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April 16th, 2008

dust mites

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/16/AR2008041601873.html

I've been saying for a while that cleaning doesn't help with my allergies/asthma (in terms of end result) and the process of cleaning sometimes kicks up enough crap to make things worse. I _trust_ Cochrane. Nice to see this.

Over the last weekend, my sister-in-law T. was raving about how much it helped to switch out pillows and get ones that were anti-dust mite and she was thinking of doing all the bedding. My nephew J. has a lot of trouble, needed nebulizer treatments when younger and an inhaler now. And constantly has a snotty nose. Poor guy. More power to her if _he_ in particular is helped by this. The Cochrane study is over large groups (that is, even 90% reduction won't help a lot of people).

Other coverage of this result is fairly pathetic, with doctors reiterating, as always, the advice that Cochrane is pointing out as not being supported by (quite a lot of) available evidence. This is sort of the nature of Cochrane: doing the bummer work of actually pointing out negative results from the science.

Also last weekend, my brother-in-law (okay, he's not, really. He's my step-father-in-law's son. Who knows what that makes him. But effectively, I consider him a brother-in-law) was describing the treatment his son was receiving (which is, quite clearly, effective -- the kid is still very small for his age, but his skin looks way better and he no longer looks miserable all the time) for food allergy. They, too, ran up against the crazy-ass allergist who insists on doing skin scratch tests for food allergy then acting all surprised when the results don't match up to elimination diets or challenges. Duh. Skin testing is _useless_ for food allergies. I don't know why they bother. They've known this for at least twenty years. You'd think by now they would stop. But they're cheap. And they seem so definitive.

Ha.