Sometimes allergies can be fairly obvious and occur in response to common exposures, for instance, when pollen covers your car in the springtime, and you can’t stop sneezing! Other times it can be hard to recognize what is causing an allergic reaction. The cause may be something that you would never relate your symptoms to. We will discuss a few of these less recognized allergies below.
In an effort to mitigate EpiPen shortages, the FDA is extending the expiration date for specific lots of 0.3 milligram products.
“We are doing everything we can to help mitigate shortages of these products, especially ahead of the back-to-school season. We’ve completed the necessary reviews of the data to extend the expiration date by four months for specific lots of EpiPen that are expired or close to expiring.” – Exerpt from the FDA in Brief
There might not be a yellow coating on your car but fall still brings with it plenty of allergen exposure! Unlike the tree pollen of early spring, fall allergens can be more stealth with their arrival. Weeds will start pollinating as early as August and can pollinate through the first frost, which in Charleston can be as late as December depending on the year.
Believe it or not, thunderstorms can actually cause asthma attacks. This phenomenon has been observed and mentioned in medical literature since 1983. If atmospheric conditions are just right, thunderstorms can cause allergy particles in the atmosphere, especially grass pollen, to be broken down into smaller particles that are easily inhaled into the lungs. Patients who are sensitive or allergic to these particles can suddenly developed severe asthma symptoms which can require hospitalization or even intensive care.
Patients, friends, and acquaintances often ask, “what is the best over-the-counter medication for nasal allergy symptoms?” Adults and children with mild to moderate allergy symptoms are fortunate in that most of the best allergy medications are now available over-the-counter. Over the past several years and in part due to efforts by consumer advocacy groups, safe and effective medications for allergies including long-acting, nonsedating antihistamines and nasal steroid sprays have been made available without prescription. While there are still a few types of allergy medications that require a prescription, these prescription medications are not always superior in efficacy to the over-the-counter medicines.
Asthma is unfortunately a common condition (1 in 13 in U.S. population) and many people who have it also suffer from gastroesophageal reflux,
Katie is a 16-year-old high school student who is a very good soccer player. She is currently playing on her high school team and a traveling squad of All-Stars. In the last 6 months, Katie has begun having excessive shortness of breath with wheezing while playing soccer. Symptoms are worse when she is playing a match but she also notes similar symptoms during practice. She has had one recent episode which was sufficiently severe and caused her to faint. Katie has seen her family physician and he has suggested that she may have exercise – induced bronchospasm (EIB). She has tried treating with inhaler prior to exercise however this medication has been ineffective and the symptoms continue.
Did you know that over 25 million Americans suffer from asthma, 17+ million are adults and 6+ million are children? If you suffer from asthma, it is likely that you might experience symptoms when you exercise, known as Exercise Induced Bronchospasm (EIB). Additionally, there are some who cough, wheeze or get excessively short of breath only when they exercise. These individuals have what is termed Exercise Induced Asthma (EIA); many are elite athletes whose frequent training or overtraining can cause damage to the lungs. Researching this condition might confuse you and honestly, it’s just semantics when you break it down between EIB and EIA. For all intents and purposes, we’ll refer to this condition as EIB.
A new study indicates as many as one in three individuals with a current diagnosis of asthma may have been misdiagnosed. This apparently is not uncommon when proper testing is not obtained with initial diagnosis. This study emphasis that diagnosis and long term management of asthma requires objective measurements of lung function and that without pulmonary function data in long term asthma management, misdiagnosis can often occur. We routinely perform breathing tests at Charleston Allergy & Asthma including spirometry, impulse oscillometry and methacholine inhalation challenge.