dermatitis: 

  • Detergents are a very common cause of irritant contact dermatitis due to their strong caustic nature and they easily erode the skin barrier.
  • Cosmetics, eye shadows cause allergy too.
  • Transfer of nail polish to the eye and face
  • Benzalkonium chloride, a preservative in medicated eye and ear drops is one of the common causes. Thimerosal and neomycin sulphate are other ones.
  • Chemicals such as lanolin, coconut oil, etc
  • PPD, Balsam of Peru, Parabens, colophony and many others
  • Nickel, chromium and cobalt in costume jewellery
  • The above can also be responsible for rejection in orthopedic joint replacement surgeries.Once you have allergy in the skin to these chemicals, a systemic reaction can occur.
  • Ultraviolet light as exposure to sun Rays can worsen the reaction.

Occupational contact dermatitis is common in the following groups:

  • Food handlers like cooks and caterers
  • Health care workers
  • Persons involved in cleaning
  • Cosmetology
  • Painting
  • Heavy mechanics and assembling of parts
  • electronics
  • Construction
  • Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
  • Printing and Lithography


In patch testing, chemical allergens and drugs are applied directly on the skin. They are left for 3 to 7 days. If there is an irritating lesion, from a mild rash to a severe reaction and vesicles, the patch test is said to be positive.

  • Readymade patches are available which can be applied to the skin.
  • The patches can be customised by using paste and applying pre cut linen patches covered by micropore or hypoallergenic dressing tape.
Allergy test being carried out on a woman's back.
Allergy test being carried out on a woman’s back.

Instructions for patch testing:

  • The patient should not be on oral antihistaminic, anti allergic or steroidal medication for at least 3 days before the patch test.
  • Topical application of corticosteroids and lotions to the skin should be avoided for 3 days prior
  • The patches are applied to the back or upper arm. During the period of the patch test the patient cannot take a bath or apply water to the patches.
  • The patient should not sweat otherwise the patches will come off. The patch test is typically done in cold weather, as summers can cause sweating.

Treatment of Contact Dermatitis

  • Avoidance of the chemical e.g. using long handled cleaning tools like wet mops and vacuum cleaners.
  • Substitution wherever possible with a less allergenic chemical
  • Job rotation so that periods of exposure are less
  • Protective gloves, face shields, aprons, uniforms, eye wear, etc
  • Emollient creams

Please contact your doctor for expert diagnosis and advice