Be Aware Of Food Allergens
Researchers estimate that approximately 32 million Americans, including 5.6 million children under the age of 18, have food allergies resulting from an overreaction of the bodys immune system to certain foods.2 The trouble with food allergies is that they can worsen respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing and cough. Unfortunately, food allergies seem to be on the rise, and about 40% of children with food allergies are allergic to more than one food.2Food allergies can cause a variety of reactions, from mild itchiness inside the mouth to a life-threatening anaphylactic response. If you already have a breathing condition, or find that your allergic reactions typically involve respiratory problems, it is helpful to be aware of common allergens. You may want to get an allergy test as well. Foods that cause mucus because of an immune reaction and are most commonly associated with allergies include:
- Wheat and other foods containing glutens
- Fresh fruit
- Sodium metabisulfite
- Sodium sulfite
If you are aware of an existing food allergy, know that there are foods that cause shortness of breath for you or have experienced the link between dairy and respiratory problems, then you already know which foods to avoid. However, if your respiratory symptoms increase only after eating certain foods and you have never been told you have a food allergy, you may have developed one. Talk to your physician about allergy skin testing.
Despite Symptoms Its Not The Flu
COVID-19 is not the flu.
As one of a class of pathogens known as coronaviruses, its actually more closely related to the common cold than the seasonal flu.
However, despite some overlap, the typical symptoms of COVID-19 are more similar to the flu than the common cold .
The new delta variant of COVID-19, however, may have more cold-like symptoms.
In terms of differentiating between flu and COVID-19, it can be almost impossible to distinguish, Dr. Jake Deutsch, co-founder and clinical director of Cure Urgent Care centers and Specialty Infusion in New York. Thats why people are recommended to have flu vaccinations so it can at least minimize the risk of flu in light of everything else.
Fevers, body aches, coughing, sneezing could all be equally attributed to them both, so it really means that if theres a concern for flu, theres a concern for COVID-19, Deutsch said.
If you have a mild case of COVID-19, the flu, or a cold, treatment is geared toward management of symptoms, said Cutler.
Generally, acetaminophen is recommended for fevers, he said. Cough drops and cough syrups can also help keep mucus secretions thinner. If there is associated nasal congestion, antihistamines may be useful.
What Is Hay Fever
People affected by hay fever experience an allergic reaction to pollenfrom plants. The type of allergic reaction involved in hay fever an allergic rhinitis reaction, which may involve a skin rash called hives, as well as coughing, sneezing and itchty, watery eyes. Allergic rhinitis is one of the atopic diseases a set of genetically inherited conditions including asthma, atopic eczema and atopic dermatitis.
Plants produce more during the early spring and summer months. For this reason,the allergic rhinitis that occurs in hay fever can also be described as seasonal rhinitis.Both adults and children can suffer from hay fever and it is estimated to affect between40 and 60 million people in the United States.
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How To Treat It
Consult your physician before buying over-the-counter remedies for allergens. Some products may worsen your reaction and make it even harder to breathe. You may need a prescription-strength medication to control your allergies. Allergy medicine often contains decongestants, antihistamines or steroids. For some allergies, you may need immunotherapy treatment. When you have an intense allergic reaction that obstructs your airways, you may need an epinephrine injection.
Only a medical professional can diagnose and treat your asthma or allergies, and you should use prescribed medications exactly as directed for the best results. However, there are steps you can take to make your environment more comfortable.
Allergies: Symptoms Causes And Treatments
Sometimes, you feel uneasy, have difficulty breathing, or develop rashes and itchiness on the skin after eating food. It denotes that you ate something that you are allergic to. Sometimes, you may be vacationing and trolling in a beautiful garden, and you develop rashes or start a cold. Even in this case, you have encountered an allergy.
Allergies are of various types. Different people have different kinds of allergies. For example, you may have an allergy to a food item or any particle in the atmosphere. An allergy happens when your body recognizes a substance as foreign and reacts against it. In other words, when your body does not accept a particular substance and fights against it, the reaction is called allergy.
Your body contains immunoglobulins. When these immunoglobulins do not identify something, the body has a reaction known as an allergic reaction. The substance causing the reaction is called an allergen.
With the advancement of time, research has proven a gradual rise in food allergy cases globally. Earlier, the allergens were few, like nuts, seafood, etc. But now, there is a rise in the number of issues and the types of allergens.
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Can An Air Purifier Help With Shortness Of Breath At Night
If your shortness of breath at night is related to levels of allergens in the air, using an air purifier while sleeping may help. This is true for adults as well as children who suffer from asthma. Research has shown that using an air purifier placed right by the bed in the sleep breathing zone can be beneficial.
Most air purifiers trap allergens on filters, but a newer technology is able to destroy them from the air. This technology, called , can break down pollutants to clean the air. This can be important when you want clean air in the bedroom, as recirculation of dust or mold from a saturated filter would not be beneficial.
