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Can Allergies Worsen Over Time

Allergies And Sleep Apnea

Can Allergies Change Over Time? About the Allergy March

When you have to wrestle with your allergies each night at bedtime, you may fitfully toss and turn and then wake up exhausted. It feels like you slept for maybe an hour or two. As you drag on with your day, bleary-eyed and dead tired, its easy to assume youre so exhausted because your stuffy nose, eye itchiness, and coughing kept you awake.

While that could be true, you could also be dealing with sleep apnea without even knowing it. Obstructive sleep apnea is a form of sleep apnea associated with allergies. The nasal symptoms of your allergies make you snore when you might regularly dont. The sound of your snoring, while very distracting to a partner, can even bother you, causing you to wake up again and again throughout the night.

The upper airway is obstructed with this sleep apnea, either somewhat or all the way. Since your airway cannot open, the lungs dont get as much air unless your chest muscles and diaphragm strain.

You can have obstructive sleep apnea and not even know it because youre barely aware of whats causing you to keep waking all night. Here are the other symptoms:

  • Constant exhaustion that makes it hard to get out of bed
  • A choking or gasping feeling that wakes you up, even several times a night
  • Snoring
  • Mood changes, depression, feeling forgetful, and difficulty with concentrating on tasks
  • Morning headaches
  • Sore throat and/or dry mouth in the morning

Keep Your Sleeping Environment Allergen Free

You need your sleep, so, the room you sleep in needs to be cleaned often to remove pollen, dust mites, and other allergens. Vacuuming under the bed helps in this effort by removing allergens living underneath it. A home-remedy that helps keep your bedroom allergen free is to wipe down hard flooring, molding and the walls near your bed with white vinegar. Mold is an allergen that enjoys living on dark walls and floors. Dehumidifiers can help keep relative humidity at the recommended levels of 30-50% and air conditioning to maintain temperatures at 70 degrees F or below will retard dust mite and mold growth. Hardwood flooring is best.

When To Consider An Allergy Test

If you suspect that you have developed seasonal or food allergies in adulthood, consult your family doctor or an allergist while you avoid the substances or foods you suspect. There are many allergy tests available to confirm a diagnosis, such as a blood test to check for the presence of specific forms of IgE. Another type of diagnostic tool is skin testing, in which a small amount of an allergen is applied to your skin to check for a reaction.

In the case of suspected food allergies, you might try an elimination diet, in which you eliminate certain foods from your diet and then slowly reintroduce them, one at a time, to see if a reaction occurs, but make sure you talk with your doctor first.

If an allergy diagnosis is confirmed, many therapies are available to eliminate or reduce symptoms. People with severe food allergies generally must avoid the foods in question and carry injectable epinephrine in case of accidental exposure. People with seasonal or other allergies can use a variety of medications, such as antihistamines and decongestants, to relieve seasonal allergy symptoms, and in some cases may respond well to allergy shots, which increase a persons tolerance to certain allergens. Your doctor can help you determine the best course of treatment for your specific case.

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We Can Help You Overcome A Peanut Allergy

Have you experienced a peanut allergy? For a precise diagnosis and effective treatment plan, Dr. Chacko is here to help. Make an appointment in one of our food allergy treatment center locations in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Duluth and Johns Creek. Call or request help online.

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Cutaneous Type Iv Allergies

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Delayed-type hypersensitivity skin reactions are mediated by inflammatory cytokines produced by infiltrating T lymphocytes and activated dendritic cells in the skin. Cytotoxic effector immune pathways are induced by topical haptens, that easily penetrate the dysfunctional aged skin barrier. Moreover, in the elderly the activation of negative regulatory pathways is also less efficient in down-regulating the inflammatory response Symptoms of the acute phase are erythema, blisters and itching if it persists, the vescicles are replaced by scaling, and the skin becomes very dry and itchy.

