Allergies

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    A drug allergy is a group of symptoms that occur when your body is exposed to a drug to which it has developed a sensitivity. That sensitivity causes your body's immune system to overreact to the drug. A drug allergy may not happen the first time you take a medication, but if you take the drug again, your body's immune system may cause the release of antibodies or certain immune chemicals that can cause symptoms.
     
     Common symptoms of allergies to drugs may include:
    •  hives
    •  skin and/or eye itching
    •  skin rash
    •  swelling of the lips, tongue or face
    •  wheezing
    Less commonly, a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis can occur. Symptoms of anaphylaxis may include:
    •  abdominal pain or cramping
    •  nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea
    •  confusion
    •  dizziness, fainting, lightheadedness
    •  difficulty breathing
    •  rapid pulse
    •  heart palpitations
    Certain types of medicines are more likely to cause allergic reactions than others. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, those drugs include:
    •  antibiotics
    •  chemotherapy medicines
    •  aspirin and non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs(NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen
    • anticonvulsants
    • monoclonal antibodies
    Be sure to discuss with your doctor any adverse effect to a drug that you experience. You may need to avoid exposure to the drug in the future, and possibly even wear a bracelet that could tell an emergency physican you are allergic to the drug.
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    What Should I Do If I'M Allergic To Bees And Get Stung?
    If an EpiPen (epinephrine) is not available, patients should go to the emergency room for an allergic reaction to a bee sting. In this video, I will explain treatment of these allergic reactions.
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    Maybe outdoor exercising sounds lovely to you, but you're worried that being in nature will trigger your allergies, asthma or other breathing problems. Talk with your healthcare provider about coordinating your activity interests with your health condition. Then consider these suggestions to help make exercising outdoors like a breath of fresh air for your body and spirits:
    • If you have asthma, use your medications before exercising, in the manner prescribed by your doctor. Do a five- to 10-minute warm-up. With the right treatment and management plan, people with exercise-induced asthma can participate safely in exercise.
    • Walking is a good exercise choice over activities that cause you to breathe faster, such as running or soccer.
    • Higher ozone and pollutant levels can cause breathing problems, so check levels before exercising outdoors. Many online and print weather forecasts now report air quality levels: 0 to 50 is good; 50 to 100 is not harmful, but could cause breathing problems for some people with asthma; above 100 is unhealthy if you have lung or heart disease and other conditions; above 150 is unhealthy for everyone.
    • Exercise in the early morning or early evening, when pollution levels are lower.
    • If you have breathing problems, avoid exercising outdoors in very cold weather.
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    Is There a Relationship Between Eczema and Allergies?
    Allergies and eczema tend to run in families, so if parents have a history then children are a lot more likely to be affected. In this video, I will discusse ways to control symptoms.
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    A , Allergy & Immunology, answered
    What is Skeeter syndrome?

    Skeeter syndrome is an allergic reaction to the protein in a mosquito's saliva, which makes the bites even more red and inflamed. Watch as allergist Clifford Bassett, MD, discusses how to treat these bites, and how to test for a mosquito allergy.

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    It's very important to alert others about allergies, especially if they are severe and life-threatening (for example, you have difficulty breathing if you come into contact with the particular agent). Medical alert tags are the easiest way to alert others to your allergy, especially if you are unable to do so yourself for some reason. It's important to keep in mind instances when you could potentially be exposed to your allergen, as well, like eating at a restaurant that may have peanuts in the food, and you should always alert your waiter and others to your allergy.
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    Anaphylaxis is defined as a serious allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and may cause death. It must be quickly determined and treated to avoid a life-threatening situation. Death from anaphylaxis usually results from choking due to upper airway swelling or from breathing failure due to lung obstruction and, less commonly, from heart failure. Epinephrine must be administered when signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis appear to be life-threatening.
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    Anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening medical emergency requiring immediate help. 911 should be called immediately, as rapid treatment is essential in preventing further damage from the anaphylactic reaction. Treatment is highly effective especially if administered early. 
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    A Allergy & Immunology, answered on behalf of
    Big piles of leaves, mulch piles -- these are places where we see a lot of mold growth, especially when it’s damp. These would be areas you would want to avoid or eliminate if possible, to minimize your exposure to spores.
     
    I also recommend keeping windows and doors closed, even on those nice fall days. Turning the AC on could help filter some of that pollen out of the home. I’m also a fan of sprays or rinses like the Neti pot. Using those at the end of the day when you’re done being outdoors may help remove some of the pollen from the nose. Changing clothes and jumping in the shower can also reduce your exposure throughout the night. 
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    A , Allergy & Immunology, answered
    Here are some tips to help prevent seasonal and indoor allergies when traveling:
    • Plan ahead, bring all allergy and asthma medications.
    • Sunglasses block out pollens (especially on windy days).
    • Wash wisely: Shampoo your hair nightly and avoid hair "gels" that trap pollens and gently irrigate your eyelids with mild, tear free shampoo after outdoors.
    • Take allergen pillow encasing with you.
    • Check out pollen count and forecast before you travel -- know peak pollen season wherever you travel to prevent symptoms.
    • Exercise indoors or avoid early morning when pollen levels are typically higher [windy days are associated with highest pollen levels].
    • By the "sea": Pollen levels are generally lower by a beach, river or lake, or any body of water or the mountains as dust mites won't thrive above higher elevations about 2,500 feet.
    • Pack your medications in "original" labeled bottles and containers -- keep on "carry on" and not luggage, in case of loss or theft.
    • If traveling by car, roll up windows and use the air-conditioner on "do not recirculate."
    • Call your hotel and see if they have "green" allergy friendly room, get a no smoking room, request wood, tile or vinyl floors in lieu of "carpeted" rooms.
    • Request a no smoking rental car, whenever possible.
    • Keep nasal saline with you on longer flights to keep your nose moist.