Environmental Allergies In Children
Many children are excited because the school year is about to start up again and these next few weeks will be their best days of summer. With the free time coming to a close, families are eager to spend time outside, away from computers and other electronics. But for anyone dealing with seasonal environmental allergies, being outdoors can lead to sneezing, asthma attacks, and even rashes.
Allergies And Asthma Through The Seasons
Each season can brings new symptom management challenges
Allergies and asthma can bring about the same symptoms, no matter the season. But you may notice that you’re sneezy, stuffy, short of breath, and so on at certain times of the year more than others.
Each season can expose you to different allergens, such as pollen, that are harmless save for the fact that your immune system happens to misidentify them as dangerous. This causes the release of histamines, chemicals that work to clear allergens from the body by triggering allergy symptoms like runny nose, watery eyes, and sneezing.
Histamines also cause inflammation in their effort to prevent additional allergens from coming in. While helpful in that regard, that inflammation can also trigger an asthma attack. Different times of year can make certain other asthma triggers, like temperature, hard to escape as well.
This means you may need different treatment strategies in the fall than in the summer, or in the winter than in the spring. You may need to work with your healthcare provider to identify these patterns and adapt your medication routine season by season.
Asthma Doctor Discussion Guide
Why Do Animals And Pets Trigger Asthma Symptoms
People often think their asthma is triggered by animal hair, but if pets are a trigger for you, youre probably allergic to proteins found in the animals flakes of skin , saliva, urine or even fine particles from bird feathers known as feather dust.
Touching or inhaling these allergens causes your immune system to overreact, leading to your asthma symptoms getting worse.
Lots of pets can trigger allergic asthma symptoms, from cats, dogs and horses, to rabbits, hamsters, mice and gerbils, and birds. You might be allergic to just one type of animal or more than one.
Animal allergies can develop at any stage of life. Even if you had a pet when you were younger and didnt react to it, you could be allergic to the same type of animal now.
Don’t Miss: What Does Asthma Feel Like In Throat
Does Allergic Asthma Go Away
Some people think you can outgrow asthma, but this isnt really true. Asthma can cause airway remodeling, so even if your symptoms subside over time, you dont really outgrow it.
However, some people do outgrow certain allergies or rather their body doesnt have as strong of an allergic response. You may believe that your allergic asthma is going away, but think of it more like being in remission. Even after years without symptoms, an allergen exposure can trigger an allergic asthma attack.
Conversely, there is also increasing awareness that allergies and allergic asthma can develop in adulthood.
How Do I Manage Allergic Asthma
The main goal of treating allergic asthma is to control the condition. Your healthcare provider will work with you to develop ways to manage allergic asthma. Some things your provider may work with you on include:
- Learning how to identify triggers. Your provider will help you figure out what is triggering your asthma and find ways to either avoid or manage these allergens. Often, these triggers are found in your environment. Once you know what they are, you can manage your interactions with them.
- Finding the best medication for you. Not every medication is a perfect fit. Your provider will work with you to find which medication will control your asthma symptoms without causing negative side effects. There are many types of medications for allergic asthma . Take the time to work with your provider to see what works best for you.
- Developing an action plan. Its important to have a plan in place that helps you know when to take certain medications, what to do if the medications arent working and who to call in those situations.
Read Also: How To Improve Your Lungs With Asthma
Treatments To Help Allergies And Asthma
Most treatments target either asthma or allergies. Some methods specifically treat symptoms related to allergic asthma.
- Montelukast is a medication primarily prescribed for asthma that can help with both allergy and asthma symptoms. Its taken as a daily pill and helps to control your bodys immune reaction.
- Allergy shots work by introducing small amounts of the allergen into your body. This allows your immune system to build up tolerance. This approach is also called immunotherapy. It usually requires a series of regular injections over several years. The optimal number of years has not been determined, but most people receive injections for at least three years.
- Anti-immunoglobulin E immunotherapy targets the chemical signals that cause the allergic reaction in the first place. Its usually only recommended for people with moderate to severe persistent asthma, for whom standard therapy has not worked. An example of anti-IgE therapy is omalizumab .
How Are These Conditions Connected
The higher rate of migraines in people with asthma and allergies and vice versa points to a connection. Research has helped doctors gain insight into how these 3 disorders relate.
A key link is the way in which the body functions with asthma, allergies, and migraines. The immune systems of people with these disorders make a lot of immunoglobulin E in response to things like allergens. The IgE protein defends the body from something that seems harmful to the body.3
Another link is that the symptoms of asthma and certain allergies like hay fever can bring on migraines. How asthma and allergies affect the nerves and inflame parts of the body can lead to migraines. Hay fever causes nasal congestion and snoring. This can get in the way of breathing and result in migraines.1
You May Like: Should You Use A Humidifier If You Have Asthma
How Does The Ada Work
The ADA helps people with asthma and allergies create safer, healthier environments where they work, shop and eat. It also helps people who attend public schools and non-religious private schools, even if those schools do not receive federal funding. For example, a private preschool may have to allow a child to use a quick-relief asthma inhaler during the day. Or, a company cannot refuse to hire a qualified person with food allergies because they may have to make the lunchroom allergy friendly.
