Asthma can be fatal: take steps to protect yourself!

Asthma seems to be a growing problem in Arizona. Our state sees more cases every year according to a study done by University of Arizona. Even though scientists have not yet found a cure for asthma, there are steps you can take to reduce or eliminate its risks.

Here are some points to keep in mind for guarding against this sometimes fatal disease that relates to how inflammation in the lungs causes breathing difficulties.

Is Phoenix to blame?

Specialists know that there is not one specific cause of asthma, but there is plenty of evidence that it can be managed if you pinpoint what triggers your attacks. Keep in mind the Phoenix desert is prone to many allergens. Here are some of the known causes:

  1. Heredity (yes, family genetics comes into play again!)
  2. Exposure to allergens at a young age
  3. Environmental conditions (pollen, pollution)
  4. Mold and mildew
  5. Chemical products such as cleansers and perfume
  6. Animal dander from pets
  7. Other: Non allergic asthma can be caused by reflux disease, inappropriate exercise, weather or various illnesses. 

Protect Your Lungs:

The main focus for preventing asthma is to protect the bronchial in your lungs. Inflammation can lead to coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and weakened response to allergens. Obviously, all asthma patients should avoid smoking or breathing in any substances that make symptoms worse. 

Learn Your Triggers:

There are many possible triggers to asthma attacks, but they can also be categorized into groups, as listed above. You can learn what elements or conditions affect your illness by eliminating items such as certain foods, chemicals or indoor plants one at a time. Lifestyle plays a huge role in managing your disease, so pay attention to nutrition, exercise and a sense of well being. 

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Children’s Food Allergies Are On the Rise – Is Your Child Protected?

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On the rise at your local allergy and asthma clinic: food allergies in children, to the tune of an increase around 50 percent between 1997 and 2011. That’s one in every 13 children, over 38 percent of which have a history of severe allergic reactions. Is your child effected by this potentially deadly issue?

Food allergy suspects: Repeat offenders
The most common food allergens seen in an allergy and asthma clinic are allergies to milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish. These eight foods account for 90 percent of all reactions. Even trace amounts can cause an allergic response. With over 30 percent of children with food allergies having sensitivities to multiple items, that’s a huge possibility of allergic reaction.

Keep kids safe – learn the signs of food allergies!
Within minutes to up to two hours after eating, food allergy reactions may be mild to severe, including…

  • Hives or itchy skin rashes.
  • Swelling of the lips and face.
  • Swollen, itchy, watery eyes.
  • Swelling of the mouth or throat.
  • Runny nose.
  • Repetitive cough.
  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing.
  • Stomach cramps, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Handling a severe food allergy reaction in your child
Every 3 minutes, someone is seen in an emergency room for a food allergy. To keep your child from becoming a statistic, it pays to be proactive.

  • Identify food allergies with the help of your local allergy and asthma clinic.
  • Consider medical identification jewelry.
  • Don’t take chances with problem foods. Reactions can worsen, and allergy medications are not foolproof.
  • When eating away from home, always read labels and ask questions to ensure food safety.
  • If you are at risk of severe food allergy reactions or anaphylaxis, keep doses of epinephrine (adrenaline) on you at all times for administration via auto-injector.
  • Make sure prescriptions are up-to-date.
  • Ensure your child, family members, and those who see your child on a regular basis (teachers, coaches, etc.) are aware of your child’s food allergy, as well as how and when to administer emergency medication.
  • If your child experiences a severe allergic response, don’t wait, treat symptoms immediately!
  • ALWAYS call 9-1-1 immediately following an anaphylactic reaction, even if medication appears to have resolved symptoms.

Food allergies don’t have to take over your life. Avoid anaphylaxis and effectively manage food allergies with the help of your local allergy and asthma clinic today!
“Facts and Statistics.” Retrieved July 21, 2015, from http://www.foodallergy.org/facts-and-stats.
“Allergy Statistics.” Retrieved July 21, 2015, from http://www.aaaai.org/about-the-aaaai/newsroom/allergy-statistics.aspx
“Food Allergy Training Guide for Hospital and Food Service Staff.” Retrieved July 21, 2015, from http://www.foodallergy.org/document.doc?id=149
“About Anaphylaxis.” Retrieved July 21, 2015, from http://www.foodallergy.org/anaphylaxis
“FAACT Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection Team Brochure.” Retrieved July 21, 2015, from http://www.foodallergyawareness.org/media/faactbrochure/FAACT%20Brochure.pdf

Worsening Children’s Allergies: Is Your Dishwasher to Blame?

Hate handwashing your dishes, relying on your dishwasher to make your daily chore list a little lighter? You could be contributing to your child’s allergy and asthma symptoms, according to a recent study *published in the journal Pediatrics conducted by pediatric allergy doctors.


A dirty discovery:
In the questionnaire-based study, pediatric allergy doctors focused on 1,029 children ages 7-8. The findings: Families who utilized hand dishwashing over automatic dishwashers experienced a reduced risk of allergic symptoms such as asthma, eczema, nasal congestion, runny nose, post-nasal drip, sneezing, red eyes, and itching of the nose and eyes. Children who at more fermented or farm-fresh foods were also noted as exhibiting lower rates of allergies, with the lowest risk associate with those children whose dishes were hand washed and food was procured directly from farms.


Too much of a good thing:

According to the hygiene hypothesis, children in developing countries grow up in an overly sanitized world, their lack of exposure to even common microorganisms leading to immune system misfires. The result? Over reaction – allergies and asthma rather than a normally developed, properly functioning immune system.


