Remember Your Basic Asthma Care
Risks Of Receiving Allergy Shots For Asthma
Allergy shots for asthma do have risks. The most common side effects are redness and swelling at the site of the injection.
More severe reactions are less common. Very rarely, allergy injections can even lead to anaphylactic shock, which can be fatal. This is why you should always get these shots in the presence of experts who can control any adverse reactions in the event of an asthma emergency. Your asthma doctor might want to keep you under observation for about 30 minutes after the injection to watch for any ill effects.
There is an new alternative to shots called Sublingual Immunotherapy or Ã¢â¬ÅSLITÃ¢â¬ï¿½ that is promising and now available. Instead of a shot, the medication is dissolved under your tongue. Ask your doctor if you are a candidate for SLIT.
Best Treatments For Allergic Asthma
Did you know allergies affect approximately 60% of the over 25 million people in the US with asthma? This number makes it the most common type of asthma out there. Allergic asthma refers to asthma that gets triggered as a result of an allergic reaction. The allergic reaction is often due to airborne allergens, like pet dander, dust, mold, pollen, and more.
Allergic asthma is a chronic disease. Therefore, there is a need for consistent management. One of the ways to do so is to take precautions in exposing yourself to allergy triggers. If you are allergic to something, avoid exposure to reduce the chances of an allergic asthma attack. There are also many medications that can help treat allergic asthma. These medications work to reduce airway inflammation caused by the allergic reaction. Here are some ways you can treat allergic asthma:
Read Also: How To Help Your Breathing With Asthma
What To Expect From Allergy Shots For Asthma
Before you get allergy shots for asthma, your doctor will want to do allergy testing. This is a way of finding out which allergens affect you. It will probably involve skin testing, in which a small amount of the allergen is scraped onto or injected under your skin. Allergy shots aren’t available for every kind of allergy.
Allergy shots for asthma include shots for:
Once you and your doctor have discovered which allergens affect you, the next step is to get the shots. The frequency of the injections varies, but you might get them once or twice a week for the first three to six months — or until you reach the maximum dose. After that, you might only need maintenance injections every two to four weeks. This might continue for three to five years. Although some people feel asthma symptom relief from their allergy injections quickly, it may take up to a year for others. In some people, allergy shots have no effect.
What Are The Causes Of Allergic Asthma
An allergic reaction occurs when your immune system overreacts to the presence of a harmless substance called an allergen. Allergic asthma is when you develop breathing difficulties from inhaling allergens. It occurs when the airways swell as part of an allergic reaction.
Common allergens that can cause allergic asthma include:
- cockroach droppings
You may notice that your allergy symptoms get worse during certain seasons due to increased pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds.
However, allergic asthma symptoms can occur year-round. This may be due to mold spores, which can grow indoors or outdoors on damp surfaces. Indoor dust mites feed on human skin cells and live in pillows, carpets, and other fabrics. And feces, saliva, dander, and other substances released by cockroaches, rodents, and pets can cause an allergic reaction in some people.
You might be surprised to learn that certain foods can cause an asthmatic reaction in a small number of people. Common food triggers include milk, shellfish, eggs, soy products, peanuts, gluten, tree nuts, and sesame seeds. Histamines and sulphites in alcohol products like beer and wine can also trigger asthma symptoms in some people.
Irritants such as air pollution, aerosol cleaning products, tobacco smoke, wood fires, and strong odors dont cause an allergic reaction. But they may inflame your airways and make asthma symptoms worse.
Symptoms of an asthma attack include:
Also Check: What Does Advair Do For Asthma
Above All Keep Your Asthma Under Control
The best way to face the allergy season is to start with lungs that breathe well. Its essential that you follow your prescribed treatment to the letter. Most importantly, you must take your controller therapy every day, even when you feel fine. This controller therapy reduces the bronchial inflammation that stops the air from circulating normally. When the air doesnt flow properly, you become breathless, your breathing becomes wheezy, and you may feel a sensation of pressure on your chest.
Its important to understand that corticosteroids dont cure the inflammation they only control it. As soon as you stop taking them, the inflammation and symptoms return. The best way to not experience ups and downs with your symptoms is to keep taking your medication even when you feel better.
Dont be scared of corticosteroids. The doses administered for asthma are very low, because the inhalers propel the medication directly into the lungs. The benefits of the treatment far outweigh the risks.
What You Can Do To Keep Safe
- During spring and early summer, use a corticosteroid nasal spray . Start at the beginning of September and continue to the end of December.
- Keep taking your preventer medication as prescribed. If you don’t normally use a preventer all year, you should use it during September-December if you are going to be in an area where there is ryegrass pollen.
- Follow the pollen counts and weather forecasts during spring and summer so you know if a storm is coming.
- Make sure your written asthma action plan is up to date and includes thunderstorm advice – talk to your GP
- Avoid being outdoors just before and during thunderstorms, especially in cold wind gusts that come before the rain. Get inside a building or car with the windows shut and the air conditioner switched to recirculate/recycled.