After discussing with your doctor, taking these environmental measures may help with shortness of breath at night and help improve indoor air quality. Uninterrupted sleep can help you wake up feeling more refreshed and at ease, and in general reduce anxiety about any difficulties with breathing.
*The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice.
Pollen As An Asthma Trigger
Pollen is naturally released into the atmosphere by plants, trees and weeds at certain parts of the year. It is made of different types of proteins that most of people dont react to. But, the research seems to suggest that roughly one in five people will experience a hyperactive response to pollen, leading to the release of histamine into the system and the subsequent symptoms such as:
- Itchy or red eyes
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What Can I Do To Prevent Anaphylaxis
- Know your allergens. An accurate diagnosis is important. An allergist can help you create a plan to keep you safe.
- Avoid your allergens.
- If you have a drug allergy, be familiar with both the generic name and brand names of medicines that cause you to have a severe allergic reaction. And be aware of ingredients in a combination product. Become familiar with medicines that might cause a cross-reaction. Read drug information carefully.
- If you have a food allergy, be careful about everything you eat. Check ingredients on all food labels. Wash hands, and use clean surfaces and utensils to prepare food. Ask restaurant staff how they prepare foods.
- If you react to insect stings or exercise, talk to your doctor about how to avoid these reactions.
- Carry your epinephrine auto-injectors with you at all times. This is very important and can save your life or the life of a loved one.
- Prepare with a plan. Have your doctor help you create an anaphylaxis action plan.
- Talk to your doctor and caregivers. Make sure they know the names of any medications you are allergic to and what symptoms you had when you took them. Give them a list of every drug you take. Some common medicines, like beta-blockers, can worsen anaphylaxis.
- Wear a medical ID bracelet or necklace. It lets others know of your allergy in an emergency. Also, keep a card in your wallet or purse that explains your allergy.
Signs That You May Be Allergic To Your Cat
Cats are beloved pets for many people. In fact, about 25 percent of U.S. households own at least one cat. Unfortunately, many people suffer from cat allergies, which can put a damper on owning these frisky and lovable companions.
If you think you may be allergic to cats, you have plenty of treatment options. Many people dont even realize theyre allergic, however. Check out these six signs that you may be allergic to your cat.
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Heart Failure And Related Conditions
You may experience shortness of breath because your heart cant pump blood at a sustainable level. This is known as heart failure. You may develop this condition for many reasons. Risk factors include poor diet, diabetes, certain medications, smoking, and obesity.
One condition that can lead to a heart attack is coronary artery disease. You may experience shortness of breath from a heart attack as well as chest pain and tightness, sweating, nausea, and fatigue. You should seek medical care right away if you suspect youre having a heart attack.
Other conditions associated with heart failure include high blood pressure or if your heart experiences trauma, inflammation, or irregular heart rate.
Shortness Of Breath Is A Symptom Of Copd
It was reported that more than 13 million of American people are diagnosed with COPD , and about 12 million folks who suffered it but dont know about it. COPD is a term availed to depict the severe lung conditions, like chronic bronchitis or emphysema. If you smoke, this is indeed the largest risk element.
Since you hardly hear about this, COPD is said to be the third leading reason causing death in the U.S. In reality, its as popular as asthma or diabetes, according to the clinical professor of medicine at Columbia University Medical center.
More surprisingly, out of COPD symptoms, shortness of breath make its debut on the list together with a constant cough. This issue could become worse over time, and its facile to mistake them for other diseases.
Well, you probably consider the shortness of breath only as a warning sign that youre out of shape. In fact, that chronic cough that hardly goes away might be marked as the allergies that can be cured with some OTC medicines. Keep in mind that these symptoms need to be solved soon before it reaches the point where youre incapable of breathing.
If you have difficulty in walking up the stairs and feel short of breath as compared to other peers, or simply have a cough, consult a doctor right away for a reliable spirometry test that can help gauge the lung function.
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How To Manage Allergic Asthma
An essential step to managing allergic asthma is identifying and avoiding triggers when possible. You may need to remove the source of the allergen from your home or other environment.
You can also reduce allergic asthma symptoms by washing out your nasal passages regularly with saline solution using a Neti pot or squeeze bottle.
Allergic asthma can have serious complications. One complication is anaphylaxis. This type of severe allergic reaction may have symptoms such as:
- nasal congestion
- slurred speech
Untreated anaphylaxis can be life threatening. It may cause health concerns such as an abnormal heart rate, weakness, low blood pressure, cardiac arrest, and pulmonary arrest.
If youre at risk of a serious allergic reaction, your doctor may prescribe an epinephrine self-injecting device . Carrying this medication with you at all times and using it within the first few minutes of the onset of allergy symptoms can prevent a life threatening allergic reaction.
Allergic asthma attacks arent always preventable. However, you may be able to make them less frequent by changing your environment.
