5 FAQS to Know about Allergies and Allergists

Associates of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology estimates that more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies. While that number is jarring, additional statistics show that approximately one out of six Americans suffer from allergic rhinitis. The following information will describe what allergic rhinitis is, what triggers it and why consulting an allergist as opposed to your primary care physician is the best course of action to take if you believe that you may be living with allergies.

What is allergic rhinitis?

Allergy means “strange activity” in Greek. Rhinitis, also Greek in origin, literally means “condition of the nose.” Therefore, allergic rhinitis, which is also referred to as hay fever, can be defined as a condition in which irritants cause “inflammation of the nose or its mucous membrane.”

What causes allergies?

Pollen is a powdery fertilizing agent that flowering plants release in order to fertilize other plants. It helps create beautiful gardens, but pollen also makes it difficult for people with seasonal allergies to enjoy them.

Pollen, which is transported through the air, attaches itself to a person’s hair, skin and clothing. When people who are sensitive to pollen breathe in pollen-laden air, typical symptoms include “sneezing, nasal congestion, runny nose, watery eyes, itchy throat and eyes and wheezing.”

Pollen and debris from an animal’s coat or feathers are two of the most common irritants that trigger allergic rhinitis symptoms. However, it is worth mentioning that pollen is not just limited to flowers. For example, certain trees, grasses, and desert plants like cacti are also pollen-heavy. Additionally, dust and chemicals from pipe, cigar and cigarette smoke are other windborne irritants, and all the above can be particularly tough on people living with allergies. This is just one reason why attempting to self-medicate with over the counter medicine is not advised.

Why do you need to see an allergist instead of your primary care physician?

Unlike general physicians, allergists are physicians who have completed additional training programs that allow them to effectively diagnose and treat asthma and allergic diseases. The following list describes some of the health issues that an allergist-immunologist treats:

  • asthma
  • hay fever
  • sinusitis
  • rashes
  • hives  (ACAAI)

What should you expect when you visit an allergist?

An allergist-immunologist will conduct a thorough medical history and physical exam. Skin and blood tests may also be incorporated in order to determine exactly what substances are causing allergic reactions. This is typically done in an in-house testing lab. The new client visit could take up to two hours. Once the irritants have been identified, allergists will create a treatment plan that may include dietary recommendations, inoculations and other medication specifically designed for their clients’ needs.

Is there a cure for allergies?

Unfortunately, no. However, immunotherapy and specialty medicines as well as education, can greatly reduce the symptoms that people living with allergies would normally experience by attempting to self-medicate, which can be dangerous. By consulting a top Phoenix allergist, these individuals can avoid wasting time, money and possibly putting their health at risk and focus on enjoying life.

References

American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. (n.d.). Retrieved from acaai.org/

Allergy | Define Allergy at Dictionary.com. (n.d.). Retrieved from dictionary.com/browse/allergy

Rhinitis | Define Rhinitis at Dictionary.com. (n.d.). Retrieved from dictionary.com/browse/rhinitis

American Board of Allergy and Immunology:. (n.d.). Retrieved from abai.org

Allergy Facts | AAFA.org. (n.d.). Retrieved from aafa.org/page/allergy-facts.aspx

“This blog post originally posted @ https://allergyarizona.net/5-faqs-to-know-about-allergies-and-allergists/

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Are you Allergic to the Arizonan Olive Tree?

According to Greek mythology, Athena, the goddess of wisdom, stuck her magic spear into the ground and it turned into an olive tree. Throughout history the oil produced from olives has sustained people in arid climates. The olive wood is beautiful and wonderful for sculptures. The olive branch is a well-known symbol of peace…   So, what’s not to like in an olive tree?

Pollen.

Every spring olive trees produce clouds of pollen in the dry Arizona climate. The trees love it here. The desert is the perfect climate for them. They are beautiful, adorning landscapes of homes and businesses throughout the Phoenix area. And every spring people all over Arizona start to cough and sneeze and suffer from clogged sinuses because of allergies to the pollen.

What are the symptoms if you have allergies to olive trees?