Read Also: Why Are People Born With Asthma
Question: How Do I Choose An Over
Dr. James: For many years, people used diphenhydramine as an antihistamine for their allergies. But for many reasons, this medicine is not a good choice to take for allergy symptoms because of its short-term action to manage symptoms and several known negative side effects. The major side effects of diphenhydramine include drowsiness, sedation, and fatigue. It can also impair alertness, concentration, multitasking, and memory. In turn, this antihistamine can affect important functions, such as learning and test performance in children, as well as operation of machinery and cars in adults.
Diphenhydramine and related short-acting antihistamines should be avoided.
Fortunately, there are many newer over-the-counter antihistamines available that work much better, are longer acting, and are safer than diphenhydramine. These newer antihistamines are less likely to have major clinical side effects compared to older antihistamines like diphenhydramine. Also, these newer medicines do not carry the risk of toxicity and death that has been associated with older antihistamines. Finally, regarding the use of antihistamines in pregnancy, cetirizine and loratadine are the medicines of choice.
Important note: If you are experiencing symptoms of a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis, the recommended treatment is epinephrine .
What Causes Allergic Asthma
The cause of asthma isnt known. However, for those with allergic asthma, the reason symptoms start is related to allergens. This is the main difference between allergic asthma and other types of asthma allergens are inhaled and trigger asthma symptoms. When you experience severe asthma symptoms, its called an asthma attack.
Read Also: How Long Does Exercise Induced Asthma Last
How Is Allergic Rhinitis Treated In Children
Some corticosteroid nasal sprays can be used in children as young as 2 years.
Antihistamine tablets can be used for children with mild allergic rhinitis or young children who will not tolerate nasal sprays. Some can be taken by children as young as 12 months. Only newer antihistamines, which cause less sleepiness, should be given to children.
Montelukast tablets are effective for some children.
Your doctor may recommend other medicines.
Do I Need To Make Lifestyle Changes
Allergens are the root cause of allergic asthma. By staying away from these allergens, you can help prevent asthma symptoms.
The lifestyle changes you need to make depend on your specific triggers. In general, you can help reduce attacks by allergen-proofing your home and modifying your daily outdoor activities to prevent exposure.
Recommended Reading: Why Do Adults Get Asthma
See Your Gp If Your Hay Fever Isnt Improving
If your hay fever isnt under control, it could trigger your asthma symptoms or even an asthma attack, so if your hay fever symptoms dont go away with the usual treatments, or are getting worse, see your GP.
They may recommend one of these treatment options:
Theyre a medicine type called Leukotriene Receptor Antagonists .
Montelukast is not a licensed treatment for hayfever but is an add on treatment for asthma. Some people with asthma find it is helpful for their nasal congestion.
Seeing an allergy specialist
A specialist can test your allergies to understand your specific triggers.
If your allergic symptoms are severe, they might recommend immunotherapy to help your body get used to your trigger see the NHS website for more information.
What If I Have A Sudden Attack
Always keep quick-acting medications with you. These should help you feel better within 20 to 60 minutes.
If your symptoms dont improve or continue to get worse, go to an emergency room or dial 911. Severe symptoms that warrant an emergency room visit include not being able to talk or walk due to shortness of breath and blue lips or fingernails.
Keep a copy of your asthma action plan on you so people around you have the necessary information to help.
Don’t Miss: Is Pomegranate Good For Asthma
Oral And Topical Antibiotics
In some cases, worsening atopic dermatitis can be a result of a skin infection or colonization with a common bacterium, Staphylococcus aureus, and a course of antibiotics against this type of bacteria is required. ItÃ¢s usually safe to continue the use of topical steroids even if the eczema is infected.
Topical antibiotics are typically enough for localized infections of eczema while oral antibiotics may be needed for infections involving larger areas of skin.
Also Check: Fort Wayne Allergy And Asthma Center
How Is Asthma Treated
Asthma medicines play a central role in the asthma management. Some medications prevent or reduce airway inflammation. Others interrupt the allergic reaction that triggers symptoms. Some relieve coughing and wheezing, making it easier to breathe.
Your doctor will work with you to find the right combination of medicines for optimal asthma control. They will adjust the type and amount based on your symptoms and the type of asthma that you have. The goal of asthma treatment is to have you feel your best with the least amount of medicine needed to control asthma.
Get to know your medications.
Understand how and why they treat and soothe your lungs and airways. If youre prescribed an inhaler, ask for one with a dose counter. Learn when and how youre supposed to use your inhaler and follow your plan to better breathing.
Recommended Reading: Is Asthma A Chronic Lung Condition
Reduce Your Exposure To Pollen
The best way to reduce your allergies is to avoid exposure to pollen. Here are some tips:
- Keep a close eye on the pollen index, especially if youre planning an outdoor activity.
- Keep your windows closed, to avoid letting pollen into the house, even if you have screens.
- Use the dryer to dry your clothes, towels and bed sheets.
- Do your outdoor activities later in the day , or take advantage of rainy days .
- After spending time outdoors, take a shower and wash your hair. Pollen tends to accumulate in our hair. Wash your clothes as well.
