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Posts for: February, 2021

By The Allergy Center, PA
February 23, 2021
Category: Allergy
Tags: Allergy   Bug Bite  

Bug Bite and Allergies

Chances are fairly good that you’ve already dealt with an insect bite or sting at some point. For many, these bug bites may be a little annoying, but they go away in a couple of days; however, other people can have serious allergic reactions to bug bites and stings. It’s important to understand more about the different types of bites and stings, the types of allergic reactions that can occur, and when you should see an allergist for care.

Insects that Bite

There are a variety of insects that can bite and cause allergic reactions. The most common types include,
  • Bedbugs
  • Mosquitoes
  • Fleas
  • Certain types of flies
While bug bites can be a nuisance, they rarely cause serious or life-threatening allergic reactions.

Insects that Sting

The most common types of insects that sting include,
  • Yellowjacket
  • Hornets
  • Bees
  • Wasps
  • Fire ants
Unlike bug bites, which typically do not cause serious allergic reactions, venom from some insects can cause anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction that requires immediate medical attention.

Signs of an Allergic Reaction

A normal reaction to a bug bite is to experience a little pain, swelling, itching, or redness near the area. Symptoms may last a few hours or a couple of days, but usually aren’t anything to worry about. This is a normal reaction, and not considered an allergic reaction.

However, a severe allergic reaction (aka anaphylaxis) can be deadly, so you must be able to recognize the symptoms in yourself or others so you can seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction include,
  • Hives or blotchy skin that spreads all over the body
  • Swelling of the lips or tongue
  • Trouble breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
Allergies to household pests that don’t bite or sting (think, dust mites) can lead to allergy symptoms such as a runny nose, itchy eyes, coughing, and sneezing. If these are symptoms you’ve been experiencing for weeks on end, you may have indoor allergies. This is when you may wish to see an allergist find out whether you may have an allergy to cockroaches or dust mites.
While severe allergic reactions to bug bites and stings will require emergency medical attention, our allergists can still provide you with ways to manage your allergy symptoms and non-life-threatening allergic reactions. Talk to your allergist today.

By The Allergy Center, PA
February 11, 2021
Category: Allergy
Tags: Pet   Allergy  
Can I Have a Pet if I'm AllergicYes, you can still have a pet even if you may be allergic to them.

Having a pet can be incredibly rewarding and a lot of fun; however, if you or your child has just found out that they have pet allergies, then you may be concerned about cohabitating with your furry companion or you may worry that now you can’t have a pet. Before you fear never being able to have a pet or having to rehome your companion, your allergist will be able to provide effective solutions to help alleviate and manage your pet allergies while still living a wonderful life with your pet under one roof.

Adopt Pet-Free Zones

If your pet has full reign of the house, chances are fairly good that your allergies are acting up pretty regularly. You must keep certain areas “allergy-free” zones, which are off-limits to your pet. Your bedroom should always be a pet-free zone if it isn’t already. Also use a HEPA air filter in these rooms to help purifier the air and remove dander, germs, and bacteria.

Give Your Pet Regular Baths

To help prevent dander from building up, you must bathe your pet at least once a week (if you find that this is too tough on your allergies, you can easily have the pet taken to a local groomer to have the job done). If you do plan to bathe your pet yourself, make sure to use shampoos and products that are designed for pets only.

Place Air Filters in all Rooms

If you can, it’s a good idea to place air filters throughout your home, not just in your bedroom. HEPA air filters will be able to remove dander and airborne germs, while also preventing allergens from getting trapped on curtains, rugs, and furniture. Of course, while an air filter can be helpful it isn’t foolproof. You’ll also want to wash all couch coverings, beds (including your pet’s), and rugs regularly.

Use Allergy Treatments

This will take some trial and error, and you’ll want to work with an allergist. After all, you might think that you’re allergic to your pet when it could actually be a different allergen altogether. An allergist can test for all allergies to determine what’s causing your symptoms. We can also recommend or prescribe antihistamine sprays or oral medications. For more severe pet allergies, you may wish to consider immunotherapy (aka allergy shots), which is incredibly effective for lessening or even getting rid of pet allergies completely.

If you are worried that your or your child might have pet allergies, an allergist is a perfect person to turn to for answers. They can diagnose your allergies and also provide you with a custom treatment plan to help you get your allergies under control so that you and your pet can live happily ever after.

By The Allergy Center, PA
February 01, 2021
Category: Medical
Allergies and Nasal IrrigationDealing with a stuffy nose and congestion due to allergies? If so, you may simply be trying over-the-counter medications to help alleviate your symptoms; however, instead of just resorting to medications, you may be looking for a natural and medicine-free approach to treating your allergy symptoms. If so, an at-home nasal irrigation system could help.

Can a sinus rinse help with my allergies? How?

After all, your body is reacting to the offending allergen because it may still be lingering in your nasal passages. Fortunately, whether you are dealing with year-round allergies or seasonal allergies, the reason you’re dealing with them in the first place is that there is something in the environment that is triggering an immune response. Your body is reacting to the offending allergen because it may still be lingering in your nasal passages.

Fortunately, by rinsing out the sinuses with a saline solution (or a saltwater solution that you make yourself), you can rinse away those allergens. Plus, this solution can ease inflamed, painful sinuses, and provide you with relief without having to turn to medications.

If there is any mucus buildup present within the sinuses, this can increase your risk for bacterial infections within the nasal cavity. If you find yourself dealing with frequent sinus problems, then a sinus rinse can help clear out the mucus bacteria to prevent future infections.

How does nasal irrigation work?

You can find nasal irrigation systems at your local drugstore. One of the most commonly used nasal irrigation systems is a Neti pot, a small ceramic pot that typically comes with saline solution (however, it is easy to make your own: simply add ½ teaspoon of sea salt to 16 ounces of distilled water).

Place the solution into the Neti Pot, tilt your head to the side and then place the spout of the Neti pot directly into the nostril before letting the stream of solution go through the nasal passages. Blow your nose after and repeat with the other nostril. We know that the Neti pot can be a bit messy, so it’s best to do it over the bathroom sink so that it can catch the leftover saline solution or salt-water.

If the Neti pot just isn’t for you, this doesn’t mean you’re just out of luck! There are nasal sprays that you can find in your local drugstore that contain the saline solution. These can also flush out allergens and help alleviate your symptoms.

If you find that home remedies just aren’t cutting it, or you’re having to use your Neti pot regularly all year long, then it’s time to talk with a qualified allergist for a customized treatment plan. Talk to an allergist today and get your allergies under control.