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By The Allergy Center, PA
August 11, 2021
Category: Allergy
Tags: Allergy   Allergy Blood Test  
Blood TestIf you suspect that you might have allergies, the first thing you’ll want to do is consult with an allergist. You must have a qualified medical professional go through your medical history and perform an exam to determine whether or not your symptoms are due to allergies. While there are certain types of allergy tests that you can find at your local drugstores these days, these tests aren’t comprehensive and may even cause a false positive. This is why you should always turn to an allergist.

When to Get an Allergy Blood Test

You probably know that there are a couple of different tests that can be used to diagnose allergies. One of the most common types is a skin prick test; however, sometimes blood testing is the best strategy. So, when might you need a blood test to diagnose allergies?
  • If you have certain skin conditions such as dermatitis or severe eczema, which can affect the results of the test
  • If you are taking certain medications such as antidepressants or antihistamines
  • If you are prone to severe allergic reactions (known as anaphylaxis), which can be dangerous and even life-threatening
If you are dealing with one or more of these scenarios, then an allergist may recommend an allergy blood test over the traditional skin prick test.

Reasons for Allergy Blood Testing

If you think your symptoms are due to allergies this may have brought you into an allergist’s office; however, not everyone recognizes the signs and symptoms of allergies. It may be a good idea to undergo an allergy blood test (also referred to as an allergen-specific IgE antibody test) if you are dealing with any of these symptoms:
  • Asthma
  • Trouble breathing
  • Chest tightness
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sneezing and coughing
  • Tingling or itchy mouth
  • Dermatitis
  • Eczema
  • Hives
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
If you are currently undergoing immunotherapy (aka allergy shots), your allergist may also recommend getting periodic allergy blood testing to be able to monitor the effectiveness of your treatment.

If you are dealing with allergies and you’re not sure what’s causing your symptoms then allergy testing may be the best option for you. Turn to an allergist to learn more about allergy testing and to get your allergy symptoms under control.
By The Allergy Center, PA
July 30, 2021
Category: Allergy
Allergy
With outdoor air pollution comes problems with allergies. All you have to do is go outside and suddenly the stuffy nose and watery eyes start happening. Outdoor pollutants come in the form of smoke, dust, ozone, and even emissions from vehicles and buildings that can lead to poor air quality. This is particularly common in cities. If you are an asthma or allergy sufferer, you also know that poor air quality only makes your symptoms worse. Here’s what you can do about it.

Protect Yourself from Outdoor Air Pollution

Ozone and particle pollution are two of the worst things for someone with allergies. If you aren’t sure what your outdoor allergy triggers are, an allergist can perform the proper tests to identify triggers. It’s important to know what aggravates your asthma or allergies so you can avoid them. Here are some helpful tips for how to protect yourself:
  • Ozone peaks between 2 pm-7 pm, so plan your outdoor activities for either later in the evening or first thing in the morning. Particle pollution (aka smoke or dust) is worse in the morning and the evening when people are returning home from work.
  • If you plan to run or workout outside, you may want to change up the type of activity or at least lessen the intensity on days where air quality is bad (or simply move your workout indoors).
  • If you have been prescribed a rescue inhaler, make sure to bring it with you just in case you might need it.
  • Keep all windows closed, whether you’re sitting at home or in your car (opt for the AC, instead).
Protect Your Home from Bad Air Quality

Unfortunately, if you step outside on a day where the air quality is poor you could track smoke and other pollutants on your clothes and into your home. This can also exacerbate your symptoms and make being in your house just as rough as being outdoors. Combine this with cleaning sprays and chemicals, perfumes, and other scents and you may be dealing with a pretty brutal bout of allergy symptoms. To reduce allergens and improve air quality in your home, here’s what you should do:
  • Remove your clothes immediately when you come inside (make sure to toss clothes directly in the washer)
  • Keep pets out of the bedroom
  • Remove candles and other scented items from your home
  • Wash your hair at night before going to bed to remove trapped pollen
  • Wash bedding at least once a week in hot water
  • Use an air purifier with a HEPA filter to help remove bacteria and germs from the air
  • Vacuum at least once a week and make sure to disinfect and dust surfaces daily
If you’re dealing with poor indoor or outdoor air quality and you’re having trouble getting your allergies under control, an asthma and allergy specialist is going to be the first doctor you should turn to for care. Call an allergist today.
 
By The Allergy Center, PA
July 16, 2021
Category: Allergy
Tags: Allergy Fatigue  
Allergy FatigueIf you feel wiped out and more tired than usual and you suffer from allergies, you aren’t imagining things! Your brain fog and daytime fatigue could be caused by your allergies. Of course, asthma and allergy specialist also knows just how brutal allergy fatigue can be for work or school performance. Here’s what you should know about allergy-related fatigue.

Your Immune System is in Overdrive

When you have allergies, your body is reacting to an otherwise harmless substance as if it were dangerous. As a result, your body releases histamine to “fight” the substance, which can lead to inflammation and cause you to feel tired. If you regularly deal with a stuffy nose and other allergy symptoms, particularly at night, your exhaustion could only be made worse by a night (or more) of bad sleep.