In most cases, everyone works together to improve conditions and promote equal access and include those with disabilities. This is called an accommodation. Accommodations are made on an individual basis because the needs of each person vary depending upon the situation.
Examples of accommodations could include:
- Reorganizing work spaces to reduce odors
- Restricting the use of allergens in classrooms
- Removing old carpet
Why Is Asthma Difficult To Diagnose In Older Adults
A diagnosis of asthma may be missed in an older person because symptoms of other health conditions are similar to asthma symptoms and may mask the specific symptoms. Asthma symptoms among older adults are more likely to take the form of coughing with the production of sputum from the lungs. Your physician might interpret those symptoms as being due to other illnesses, such as chronic bronchitis or congestive heart failure. In particular, heart disease and emphysema, much more common in older adults, especially smokers, can mimic asthma symptoms.
Good to know . . . One of the ways in which asthma is recognized among younger people is by the symptoms of wheezing and difficulty breathing following exercise. When older adults become inactive, the opportunity for asthma to present itself lessens. If you experience asthma symptoms wheezing, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, chronic cough with your regular activities such as housework, shopping, gardening, or walking, be sure to talk with your physician as soon as possible.
When the asthma symptoms are not recognized correctly, they may remain untreated, likely worsening and creating very serious health risks.
You May Like: What To Do When You Have Asthma And No Inhaler
Making The Ada Work For You
If you or your child would like help due to asthma or allergies, speak with a school administrator, manager, employer, human specialist or disabilities service coordinator. They should know the procedure to help you get appropriate changes, aids or services. You can call on a variety of sources for advice and creative, practical ideas.
The U.S. Department of Justice runs a hotline where you can ask questions, get free materials and find out how to file a complaint. The ADA Hotline number is 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 . There is also helpful information about the ADA on their website at www.ada.gov.
When To See An Allergist
It can be difficult to pinpoint whether cats are actually the source of your allergic asthma. Cat allergens can combine with other possible triggers to making your symptoms disruptive to your life. Asthma can also get worse over time if its not treated.
An allergist can use tests to specify what exactly exacerbates your asthma symptoms and help you build up your immune system to tolerate them. Immunity is important if you want to keep your feline baby around long term.
Also Check: Can You Have Asthma And Copd
What Is An Allergy
Your immune systemâs job is to protect you from bacteria and viruses. If you have allergies, though, part of your immune system works too hard. It may attack harmless substances — like cat dander or pollen — in your nose, lungs, eyes, and under your skin.
When your body meets an allergen, it makes chemicals called IgE antibodies. They cause the release of chemicals like histamine, which cause swelling and inflammation. This creates familiar symptoms like a runny nose, itchy eyes, and sneezing as your body tries to remove the allergen.
Personal Asthma Action Plan
As part of your initial assessment, you should be encouraged to draw up a personal asthma action plan with your GP or asthma nurse.
If youve been admitted to hospital because of an asthma attack, you should be offered an action plan before you go home.
The action plan should include information about your asthma medicines, and will help you recognise when your symptoms are getting worse and what steps to take. You should also be given information about what to do if you have an asthma attack.
Your personal asthma action plan should be reviewed with your GP or asthma nurse at least once a year, or more frequently if your symptoms are severe.
As part of your asthma plan, you may be given a peak flow meter. This will give you another way of monitoring your asthma, rather than relying only on symptoms, so you can recognise deterioration earlier and take appropriate steps.
Want to know more?
- Make sure that your home is free of dust, mold, smoke, and other potential triggers.
- Vacuum often-HEPA filters remove dust best.
- Keep foods stored in tightly sealed containers to avoid attracting cockroaches and rodents by keeping food in tightly sealed containers.
- Clear crumbs, drips, spills, and dirty dishes immediately.
- Identify and quickly fix water leaks in your home.
Keep people with asthma away from dust, dust mites, and smoke
Get medical advice and follow the doctorâs instructions
You May Like: How To Calm Down Asthma Symptoms
Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Asthma Cough
How To Manage Allergic Asthma
An essential step to managing allergic asthma is identifying and avoiding triggers when possible. You may need to remove the source of the allergen from your home or other environment.
You can also reduce allergic asthma symptoms by washing out your nasal passages regularly with saline solution using a Neti pot or squeeze bottle.
Allergic asthma can have serious complications. One complication is anaphylaxis. This type of severe allergic reaction may have symptoms such as:
- nasal congestion
Untreated anaphylaxis can be life threatening. It may cause health concerns such as an abnormal heart rate, weakness, low blood pressure, cardiac arrest, and pulmonary arrest.
If youre at risk of a serious allergic reaction, your doctor may prescribe an epinephrine self-injecting device . Carrying this medication with you at all times and using it within the first few minutes of the onset of allergy symptoms can prevent a life threatening allergic reaction.
