Chuang Gung Medical Foundation, Division of Pediatric Allergy, Asthma and Rheumatology - UNREGISTERED VERSION

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About Allergy

Allergy Center

What is Asthma?

by: Jhong-Yung Wu, M.D.

         Asthma is a chronic and episodic inflammatory disease that affects the lungs and airways. It is usually triggered by allergens, respiratory infections, exercise, air pollution, airborne irritants, tobacco smoke or cold air.
The majority of asthmatic children experience the onset of the disease before the age of 5, and most have an allergy that triggers their asthma. Due to the patients’ young age, the diagnosis for childhood asthma is quite different from that of adults. Notably, asthmatic children with good compliance to medical treatment can keep their disease under good control, although it will not be cured.

         The acute management of asthma includes systemic steroids and rapid acting bronchodilators. For chronic asthma, there are also various safe long term controls. In mild cases, leukotriene inhibitors could be taken, while inhaled corticosteroids are a more potent control, especially for persistent asthma patients.

What is Atopic Dermatitis?

          Atopic dermatitis is an inflammatory, allergic, non-contagious skin disorder. The typical skin lesion is characterized by itchy and scaly skin which could become worse at times. It occurs in 5 to 10 percent of children and usually begins at birth or at a very young age.  For infants, the typically affected site is the extensor side of joints and the face. Affected children not only have skin problems, but may also suffer from  emotional problems or bad quality of life. It is usually not curable, but can get better after adequate medication and skin care.  

What is Urticaria?

          Urticaria (hives) is a common allergic skin condition. Patients usually present with red, itchy and swollen skin over the whole trunk, and each episode of urticaria could last for several days. A total of 30 to 40% of urticaria sufferers also present with angioedema. For a physician, the best goal to managing urticaria is to relieve a patient’s discomfort, and to find the possible underlying disorder. Besides regular allergy treatment, our team has significant experience in treating refractory urticarial patients who might have autoimmune, malignant or endocrine disorders.

What is Allergic Rhinitis?
Allergic rhinitis affects up to 50 percent of children and adolescents. It is characterized by nasal symptoms such as rhinorrhea, nasal obstruction or an itching nose when patients are exposed to allergens or cold air. It's estimated that over 70 percent of children with asthma have concurrent allergic rhinitis. We offer diagnosis and therapies for these patients.

What is Anaphylaxis?

          Anaphylaxis is a serious reaction to allergens or other substances. It usually presents with shock, respiratory distress (even respiratory failure), generalized skin reaction, or abdominal symptoms. It is a true medical emergency, and needs intervention if patients are to survive.

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