The Arizona weather is getting cooler and many of us are excited to be outside again! However, the cooler weather and reseeding of the lawns means that allergy season is starting. And how frustrating when you’re stuck inside wheezing, sneezing, and sniffling when you should be outside living life to the fullest.
Allergies are one of the most elusive health problems out there. Most people suffer from some sort of allergy, but researchers still aren’t completely sure what causes them. Or better yet, how to cure them.
Are we relegated to suffering and hoping that science makes a breakthrough someday?
The good news is there are ways to manage your allergies and reduce your symptoms so you can start living life again.
Nasal rinsing, also known as nasal irrigation, is when you flush out your nasal cavity with a saline solution. By doing a nasal rinse you clear out your nose and sinuses of excess mucus and allergens that have built up over time.
There are many tools out there that help you with nasal rinsing. The most popular method is to use a neti pot. A neti pot is a small pot with a spout that’s made specifically for nasal rinsing.
Nasal rinsing is especially helpful for people suffering from chronic sinusitis though anyone can benefit from it.
Buying an air filter for your home is an easy way to get some allergy relief. You can just set it up once and then forget about it. Since the air in your home will be cleaner when using an air filter your body won’t be as overloaded when you go outside.
Think of your allergies like water pouring into a cup. The symptoms start showing up once the water overflows. By using an air filter you’re increasing the length of time it takes to trigger your symptoms.
Air filters can range from cheap to expensive. A high-quality air filter can be a great investment if you suffer from severe allergies and are dying to get relief.
Essential oils such as tea tree oil, peppermint oil, and eucalyptus oil have properties that reduce the symptoms of allergies. The oils reduce inflammation and help clear away excess mucus.
There are different ways of using essential oils, but aromatherapy is the easiest way. For aromatherapy you can either use a diffuser or massage it into your skin like you would with a lotion.
There are benefits to both methods, though using a diffuser is less work and has the pleasant side effect of making your house smell amazing.
Honey from local bees is made with pollen the bees collect from the local area. When you eat the honey, you’re ingesting a small and manageable amount of the allergens.
Over time you’ll build up a tolerance to the allergens used in the honey. Think of it like a low powered and natural version of allergy shots. This is a fun one because it’s not only healthy, but tasty, too.
The catch here is that the honey must be local. Otherwise it won’t have as many allergens that are specific to your area. Not everybody is lucky enough to have this option available, but definitely take advantage of it if you have a bee farm nearby.
Studies have shown that gluten causes inflammation and may be linked to allergies and other health issues.
The theory is that gluten is a large molecule that’s hard for your body to break down. This causes additional stress on your body and can sometimes overwhelm it.
You don’t have to go completely gluten free if it sounds too intimidating to you. Try gradually cutting down on it over time and see if you notice any positive changes. If so, continue cutting out more gluten until you’re completely gluten free.
These suggestions aren’t a complete fix by any means, but besides non-organic options such as allergy shots and allergy medicines, these are some the best natural treatments we have until science comes up with a permanent solution.
Learn more about allergy and asthma treatment by booking an appointment at one of our 5 Valley-wide Allergy Clinics.
Asthma is a chronic disease of the lungs in which inflammation causes the airways to narrow, making breathing more difficult.
The preceding info may seem relatively simple but actually, asthma is a complicated, inconvenient, and sometimes fatal disease if not treated. The best way to understand what asthma is understanding its pathology.
- The respiratory system is in charge of taking in oxygen and eliminating carbon dioxide. It uses a series of organs, especially the lungs, to supply every cell in the body with oxygen. That oxygen is of vital importance to every cell in the body.
Asthma causes parts of your respiratory system to spasm, which makes it hard to bring oxygen in and eliminate carbon dioxide.
- Spasms are the involuntary muscle constrictions. In an asthmatic person the tubes that bring oxygen into the lungs, also known as Bronchi, spasm and become partially blocked by mucus. That mucus is a result of the body’s autoimmune response, otherwise known as an allergic reaction.
- An allergic reaction happens when the body’s immune system tries to eliminate a harmful agent, a pathogen. Often the immune system ‘overreacts’ to a pathogen. In layman’s terms; it eliminates a virtually harmless pathogen and makes you very uncomfortable in the process.
This condition makes the intake of oxygen difficult because an allergic reaction, or similar hypersensitivity, causes the tubes that bring oxygen to the lungs to spasm and narrow. This decreases the amount of air that can get to the lungs and be used by the body.
Management of Asthma
Asthma is a chronic disease that can be controlled to allow normal daily activities. By controlling your asthma every day, you can prevent serious symptoms and take part in all activities. If you asthma is not well controlled, you are likely to have symptoms that can make you miss school or work and keep you from doing other things you enjoy. Although there is no cure, here are some important prevention strategies
- Recognize attacks early.
- Take medication as directed.
- Avoid tobacco smoke.
- Identify and avoid triggers.
- Talk with your asthma specialist to find ways to improve your health.
- Get the influenza vaccination (pneumonia shot) every five years.
If any questions or concerns, please contact our office for an appointment. We have 5 Board Certified clinics in the Phoenix Metro to serve you!