Nichel and balsam of Perù or fragrance represent the two allergens, most frequently detected with patch testing in the elderly, although several substances may be at the origin of contact dermatitis in older people. Also paraphenylenediamine, a substance present in dark hair dyes, is frequently reported positive. The long term application of topical medications used for venous stasis ulcers is associated with high incidence of multiple contact allergens.

The range of severity of skin drug eruptions goes from an asymptomatic rash to a life-threatening emergency, they have high frequency, morbidity and potential mortality. For these reasons it is important to be able to promptly recognize, work up, and treat patients with possible dermatologic drug reactions.

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Allergies Can Be Mistaken For Viral Infections Like Covid

With the winter cold, flu, and the peak of the Omicron coronavirus variant just behind us, we may still be thinking about viruses when our allergy symptoms begin to flare.

Dr. Samuel Friedlander, an allergist and clinical assistant professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University, said that allergies can be difficult to distinguish from a viral infection, including COVID-19, due to the overlap in symptoms such as sinus congestion, headache, sneezing, and cough.

This highlights the importance of testing for allergies to help diagnose and manage seasonal allergies, said Friedlander. When we test with noninvasive skin tests, we often are surprised by finding answers we didnt expect. And this helps me treat my patients better.

Friedlander noted there are some symptoms that would suggest COVID-19 rather than an allergy, such as fever or lost sense of taste or smell.

In addition, it can be helpful to be aware of what your consistent seasonal triggers are, he said. If you are having symptoms concurrently with those triggers, then it could point to an allergy diagnosis.

Spending Time Outside On The Wrong Days

Heading outside when pollen counts are high is one way to trigger seasonal allergy symptoms. If you suffer from this misery, try to stay indoors on windy days and reserve your outside time until after it rains. Rain clears pollen, which helps to keep allergy symptoms at bay. If you have to do outdoor chores on a day with high pollen counts, always wear a NIOSH-rated 95 filter mask and take appropriate medication beforehand.

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Pharmacokinetics And Pharmacodynamics In The Elderly

Aging does not diminish the absorption of most medications that by diffusion permeate the gastrointestinal epithelium, nevertheless the increase in total body fat and the reduction in lean body mass cause an altered distribution of the drug. The volume of distribution changes between individuals because of different protein-binding capacity of the body, total body water and amount of lean and adipose tissue. In elderly women the proportion of adipose tissue relative to total body weight increases 33% to 48%, while in elderly man 18% to 33%, respectively. As becoming older, total body water decreases by as much as 15%, both extracellular and intracellular. People assuming long-term treatment with diuretics may show even higher loss of extracellular water. Coronary, brain and skeletal muscles perfusion is maintained at nearly normal levels in the elderly, while it decreases in the gastrointestinal tract, liver and kidneys, and the cardiac output decreases. The drug action duration and the drug half-life both depend on the volume of distribution. Liver drug metabolism in the elderly continues to represent a discussed topic despite extensive research. At last, all drugs exhibit a reduced metabolism in older people while cytochrome P-450 substrates show a longer half-life. In the elderly we must consider the pharmacodynamics of a drug in addition to the pharmacokinetics.

Changes Of Aging In The Gut

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Changes in local immune responses of the digestive tract may contribute to the development of food allergies at any age. Like all other forms of allergy in the elderly, even food allergy appears to be increasing, although it may be masked by various symptoms corresponding with a general age-induced decline of physiological functions. Structural and functional changes or effects caused by drugs , in addition to immunological alterations encountered at old age, might be responsible for food allergy development in the elderly . Elderly people are at higher risk of food allergy due to their aging immune systems. The induction of mucosal tolerance has been proven to be compromised in elderly animals, while the effector phase is preserved. This may be reinforced by weakened secretory antigen-specific IgA responses and an increase in intestinal permeability with aging.

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Why Are My Allergies Worse At Night

Its the same thing almost every single night. You brush your teeth, finish your nightly routine, climb into bed, and immediately feel congested and sneezy.

If you suffer from allergies, your symptoms most likely get worse at night. This is something you share with other allergy patients. In fact, research shows that 74% of allergy sufferers wake up during the night because of allergy symptoms and over 90% of sufferers have difficulty sleeping.

