When To See An Allergist
See an allergist if you develop unexplained wheezing that keeps coming back or along with other symptoms, such as rapid breathing or problems taking in air.
If you begin wheezing after being stung by an insect, taking medication or eating something you are allergic to, then get emergency treatment. You should also seek emergency treatment if you have difficulty breathing or your skin turns blue.
If you have mild wheezing that comes with a cold or an upper respiratory infection, you might not need treatment.
Can Allergy Tests Determine The Cause Of Breathing Problems
Allergy tests may help your doctor find the cause of your breathing problems. One example is the prick technique. Your doctor puts a tiny drop of an allergen on your skin and pokes a needle into the drop. If youre allergic to that allergen, your body will react by turning red at the site. You may also have itching and swelling.
Another type of skin test involves your doctor injecting the allergen extract directly under your skin. Other tests include:
- Allergy blood tests
- A challenge test, in which your doctor gives you tiny amounts of the suspected allergen through your nose or mouth
These are less common than skin testing.
When To Seek Help From Your Doctors
If you suffer from allergies and neck pain at the same time, seek care for both ailments. Do not just treat your allergies, hoping that your neck pain will automatically go away. Similarly, do not assume that treatment for your neck pain will improve your allergies. The two problems might be unrelated.
See a general practitioner or an immunologist if:
- Your allergies persist after treatment with over-the-counter medications
- Your allergies interfere with your daily life, such as driving safely or work
Neck pain requires a visit to a pain specialist who can diagnose the underlying problem and offer you the best treatment.
See a pain specialist if:
- Neck pain does not improve with over-the-counter medications
- You have trouble turning your head while driving
- A doctor has diagnosed you with neck problems in the past
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Treatments For Neck Pain
Identifying the correct source of your neck pain is critical to a successful treatment. Proper diagnosis of your neck pain problem starts with a visit to a pain specialist. Your visit will include a complete medical history and a thorough physical examination.
Based on your individual neck problem, your pain specialist may offer a number of treatments:
Treatments for muscle tension in the neck
- Trigger point injections with numbing agents and/or steroids
- Botox injections
Allergy Medication Side Effects
That pill you swallowed to relieve your allergy symptoms can cause chest pain. If you take allergy medications that include the decongestant pseudoephedrine you know how well it works.
What you might not know is that tightness in the chest is one of the many side effects of pseudoephedrine.
Talk to your doctor about alternative medications that do not contain this ingredient if you are sensitive.
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Don’t Ignore Chest Pain
While chest pain can occur with allergies, it can also be a sign of a life-threatening heart attack. Seek immediate medical attention if you suspect your chest pain might not be related to your allergies. Other signs of heart attack can include:
- Shortness of breath
Tightness In Chest And Shortness Of Breath Due To Breathing Problems
Obviously, breathing problems can also lead to symptoms such as chest pain or tightness and difficulty breathing. However, within this group of diseases and pathologies we find very significant differences, both in nature and severity:
- Pleurisy: This occurs when the membrane that covers the lungs is inflamed. It is a condition that causes great pain in the chest, the thoracic area, while it is difficult to breathe and, during these symptoms you will also hear a whistling sound.
- Asthma: It is a fairly common condition characterized by inflammation of the bronchi under certain circumstances. Chest pressure and shortness of breath is one of the most common symptoms, the rest you can read in our article on how to tell if you have asthma.
- Pulmonary embolism: It is caused by a blood clot that prevents the passage of blood into the lungs can cause the same symptomatology.
- COPD: It is the acronym for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, a condition that mainly affects smokers. It is characterized by pectoral pressure and the sensation of suffocation.
- Pneumonia: As well as other infections, whether viral or bacterial, that affect the respiratory tract and make it difficult to breathe properly can result in the same symptoms.
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Diagnosis Of Chest Pain
Before medical treatment can begin, the cause of the pain must be found. You may a have a lot of tests done including:
- Electrocardiogram electrical tracing of the heart activity.
- Blood tests to measure markers from the heart and other organs.
- Chest x-ray to look at the lungs, heart and major blood vessels of the chest.
If your healthcare professional thinks you may have angina, they may order further tests to check the state of the blood vessels that supply your heart. They may also arrange an exercise stress test or other tests such as an angiogram or CT scan of your chest.
It is not always easy to diagnose the cause of chest pain. Your doctor may need to see you more than once to be sure, and further tests may be needed, or you may be referred to a cardiologist .
Signs And Symptoms Of Asthma
To establish a diagnosis of asthma, the clinician should determine that:
- Episodic symptoms of airflow obstruction or airway hyperresponsiveness are present.
- Airflow obstruction is at least partially reversible.
- Alternative diagnoses are excluded.
Recommended methods to establish the diagnosis are:
- Detailed medical history.
