2 AnswersDr. Paul T. David, MD , Emergency Medicine, answered on behalf of Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center
1 AnswerHealthyWomen answeredMaybe 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.
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.
1 AnswerIt'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.
1 AnswerAnaphylaxis 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.
1 AnswerAnaphylaxis 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.
2 AnswersBig 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.
1 AnswerHere 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.
1 AnswerHere are some rules to help prevent allergy attacks during Christmas season:
Rule # 1 -- Keep your decorations "off season" in enclosed containers, this will reduce dust and mildew from accumulating -- and avoid sniffles when opened.
Rule # 2 -- Avoid artificial "snow sprays" that can aggravate your sinuses, eyes and cause annoying respiratory symptom including cough.
Rule # 3 -- Watch out for those lovely holiday decorations like "poinsettias", if you have skin allergies, especially if you have a sensitivity to rubber, it may cause an itchy rash.
Rule # 4 -- Don't bring in wood for the fireplace until needed, it may bring mildew and molds into your home, especially when not completely dry or damp.
Rule # 5 -- Watch out for those pesky mold spores if you have a natural, fresh Christmas tree in your home, especially if you have indoor allergies!
Rule # 6 -- If you humidify your home, measure the indoor humidity level with a low cost hygrometer, and keep the level of humidity at 50% or less.
Rule # 7 -- It may be best to avoid wood burning stoves or direct exposure to poorly ventilated home fireplace, especially if you have asthma or respiratory problems.
Rule # 8 -- Stay away from scented candles and potpourri, incense, room fragrance devices that can irritate your eyes and nose as well as your breathing.
Rule # 9 -- Wash all non-porous holiday decorations with warm soapy water to clean off dust and mildew before placing on your tree and other areas of the home.
Rule # 10 -- A High-Efficiency Particulate Arresting (HEPA) air cleaner (both a portable room unit and/or central heating/ventilation system) can help to reduce indoor allergens and pollutants.