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By The Allergy Center, PA
April 09, 2021
Category: Allergy
Tags: Sun Allergy  
Sun AllergyFor anyone who loves the great outdoors, the idea of being allergic to the sun may sound frightening. It might even sound impossible, but it’s not. Some types of sun allergies are surprisingly common. While an allergist can certainly look at the rash and determine whether you could have a sun allergy, you may be dealing with a sun allergy if you develop the symptoms after being exposed to the sun,
  • Crusty, itchy bumps on the skin (known as actinic prurigo)
  • A burning rash that may develop a fluid-filled blister (polymorphic light eruption)
  • Hives that may burn or itch
These symptoms most often flare-up during the spring and summer months when the weather is warmer, and people spend more time outdoors. The rash or sensitivity most often develops on sun-exposed areas of the body such as the face and neck, chest, arms, and legs; however, those with severe sun allergies may develop a rash on areas of the body that aren’t exposed to the sun.

What causes sun allergies?

Some people can thank genetics for their sun allergy, while others may develop sun allergies due to certain medications such as antibiotics or antihistamines. In other cases, the cause is unknown.

What is the best way to handle a sun allergy?

It’s important that those with a hypersensitivity to the sun avoid spending extended periods of time outdoors, particularly between the hours of 10 am-4 pm. It’s important that everyone, particularly people with sun allergies, wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Make sure to apply the sunscreen liberally for about 30 minutes before going outside.

If you are taking any medications make sure to check the labels to see if they mention anything about photosensitivity. If so, you must heed the warning and avoid being out in the sun as much as possible. If you have a true sun allergy, your allergist is going to be able to provide you with the best course of action to help you manage your condition and prevent sun allergies from flaring up.

If you suspect that you might have a photosensitivity disorder, or if you’re dealing with recurring hives, an allergist is often the best doctor to turn to for answers. An allergist can examine skin rashes and provide allergy testing to determine whether the sun or other allergens could be to blame for your symptoms.
By The Allergy Center, PA
March 25, 2021
Category: Allergy
Tags: Allergy   Latex Allergy  
Latex AllergyDealing with hives, a raised red itchy rash, in a localized area? If so, your skin certainly came in contact with something it didn’t like. Hives are a common allergic reaction and could be a sign of a latex allergy. Symptoms of a latex allergy range from minor skin irritation to anaphylaxis, a serious and life-threatening allergic reaction that requires emergency medical care. If you suspect that you might have a latex allergy, an allergist can provide you with the answers, diagnosis, and treatment you need.
 
What are the symptoms of a latex allergy?

Hives are usually the most common sign of a latex allergy, but there are other symptoms, including,
  • Flushed skin
  • Itchy skin
  • Swelling
  • Runny nose
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Persistent cough
  • Chest tightness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
If you experience hives in combination with any of these symptoms this could be a sign of a serious and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that will require immediate medical attention.
 
What products contain latex?

Since there is no cure for latex allergy, one of the best things you can do is educate yourself on what products contain latex so you can avoid them. Most people know that disposable gloves often contain latex (which is why it’s important to always tell your doctor that you have a latex allergy before coming into the office). Other products that may contain latex include,
  • Pacifiers
  • Bottle nipples
  • Condoms
  • Some adhesive bandages
  • Spandex
  • Rubber bands
  • Shoe soles
  • Blood pressure cuffs
  • The buttons of an ATM
  • Balloons
How do you treat a latex allergy?

While latex might seem like it’s in a lot of everyday things, there are definitely replacements and alternatives. For example, mylar balloons do not contain any latex, unlike their rubber equivalent. Talk with your doctor or any medical practice about your allergy before coming into the office, and also call restaurants or salons to let them know about your allergy. Not sure whether or not a product might contain latex? Check the label. It should tell you.
 
Of course, avoidance is only one part of the treatment process. An allergist may also prescribe medications to alleviate your symptoms. For milder symptoms, an antihistamine may be recommended, while those who deal with severe and dangerous allergic reactions may be prescribed a shot of epinephrine, also known as an EpiPen.
 
If you suspect that you might have a latex allergy or any type of allergy, an allergist will be able to perform the appropriate allergy tests to find out what’s causing your symptoms and how to best manage them.
By The Allergy Center, PA
March 11, 2021
Category: Asthma
Tags: Asthma   Pregnancy  
Asthma During PregnancyWhether you were diagnosed with asthma before becoming pregnant or you developed this respiratory condition during your pregnancy, you must get the treatment you need from an asthma specialist. After all, this reduction in oxygen doesn’t just impact your health but also the health of the fetus. Some women who had asthma before pregnancy report an improvement in their symptoms while others notice that symptoms worsen. It’s important to let your asthma specialist know about any changes in severity and/or frequency of your asthma symptoms while pregnant.
 
What are the signs?

You could have asthma if you experience any of these symptoms,
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • A persistent cough that may be worse at night or first thing in the morning
  • Chest tightness
  • Feeling like you can’t get a full breath
What triggers asthma?

Several things could trigger asthma. Common triggers include,
  • Allergies (e.g., pet dander; mold; pollen)
  • Environmental irritants (e.g., fireplaces; cold air; cigarette smoke)
  • Respiratory infections (e.g., cold; flu; pneumonia)
  • Exercise
  • Stress
How is asthma treated?