  • Runny nose with mucus production and irritation of the nasal membranes, causing sneezing.
  • Head congestion
  • Headaches
  • Red, irritated eyes, sometimes with swelling of the lids or even the membranes lining the eye itself
  • Coughing and even wheezing

Olive tree pollen is one of the most potent allergens around in desert areas. Scientists have found 20 separate proteins in the pollen that cause allergic reactions. The problem Asthma-and-Allergy-Treatment-Adult-and-Pediatricis so severe that many cities, such as Phoenix, Tucson, Albuquerque, Las Vegas and Amman, Jordan have placed a ban on the planting of new olive trees. But the older trees are still around since these trees can live for more than a century and are ornamental. www.reviewjournal.com/news/sneeze-breeze

Olive tree pollen can also cause the development of asthma as the pollen irritates the lining of the bronchial tubes that carry air to the lungs (also known as asthmatic allergies). The problem can even become life-threatening.

If you think you have an allergy to olive trees, you need to see a Board Certified Allergist —someone with the training and knowledge necessary to treat this condition properly. Call our clinic today if you would like to learn more

Few Dangerous insects that cause allergies

With desert flowers, spring rain,it also means that the insects also come out of hibernation. Tiny as they are, even the smallest insects can provoke a truly outsized reaction in an Arizonan if they sting a susceptible individual. The anaphylactic shock – allergy to you and me – that they cause can range from mildly irritating to downright deadly. For those with this particular disability, it pays to know what you are dealing with. Here is a quick rundown on the four most dangerous insects in this category which cause allergies in Phoenix that we treat often at our Phoenix allergy clinic

Household Pests

While most folks worry the most about insect bites in the “great outdoors,” the majority of insect bites are actually inflicted upon humans inside the home. With their tiny bites, spiders, mites and fleas can trigger inflammations and rashes. In addition, cockroaches and other non-biting insects can leave detritus that will trigger asthma or asthma-like symptoms.

Stinging Insects

There are a whole panoply of insects – bees, yellow-jackets, hornets, stink bugs and fire ants to name just a few – that like to perpetrate their particular brand of nastiness on the human race. Each of their toxins is different but the results are usually the same. A cold compress applied to the puncture wound will fix most of these injuries but it is also good to keep a rescue inhaler on-hand just in case.

Biting Insects

 Everyone has been bitten by a mosquito at one time or another. For some, it is a relatively minor inconvenience but for others, it is a far more serious situation. Similarly, the bites of bedbugs, fleas and certain flies are also painful and can potentially provike a life-threatening allergic event. Keep your linens laundered on a regular basis to avoid this problem

For more information on insect allergies and the best way to deal with an anaphylactic reaction to a sting or bite, please contact us at Adult & Pediatric Allergy Associates. We can be found online at AllergyArizona.net or reached directly at 602-242-4592.

Top Five Food Allergies

While everyone needs food to live, not everyone can eat every food. This fact is never more evident than when a person inadvertently eats a food that provokes an allergic reaction. Nausea, hives, itchy eyes and shortness of breath can ensue if the allergic reaction is not treated in the proper manner by an specialty allergy doctor.

Known in medical circles as “anaphylactic shock,” allergic reactions to food are not just irritating but can even lead to death in certain circumstances. Here is a quick rundown on the five foods most commonly associated with this disability:

Peanut AllergyProbably the most commonly known food allergy because of the attention it has drawn from schools and airlines, peanuts are a significant threat to the unaware. Peanuts are included in all sorts of foods as a filler and care should be taken to read food labels.

Shrimp – This allergy is usually ascribed to the iodine that builds up in various shellfish. Whatever the root reason, a shrimp allergy provokes an almost immediate and violent reaction from someone who inadvertently exposes themselves.

Milk – “Got milk?” Is a popular marketing slogan but it is more than an annoyance to those who are better off ignoring this oft praised but sometimes deadly liquid. Humans usually react most violently to cow’s milk but others – goat, sheep and buffalo – can have equally dire effects.

Wheat – The gluten in wheat can cause bouts of sneezing, headaches and skin rashes. This allergy is more of a nuisance than a real danger. Still, it should be dealt with as soon as possible.

Eggs – Most common in infants, an egg allergy usually manifests itself with vomiting. By adolescence, this allergy will usually be dissipated.

For more information on the best way to deal with an allergic reaction to food or any other irritant, or prevent food allergies in children, please contact us at allergyarizona.net, or call us directly at 602-242-4592.

A Scottsdale Asthma Doctor Explains Asthma Symptoms in Toddlers

Diagnosing asthma in young children is difficult, but early diagnosis is essential to reducing asthma related flare ups and complications. Doctors have an especially difficult time diagnosing asthma in young kids because many viral illnesses mimic asthma symptoms. A Scottsdale asthma doctor explains the signs parents should watch for in their children.

