Allergies Archives - Page 3 of 3 - Active Healthcare

Turn Off Mute Mode and Talk to Your Allergist

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Plenty of people suffer from “white coat syndrome” aka anxiety about talking to their doctor. A new study revealed that asthma sufferers often experience this anxiety about approaching their allergist.

A study in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology revealed that asthmatics are often afraid to ask their allergist questions or speak up when they have a problem. Stanley Fineman, allergist and past president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), found that only 8 to 13 percent of asthma patients keep refilling prescriptions for inhaled corticosteroids after a year. Patients may not realize that managing their allergies in a proactive, consistent way will have a big impact on their asthma symptoms.

 If you’re still experiencing white coat syndrome but know it’s time to talk to your allergist, try these tips to help you keep your cool before you visit your doctor. First identify what’s worrying you; if you identify what specifically is making you uncomfortable, it’ll be easier to address the issue head on. Consider taking a friend or spouse with you to help you relax in the waiting room. Finally, if you simply don’t have a great relationship with your doctor, ask friends and family for a recommendation for a different doctor.


What’s in Your Mattress?

activeadmin Allergies, Asthma, Breathe EZ Leave a comment  

There’s a lot more than stuffing and springs in your mattress, it can also be home to dust mites and other allergens like pet dander and mold. Although dust mites are invisible to the naked eye, these critters can exacerbate asthma symptoms and shouldn’t be ignored. About a quarter of Americans have allergies, and two-thirds of that group have dust mite allergies, according to allergist Dr. James Sublett.

What are Dust Mites?

Dust mites thrive in humid climates, and eat flakes of human skin, which settle in your mattress. They can also live in bedding, carpets, curtains and upholstered furniture.

Symptoms of Dust Mite Allergies

Individuals with dust mite allergies are allergic to the protein in dust mite feces and body remnants. Indicators of dust mite allergies are frequent nasal drip, sinus headaches, sneezing in the morning, and waking up with itchy eyes. If you’re not sure if you have a dust mite allergy, you can contact your allergist about taking an allergy test for confirmation.

Protection Against Dust Mites

Before you toss out your mattress and opt for a hammock, you can rest easy knowing there are a few simple ways to avoid irritation from dust mites. Wash your bedding weekly and consider investing in mattress and pillow covers that protect against dust mites. Hypoallergenic bedding can protect against pet dander, pollen, mold, dust mites, and other allergens. If you’re allergies are severe, you may also need to frequently clean curtains, carpets, and other upholstered furniture to minimize dust mite exposure.


Fact or Fiction? Spring Allergy Myths Debunked

Lisa Feierstein Allergies, Asthma Leave a comment  
Six sneezing people sm

Photo from Shutterstock

No sooner does cold season end that allergy season begins. It’s easy to get cold and allergy symptoms confused, and finding the right tools to treat allergies can be a challenge. Take a look at these answers to allergy myths for tips on how to keep pesky symptoms in check.

1. Allergies and colds have the same symptoms.

Not exactly. Allergy symptoms may include itchy nose, eyes and throat; clear mucus; and symptoms that persist from as little as a few days to a few months. Colds typically end after two weeks; usually occur in the winter; and can cause coughs, aches, fatigue, a sore throat, and a runny nose with yellow mucus. Allergies rarely cause coughs and never cause aches or fever, which are occasional cold symptoms.
2. An air purifier will stop allergy symptoms.

An air purifier will remove airborne allergens, but doesn’t take care of allergens that have settled on clothing or furniture. Wash clothes and shower to remove pollen at night, and try an impervious mattress cover as a shield against dust mites.

3. All allergy medicines cause drowsiness.

Some antihistamines like diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and doxylamine succinate (Nyquil) can cause drowsiness. Newer antihistamines like loratadine (Claritin) and Fexofenadine (Allegra) are less likely to make patients drowsy. Benadryl may be a better solution for nighttime allergy relief, whereas Claritin is better for the daytime.

4. Moving to the Southwest will cure allergies.

Allergens are everywhere, and there are plenty of plants in the desert that produce pollen. Offenders include sagebrush, cottonwood, ash and olive trees. Moving to the desert may offer temporary relief, but new allergies can develop after a few months.

5. People with pet allergies are allergic to the pet’s fur.

The pet allergen is a protein produced in pet skin and, to a lesser extent, its urine and saliva. There aren’t any non-allergenic breeds, but pets with shorter hair shed less and send less dander into the air. These breeds are a better option to the pet lover with pet allergies.


How to manage asthma’s annual nemesis: pollen

Lisa Feierstein Allergies, Asthma, Breathe EZ Leave a comment  

In early spring I don’t even bother washing my car; I’ve given up on the fight with the yellow-green pine pollen. Although few people are allergic to pine pollen, it’s a visible reminder of other invisible pollen that trigger allergic reactions. Thirty-five million Americans suffer through hay fever each year, but it can be an even tougher time for those with asthma.

If spring allergies increase your asthma symptoms, keep this list of springtime pollinators and allergy tips on hand to help you prepare for the worst.

Springtime pollinators:

Tree Pollination Period Peak Pollination Count
Cedar January to February Early January
Elm January to April Early March
Pine February to April Early March
Oak February to May Late March
Ash February to April Mid February to Mid March
Hackberry March Early March
Pecan April to May Late April to Early May

 

How to lessen allergy symptoms:

  • Close windows and doors.
  • Change clothes and shower at night to keep pollen from lingering indoors.
  • Reduce time spent outdoors when pollen counts are high. Pollen counts are highest before sunrise and after sunset.
  • Replace indoor air filters at home each month.
  • Dry laundry inside so pollen won’t settle on clean clothes.
  • See an allergist to determine which allergens affect you.
  • Keep antihistamines on hand. Nasal steroid sprays and neti pots can also offer relief.


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