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Pregnancy Breathing Issues: Is it normal shortness of breath or is it Asthma

Pregnancy Breathing Issues: Is it normal shortness of breath or is it Asthma

It can be difficult determining when to be concerned about asthma during pregnancy because it’s hard to tell if your breathing is normal or if you’re having an asthma attack.

Being pregnant changes a woman’s body and it’s common to become short of breath as the pregnancy progresses. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have a normal, healthy pregnancy just because you suffer from asthma. You will, however, need to keep a close eye on your symptoms and take steps to keep it under control.

Why Shortness of Breath occurs:

Understanding how being pregnant affects the body will help you determine when being short of breath is normal and when there is reason for concern. As you begin to gain weight the body starts going through changes to accommodate for the extra weight. The lungs must work harder, so the number of times you breathe in per minute will increase and become more rapid. As the baby grows your stomach pushes up on the diaphragm, which also makes it more difficult to breathe.

Warning Signs – When to Be Concerned about Asthma during Pregnancy

Since being pregnant can affect your breathing, you don’t want to become alarmed every time you become a little short of breath, but you do need to know how to tell when your symptoms are severe enough for concern. If you notice some of the signs of asthma listed below, it may be cause for concern:

•   If it becomes difficult to perform everyday tasks that you normally do while pregnant because it’s harder for you to breathe than usual.

•   Coughing at night that keeps you awake

•   If it becomes painful to breathe for no apparent reason.

•   If you’re talking on the phone and you hear yourself wheezing, you may have a problem.

•   If your medication doesn’t provide improvement right away or if you realize you need to take it more often.

•   If you notice a decrease in the number of kicks you feel from your unborn baby and you’re having problems breathing, this could be a sign of fetal distress and cause for concern.

Get Urgent Medical Attention:

If you notice any of these warning signs, it’s recommended you see your health care provider as soon as possible. This is a critical time for you and your unborn baby. Having an asthma attack when pregnant can cause serious complications for both of you. Therefore, no asthma symptoms should be ignored, even if you’re not sure of its serious. 

What if you already have asthma and get pregnant?

Since being pregnant can change the severity of your asthma attacks and no one knows how you’ll be affected, it’s important to use your own judgment. If something doesn’t feel normal or your symptoms seem worse than they should be, then it’s reason for concern.

Having a serious asthma attack can be harmful to your unborn child. If you feel uneasy about your symptoms, see your doctor. If you believe you may be having an asthma attack, seek help immediately. Use your own judgment for when to be concerned about asthma during pregnancy and if it doesn’t feel right, see your doctor.

Looking for an asthma clinic near you? We serve patients in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, Avondale, and Anthem. Call today at 602-242-4592, or book an appointment immediately online here!

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Desert Plants Causing Havoc for Arizona Allergy Suffers

Desert Plants Causing Havoc for Arizona Allergy Suffers

While many people move to a desert area to find relief from their allergies, a desert environment might actually trigger allergies. In fact, at least a third of those who live in the Phoenix area experience some level of what is commonly known as “hay fever.” Hay fever means your body is reacting to pollens or mold of some type, and these reactions can take the form of sneezing, watery eyes and nose, congestion or itchiness.

Ragweed Allergies PhoenixRagweed is one of the most common allergy-inducing plants across the United States and Phoenix has over a dozen native species of ragweed.

Ragweed is a perennial weed (in other words- it will affect allergy sufferers who have problems with it YEAR-ROUND)! Contact with the ragweed pollen can lead to coughing, wheezing, swollen eyelids, itchy eyes, itchy throat and ears, sneezing, hives and other rashes.