What Are Treatment Options For Sudden Adult

On the bright side, allergic symptoms are rarely dangerous. There are several treatments that can help, and many of them are available over-the-counter.

Your doctor may want to do an allergy skin test before confirming a diagnosis. Depending on your diagnosis and severity of symptoms, treatment options may include:

  • Finding and avoiding known allergens

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Your Allergy Symptoms Can Become Worse

Kraft said there are several reasons your allergy symptoms might worsen.

For example, differences in pollen count and how much time youve spent outdoors could expose you to more pollen.

Factors not directly related to your allergy could play a role as well, including air quality, pollution, and weather changes, which can worsen your nasal symptoms.

Friedlander added that a changing immune system could also worsen allergy symptoms.

Allergies can change over time, so some years can be especially bad, he said.

One other thing to keep in mind, said Friedlander, is that your symptoms may be better or worse once you stop wearing a mask for COVID-19.

Masks have both helped those with allergies as well as making them worse for others, Friedlander said. Masks can help filter out allergens and infection, but others have had a harder time breathing or with their sinuses.

He believes there will now be more allergy exposure as more mask mandates are lifted.

Theres no reason to suffer. Allergy providers have great treatments, said Friedlander. They can help you feel better and even prevent symptoms from occurring in the first place.

Kraft further explained that allergy treatment consists of three parts: avoidance, medication, and immunotherapy.

While you cant completely avoid pollen, Kraft said you can minimize your exposure by keeping windows closed in your home and car.

Nasal spray and antihistamines can give you relief from your symptoms as well, she said.

Unraveling The Adult Allergy Mystery

Allergy Season Getting Worse

Researchers dont know exactly what causes the body to react to an allergen after many years of uneventful contact with it. Many times, Davis says, something in the patients environment has changed that causes them to be exposed to a substance that they did not previously come into contact with very often.

Say someone has a tendency toward allergies for example, a person might get married and their spouse has cats, Davis says. Cat dander is a very, very strong allergen. If youve never had indoor exposure to cats, its very possible for you to develop an allergy to them. Another example is moving to a new state, where more allergens like ragweed and cedar pollen may be present in the air, and suddenly you develop seasonal allergy symptoms.

One theory scientists have about allergy causes is called the hygiene hypothesis, which suggests that the highly clean environments of most Westerners can cause their immune systems to overreact to harmless things like pet dander and peanuts. However, there is not enough scientific evidence in existence yet to use this theory as a basis for prevention or treatment of allergies.

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Hanging Clothes Outside To Dry

Air-drying your wet sheets, towels and other laundry outside might be tempting. It is, after all, less expensive and more energy efficient than using a dryer. But your laundry will likely also be coated in pollen after drying in the afternoon breeze since pollen easily clings to fabric. And climbing into a bed with these “spring fresh” sheets or wrapping yourself in a towel that was hung outside to dry could make your allergy symptoms worse.

What Is Anaphylactic Shock

Anaphylactic shock, also called anaphylaxis, is a severe, life-threatening reaction to certain allergens. Body tissues may swell, including tissues in the throat. Anaphylactic shock is also characterized by a sudden drop in blood pressure. The following are the most common symptoms of anaphylactic shock. However, each person may experience symptoms differently. Other symptoms may include:

  • Itching and hives over most of the body

  • Feeling warm

  • Swelling of the throat and tongue or tightness in throat

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

  • Dizziness

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Seasonal Allergies: What You Need To Know

Pollen is an airborne substance that comes from grass, flowering plants, trees, and weeds. In the past 12 months, 19.2 million adults and 5.2 million children under 18 were diagnosed with hay fever, the name given to allergic rhinitis caused by pollen. When someone has hay fever, their immune system identifies pollen as a threat and releases signals that lead to congestion, itchy eyes, runny nose, and sneezing, as well as problems like sinus pressure and allergic conjunctivitis .

