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Asthma and Allergy:
Other sources of information


Table of Contents for this page

Links to other asthma and allergy websites

What about trying alternative medicine?

Finding good websites on any medical topic.


Web links and information intended for health professionals

Where to get medical items such as peak flow meters, nebulisers, thermometers.

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Links to other asthma and allergy websites


Table of Contents (top of page)

General: asthma and allergy

Allergospace is the website of of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. This contains information for allergy sufferers as well as for health professionals. The content is subject to international agreement between European specialists. You will find information not contained in the AAIR pages and the Allergospace site is technically more advanced.

For example, you will find pages on:

  • House dust mites (done in a different way; much of the information complements that in our pages)
  • Allergy to pets, e.g. cats, dogs, rabbits
  • Allergy to moulds (fungi)
  • Allergy to bee and wasp stings causing a risk of death by anaphylaxis
  • Pollen calendars for Europe to aid travel planning for hayfever sufferers
  • Some pages still under construction, but these will cover urticaria, eczema and other topics
 

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI)  home page.
The Academy consists of physicians specialising in the diagnosis and treatment of allergic diseases including asthma, and in research on the unsolved problems in these areas. Their website has a Patient/Public Resource Center. You can also find out about specialists near you if you are in the USA through their Physician Referral System Search Form.

 

The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI)  Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Online page.
The College consists of physician specialists in allergies including asthma. You can look up advice for patients, get help in finding a specialist in the USA via a "800" telephone number, and more.

 

The National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Denver, Colorado, USA,
keeps a Medical Facts Subject List on the web, with a host of asthma and allergy related topics. USA source, intended for patients. Remember that there are differences in drug usage between countries. Expert opinion in the UK differs somewhat from that in the USA, as is generally the case between different countries.

 

The Allergy Society of South Africa (ALLSA)  has an awsomely good website on allergy.

 

Allergy and Asthma Rochester Resource Center. Produced in Rochester, New York, providing excellent education material for both patients and health professionals. Tackles asthma in depth and has interesting information on a range of other allergy problems. Details of PC program to help people with asthma or their parents to manage the asthma (free demo available). Downloadable USA guidelines on asthma management.

 

Dr Bob Lanier's website. Dr Bob Lanier is a leading USA allergy specialist, and works in Fort Worth, Texas. He is known for his imaginative use of technology to assist education of doctors and patients about allergy.

 

Major John Galatas has an Asthma School website in Athens.

 

Dr Adrian Morris is a General Practitioner in Surrey, UK, who specialises in allergy.

 

Allergy/Asthma Information Association (AAIA) and Calgary Allergy Network. The Allergy/Asthma Information Association (AAIA) is a Canadian national organization dedicated to helping allergic individuals and their families cope with everything from the sniffles and sneezes of hayfever to life-threatening food allergies and asthma. It was founded as a voluntary organization in 1964. The website is excellent, particularly good on anaphylaxis.

If in Canada, you may wish to join the AAIA. The address is:
Allergy/Asthma Information Association
30 Eglinton Avenue West, Suite #750
Mississauga, Ontario L5R 3E7
Phone: (905) 712-2242
Fax (905) 712-2245

Website: http://www.cadvision.com/allergy

NEW
The Anaphylaxis Network of Canada site is also of interest even if you don't live in Canada.

 

The Fragranced Products Information Network is an informative website run by Betty Bridges, RN, in the USA on the effect fragrances have on health. She is interested in hearing from others who have asthma triggered by perfumes. Email : bcb56@ix.netcom.com
Asthma and symptoms affecting the nose and sinuses which seem to be caused by perfumes (fragrances) are surprisingly common, and sufferers seem to feel they are expected to suffer in silence whilst others use perfumes to excess, or spray perfumes in shared work areas. The results can be disabling, and there is a need for greater awareness of this problem, resulting at least in rules about the use of perfumes in places of work.
See also our perfume allergy correspondence page.