If you had asthma before pregnancy then your asthma specialist has already provided you with a customized treatment plan and medications; however, if this is the first time you’ve been diagnosed with asthma and it’s during pregnancy you must see an asthma specialist right away. Untreated or uncontrollable asthma during pregnancy can increase your risk for preeclampsia, premature birth, and low birth weight. If you’re experiencing any symptoms of asthma during your pregnancy, you must seek proper medical attention.
 
It’s also important that you talk with your doctor if you notice your asthma worsening during pregnancy. If you were taking any medication before getting pregnant you must continue to take your medication as prescribed and talk with your doctor first about whether or not to stop taking it. Women that are pregnant are not ideal candidates for allergy shots and will need to wait before getting immunotherapy; however, if you were getting them before you got pregnant you can continue with the rest of your treatment.
 
If you are concerned about controlling your asthma during pregnancy, talk with an allergist and asthma doctor today. We can revamp your current asthma action plan to accommodate your health and the health of your unborn baby.
By The Allergy Center, PA
February 23, 2021
Category: Allergy
Tags: Allergy   Bug Bite  

Bug Bite and Allergies

Chances are fairly good that you’ve already dealt with an insect bite or sting at some point. For many, these bug bites may be a little annoying, but they go away in a couple of days; however, other people can have serious allergic reactions to bug bites and stings. It’s important to understand more about the different types of bites and stings, the types of allergic reactions that can occur, and when you should see an allergist for care.

Insects that Bite

There are a variety of insects that can bite and cause allergic reactions. The most common types include,
  • Bedbugs
  • Mosquitoes
  • Fleas
  • Certain types of flies
While bug bites can be a nuisance, they rarely cause serious or life-threatening allergic reactions.

Insects that Sting

The most common types of insects that sting include,
  • Yellowjacket
  • Hornets
  • Bees
  • Wasps
  • Fire ants
Unlike bug bites, which typically do not cause serious allergic reactions, venom from some insects can cause anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction that requires immediate medical attention.

Signs of an Allergic Reaction

A normal reaction to a bug bite is to experience a little pain, swelling, itching, or redness near the area. Symptoms may last a few hours or a couple of days, but usually aren’t anything to worry about. This is a normal reaction, and not considered an allergic reaction.

However, a severe allergic reaction (aka anaphylaxis) can be deadly, so you must be able to recognize the symptoms in yourself or others so you can seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction include,
  • Hives or blotchy skin that spreads all over the body
  • Swelling of the lips or tongue
  • Trouble breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
Allergies to household pests that don’t bite or sting (think, dust mites) can lead to allergy symptoms such as a runny nose, itchy eyes, coughing, and sneezing. If these are symptoms you’ve been experiencing for weeks on end, you may have indoor allergies. This is when you may wish to see an allergist find out whether you may have an allergy to cockroaches or dust mites.
While severe allergic reactions to bug bites and stings will require emergency medical attention, our allergists can still provide you with ways to manage your allergy symptoms and non-life-threatening allergic reactions. Talk to your allergist today.
By The Allergy Center, PA
February 11, 2021
Category: Allergy
Tags: Pet   Allergy  
Can I Have a Pet if I'm AllergicYes, you can still have a pet even if you may be allergic to them.

Having a pet can be incredibly rewarding and a lot of fun; however, if you or your child has just found out that they have pet allergies, then you may be concerned about cohabitating with your furry companion or you may worry that now you can’t have a pet. Before you fear never being able to have a pet or having to rehome your companion, your allergist will be able to provide effective solutions to help alleviate and manage your pet allergies while still living a wonderful life with your pet under one roof.

Adopt Pet-Free Zones

If your pet has full reign of the house, chances are fairly good that your allergies are acting up pretty regularly. You must keep certain areas “allergy-free” zones, which are off-limits to your pet. Your bedroom should always be a pet-free zone if it isn’t already. Also use a HEPA air filter in these rooms to help purifier the air and remove dander, germs, and bacteria.

Give Your Pet Regular Baths

To help prevent dander from building up, you must bathe your pet at least once a week (if you find that this is too tough on your allergies, you can easily have the pet taken to a local groomer to have the job done). If you do plan to bathe your pet yourself, make sure to use shampoos and products that are designed for pets only.

Place Air Filters in all Rooms

If you can, it’s a good idea to place air filters throughout your home, not just in your bedroom. HEPA air filters will be able to remove dander and airborne germs, while also preventing allergens from getting trapped on curtains, rugs, and furniture. Of course, while an air filter can be helpful it isn’t foolproof. You’ll also want to wash all couch coverings, beds (including your pet’s), and rugs regularly.

Use Allergy Treatments

This will take some trial and error, and you’ll want to work with an allergist. After all, you might think that you’re allergic to your pet when it could actually be a different allergen altogether. An allergist can test for all allergies to determine what’s causing your symptoms. We can also recommend or prescribe antihistamine sprays or oral medications. For more severe pet allergies, you may wish to consider immunotherapy (aka allergy shots), which is incredibly effective for lessening or even getting rid of pet allergies completely.

If you are worried that your or your child might have pet allergies, an allergist is a perfect person to turn to for answers. They can diagnose your allergies and also provide you with a custom treatment plan to help you get your allergies under control so that you and your pet can live happily ever after.




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