Other trees in the state of Arizona which could potentially lead to Hay fever include:

  • Russian Thistle is a tumbleweed which many people are sensitive to, causing skin rashes and other allergic reactions following exposure
  • African Sumac is a tree which can cause unrelenting sneezing among many people in the area.
  • Feather Palm and Desert Fan Palm—like many palm trees, both the feather palm and the desert fan palm shed an immense amount of pollen which can lead to serious allergy symptoms.
  • Cottonwood tree allergies are not as common as you might think with all the cottony fluff which falls from the trees each year, however those who are allergic to cottonwoods are typically very allergic—and may also be allergic to willows as well.
  • Desert Broom grows in disturbed soil; the cotton-like seed plumes fly away in the wind, causing allergies among many.
  • Arizona Sycamore is a tree which is typically considered a moderate allergen, although some people will react more strongly to the sycamore pollens.
  • Chinese Elm allergies are caused by the pollen which is carried by the wind in the fall months. Chinese elm pollen is considered a moderate allergen.
  • Arizona Ash will typically cause allergic reactions among those who are also sensitive to Olive tree pollen.
  • Arizona Sycamore trees flower between March and June, and are often seen in Arizona parks and streets. Similar to the California Sycamore, the Arizona Sycamore causes allergic reactions among some residents.
  • Hackberry can cause allergic reactions among those who are close in proximity and who have continued exposure. While Hackberry is in the same family as elm (very allergenic), it does not cause the extreme level of allergies among most people.
  • Juniper trees are a common source of allergies due to the pollen they create and those with Juniper allergies are also likely to be allergic to Cedar and Cypress tree pollen.
  • Mesquite is a serious offender in the southwest, producing considerable levels of airborne pollen. Those with Mesquite allergies may suffer from nasal inflammation, nasal congestion, sneezing, scratchy throats, contact dermatitis and even asthma.
  • Bermuda grass, while well-suited to the Arizona desert, is a more significant allergen than most other grasses, causing itchy eyes, runny noses and sneezing.

And other common allergens found in Phoenix

Because many parts of Arizona are dry, receiving little rain, dust is a given. During certain times, especially during our monsoon season (usually June through August),Phoenix area residents experience severe dust storms and dust devils, and they are on the rise.

pollen allergies

For those with allergies, desert dust is never good news, as it has an effect on respiratory systems, causing coughing, wheezing and watery, itchy eyes. Air pollution can also be a problem, particularly for those who live in the Phoenix metro area, which sits in a valley, allowing the pollutants to just hang around.

Contact Our Phoenix Allergy Specialists

If you’re suffering from allergies, we can help. Our allergy doctors have helped thousands of patients in Arizona breathe a little easier. You deserve to live a life that is free of allergy attacks. Find an allergy and asthma clinic near you.

We serve patients in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, Avondale, and Anthem. Call today at 602-242-4592, or book an appointment immediately online here!

See also related article about top allergens in the Valley:

High Desert Asthma and Allergies- Advice from Asthma Specialists

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Do allergy tablets work and what do you need to know?

Do allergy tablets work and what do you need to know?

Why you should NOT rely on allergy tablets (to cure your allergies)!

Allergy sufferers have many options to relieve their symptoms. The type of allergy you are dealing with will determine how effective it is. Allergy tablets are a common treatment option for individuals who are looking for immediate relief of their symptoms. The problem is there are as many combinations of symptoms as there are allergy remedies!  So this article is to help you learn about which one works best and how effective they are providing the relief from allergies!

What Are Allergy Tablets Designed To Do?

Most allergy tablets are designed to relieve your symptoms but they do nothing to build up your immunities. This means that your symptoms will return, day after day. Another problem is that each type of allergy tablet is designed to do certain things. Some may treat itchy, watery eyes and a runny nose, while another type of tablet relieves headaches and opens up your airways. It can be difficult to know what allergy tablet to use if your symptoms change from day to day.

Allergy Tablets Do They Work by Adult Pediatric Allergy Associates

Different Types of Allergies

Different types of allergies require different treatment methods. Allergies that affect the upper respiratory system can cause difficulty breathing, sneezing, wheezing, watery eyes, and a variety of symptoms that are similar to a cold or the flu.