 

The Health Centre. UK-based, contains fruitful links to other websites, both in the UK and internationally. Of major interest to UK health professionals and anyone wishing to develop medical websites, and a wide variety of material for patients and for parents of patients. Covers a wide range of medical topics, not just asthma and allergy.

 

A website with information for patients and doctors or nurses is provided by the manufacturer ALK-ABELLO (http://www.ALK-ABELLO.COM/). Includes an Allergy Dictionary, a list of organisations in European countries which help patients, and explanations of allergy. Naturally, being provided by a commercial company, there is a slant towards their own products. ALK-Abello has been a leader in the provision of high quality allergen extracts for diagnosis and treatment.

 

Insect sting allergy (wasp & bee stings especially). A site run by the desensitising vaccine manufacturer ALK. Briefly states some main facts.

 

Allerayde (http://www.allerayde.co.uk/) is a UK supplier of bedding covers, adrenaline injectors and other allergy products for patients and the medical profession. You can e-mail them at Allerayde@aol.com.

 

Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Online.General purpose, for both patients & doctors. USA.

 

Allergy-related Sites- Dr Mio. From the Department of Pharmacology, Okayama University, Japan. Long list of links, many not easily found elsewhere, no comments. General purpose, for both patients & doctors.

 

 

Asthma

Table of Contents (top of page)

Click here to go to links on asthma specifically.

 

 

Mainly food allergy

Table of Contents (top of page)

The Food Allergy Network.Has an excellent site and is the primary food-related self-help network in the USA. They have a lot of valuable educational material. They regularly attend scientific meetings of allergy specialists in the USA, which is a great way of keeping up to date and making sure the specialists know about them.

 

NEW Food allergy database
Zing Solutions: Food & Additives & Preservatives - Allergy & Intolerance Database (FAP- AID). Dr. Harris Steinman, who is also responsible for the excellent Allergy Society of South Africa (ALLSA) website with information for lay people and professionals, now has a commercial product. FAP- AID is a database which runs on PC computers (not Mac) using the Access database system. You can purchase FAP- AID via the web. The website contains useful information on egg and milk in foods, but is otherwise an advertising brochure for the database. This is a high quality product. Like the ALLSA site, the database has copious and excellent references to original medical literature, mainly useful to professionals. Free updates and prompt answers to email queries are promised.
If you purchase via the web and mention that you found out about it via the AAIR website (aair@globalnet.co.uk), we get a commission, which we'll use towards the development of this website.

 

Non-Dairy:Something to Moo About.Excellent websource for children and adults living with dairy-free diets. Good book list with brief comments. Recipes and products. The best source I've seen on the business of bringing up a food-allergic child; your skills as a parent are needed, and these tips will help. USA-based (Miami, Florida), and run by Helen H. Fernety, whose daughter has milk allergy. Those outside the US will still find it useful. For example, greater range of books than you would easily find this side of the Atlantic, & ordering from USA with a credit card is not difficult.

 

Eileen Kupstas -- Allergy and Asthma FAQ Home Page. She is not a medic or nurse, but has done a well-informed, copious, and sensibly designed site. There's lots there apart from allergy which might amuse you, but if you're looking for books on cooking for food allergy, for example, you'll see she's done a lot of work. Give it a try.

 

Peanut Allergy Home Page (http://www.PeanutAllergy.Com/). Helpful website and discussion group on peanut allergy. I found useful things I had not come across before.

 

 

 

 

Asthma and allergy in performing artists and professional voice users

Table of Contents (top of page)

An email from the mother of a young singer with asthma opened up the challenging question of how someone with asthma can conquer the challenges of making it as a professional voice-user in the arts.

Singers, actors and others who use their voices professionally such as teachers, preachers and politicians, encounter special problems with asthma and its treatment. Not only is breathing an issue in a way it never is for others, but inhaled treatments which don't affect the voice of most people can have a noticeable effect on the voice of a performing artist.