Allergic asthma attacks arent always preventable. However, you may be able to make them less frequent by changing your environment.
The steps you take will depend on the allergen causing your symptoms. They may include:
- washing bedding frequently in hot 130°F water
- mopping instead of sweeping
Does Health Insurance Cover Asthma Treatment
Most health insurance plans provide some level of coverage for asthma patients. Check with your insurance carrier for details. Some things you may want to find out might include:
Do you need a referral to an asthma/allergy care specialist from your internist or family physician?
Does the insurance carrier offer any patient education or specialized services related to asthma?
What coverage is offered for pre-existing conditions?
What medications are not covered by your plan?
Is a flu shot covered as part of asthma care? A pneumonia vaccine?
The information provided in this fact sheet should not be a substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.
Reprinted with permission from Asthma and Allergy Answers, the patient education library developed by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
Site Design By: Arch Creative Group
You May Like: Why Is Asthma Worse In Evening
Common Allergic Asthma Causes And Triggers
Many of the same substances that can cause an allergic reaction may also affect people with asthma. Common allergens that may trigger allergic asthma include:
It has been shown that reducing exposure to confirmed allergy triggers can have a significant impact on the ability to control asthma with fewer symptoms, fewer hospital visits, and improved quality of life.7-9
Can Yeasts Cause Allergies And Asthma
Systemicyeast infections can cause chronic yeast allergies and asthma,creatingrespiratory distress,which affectsover 50 million Americans yearly.
- In the American Journal of Respiratory Critical Care Medicine 1995, Kaufman states that fungus has the ability to colonize the lungs and induce an inflammatory reaction. Resulting in asthmatic reactions calledfungal asthma.
- Dr. C. A. Kaufman states each year in the US the fungi Histoplasma capsulatum, Blastomyces dermatitidis, and Coccidioides immitis cause more pulmonary infections than bacteria.
- C.C. Kibbler says these fungi routinely infect persons with apparently normal immunity.
Dr. C. Orion Truss, a pioneer in the study of systemic yeast infections and their relation to diseases and symptoms, states in his book that once the mucous membranes become inflamed by their allergic response to yeast products, infection begins to occur with great regularity at random sites from the nose to the lungs.
Professor R.J. Hay states that hay fever or asthma due to molds like Aspergillus, Alternaria, and Penicillium account for up to 15% of respiratory allergies. That translates into one in six peoples allergies are beingcaused by fungi.
In a 2005 study that was published in Environmental Health Perspectives in October of 2005, it was found that exposure to environmental yeasts and molds within the home before the age of 3 months, resulted in an increased incidence of allergic rhinitis by 5years of age.
Dr. Atmika Paudel says
Read Also: Do Asthma Inhalers Go Out Of Date
What Else Should I Do To Help Control My Asthma
To control asthma, it’s also important to keep track of how well lungs are functioning. Asthma symptoms are monitored using a peak flow meter — a device that measures the speed of air that coming out of the lungs when you exhale forcefully. This measurement is called peak expiratory flow and is calculated in liters per minute.
The meter can alert you to changes in the airways that may be a sign of worsening asthma before you have symptoms. By taking daily peak flow readings you can learn when to adjust medications to keep asthma under control. Your doctor can also use this information to adjust your treatment plan.
Will There Be Any Risks Involved
While the use of cannabis certainly seems to be an effective choice to treat asthma symptoms, it is still important to pay attention to all the risks involved in using this option. For instance, many studies show that when you take inhaler-delivered THC in excess, you may end up dealing with bronchoconstriction. In a study, only 3 out of 5 asthma patients experienced bronchodilation after receiving 5-20mg of THC. It implies that even if you are using weed to treat your asthma, you need to be very careful about how much you take.
Many studies have already confirmed that you do not increase your risk of developing lung cancer after smoking marijuana, but there is evidence that excessive smoking may well be associated with an increased risk of developing bronchitis, which involves the mucous membranes of the airway becoming inflamed. Your asthma symptoms may become worse and you notice serious complications if you develop bronchitis.
Nevertheless, there are other ways to use cannabis without having to worry too much about the risks. Instead of inhaling, you can ingest marijuana through alternative methods, such as edible preparations or vaporizers. Keep in mind that you do not always need to smoke weed to enjoy its therapeutic benefits.
Read Also: Can My Son Get Ssi For Asthma
New Onset Egg Allergy In An Adult
Abstract: We report newly presenting systemic and local allergic reactions to egg in a 55-year-old woman. The patient did not have a history of egg allergy in childhood or occupational exposure to egg proteins nor did she report any disease that is known to be related to food allergy. A skin prick test with commercial extracts, prick-to-prick test, CAP radioallergosorbent assay, and a double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge test were used to prove egg allergy. Because egg allergy mainly affects children and symptoms frequently disappear with age, the late onset in this patient is rare.