Egg allergy is caused due to our immune system reacting against the proteins in the egg – usually found in the white part. It is particularly seen in younger children starting from 6 months of age. Egg allergies can be either permanent or transient – in transient cases, children outgrow their egg allergy.
Some people have allergic reactions to egg upon skin contact but can ingest it because gastric digestion reduces the allergen of the egg proteins. Sometimes egg proteins can be resistant to the heat and digestive enzymes in the stomach causing an immune response.
For children with allergies, the reaction is usually within minutes to a couple of hours of ingestion of egg, with symptoms such as hives or swelling. Skin symptoms are most common, but other immediate reactions involving the gastrointestinal or respiratory tracts are also seen.
Severity of reaction
Egg allergy has been implicated as a trigger for atopic dermatitis. Children who have egg allergies with atopic dermatitis response are more likely to develop asthma.
The severity of the allergic reaction varies from person to person, from episode to episode. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening, and infants and children who are asthmatics are particularly at risk. Fatal incidents are few, but have occurred.
Allergic reactions are milder when ingesting cooked denatured egg, but stronger in case of eating raw or undercooked egg. Gastrointestinal inflammatory reactions are also present in some children showing up as allergic eosinophilic esophagitis.
Egg allergy can be verified by a variety of diagnostic methods. However, there is no permanent cure, so managing this involves:
- Avoiding eggs – this can prove difficult as egg whites, shells etc. are in so many products including medicines and vaccines. Being vigilant becomes important.
- For patients with a history of severe allergic reactions, having an epinephrine autoinjector at hand always.
- Some studies have suggested kids fed egg at 4-6 months of age were less likely to develop an egg allergy.
When it comes to the adult population, occupational asthma has been seen in populations which work in egg factories or bakeries where egg is used commonly in aerosol form.
One of the most common mistakes that we make in our lives is to ignore an allergic reaction. You may think that ignoring a reaction might ease it on its own, but it rarely happens. To avoid a severe condition, it is absolutely important to find out the cause of a reaction, as soon as you experience it.
In case you, or a loved one you know suffers from asthma, and strong smells seem to aggravate it, then it could very well be a perfume induced asthma attack.
Perfumes and scents aren’t actually allergens, they are irritants. But, that doesn’t mean that they couldn’t trigger allergic reactions. They could, and asthma is one of these reactions.
Here’s what you need to know about perfume as an asthma trigger.
It is not uncommon
Strong perfumes are a common trigger for asthma attacks. In fact, there are many asthma patients who couldn’t stand the smell of perfumes. For some asthma sufferers, perfume is the sole reason of high-intensity attacks. Other than asthma, scents could also be the cause of nasal congestion, skin problems, and migraines.
Avoidance is ‘not’ bliss
Prevention is better than a cure, and we couldn’t agree more. One of the best ways to prevent perfume-induced asthma attacks is to avoid the triggering element at all costs. However, there are times when you can’t really avoid interacting with people who wear perfumes.
Three solutions to opt for when perfume starts to attack:
- Find an allergist who can help you avoid asthma attacks triggered by fragrance sensitivity
- Take your medicine as soon as you feel an attack is approaching
- Limit your exposure to places where strong perfumes and related irritants could be present, such as shopping centers, laundromats, etc.
Call our allergy and asthma center, Adult & Pediatric Allergy Associates P.C. at 602-242-4592 today and schedule an appointment for your asthma. Live your life allergy and asthma free!
Phoenix is a beautiful city that has been growing for the last few decades. As it is in the desert, many people think that they can escape problems with allergies and possible asthma by relocating to the city. However, there is no real escape from allergies. You simply find that you are allergic to things besides the mold and mildew of wetter climates.
Arizona is in in the Top 15 of states for Asthma
A report released by the University of Arizona identified Arizona as being in the top 15 states where asthma has been reported and almost 10% of Arizona adults have been told that they may have asthma. A large reason why the state is in the top 15,(which is a less than desirable ranking) ,is because so many people moved to the desert hoping to avoid developing asthma.
This meant that people and their children who were more likely to develop asthma moved to the desert because they likely thought our desert climate would be better prevention for asthma and allergies than it is! Unfortunately, there are just as many allergens in AZ, so people were lulled into a false sense of security.
Knowing Your Arizonan Allergens
If you have a genetic disposition to asthma but have not been diagnosed with the illness, there are a few things you can do to help be aware of what triggers it. One of the best things you can do is to know what allergens affect you. Our clinics can help you learn about your allergies through prick testing. This method of testing is conducted on the skin and includes all of the most common types of allergens:
- Animal dander (cat and dog)
There may not be as many molds in Phoenix as somewhere like in the Midwest, but the desert is not mold free. Alternaria is a mold that is located nearly everywhere across North America. Perhaps the biggest problem is that there are numerous strains, and you may be allergic to one type but not another. The good news is that our doctors have the advanced knowledge and medications will be able to test and treat for the strains that are likely to grow in our desert area.
Get Tested by Specialists
To see if you may be affected by local allergens which could be causing your asthma, call or schedule an appointment today with our Asthma Specialists! We have offices and testing hours in Glendale, Anthem, Scottsdale, Avondale and in Mid Phoenix in order to make it as convenient for your as possible! It’s time for you to live allergy and asthma free!