Monday, July 23, 2012

Allergy & Asthma Symptoms

Allergies and Asthma entered our house when our youngest, Jonah, was born. From the beginning, he suffered from allergies, both food and environmental, as well as asthma. He has been on medication for both since he was born. We are now in a pretty good place with his asthma, but not with his allergies. The two can be related, but just because someone has one, it doesn't mean they will have the other.

Allergies are basically an over-reaction of your immune system to certain allergens. These can be inhaled (such as pollen, dust mites, etc.), things that are eaten (peanuts, shellfish, etc.), an injection of substances (bee stings, medications, etc.), or something touched (poison ivy, latex, etc.)

Here are some of the symptoms for allergies:

  • sneezing
  • runny nose (clear discharge)
  • itchy nose and throat
  • coughing
  • skin rashes or hives
When my son is having an allergic reaction, I look for his skin to flare up, coughing, and sneezing. This usually happens as soon as he is exposed to the allergen, but it can also happen a day later.

Asthma can occur when your breathing airways become blocked temporarily because of exposure to allergens (also can be called allergic asthma), irritants, strenuous exercise, anxiety, or other triggers. If the asthma attack is severe, emergency treatment should be sought, and if there are life-threatening allergies, an epi-pen should be carried at all times.
Some of the symptoms of asthma can include:
  • sudden shortness of breath
  • difficulty breathing
  • tight chest
  • wheezing and/or coughing
When my son is having an asthma attack, he will start coughing and usually we can hear him wheeze. He is still young, so it's hard to him to verbalize that he is having trouble breathing or that his chest feels tight. It is important to always have his emergency inhaler with us, just in case.
Over 60 million people in the United States suffer from allergies and asthma. Both conditions can be fatal. With proper management, people can lead healthy and productive lives...but it is important to pay close attention to symptoms so you can stop trouble before it starts.



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