Don’t scramble to the scrap yard…
Though results were deemed “interesting,” physicians at the University of California-San Francisco explained more research into lifestyle choices is necessary. Until a causal relationship is identified, pediatric allergy doctors urge patients and their families not to ditch the dishwasher yet.

* Published at www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/289832.php ‘Fewer allergies among children in dishwasher-free homes”

Pediatric Allergy Advice about Baby Allergies

https://apis.google.com/_/scs/apps-static/_/js/k=oz.gapi.en.X_SX1gxatd0.O/m=autocomplete/rt=j/sv=1/d=1/ed=1/am=AQ/rs=AGLTcCN_7UNXDfu_4Oc2tu_RtjSyDEhyug/t=zcms/cb=gapi.loaded_0https://apis.google.com/js/wmtn.js?onload=ac_loadedIs your precious bundle of joy fussy, sneezy, oozing with mucus, or covered in a miserable rash? These signs may not be a cold or flu, but baby allergies, a possible cause of long-term issues if not handled quickly and properly.

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A common condition

Fifty million Americans suffer allergies, which emerge during infancy or childhood and rank number one among children’s chronic disease. Unlike colds and flus, which are seasonal, allergies may be present any time of the year. Symptoms may even be ongoing if the allergens which are effecting the baby are indoors.

Caused by an over reactive immune system, common signs of baby allergies include:

* Nasal congestion.

Mouth breathing can result in fitful sleep and daytime fatigue. More than a nuisance, if not addressed, mouth breathing can also lead to malformation of the facial bones and teeth.

* Ear infections.

Ear infections are painful, and fluid buildup can decrease hearing, hindering speech development.

* Skin problems. Many rashes are related to baby allergies, including…

  • Atopic dermatitis (eczema). A red, scaly, sometimes oozing rash common on baby’s cheeks, torso, arms, and legs.
  • Contact dermatitis. Caused by a skin reaction to soap, detergent, clothing materials, poison ivy, or any other item that has come in contact with baby’s body, resulting in a sensitivity rash.
  • Hives. Intensely itchy, raised red welts.

*Stomach sensitivities

Not only from food allergies, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and nausea may also result from sinus drainage and the swallowing of phlegm, which can irritate baby’s stomach. If other causes have been ruled out and baby is still fussy, baby allergies may be the culprit.

* Behavioral issues

Eating, sleeping, and mood disorders could be the result of baby allergies.

* Food allergies

Especially sensitive babies may have reactions to foods breastfeeding mothers eat. When introducing solids to baby, food introduction should be done gradually, one food at a time, separated by a week or more, in order to identify potential baby allergies.

Your sweetheart doesn’t have to suffer

A consultation withDr. Habib or Dr. Alasaly may help you determine if your baby has allergies and if allergy testing is necessary.

An ounce of prevention…

Minimize baby’s exposure to allergens until the offending sources can be determined and addressed.

  • Breastfeed your baby for first 4 months.
  • Introduce new foods wisely but try to expose your baby to most of the solid foods in the 2nd 6 months of life to help in the development of tolerance.
  • Don’t withhold commonly allergenic foods (milk, eggs, fish, nuts).
  • Clean regularly to keep dust, pollen, and mold under control.
  • Use dust-mite proof bedding covers.
  • Reduce pet dander with weekly bathing.
  • Keep pets out of baby’s room.
  • Put away feather pillows.
  •  Use hypoallergenic laundry detergent.
  • Avoid carpeting, especially in baby’s room.
  • Never allow smoking in your home.

Unsure if baby allergies are what’s troubling your tender little treasure? Adult & Pediatric Allergy Associates can help. Contact us to schedule a consultation today!

Are Dust Mites Exacerbating Your Asthma Symptoms?

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America as many as 20 million

Americans, many of whom have asthma, are affected by dust mite allergies. Whilst

incredibly small (about a quarter of a millimeter), dust mites are thought to be the

biggest contributor to year-round asthma and allergy problems, exacerbating asthma

symptoms for millions of sufferers.

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Found in almost every home in the world, dust mites are well adapted to their

environment and mainly feed on the flakes of human skin that people naturally shed

every day: the skin shed by an average person each day can feed up to a million dust

mites! As they feed these dust mites create waste which contains certain proteins that

are known to be allergens; people with a dust mite allergy are actually reacting to the

waste rather than the dust mites themselves.

These allergens causes a range of symptoms including sneezing, itchy & watery

eyes, a running nose and a cough which will be present at all times of the year. These

are of particular concern for asthma sufferers since they can trigger asthma symptoms

in the home. You may find that symptoms lessen or become more severe depending

what room or building you are in.

Since the highest number of dust mites are normally found in the bedroom you may

wake up with symptoms and then improve later in the day once you are in the

workplace or another room in your home. While you are unlikely to ever completely

remove dust mites from your home there are a number of steps you can take to

decrease their numbers and help control your allergy.

Most dust mites live deep inside your furniture and carpets and so are safe from being

vacuumed up.

Further steps are required to reduce their numbers:

  • Regularly wash sheets, blankets and curtains in hot water to kill dust mites.
  • Consider replacing curtains with blinds.
  • Replace carpets with other types of flooring such as washable rugs over a wooden floor.
  • Dust mites love high humidity so a dehumidifier can help, aim for a humidity of less than 50%.
  • Cover pillows and mattresses in allergen-impermeable covers.

For more information and tips specific to your lifestyle and to receive a true diagnosis

you should book an appointment with your local Scottsdale allergen and asthma

specialist.