Wheezing Warnings On Nonprescription Products
Wheezing is defined as a high-pitched whistling sound thatis audible when the patient inhales and exhales, caused by air flowingthrough constricted airways.11 Wheezing is common withasthma, so much so that when the FDA requires labels to warn against usein asthma, the word wheezing must follow in parentheses.12
Despite the FDA requirement that asthma and wheezing beintertwined on some OTC product labels , wheezing is acomponent of many other medical problems. They include accidentalaspiration of a foreign object into the lungs, bronchiectasis,bronchiolitis, bronchitis, emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonarydisease ,gastroesophageal reflux, heart failure/cardiac asthma, an allergicreaction to an insect sting, reactions to medications ,pneumonia, smoking, or a viral infection, especially when the patient isan infant younger than 2 years of age.11 Since the communitypharmacist is not trained to perform the examination required toestablish a diagnosis, patients with wheezing must be referred.
As mentioned above, salicylates and other nonprescriptionnonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs contain a warning againstuse with wheezing, in the context of the constellation of symptoms thatindicate an allergic reaction to the medications. Cromolyn also carries alabel warning against use in wheezing.5 Cromolyn would be ineffective treatment for any one of the multiple causes of wheezing as listed above.
Read Also: Why Is Asthma Worse In Evening
Read Also: What’s It Like To Have Asthma
Can I Take Antihistamines For My Allergies
Antihistamines are usually safe for people who have asthma to use, but they can cause side effects. Some antihistamines cant be taken with certain other medicines. Like any other medicine, read the warnings and instructions on the label and check with your doctor before you start taking an antihistamine.
Have Questions Ask Your Allergist
You may have concerns about your asthma medications because of price or possible side effects. If you have any of these or other concerns, ask your allergist.
Your allergist will work with you to find the right medication or combination to manage your asthma and will adjust the dosage based on your symptoms and how well-controlled your asthma is. The goal is to have you feeling your best with the least amount of medication. Your allergist will teach you how to use your medications as part of your treatment plan. If possible, your allergist will also help you save money by prescribing a non-brand name medication or by adjusting your treatment plan. Its important to learn what your choices are and what is going to work for you.
Although there is not yet a cure for asthma, the symptoms are controllable. Allergists are specially trained to help you manage chronic allergies and asthma, so you can live the life you want. Treatment can allow a normal active lifestyle. Its time to take control of your asthma and start enjoying life again! If you dont already have one its time to find an allergist.
How To Take And Store
You can take most antihistamines with or without food.
People generally take second-generation antihistamines in the morning. However, suppose your healthcare provider prescribes both an antihistamine and a leukotriene modifier for allergic asthma. In that case, it’s common to take the antihistamine in the morning and the leukotriene modifier in the evening.
You should store most antihistamines at room temperature. Read the product label for exact ranges to ensure they don’t get too warm or cold.
Products Contraindicated With Asthma
Asthma was once a labeled contraindication for allnonprescription products containing first-generation antihistamines. Therationale behind this labeled contraindication was discussed by an OTCreview panel appointed to examine antihistamines in its original 1976report: The Panel is aware that a controversy exists concerning the useof antihistamines in patients with bronchial asthma where a dryingaction is undesirable. Many physicians consider this effect to bedisadvantageous in patients with bronchial asthma and some maintain thatthe antihistaminic drugs are contraindicated in patients with thisdisease.2 Products carried this label for years. In 1985,the FDA published a tentative final monograph for antihistamines,agreeing with the need for this label.3
In 1992, however, the FDA published its final rule on labeling for nonprescription first-generation antihistamines.4In this document, the agency described the conclusions of a 1990meeting of the FDAs Pulmonary-Allergy Drugs Advisory Committee.Participants believed that first-generation antihistamines did not havesufficient anticholinergic effects to be problematic for those withasthma, removing the term asthma from the warnings. Second-generationantihistamines have never beenrequired to carry an asthma warning.
You May Like: What Is The Spiritual Root Cause Of Asthma
How Do I Know If Other Medicines Im Taking Are Making My Asthma Worse
Any medicine can cause wheezing or shortness of breath if youre allergic to it. If you notice that your asthma gets worse every time you take a certain medicine, tell your doctor as soon as possible. If you use a peak flow meter to check your asthma, tell your doctor if you see changes in your peak flow readings after you take a certain medicine. Your doctor can decide whether your medicine should be changed.
Question: Which Is Better A Nebulizer Or An Asthma Inhaler
Dr. James: The delivery of asthma medicines by the inhaler route or with a nebulizer can be equally effective if you use them correctly and as directed. First, there are many types of asthma inhaler devices that deliver medicine, including metered dose inhalers, dry powder inhalers, and breath activated inhalers. For these to work well, you must use them correctly. Your doctor should give you step-by-step instructions. Your doctor should watch you use your inhaler to assure the best technique.
A nebulizer machine turns liquid asthma medicine into a mist, which is breathed into your lungs using a mouthpiece or mask. It is also known as a breathing machine, and they are prescribed by doctors, along with the asthma medicine you use in them. Nebulizers are relatively easy to use once you learn how.
In summary, if used correctly and as directed, asthma medicines delivered by inhalers and/or nebulizers can be equally effective in managing asthma symptoms.
Recommended Reading: Asthma Symptoms In Adults Cough