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What you need to know about Allergies and Asthma

 

Allergies - It is estimated that roughly 20% of population, including millions of children may be suffering from some form of allergic disease. Allergies are caused by your immune system's reaction to otherwise harmless substances commonly present in the environment. Allergens can be airborne particles that you ingestible or come in contact with. Sometimes allergic reactions can be triggered by allergens introduced by an insect sting/bite or by an exposure to a certain medication. Allergy symptoms may range from as simple as just making you miserable to putting you at risk for life threatening reactions. They may be acute, transient or constitute chronic, life-long conditions. Allergic reactions can affect essentially any organ or system in your body. Most commonly allergens affect your nose, throat, eyes, lungs, skin, stomach or intestines. However, rarely, allergic reaction can be generalized (affecting the whole body) and result in a rapid multiple organ failure and/or death. Whenever you are exposed to something you are allergic to, your immune system will trigger an allergic response again even though the severity of the reaction may vary. Thus, it is very important to learn what you are allergic to and take measures to effectively avoid such allergens and treat possible reactions.

 

Asthma - is a very common chronic disease affecting millions of Americans and a major public health problem in the United States of America. Asthma sufferers experience well over 100 million days of restricted activity annually and there are over 5,000 asthma related deaths each year in the U.S. Mortality rates in the US is among the lowest in the world, but it has risen over the past 25 years. Asthma by definition is a chronic inflammation of the airways (bronchial tubes) with excessive mucus production and a thickening of the bronchial wall. This inflammation and mucus production results in narrowing of the airway passages and difficulty for air to move in and out of the lungs,. Common symptoms include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and/or chest tightness. The symptoms of asthma vary from person to person and in any individual from time to time. It is important to remember that many of these symptoms can be subtle and similar to those seen in other conditions.

 

Allergies and asthma - Both have common traits and often occur together. The same allergens that trigger your hay fever symptoms may also cause asthma signs and symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing and chest tightness. This is called allergic asthma or allergy-induced asthma. Pollen, dust mites and pet dander are substances that are common triggers to Allergies and Asthma. Identifying your allergenic triggers and avoiding these allergens is the most important prevention step you can take.

 

Allergy Testing - Skin allergy testing is a method for medical diagnosis of allergies that attempts to provoke a small, controlled, allergic response. The testing process introduces a microscopic amount of an allergen into a patient's skin by various means including the "Prick Test", "Scratch Test" and "Patch Test". If an immune-response is seen in the form of a rash, urticaria (hives), or (worse) anaphylaxis it can be concluded that the patient has a hypersensitivity (or allergy) to that allergen. Further testing can be done to identify the particular allergen.

 

Our expert staff led by  Dr. Harvey and Dr. Rao, will perform all the necessary testing to help you to determine whether you have environmental allergies and advise you whether allergy injections are the right treatment option for you.

 

 

Links:

 

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

 

Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics

 

 

 

 

 

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Victoria Allergy and Asthma Clinic

3901 North Navarro Street

Victoria, TX, 77901

1.800.392.5797