Aeroallergen Research with Dr. Kira Geraci
Allergic diseases, including asthma, rhinitis and sinusitis, affect
50 million Americans, including such people as Olympian Jackie
Joyner-Kersee and President Bill Clinton.
Allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, is sometimes considered a trivial
disease because it isn't usually life threatening; it doesn't
require hospitalization or emergency care. When Oregon first drafted
its health insurance plan prioritizing illnesses by severity,
they left allergic rhinitis completely off the list. So many patients
complained about that omission, that the cost of severe allergic
rhinitis is now covered by the Oregon plan. Most people today
will agree that it is a serious problem.
Aeroallergens are airborne pollen and fungal spores that are the
agents of allergy and disease. Aeroallergen research involves
monitoring the air on a daily basis for these pollen and fungal
spores. Our results are published in the newspaper and are available
on a telephone hot line. We also share our data with several hundred
doctors in the New York metropolitan area. Our seasonal results
become a part of a national database with the American Academy
of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), which is headquartered
at the Harvard School of Public Health. Schering-Key, the phamacuetical
corporation, has generously funded our research for the past several
years. My research station is certified with AAAAI and is located
at the Harvard School of Public Health. To be a certified station
means that the technicians have national certification and that
you have an allergist as the station director. Our allergist is
Dr. Kira Geraci, who has been my partner in this venture for a
number of years now.
We are fortunate to have Dr. Geraci with us to answer questions
related to allergies and aeroallergen research. I have worked
on this research with her since 1989. Ours is the first certified
pollen counting station in our area.
An important website related to this topic is the AAAAI (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology) site.
The National Allergy Bureau is tied to the AAAAI website.
Links updated: 26 May 2009