Allergies that affect the skin can cause hives, rashes, and red patches that are red and inflamed. Uncontrolled itching is often the most common system and can result in open wounds if the area is scratched or irritated.

Allergies of the gastrointestinal system can affect the body in many different ways. They may result in hives, symptoms associated with upper respiratory allergies, or severe abdominal cramping and diarrhea/constipation, depending on how your body responds.

What Are The Most Effective Treatment Methods?

While allergy tablets are common ways of dealing with day to day allergy symptoms (by the way, allergy tablets are a form of sublingual immunotherapy(SLIT) ….they are rarely effective at controlling the problem on a long-term basis. (Read this article by the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology for more details)  

IMPORTANT: If you want to effectively relieve allergy symptoms, you need to control how your body responds to the allergens — which ALLERGY SHOTS provide the most help with!

Immunotherapy such as custom prescribed allergy shots (which is what Dr. Habib and Dr Alasaly often suggest) is just one-way doctors are now helping allergy sufferers overcome their symptoms. It can be used to help build the antibodies that are needed to reduce the effect allergens have on the body.

If you suffer from any type of allergy, contact our allergy & asthma medical offices to find out exactly what your options are. The facility offers various types of allergy testing that can be used to determine what allergens affect you and the best way to treat each one. Once the doctors have the answers, they can formulate a treatment plan to help manage your symptoms and reduce your body’s reactions to the allergens you’re exposed to on a daily basis. Get the relief you need today!

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5 things to know about children allergies!

Allergies affect us all a little bit differently. Perhaps you grew up with an allergy, or maybe discovered some along the way. Early detection of allergies in children is always best, as it helps you, are parents, prepare for the situation and understand exactly what is happening with your child. There’s nothing worse than seeing your child sick or suffer from a reaction without knowing what’s causing it. That’s why it is so important for you to know more about pediatric allergic rhinitis and other symptoms. The more you know about children allergies, the better off you can treat your child and be there for them, should they ever experience an allergic reaction.

What is Pediatric Allergic Rhinitis?

The symptoms attached to this are likely familiar to you. When suffering from it, there is an inflammation of the mucous membrane within the nose. This leads to a stuffy or runny nose, sneezing and even a post-nasal drip. These kind of symptoms are some of the most common allergic reactions. If your child begins to suffer from these symptoms and yet it is not cold and flu season, or they don’t have any other displays of a cold, there’s a good chance they are suffering an allergic reaction. These kinds of reactions are common when allergic to pets (such as cats), or if there’s a mind allergy to certain foods.

Allergic Rhinitis and Other Symptoms

In more extreme cases, pediatric allergic rhinitis may also lead to some coughing, itching and headaches. Your child may suffer from puffy, itchy or watery eyes as the mucus membranes do run through the eyes.

These symptoms are also common during allergy season, when pollen and dust are present. When your child first displays these kinds of symptoms it is highly recommended to come in and have an allergy test performed. This way, it’s possible to not only determine whether or not the symptoms are caused by an allergy, but what the allergy may be.

One in 13 Children Have Food Allergies

Food allergies are a growing commonality. It occurs when the immune system sees a specific food as a threat and responds to the new danger. In many cases, it is possible to slowly expose the body to certain foods over a long period of time in order to reduce, or completely eliminate the symptom. The most common food allergies children experience revolve around peanuts, milk, eggs, tree nuts (like walnuts), wheat, soy, fish and shellfish (shrimp, lobster and crab).

Children Food Allergies

Allergies to soy, milk and eggs are some of the more common allergies children may outgrow. However, allergies to peanuts, shellfish, tree nuts and fish are allergies, according to Kids With Food Allergies (2017) are less likely to grow out of.

Steps in Avoiding Reactions

Both you and your child want to avoid allergic reactions. No matter how much your child might want to enjoy the ice cream or scrambled eggs, if there is an allergy to these foods the reactions can vary from mild to life threatening. This is why it is important for your child to be tested for allergies in order to see what foods bring the highest level of risk. After discovering how certain foods affect your child, it is then necessary to take steps in order to avoid reactions.

