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Asthma and Allergy Information and Research (AAIR) is the name for the website of the Leicester Branch of the Midlands Asthma and Allergy Research Association (MAARA), a Registered Charity with its headquarters at 12 Vernon St, Derby, U.K. Its Medical Advisor is Dr. Martin Stern, Consultant Clinical Immunologist at Glenfield Hospital, Leicester and at Leicester Royal Infirmary.

Email: (aair@globalnet.co.uk)

Snail mail: Department of Respiratory Medicine, Glenfield Hospital, Groby Road, Leicester LE3 9QP, UK.

Phone: (0) 116 270 7557
Fax: (0) 116 270 9338

The objectives of AAIR and those of its parent organisation are to further education and research in asthma and allergic diseases, and it provides support for patients in certain areas.

The study of pollens and fungal spores in the atmosphere which can cause asthma and nasal allergies has been a major activity; MAARA employs two experienced aerobiologists (Julie Corden and Wendy Millington) in Derby, and supports such work (aerobiology) at the Department of Botany at the University of Leicester (John Bailey and a Research Fellow). We also work closely with Ursula Allitt, in Cambridge, UK, on fungal aerobiology. A major current interest is indoor air and indoor airborne fungi, as previous work has almost entirely been done outdoors, whereas our patients spend the overwhelming majority of their time in the indoor and built environment. We have devised an indoor spore sampler which, for the first time, permits indoor airborne fungi and pollens to be studied quantitatively to the standards which are routine for outdoor aerobiology.

We have been active in clinical trials of new treatments for asthma and allergies, and have, for example, had the largest capacity in Europe for trials of treatments for hayfever. We have tested topical steroids, bronchodilators, low-sedating antihistamines, antiallergic compounds and special spectacles (Airshield (TM)) for hayfever.

Education for patients

1) We have patient information Leaflets on:

  • Allergy to nuts
    A booklet, now superseded by this website.

  • House dust mite control
    Much printed advice is unreliable. This is an attempt to be sensible, but it is brief and needs expanding, given the major inconvenience and expense of effective action. HOT TIP: look at our web pages on mites; they are more complete and more up to date, and have links to other site with pictures.
    We sell good quality bedding covers for mite dust control; the leaflet mentions these, though you can get covers from other sources too.

  • Pets and allergy
    Pets cause asthma and other allergies; no doubt about it. But getting rid of a loved pet is not easy, and the evidence that it is responsible for your illness may not be obvious to you. Here are some facts and opinions.

  • Bee and Wasp venom allergy and its treatment by desensitisation
    For people who have had a life-threatening allergic reaction to a bee or wasp sting.

  • Urticaria
    This very common itchy skin complaint, also called 'nettlerash' or 'hives', is frustrating because the cause often cannot be found. Long-term antihistamines may be the best answer, but they don't always work well enough.

  • Exercise induced asthma
    Some practical tips may help you enjoy sports and other physical activity.

These materials are no longer available by post, as this website is superseding them. The website is in many cases more detailed and up to date and has the advantage of links to other websites.

2) Anaphylaxis prevention and treatment: Our Research Nurse, Liz Emmerson, provides instruction in allergen avoidance and adrenaline administration at our offices in Leicester.

3) Lectures to patient groups: Dr Stern lectures to self-help groups within reasonable reach in the UK on asthma, food allergy including nut allergy, atopic eczema, and other allergy-related subjects.

Education for doctors and other health professionals

1) The above leaflets are available by arrangement. There is likely to be a charge covering our costs for quantities greater than ten leaflets.

2) Videotapes of lectures by top experts are available on loan to doctors. The majority are in the American NTSC format and require a video recorder which is either 'multistandard' or of the American NTSC standard. Your Medical Illustration or Audiovisual department may well have such a machine.

3) Lectures to medical groups: Dr Stern lectures to groups within the UK and occasionally elsewhere on the diagnosis and management of anaphylaxis, the important role of allergy in asthma, food allergy including nut allergy, anaphylaxis, atopic eczema, and other allergy-related subjects.


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This page is maintained by Martin Stern
Its last major update was on 27 March 1997
Minor update 4 Nov 1999. Address update 14 Feb 2001.

Copyright © 1997, 1999 Asthma and Allergy Information and Research