- Physical exam focusing on the upper respiratory tract, chest, and skin.
- Spirometry to demonstrate obstruction and assess reversibility, including in children 5 years of age or older. Reversibility is determined either by an increase in FEV1 of 12 percent from baseline or by an increase 10 percent of predicted FEV1 after inhalation of a short-acting bronchodilator.
Additional studies are not routinely necessary but may be useful when considering alternative diagnoses:
It is important to consider a diagnosis of asthma if certain elements of the clinical history are present they are not diagnostic by themselves but increase the probability of a diagnosis of asthma:
Spirometry is needed to establish a diagnosis of asthma.
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Panic Or Anxiety Attack
A panic attack is a sudden and intense feeling of fear or panic that can trigger physical symptoms. It can be characterized by a stabbing, intense pain generally in the middle of the chest, intense anxiety, shortness of breath and/or heart palpitations. Learn how to tell a panic attack from a heart attack.
When To Seek Emergency Medical Attention
You usually wont need to call an ambulance or visit an emergency room for burning in your chest.
But if youre experiencing any of the following, the burning in your chest may be a sign of a heart attack or dangerously abnormal heart rhythm:
- squeezing, fullness, pain, burning, or pressure in the middle or left side of your chest
- pain that spreads to your jaw, neck, shoulders, arms, or back
- shortness of breath
40 percent of U.S. adults, its a very common reason for this symptom.
You experience heartburn when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus. This is the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach. A band of muscle at the bottom of your esophagus normally closes when youre not eating to keep food and acid inside your stomach. If it relaxes prematurely, acids can back up into your esophagus.
In heartburn, the burning feeling often begins after youve eaten, or at night. It may get worse when you lie down or bend over. You might also have a sour taste in your mouth.
Here are a few other common conditions that can cause burning sensations in your chest.
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Asthma And Sinusitis: Double Trouble
Sinusitis is the inflammation of the tissue in the sinuses, leading to discomfort, discharge, and difficulty breathing, among other symptoms. It can be caused by a virus, bacteria, or other conditions.
Asthma is characterized by inflammation of airways in the lungs. It causes shortness of breath, chest tightness, wheezing, and coughing. It may be caused by allergies, exposure to dust, fumes or other irritants, or other medical conditions.
Since the sinuses and lung airways are connected, it may seem intuitive that problems with one might affect the other. And they do. This link between sinusitis and asthma has been confirmed by many studies. The medical community has come to refer to this link as the Unified Airway.
These studies examined various facets of the relationship between the conditions, including how surgery for sinusitis sometimes improves asthma symptoms as well.
What You Can Do At Home
To control or loosen mucus at home, you can try the following remedies:
Drink lots of fluids. Drink plenty of water and other fluids, but not things that can dehydrate you, such as coffee and alcohol.
Humidify. Try a cool mist humidifier or hop into a steamy shower to keep your airways moisturized.
Dont smoke or vape anything. Whether from tobacco or , smoke is an irritant and can cause your body to make more mucus.
Try a teaspoon of honey. Though honey doesnt get rid of mucus, it can calm your cough temporarily.
Check air filters. Other irritants in the air can make mucus production worse, so make sure your heating and cooling system filters are clean and up to date.
Take an expectorant. Some cough medicines contain guaifenesin, which loosens mucus so you can cough it up.
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How To Manage Symptoms
Although not often discussed, seasonal allergies can lead to body aches and pain in addition to other symptoms like congestion, coughing, and watery eyes. This is due to increased inflammation in the body. Repeatedly coughing and sneezing can trigger even more pain. Read more to learn how to better manage seasonal allergies and help prevent body aches.
Questions To Ask Your Health Care Provider
Making notes before your visit and taking along a trusted family member or friend can help you through the first appointment with your doctor. The following are questions you can ask your health care provider:
- I have hypersensitivity pneumonitis from workplace dust. Is it safe for me to continue working?
- Are there things I cant do at work?
- Do I have to give up my pet birds?
- Should I stay out of hot tubs?
- Can my family members get the disease if I have it?
- What tests will I need to find out if I have hypersensitivity pneumonitis?
- How often should I get lung function tests?
- How often should I get chest X-rays and CT scans?
- Do I need to be on medications ?
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Wheezing Is Also A Symptom Of Whats Known As Allergic Asthma A Person May Be Allergic To Something That Sets Off Wheezing And/or Coughing Fishbein Said Every Once In A While Someone Will Not Have Asthma And Have Very Isolated Allergic Reactions To Things Mostly Seen With Pets Like Cats Or Dogs They Will Only Wheeze In That Scenario But Never Other Times
According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, half of the 20 million Americans who have asthma have the allergic type of asthma, in which something specific sets off their attack.