Does asthma medication affect your voice? Does relatively mild asthma interfere with your singing or acting career? Are there styles and types of singing in which asthma is less of a disadvantage? Is there a point at which having asthma means a singing career is doomed, and you really should be thinking of earning your living another way? Any stories of success against the apparent odds? Stories of famous singers who had asthma; are there any? What about allergies and having to live in typical artists' accommodation? Do you know of any asthma specialists who take a special interest in this and who give a good service to artists?

If singing is your passion and you have asthma, these and other questions are not trivial.

If you have any experience of this especially in professional but also in serious amateur performance, I'd love to hear from you.

The following websites give many links to other related sites.

The Performing Arts Medicine Association.

The British Performing Arts Medicine Trust.

A book which may help is: 'Care of the professional voice: a management guide for singers, actors and professional voice users' by D.Garfiels Davies and Anthony F. Jahn. It is published by Butterworth-Heinemann, UK, 1998. ISBN 0750636408.


Warning bracelets and pendants


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  • SOS Talisman® : Pendants containing a strip of paper on which essential medical and personal details can be written. Easily identified by medical emergency staff. Obtainable through jewellers in Britain. No fee beyond purchase of talisman.

     

  • Medic Alert International ® is a non-profit Registered Charity which sells bracelets or pendants with a clear symbol, on the reverse of which medical conditions can be engraved or stamped. A telephone number on the item gives access to a computer database with essential details about you. UK prices in 2001 range from 19.95 to 185 pounds sterling, with an annual subscription of 10 pounds sterling.

    Address in British Isles & Ireland:

             Medic Alert British Isles & Ireland
    1 Bridge Wharf
    156 Caledonian Road
    London
    N1 9UU
    UK

    Telephone: 0207 833 3034
    FAX: 0207-278-0647

    International code for UK is 44. From outside UK dial + 44-207 833 3034

    Data entered 28 Dec 1997, amended 11 Apr 2001. Consult Medic Alert International site for up-to-date info.

    To contact Medic Alert in:

    Telephone

    FAX

    Australia South61-9-334-122261-88-271-4844
    Australia West61-9-334-122261-9-334-1231
    Canada416-696-0142416-696-8524
    Cyprus357-2-315-113357-2-49-2216
    Fiji 679-665-133679-662-468
    Greece30-1-363-145430-1-934-3716
    Iceland354-561-3122354-561-5122
    Malaysia60-3-750-281660-3-756-2253
    New Zealand64-4-528-8218679-662-468
    South Africa27-21-461-732827-21-461-6654
    USA1-800-825-3785
    ZambiaNone260-2-227059
    Zimbabwe263-4-759-512263-4-759-510
     

     


    Books


    Table of Contents (top of page)

    Try the Allergies Book Store and the Allergy Bookshop , working in association with the Amazon.com internet bookstore, which offers discount books on allergies at 20 to 40 percent off cover price. Although many books are accompanied by brief abstracts or book reviews, these are invariably complimentary and you may well not be able to distinguish between the mainstream and the 'alternative' or even the good and the bad by these comments. So there is still an advantage to going to a real bookstore so that you can see what you are getting. Your doctor's recommendation or one from this website might also help you. There's a huge and very mixed bunch of books out there. But if you do want to order by mail from the USA, then this is a good way.



     

    Information added 14-3-97

    Title: "Allergies A-Z"

    Authors: Myron A. Lipkowitz, Tova Navarra.
    Publisher: Facts On File, Inc, New York, USA.
    Year of publication: 1994
    ISBN: 0-8160-2824-9
    Hardback. £ 24.95 (UK)

    Alphabetically organised one-volume 'encyclopaedia' of allergy and allergy-related topics. Reflects USA allergies (allergy-inducing plants and animals differ between countries) and treatments. Perfect for hypochondriacs.
    Seriously though, it is full of sound information, and useful if you want to look something up. A good purchase for libraries used by patients, including libraries of self-help groups and organisations. Would also suit journalists who write or broadcast about medical and allergy-related topics. Nurse practitioners would find it useful for themselves as well as in helping them to explain things to patients. Doctors might be interested in the numerous brief entries on famous doctors, past and present, who have made major contributions in this field.