The top priority for avoiding allergies, if food based, are reading labels. Knowing how to read food labels is important. Most foods indicate whether or not there are peanuts, soy, milk, eggs or other common allergy based foods within the product. However, whenever buying a new kind of food it is always important to read the ingredients. When at restaurants, it’s necessary to ask about what ingredients are used in foods. Restaurants are required to provide these answers when regards to allergies.

For allergies connected to dust, dander and pollen, maintaining a clean house is important, as is regular dusting and vacuuming. Changing out the filters within the vacuum helps prevent dirt from being kicked back into the air. It’s also important to invest in high-quality air filters for the home’s HVAC system.

Above everything else, the best way to avoid reactions is to educate your child on how to manage their allergies. The younger you start with your child, the earlier they will grasp the concept of allergies. It is also important to teach your child how to use the epinephrine auto injector if they are having an allergic reaction.

Know Your Child’s Allergies

You would do anything for your child. You want to keep them safe and pain free, which is why understanding their allergies is very important. That is why you need to have your child tested early on for allergies, especially if they show signs of pediatric allergic rhinitis or other common symptoms of allergies.

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Why Raw Honey Needs to Be in Your Medicine Cabinet

Raw honey has been used as medicine since the start of written history. Organized beekeeping began 9,000 years ago and humans have long relied on the substance as a sweetener. Although people still consume honey today, few know about its myriad of health benefits. In fact, most people buy “honey” that contains zero honey! Real honey can help with everything from sore throats to allergies.

Honey Health Benefits – Throats to Allergies

honey for allergies

 

To take advantage of the health benefits of honey, it’s important to buy the proper kind. Most honey sold in stores is actually flavored corn syrup or honey that’s been diluted and pasteurized. It’s critical that you purchase raw honey (the only ingredient should be honey). Look for local farms or hobbyist beekeepers–these sources will not only have high quality products but will be cheaper than organic honey from the grocery store.

Honey is very good at reducing inflammation and soothing the throat. Next time you have a cold or the flu, try stirring a couple teaspoons of raw honey into your tea. It’s also fine to simply swallow a spoonful. In several studies, researchers found that raw honey was actually more effective at soothing a sore throat than cough syrup. Besides, honey tastes a lot better than cough medicine!

Interestingly, there are multiple studies on raw honey as an antibacterial disinfectant. Honey was traditionally used to disinfect wounds and the method still works today. It even works on antibiotic-resistant bacteria, making it a good treatment when modern medications don’t work. As antibiotic resistance becomes more common, many doctors are evaluating the use of raw honey as a possible treatment for topical infections.

There’s also some good news for allergy sufferers–raw honey can help reduce allergy symptoms. In a recent study, raw honey ingestion was compared to a flavored corn syrup placebo. The participants who had regularly consumed honey had a significant reduction of seasonal allergy symptoms. Some scientists and naturalists believe that local honey is the best for fighting off allergies. The reasoning is that honey produced nearby will have pollen from local plants. This exposes your body to small doses of the allergen, allowing you to build up a tolerance. Either way, honey seems to be just as effective as many over-the-counter allergy medications.

Honey has been scientifically proven as a treatment for sore throats, coughs, and allergy symptoms. It can also be used as a topical disinfectant. There are anecdotal stories of raw honey improving moods and helping with digestive problems. The sweetener also contains a wide range of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

Are you looking for other helpful solutions to treat your allergy symptoms?   Please call our office for an appointment at one of our 5 Phoenix clinics. Our doctors are Board Certified allergy specialists who know a thing or two about the best allergy treatments for sufferers!

References

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0005772X.2001.11099498

http://www.worldwidewounds.com/2001/november/Molan/honey-as-topical-agent.html

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/btri/2011/917505/abs/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24188941

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814605003262

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