Bronchitis, meanwhile, mostly occurs as the result of an infection. However, adult smokers who cough a lot are said to have chronic bronchitis. Again, this is semantics, and one physician might call something bronchitis that another calls asthma, Fishbein said.
Patients likely would need a methacholine challenge to discern whether they have asthma, said Fishbein. Physicians can administer the methacholine challenge test , which is widely used to evaluate for airway hyperresponsiveness, a hallmark sign of asthma.
Regardless of the diagnosis or the cause of the symptoms, patients with any difficulty breathing, coughing, wheezing or chest tightness should see their primary care doctor for an evaluation. If their doctor suspects an allergic cause, patients may be referred to an allergist. If at any time breathing becomes extremely difficult, patients should head straight to the emergency room.
An Introduction To Tight Chests And Hayfever
People afflicted by asthma may also be prone to hayfever. In fact asthma and hayfever are often grouped together and termed atopy by doctors. This is because the individual has an increased tendency to develop allergies and typical symptoms of chest tightness and wheezing often occur in both conditions. Atopic individuals can also be prone to skin allergies or eczema.
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Managing Your Seasonal Allergies
One of the most important things someone suffering from allergies can do is to identify the triggers. While some people seem to blame one trigger, it is possible that there are actually multiple triggers. It is not uncommon for those who suffer from spring allergies to show symptoms throughout the year. Some ways to avoid triggers include:
- Shower after being outdoors.
- Monitor pollen and mold counts, which are available on TV or in the news.
- Stay inside during peak pollen counts, which is the middle of the day of the afternoon.
- Wear a filter mask when working outdoors.
- Take preventive medication.
You can take other precautions as well, such as bathing and shampooing your hair each day to completely remove the pollen from your hair and skin. You should also wash your bedding in hot soapy water at least once a week.
You may need to wear sunglasses outdoors to protect your eyes from pollen. Those with severe allergies might find that a facemask is helpful during times when daily pollen counts are very high. It is also important to avoid line drying your bedding or clothes outdoors if the local pollen counts are high, as pollen can settle on these items.
How Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis Affects Your Body
When you inhale the dust that you are allergic to, you wont notice any problems the first time. Some people develop symptoms after inhaling a lot the dust all at once or after inhaling small amounts over and over again. Tiny air sacs in the lungs can become irritated and may fill with fluid. If you stop inhaling the allergen, the irritation can get better in a few days. If you keep inhaling those allergens, the lung irritation continues. Parts of your lung can develop scar tissue. When your lungs have scar tissue, it may be hard to breathe normally.
Its important to catch this disease early so that you dont have permanent lung damage:
- Hypersensitivity pneumonitis can be a serious problem for people whose lungs become scarred.
- Scarred lungs can occur if the disease continues, and it is permanent.
- Unfortunately, there is no cure or treatment for long-term hypersensitivity pneumonitis.
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Ways To Manage Your Springtime Asthma
If youre one of the 25 million Americans who suffer from asthma, the allergens of spring can make it difficult to breathe.
Asthma is a chronic condition in which the airways of the lungs become inflamed and narrow, often due to one or more triggers in the environment. Up to 80 percent of children and half of adults with asthma experience attacks when they come in contact with specific allergens.
During the spring, tree pollens, mold spores and grass all have the power to inflame and narrow the air passages of people who are sensitive to these natural triggers. Wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and coughing are some of the common symptoms that occur during an asthma attack.
Among the most common triggers for asthma are:
- Outdoor allergens
When To See A Specialist About Your Asthma
Asthma is not always easy to diagnose, Fineman says, but you should see your doctor if youre having repeated episodes of wheezing and coughing or shortness of breath. If youre diagnosed with the condition, work with your doctor to develop an asthma management and action plan.
Although your primary care doctor may be able to diagnose and treat your asthma, if your symptoms dont respond to a first-line therapy of inhaled and short-acting bronchodilators, Asciuto recommends that you see a lung specialist or allergy and asthma specialist.
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Can An Allergy Attack Damage My Lungs
While most allergy sufferers experience a runny nose or itchy eyes when their symptoms act up, some patients may also experience trouble breathing.
In light of the current health pandemic, its important to keep your respiratory system as healthy as possible to prevent any adverse reactions. Keep reading to learn how your allergies can affect your lung capacity and how our specialists at Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia can help treat your symptoms.
What Causes Fall Allergies
The main difference between fall and other seasonal allergies are outdoor triggers like ragweed pollen, something that is only in the air in the fall , explains Purvi Parikh, MD, an allergist-immunologist with Allergy & Asthma Network in New York City.
Mold may also be present in the air in higher concentrations as leaves fall during this time, plus, it can grow on the piles of fallen leaves youll find outdoors.
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