Elmira/Corning Regional Airport

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New Study To Fight Cat Allergies

Cat Allergy
     CORNING---(WENY) Millions of Americans are stuck year after year battling allergies.
   They can keep you from going outside, dictate your diet, and can even keep you from owning a pet.
    Haley Goodlin is allergic to cats and says it makes for a very unpleasant experience, saying, "
My eyes become irritated and I have really bad asthma attacks. When I get scratched by a cat, I break out in horrible hives and it becomes swollen."
    The symptoms are brought on by a cat's saliva, urine, and skin flakes.
    It often goes hand-in-hand with nasal allergies and asthma, and it may effect more people than you think.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation, approximately 10 million Americans suffer from cat allergies. That's 20% of the population. To help alleviate symptoms, a new drug is being tested to wipe out the allergy altogether. The international drug trial is called the Catalyst study, and patients from all over are participating. 
Dr. Christopher Smith of Smith Allergies is conducting the study at his Corning office. He says, "This new drug, it's a new protein that can give improvement in your cat allergy in a much shorter time and has a much better safety profile than the traditonal allergy shots that are available now."
    Allergy shot treatments inject small amounts of cat allergen into patients to build up their tolerance, and can take anywhere from 6 to 18 months for patients to see results.
    Dr. Smith has already seen about 30 patients who are participating in the study, some of whom are already seeing signs of relief.
    It's promising news for cat allergy sufferers like Haley who says,  "It'd be nice to actually own a cat someday."
 Dr. Smith is still taking patients for the Catalyst study. If you'd like to participate you can call his office or visit http://www.smithallergy.com/ and click the research button.