The steps you take will depend on the allergen causing your symptoms. They may include:
- washing bedding frequently in hot 130°F water
- mopping instead of sweeping
Causes Of Shortness Of Breath
Anxiety related breathing issues tend to be a result of hyperventilation. Hyperventilation is also known as overbreathing, and it occurs when your body is receiving too much oxygen and is expelling too much carbon dioxide.
Even though the body needs oxygen, healthy carbon dioxide levels are still important. When you are taking in too much air you are also letting out too much carbon dioxide. This can cause your body to feel like youre not breathing enough. Disrupting the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the body by overbreathing can lead to symptoms such as dizziness, tingling and headache. Anxiety hyperventilation is often caused by one of two issues:
- Breathing too fast, such as during an anxiety attack when your body is in fight/flight mode. Breathing too fast means that the air you inhale isnt in your body long enough to be converted to CO2, while breathing out fast expels whatever CO2 was still stored.
- Thinking about your breathing, which may cause you to take in more air then you need.
The latter is common in people with health anxieties and panic attacks. These individuals are often concerned about their health so they focus on their breathing and try to consciously control it. Ultimately, they try to take in too much air in order to feel their chest expand for a full breath. The body often doesnt actually need that much air, and shortness of breath occurs.
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Inflammation Of The Airways
When the body detects an allergen, it tries to reject it by producing antibodies and chemicals, such as histamine. Histamine causes the airways to become inflamed and constricted, and it also causes the body to produce mucus to help expel the allergen.
As a result, the airways become narrower. When a person breathes through narrowed airways, the air is forced through a smaller-than-usual space, and a whistling sound can result. This sound is wheezing.
Some causes of wheezing result in short-lived symptoms. Others can cause symptoms that are more serious or longer lasting.
What Causes Acute Dyspnea Or Shortness Of Breath
Factors that may cause acute shortness of breath include:
- Allergies: People often feel short of breath during an allergic reaction.
- Anxiety: Anxiety can cause hyperventilation .
- Choking: A blockage in your throat can make it difficult for air to move in and out of your lungs. Inhaling food or an object into your lungs also blocks airflow.
- Pulmonary embolism: This happens when you have a blood clot in your lungs. This condition is a medical emergency.
- Heart attack: A blockage that stops blood flow to the heart can cause frightening breathlessness. If you notice this symptom along with other heart attack symptoms, call 911.
- Infection: An infection like bronchitis or pneumonia may produce mucous that blocks airflow to parts of the lungs. This can interfere with oxygen diffusion to the blood.
- Injury: A broken rib can make breathing painful and difficult. Bleeding and anemia can lower the number of red blood cells, which lessens the amount of oxygen carried in the blood.
- Medication: Certain medicines can cause a tight feeling in the chest. Statins and beta blockers given for hypertension in asthmatic individuals may cause this symptom.
- Extreme temperatures. Being very hot or very cold can make you feel like you are having trouble breathing.
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A Problem With Your Lungs Or Airways
Sudden breathlessness could be an asthma attack. This means your airways have narrowed and youll produce more phlegm , which causes you to wheeze and cough. Youll feel breathless because its difficult to move air in and out of your airways.
Your GP may advise you to use a spacer device with your asthma inhaler. This delivers more medicine to your lungs, helping to relieve your breathlessness.
Pneumonia may also cause shortness of breath and a cough. Its usually caused by an infection, so youll need to take antibiotics.
If you have COPD, its likely your breathlessness is a sign this condition has suddenly got worse.
Risks Of Shortness Of Breath
Donât ignore shortness of breath that is triggered by a food allergy. Your reaction can become more severe quickly, making it necessary for you to receive emergency medical treatment and an injection of epinephrine, which reverses the symptoms of a severe food-caused allergic reaction. When you are experiencing shortness of breath, difficulty breathing or a sensation of tightness in your throat , youâre already in a significant medical emergency. You need to visit the emergency room for additional treatment, according to Kids Health. Itâs important to continue to watch for a second wave of symptoms .
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Its Important To Minimize Exposure
Allergy testing can help identify whats triggering your allergies. Additional testing can help to confirm a diagnosis of asthma.
Once you know you have allergic asthma, identifying and avoiding its triggers will help you control your symptoms. When possible, take measures to prevent or minimize exposure, advises Dr. Purcell.
The same methods wont work for all allergy triggers. For example, dust mites are not airborne but cat and dog dander is, he says.
To reduce allergens in your home, Dr. Purcell recommends:
- Minimizing or eliminating pet exposure.
- Using special dust mite covers on bedding and aiming for indoor humidity levels of 35 percent to minimize dust mite exposure.
- Eliminating food sources for cockroaches by using sealed food containers and regularly cleaning kitchen floors and surfaces.
- Changing clothes and showering after you come inside if youre allergic to pollen, and closing doors and windows when pollen counts are high.
Although mold is more of an outdoor allergen, it can develop indoors . Addressing the water leak, then using a diluted bleach solution or a commercial cleaning product is usually sufficient, says Dr. Purcell.
Extensive mold intrusion may require a professional mold removal service.
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