The amount of pollen in the air depends on the season and the geographic area in which you live. The study reported in PNAS found the most pronounced effects in Texas and the Midwestern United States. However, the Northeast can have a significant spring allergy season as well, Dr. Leeds says. Tree allergies are especially common in New Englandparticularly due to birch and oak. Pollen allergies can also cause a cross-reaction with certain foods in some people symptoms include an itchy or tingling mouth and throat after eating raw fruits and vegetables, seeds, and nuts.

People may also have allergic reactions to grass pollen in the late spring to early summer and weed pollen in the fall. Many people are multi-sensitized, so they are allergic to more than one type of pollen, and they can be symptomatic through all of the warm weather seasons, Dr. Leeds says. Pollen can be carried by the wind, so windy days are the worst.

The Effects Of Prolonged Allergy Exposure

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In many people, mild allergic reactions to pollen, mold, pets and other allergens grow worse from prolonged exposure. Continual contact or periodic episodes of intense exposure can bring on stronger allergy symptoms over time, whether or not patients manage their illness. If this situation persists, lung damage can result. Untreated allergies also pose the risk for recurring health side effects that include skin, ear and nasal discomfort and infection. Medication and lifestyle adjustments can prevent common complications of long-term allergies.

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

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What You Need To Know

  • Allergies are the result of your immune systems response to a substance.
  • Immune responses can be mild, from coughing and a runny nose, to a life-threatening reaction know as anaphylaxis.
  • A person becomes allergic when their body develops antigens against a substance. Upon repeated exposure the severity of the reaction may increase.
  • Allergies affect people of all ages, races, genders and socioeconomic statuses.

Allergic disease is one of the most common chronic health conditions in the world. People with a family history of allergies have an increase risk of developing allergic disease. Hay fever , eczema, hives, asthma, and food allergy are some types of allergic diseases. Allergy symptoms can range from mild to a serious, life-threatening allergic reaction .

Allergic reactions begin in your immune system. When a harmless substance such as dust, mold, or pollen is encountered by a person who is allergic to that substance, the immune system may over react by producing antibodies that “attack” the allergen. The can cause wheezing, itching, runny nose, watery or itchy eyes, and other symptoms.

Will You Get More Allergies

If your allergy symptoms seem worse, there could be another reason. You might now have a second allergy — or third or fourth.

Having one allergy makes you more likely to get others. So if one year your ragweed symptoms seem more severe, it might be a reaction to another allergen that’s also in the air.

Allergies can interact in unexpected ways. For instance, up to a third of people who are allergic to pollens also have allergies to foods that have similar proteins in them, like certain vegetables and fruits. Doctors call this âoral allergy syndrome. You could have more severe allergic reactions if you’re exposed to both at once — for instance, if you eat a banana at the height of ragweed allergy season.

The key is to manage your symptoms and let your doctor know if you notice changes.

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Ways You’re Making Your Seasonal Allergies Worse

4 min Read Time

For many people in the United States, the warmer, longer days of spring can’t come soon enough. But for tens of millions of people, early spring marks the beginning of yet another allergy season – and the sniffling, sneezing, itching, wheezing and overall frustration that comes with it.

In the U.S., those with seasonal allergies may contend with these irritating symptoms as early as February and they may linger until early summer. The main culprits triggering this misery are tree, grass and weed pollen. These yellowish powders fertilize plants and are spread by wind, insects and birds.

A rainy spring can help plants – and mold – grow more quickly, causing allergy symptoms to linger for months. Milder winter temperatures can also cause plants to pollinate early, which means that spring allergy season is starting earlier and lasting longer.

And the problem is likely getting worse, not better. Pollen counts are expected to double by 2040, according to research presented at the 2012 Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

If you’re one of the millions affected by seasonal allergies, it’s important to make sure you’re doing all that you can to keep your symptoms under control. This includes being aware of all the ways you may be unintentionally making your allergies even worse.

Avoid these missteps, which could trigger a flare up of your symptoms.


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