The most common asthma symptoms in children include coughing, wheezing, troubling breathing, and recurring bronchitis. Children with asthma may experience a tight or uncomfortable feeling in their chest. However this can be much more difficult to spot because younger children have trouble communicating their symptoms. Parents should be particularly mindful if they notice decreased activity in their toddler due to breathlessness. If your child avoids running and playing or becomes tired quickly and begins coughing during physical activity, be sure to mention these symptoms to their physician.

Further complicating diagnosis is the fact that some children experience few symptoms on a daily basis, but experience severe asthma attacks on other occasions. Other children will experience mild symptoms almost constantly and show an increase in symptoms during physical activities or when exposed to allergens. Smoke and seasonal allergies are well known for triggering asthma activity.

One of the premier asthma doctors in Arizona encourages parents who believe their child is suffering from asthma or asthma related symptoms to consult with their doctor. Parents have the most contact with their children and are in the best position to recognize symptoms of this complicated condition. Early diagnosis is crucial to help children live full and healthy lives.

Things Your Immunologist Wishes You Knew About Allergies

cropped-allergy-asthma-clinic-anthem-az-adult-pediatric-allergy-associates-pc-copy1.pngIt goes without saying enduring allergy symptoms is a miserable experience. Add to that allergy ignorance, and you’re looking at long-term suffering. Fortunately, that suffering can be alleviated. Unfortunately, your Glendale Asthma & Allergy Clinic may assume you have the necessary information to address the situation when, in fact, you’re seriously in the dark.

Shed some light on stubborn allergy symptoms with these potentially missing links:

If the immunologist at your local allergy and asthma clinic could get in your head, you might discover…

  • You may be taking the wrong medication
    Avoiding the doctor with over-the-counter (OTC) oral antihistamines isn’t helping. Prescription steroid nasal sprays and prescribed antihistamines work significantly better.
  • You waited too long
    Starting medication prescribed by your allergy or asthma doctor after allergies set-in makes treatment difficult.
  • You need some personal space from your pet
    Keeping them out of your bedroom will make a huge difference – as will a HEPA air purifier.
  • Your pet’s NOT hypoallergenic
    He might shed less hair, but you could be allergic to dander or saliva.
  • You DO need those expensive bedding covers
    Pillow and mattress encasings between 2-4 microns prevent dust mite migration for those with dust mite related allergies.
  • Neti pots work
    Even allergists use them.
  • You can’t outrun allergies
    No matter how far away you move, you could develop allergies anywhere at any time. And if you’re allergic to one kind of pollen, it increases your likelihood of developing allergies to other (new) pollens.
  • You don’t have to suffer
    Though you might feel like it, you won’t die from allergic rhinitis. But suffering through them without visiting the immunologist won’t win you a medal. Untreated symptoms could end up costing you more in sinus and ear infections – and lost sleep. Stop waiting for spontaneous remission and get help.

Tired of sneezing your way through the day? Find an allergy and asthma clinic near you today!

It’s a NEW YEAR!!! Time to quit suffering from allergies

Allergy child image

The army of allergy sufferers in this world know how difficult it is to live with their symptoms throughout the year. Although there are spikes in various allergens within your local environment at different times of the year, leaving allergies untreated means you are often miserable. That’s why it is important to trust your health to your Scottsdale Allergist at a local allergy or asthma clinic

Living with Allergies
This is a tall order for anyone who didn’t grow up with allergies. At any time, your body can react to allergens. Sometimes, the symptoms get so severe that you don’t want to get out of bed. Here are a few: headaches, shortness of breath, a feeling that your chest is swollen, clogged ears, a constant drip in the back of your throat, a scratchy feeling, swollen glands, blurry, itchy, and watery eyes, and constant fatigue.

Allergies have the power to affect your whole body. Oftentimes, it takes mind over body just to get through the day. And, if you have had allergies for any period of time, a daily antihistamine is not worth much more than a sugar pill. It only works on a good day when you believe in it. That’s the placebo effect. The rest of the time, the antihistamine is worthless.

Long-term solutions to allergies, whether seasonal or year-round, come with time. Trust your care to a talented allergy and asthma specialist. Our doctors are caring people who want to review all of your medical history and treat you as a whole patient. There will be things that you need to do to adjust your diet and remove allergens from your home. The total effect of medical treatments and small lifestyle changes will be worth it. Without the effects of allergies, you will have more energy and start to enjoy life again.

Ask us how allergy relief begins. Our allergy doctors can help.