     

    Title: "Self-help Groups. Getting Started - keeping going"

    Author: Judy Wilson.
    Publisher: Longman self-help guides.
    Year of publication: 1986
    ISBN: 0-582-89268-6
    Paperback. £ 3.95 in 1989 or so. (UK)

    I learned much of what didn't just learn from observation and bitter experience from Judy Wilson at a lecture she gave, and hope her book is still in print or available through libraries.


    You could try looking at books written for doctors

    Our page on Allergy - The Basics tells you about two good ones.

     


    How to find an allergy specialist

    Table of Contents (top of page)

    Often, your family doctor will be able to treat your allergic disease or asthma. But if you need a specialist try to see one with recognised training and qualifications.

    In the UK

    In Britain, we recommend mainstream allergy specialists who are members of the
    British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
    Address:

    66 Weston Park
    Thames Ditton
    KT7 0HL

    Telephone: 0181 398 9240

     

    Other organisations which can help you
    in the UK

    Table of Contents (top of page)

    The National Asthma Campaign

    In the UK, the National Asthma Campaign provides help for people with asthma and for parents of children with asthma. The Campaign produces regularly updated information booklets. There is a telephone Asthma Helpline: 0345 10 02 03.

    You could also help to organise a local branch or to raise money for research. As will be obvious from the information in our own website, there are lots of very important questions to which we do not know the answers.
    See also the comment in our page on other asthma websites.

    Address of the National Asthma Campaign:

          Providence House
    Providence Place
    London N1 0NT
    UK
     


    The National Eczema Society

    In the UK, the National Eczema Society provides help for people with eczema and for parents of children with eczema. The Society produces very helpful information leaflets and a Newsletter.

    You could also help to organise a local branch or to raise money for research. There are lots of very important questions to which we do not know the answers.

    Address of The National Eczema Society:

          163 Eversholt Street
    London, NW1 1BU
    UK

    Phone: 0171 3884097
    Fax: 0171 3885882
    Web: http://www.eczema.org/

     


    The Anaphylaxis Campaign

    The Anaphylaxis Campaign is a national UK charity and self-help organisation. If you or someone in your family has had anaphylaxis from food or something else we might encounter in daily life, join it. Its Newsletter and meetings will be invaluable to you.
    Address:

    Address:

    The Ridges
    2 Clockhouse Rd
    Farnborough
    Hampshire
    GU14 7QY
    UK

    Telephone: 01252 542 029
    Fax: 01252 377 140

    Website: http://www.anaphylaxis.org.uk/whom.html

    Table of Contents (top of page)  


    Europe except the UK

    In other European countries we suggest a doctor who is a member of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, although there will be good and recognised specialists who are not members.

    The website of the allergen extract manufacturer ALK-ABELLO (http://www.ALK-ABELLO.COM/) has a good list of organisations in European countries which would be helpful to patients and parents.


    In the USA

    See the information above on the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI)

    and the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).

     


    In countries other than UK, Europe or USA

    To find a specialist in Canada or South Africa, consult "General: asthma and allergy". We would like to add other mainstream national organisations to our list; please contact us if you want yours included.

    Table of Contents (top of page)  

     



    What about trying alternative medicine?

    Table of Contents (top of page)

    Many people who suffer from allergies, or think that they do, go to practitioners of alternative medicine, often because they have not been helped enough by ordinary doctors.

    There are many kinds of alternative practitioner. Some mainstream qualified doctors also practice alternative medicine. It is therefore difficult to generalise.

    The short answer from us is this. If we believed that alternative medicine worked, we would be using it, and it would not be called alternative medicine!

    Mainstream medicine uses all sorts of treatments which originally come from herbal remedies. These medicines have been shown to work, and nowadays the active ingredient will have been purified or made in a pure form by chemistry. The right dose, the effectiveness, and the side effects will have been studied. There is a reporting system for suspected side effects, so that patterns of side effects can be picked up which an individual doctor could not be sure about.

