Pollen exposure and pollution, and a primer on obstructive sleep apnea

March 13, 2017

The March issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, is full of exciting information that will satisfy the needs and desires of our readers for scientifically sound, clinically relevant information and features. I call your attention to two articles that should be of particular interest to many of you.

The first is a focused review article about relationships between pollen exposure and environmental pollution in patients with respiratory allergy by Schivoni and colleagues. All of us are seeing more patients with onset of IgE-mediated respiratory diseases in all age spectra. Of interest is the increasing number of new onset adult patients with allergic diseases. This article reviews the literature and confirms the increased prevalence of allergy worldwide over the past 30 years. There is focus on the role of increased pollution with climate change affecting both the relative amount of allergen and the location of pollen producing plants in relation to sources of pollution that must be considered in the epidemiology of this increasing problem.

The other article to which I wish to call your attention is an extremely practical CME review article by Pasha and colleagues that serves as a “primer” for the principles of recognizing and treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) syndrome. As has been reported, there is a strong association between allergic rhinitis and OSA which is poorly understood. This article outlines basic pathophysiology, risk factors as well as principles of diagnosis and management including when to refer to a sleep medicine specialist. Further, with the immune discussion in the pathophysiology section, this article may be useful to give to your sleep medicine colleagues to suggest the value of referral of their OSA patients for allergy evaluation with subsequent co-management of these patients.

As always, we welcome your feedback as we continually strive to meet the needs of our primary audience – the practicing AI specialist.

Gailen D. Marshall, Jr., MD, PhD, FACAAI