Know What Meds to Take

We know that many people dealing with severe allergies are simply looking for relief, and fast! Of course, the medication you may be reaching for could actually make your fatigue worse. It’s important to know what you’re taking before you take it. For example, antihistamines are often notorious for making people sleepy. If you need to take an antihistamine, make sure to grab a non-drowsy one from your local drugstore. If in doubt, ask the pharmacist!

Know Your Triggers

To avoid being exposed to the allergen in the first place, it’s first important to know what you’re allergic to. If you don’t know already, then it’s time to turn to an allergist who can perform the appropriate allergy testing. By knowing which allergens trigger your symptoms you have better luck avoiding them.

You should also talk with your allergist about allergy medications that could improve your symptoms as well as whether you could benefit from allergy shots. If you’re looking for more natural remedies, you may want to try a Neti pot, which can help to flush out bacteria and allergens in the nasal passages to improve sinus symptoms.

If you are losing the battle with allergy fatigue, it’s time to turn to an allergy specialist who can map out the ideal treatment plan and provide you with the right medications to help you start feeling better fast.
By The Allergy Center, PA
July 01, 2021
Category: Asthma
Tags: Asthma   Occupational Asthma  
Occupational AsthmaIf you work in a factory or on a construction site and you suddenly notice wheezing and trouble breathing, it is possible that you could be dealing with a form of asthma known as occupational asthma. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, around 10-25 percent of adults with asthma also experience occupational asthma. This is often caused by exposure to certain irritants including fumes, smoke, dust, and gases.
 
How do you know if you have occupational asthma? You may experience these symptoms:
  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Trouble breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness
  • Eye irritation
  • Wheezing
People with occupational asthma may notice that their symptoms subside once they leave work; however, it can take hours for symptoms to go away and you may still notice that your symptoms persist even once you’re home.
However, it’s important to note whether symptoms only appear once you arrive at the workplace and when symptoms get worse (e.g. throughout the workweek). If you also notice symptoms lessening or going away on the weekends, this is another sign that your work environment could be impacting your health.
 
Should I see an asthma specialist?

If you are ever experiencing symptoms of asthma, you must see an asthma specialist who can diagnose your condition and provide you with immediate treatment. Since asthma attacks can be life-threatening, you mustn’t ignore minor symptoms, as they can often get worse over time if left untreated. If you are experiencing wheezing, shortness of breath, or a persistent cough while at work, it’s important to discuss these symptoms with a qualified specialist.
 
How is occupational asthma treated?

As with an allergic reaction, it’s important to avoid the offending substances that could be causing your symptoms. Along with avoidance, your doctor will also provide you with the medication that will help to reduce airway inflammation along with medication that should only be used if you notice the symptoms of an asthma attack flaring up. You will often be prescribed a long-term control medication such as inhaled steroids, as well as a fasting-acting, quick-relief medication such as an Albuterol inhaler.
 
If you are dealing with symptoms of occupational asthma, you must turn to an allergist and asthma specialist who can properly diagnose and treat your condition.
By The Allergy Center, PA
June 17, 2021
Category: Allergy
Tags: Allergy Shots  
Allergy ShotsEveryone experiences different symptoms when it comes to allergies. For some, their symptoms only flare up during certain times of the year, while for others their symptoms are persistent and severe. Depending on the type of allergies you’re dealing with, you could be an ideal candidate for allergy shots. Here’s what you should know,
 
The Time and Effort is Worth It

Yes, getting allergy shots is a process, but for many people getting immunotherapy can be life-changing and provide long-term relief. People who suffer from severe allergies that alter their quality of life or may even have dangerous allergic reactions can see a major difference after getting allergy shots.

Better yet, this isn’t just an option for adults. Children, teens, and young adults can also be great candidates for allergy shots. If you find that you can’t often enjoy the things you loved because of your allergies, allergy shots may be right for you.
 
Allergy Shots Contains Allergens

Just as some vaccines work by injecting a weakened form of a virus into the body to stimulate the immune system to produce the appropriate antibodies, allergy shots work by exposing the body to a very small amount of the allergen. As your treatment progresses, the amount of allergen that is injected into the body will increase, but so too will your immunity to it. Some people see such dramatic results after allergy shots that they don’t even need medicine anymore (or, at the very least, don’t have to rely on medicine nearly as much).

Of course, since allergy shots do introduce the body to the allergen, reactions can occur. It’s important to talk with your allergist about possible reactions that could happen and how to handle them if they happen.
 
Allergy Shots are for Many Kinds of Allergies

Most people assume that allergy shots are only ideal for those dealing with seasonal allergies, but this simply isn’t true. Immunotherapy can also be a great option for people dealing with year-long allergies, indoor allergies (e.g. pet dander; mold), and insect bites and stings. Of course, it’s important to note that allergy shots are not effective for food allergies (right now the best option is to avoid the food altogether).
 
If you have been dealing with severe allergy symptoms that aren’t responding to over-the-counter or prescription treatment options, then you may want to talk with your allergist about whether allergy shots are the next step.




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