    This is an example of the difference between mainstream and alternative medicine. Alternative medicine does not test its remedies with anything like the same thoroughness for the very simple reason that if it did, and if the treatment was shown to work by the same standards as those used in mainstream medicine, it would be adopted by mainstream medicine and would no longer be alternative medicine.

    Until an alternative approach is shown to be effective and acceptably safe (no treatment, alternative or mainstream is perfectly free from side effects), mainstream doctors will generally not use it. This is because so many apparently convincing treatments used in the past turned out to do more harm than good.

    Even if the only harm is that the alternative approach costs you money and time, without any other disadvantage, we cannot justify it if there is no benefit.

    But many people feel they have had benefit from alternative medicine. The problem is that in mainstream medicine we often test our new treatments by comparing them with a dummy (placebo) treatment. Whenever we do this on more than a very few people, we always find that some people seem to improve remarkably on the dummy treatment. This may be due to a chance improvement which would have happened anyway, or because of psychological suggestion. So the fact that someone feels they were helped by a treatment, mainstream or alternative, does not prove that it really works.

    No treatment is perfect, but we recommend mainstream medicine because its remedies are tried and tested in a better way.

    Other sources of information about alternative medicine

    The Allergy Society of South Africa (http://AllergySA.org/alternative.htm) has an excellent page on alternative treatments and methods of diagnosis which is much more detailed and quotes evidence with exact sources.

     

    QuackWatch (http://www.quackwatch.com) The best website on alternative therapy and an outstanding website by any standard. An amazing amount of information on more kinds of alternative therapy than I knew existed, often information which is extremely elusive if you don't consult this website. Links to sites with reliable consumer information and "non-recommended" sites, books and 'experts'. 25 ways to spot quackery & ploys that may fool you. Updated frequently. Our strongest recommendation if you are interested in this area.

     

    Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_medicine) This online encyclopaedia has an excellent page here.

     

    Table of Contents (top of page)


    Finding good websites on any medical topic

    Self Help Groups for any medical condition

    UK Self Help and Patient Support Groups Web Links.  This site is provided by Patient Information Publications, a partnership of 2 GPs (medical practitioners) from Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. They primarily aim to provide information about health related matters which can be understood by nonmedical people. They produce a database of Patient Information Leaflets (PILS) which is widely used by UK GPs as a resource to print out to give to patients as a supplement to the consultation.

     

    Websites dedicated to medical searches

    Medinex.com (http://www.medinex.com), "the fastest-growing online health community on the Internet", a cut above most health websites.

     

    MedHunt: a medical search engine

    Try typing keywords on the topic you choose into the box. Click on the graphic for more instructions. This search engine is better than the general purpose search engines most people use. Search engines such as Yahoo, Lycos, Infoseek and Alta Vista generally find too many sites, many of them commercial and of very limited interest. MedHunt is more likely to find sites which are substantial and interesting.
    Health On the Net Foundation

    Medical Document Finder
    World-Wide Medical Search

    And Or Adj Free



    Table of Contents (top of page)


    Medical Equipment Supplier

    Medisave (UK) Ltd is a United Kingdom medical & nursing supplies web shop which supplies medical items such as peak flow meters, nebulisers, thermometers, blood pressure monitors and a good range of other medical items. If you order from them, they will pay a 5 percent commission to the Midlands Asthma and Allergy Research Association (MAARA), a Registered Charity, which supports this website. We believe their prices to you to be highly competitive.

    We are happy to include this link to their ordering website.



    This page is maintained by Martin Stern
    Updates (incomplete list) 19 Nov 1999 Asthma and allergy in performing artists, 9 Mar 2000 & 17 Nov 2000. Allerayde. 11 Apr 2001 Medic Alert update, SOS Talisman link. 21 Apr 2001 PeanutAllergy.Com. 27 & 30 Apr 2001 ACN. 8 May 2001 Medisave. ALLSA link update 7 Oct 03. Wikipedia added 14 Dec 04

    Copyright © 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Martin Stern