What are outdoor allergies?
Seasonal allergies, or “hay fever,” affect as many as 50 million Americans. If you suffer from it, you may experience sneezing, stuffiness, runny nose, coughing, and itchiness in your eyes, ears, nose, throat, and skin. These allergic reactions are usually caused by pollen and mold spores in the air, which trigger a chain reaction in your immune system. In Kentucky, the pollens start in February and continue through the first frost in November. Outdoor molds follow a similar pattern.
What are indoor allergies?
Millions of people suffer from allergy symptoms caused by indoor allergens, such as house dust mites, molds, pet dander, and cockroach droppings. These allergens are found not only in your home but also your school or work place. If you are sensitive to these allergens, then your immune system overreacts by attacking these allergens. This results in symptoms such as stuffy nose, runny nose, sneezing, drainage, cough, and sore throat. This can lead to sinusitis, ear infections, bronchitis, and asthma.
What can you do?
If the allergy trigger is obvious, then you should take steps to avoid it or remove it from your home and environment. You can try over-the-counter medications including antihistamines and decongestants. Your healthcare provider may prescribe additional medications. If symptoms are severe or persistent, contact us to schedule an allergy evaluation. We can help you identify your allergies through allergy testing. We can tailor a custom treatment plan for you that may include appropriate allergen avoidance, medications, and/or allergy shots.
What is asthma?
Asthma affects nearly 22 million Americans. If you have asthma, you may have recurrent breathing problems where you experience wheezing, cough, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. Your airways can become inflamed, constricted, and plugged with mucus, making it difficult to move air in and out of your lungs. If not well controlled, asthma can cause you to miss school or work and limit your ability to have an active lifestyle. Asthma can sometimes cause a breathing emergency that can put you in the hospital or even cause death.
What causes asthma?
Most people with asthma have triggers that can set off their airway symptoms. Allergies are a very common asthma trigger. Common allergies include pollens, molds, pet dander, dust mites, and occasionally, foods. Tobacco smoke is a major irritant that can trigger asthma symptoms. Other major triggers include respiratory infections, exercise (especially in cold weather), acid reflux, some medications, and anxiety.
What can you do?
Your asthma condition should be cared for by an experienced health professional. Contact us to schedule a comprehensive evaluation. We can help you identify your triggers through allergy testing and an environmental assessment. We can also assess your asthma severity with lung testing. You will need a breathing medicine in case of an asthma attack. You may also need a daily asthma controller medicine. If you have allergic asthma, you may also benefit from allergy shots.