What is a Pollen Allergy

Call it what you will – pollinosis, a nasal allergy, or just plain “hay fever” – millions of people suffer from the effects of pollen every day. The affliction ranges in form from a small and short sniffling in the morning hours to full-blown sneezing fits throughout the day. The condition is irritating and aggravating but, rest assured, it is not life threatening.

What exactly is pollen?

Pollen grains are part of the male portion of seed plants. It is an integral part of the plant ecosystem around us and by its very nature is commonplace. In fact, without pollen, life on the planet Earth would not even be possible – so get used to the fact that it will be around for some time to come. This last fact does not mean, however, that human healthcare specialists are unable to deal with a pollen allergy in any meaningful way.

What can be done to alleviate an allergy to pollen?

Healthcare professionals have developed a number of effective reAdult-Pediatric-Allergy-Phoenixmedies but it really takes a specialist to recommend the most effective one. In particular, you may be prescribed antihistamines or decongestants to start, nasal corticosteroids if these first two do not prove effective or an ipratropium or a leukotriene modifier. If these medicines do not solve the problem, an allergy specialist may finally resort to immunotherapy administered by injection.

This information is of more than passing concern to any resident of the Phoenix area who is even mildly allergic to pollen. In fact, it is integral to their well-being. Keep it in mind whenever you have an allergic reaction to pollen and if you do need more information on the basics of pollen, why it provokes an allergic reaction and how best to treat it, please contact us at Adult & Pediatric Allergy Associates. We can be booked online, or reached directly at 602-242-4592.

Quit Wheezing….Enjoy the rest of spring!

Whether it’s trees, flowers, and grasses in bloom, or animal dander, this spring is ripe with Arizona pollen and allergens. The contradictions inherent in allergy symptoms can be confusing. Your eyes might be itchy while also being dry or watery; your nose might be stuffy or runny. Instead of hunkering down and staying inside, or avoiding pets as much as you can, an allergist can determine the cause of your symptoms and eventually relieve them.

How do allergies work? Why do allergies have contradictory symptoms?

Allergic responses occur when an irritant disrupts your physiology and your body mounts an immune response to it.

For example, if you inhale some pollen that you’re allergic to, a mild irritation can produce a runny nose or itchy, watery eyes. These are signs that your body is trying to flush out the irritant and return to homeostasis.With continued exposure to the irritant, your body’s methods of “washing away” the pollen has become ineffective, and the inflammation associated with the immune response can cause swelling of the nasal passages, resulting in an uncomfortable, stuffy nose.

Over-the-counter antihistamines might alleviate mild allergic symptoms, and prescription medications such as steroid nasal sprays and decongestants can help manage more severe symptoms.

Allergies—like many other things—are individual; each person might have an unique profile of allergens that provoke responses.

With a personalized allergy evaluation of your situation, an Scottsdale allergy specialist can propose an appropriate course of action. Available structured immunotherapy treatments include shots and sublingual drops, which is becoming more common. An allergist can properly assess the onset, triggers, severity, and duration of your allergy symptoms so that you can enjoy spring again.

Food Allergy in Children

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…

  • 2077654_origHives 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

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.

Should You Get Your Allergy Diagnosed By A Specialist?

Effective allergy treatment begins with an accurate diagnosis but unfortunately many Americans are choosing to skip this step, relying on guesswork and self-diagnosis to guide their own self-treatment. This is compounded by the many unreliable and inaccurate allergy testing kits available over the counter which can lead to a misdiagnosis. False-positives cause anxiety and unnecessary lifestyle changes while a false-negative can lead to someone not taking action when they need to, increasing their risk of a severe reaction in the future.

The only way to get a truly reliable result is to visit an allergist specialist at an asthma & allergy clinic. An expert can provide you with an accurate diagnosis and a full range of options for managing your condition effectively.

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Tests are typically done using skin or blood tests, with skin testing being the preferred method for most situations as results typically appear within 20 minutes. As the tests are done using an allergen there may be some small discomfort if a reaction occurs and there is a very small possibility of a more severe reaction – but by visiting an expert you know you are safe with someone trained for every possibility.

If you are taking certain medicines, have a skin condition (such as eczema) or you are highly likely to have a severe reaction then your specialist may choose to use a blood test instead of a skin test. The allergy specialist will know which test is best for you or your child based on your circumstances and medical history.

Using their training and experience, a true asthma and allergy clinic will be able to make a diagnosis regardless of your skin type, substantially reducing the risk of misinterpretation, misdiagnosis or mismanagement of your condition.

Once you have an accurate diagnosis the specialist will be able to make recommendations on changes to your lifestyle and diet to enable you to effectively manage your condition, reduce the risk of a severe reaction and increase your quality of life.

Options in Treating Allergy-Triggered Asthma

Allergies and asthma are not the same thing but the two conditions are closely related. Allergens are the cause of an allergy attack. In some cases the allergens can take the attack one more step and asthma occurs. When this happens the condition is called allergic asthma.

There are many types of allergens; they can include dust, animal dander, mites, pollen, smoke, and mold, just to name a few. Exercise can exacerbate the condition. The condition can be so irritable that a working knowledge of allergy and asthma care can save you some grief. The following are a sampling of treatments your doctor might suggest.

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Allergy-Triggered Asthma Treatment Options

  • Short-Acting Bronchodilators (Rescue Inhalers). These are quick-acting, a real Johnny-on-the-spot solution. It’s always a good idea to pack one and the effects can last 4 to 6 hours. They function by dilating, or opening up, the airways leading to your lungs.
  • Long-acting Bronchodilators. These are similar to the short-acting models except that a dose is good for about 12 hours so 2 treatments per day are required. Your doctor will most likely also prescribe inhaled steroids.
  • Inhaled Corticosteroids. These are a step up in strength from the above-mentioned inhalers. A key benefit is that they can assist in keeping your lungs functioning better following future asthma attacks.
  • Anti-Leukotriene Medications. there are many pills that inhibit leukotrienes, which are molecules that trigger inflammation in your airways. Some pills are more popular than others, check with your allergist specialist for which pill is best suited for your situation.
  • Antibody Treatments. These are considered a a last-resort medication for asthma that hasn’t responded well to other treatments.

Avoiding Allergens in the First Place

As much as it is possible, it benefits the sufferer to avoid allergens so as to minimize the amount of allergy and asthma care needed. In the seasons where the amount of pollen is high, try to stay indoors as much as possible. Refer to the daily allergen count on your local weather website.

Be sure that your HVAC return air filter has a filtration rating that your condition warrants. Don’t smoke or allow smoking in your home. Try to avoid contact with pets during an asthma attack. Dander is not your friend.

For more information on allergy-triggered asthma and the treatment options that are best suited for your situation, contact your local clinic. Our allergy and asthma clinics are located for our patient’s convenience and we are bilingual English/Spanish.

Kids May Need to Visit an Arizona Allergy and Asthma Specialist More Often

Food allergies are some of the common conditions Arizona allergy and asthma treatment centers like Adult & Pediatric Allergy Associates typically handle. These experts recognize that the wrong food preparation techniques are a key factor behind the increase in food allergies among kids. For instance, it was recently discovered that when diluted with emulsifiers, protein-rich food products such as peanut butter can appear foreign to the human immune system and may, thus, trigger allergic reactions.
http://allergyarizona.net/industry-news/kids-may-need-to-visit-an-arizona-allergy-and-asthma-specialist-more-often/