What to Do If Your Pet Has Seasonal Allergies

You’re not the only one suffering from allergies this fall! It’s possible that your pet is experiencing uncomfortable seasonal allergy symptoms as well. Allergens saturate the air this time of year, especially in Florida where the temperatures don’t cool down quickly.

Just like you rely on a daily antihistamine to survive your worst allergy symptoms, your pet needs appropriate medical care to avoid and prevent the discomfort that develops as a result of seasonal allergies. Here’s what you should know to keep your furry friend comfortable during allergy season and beyond.

Does Your Pet Have Seasonal Allergies?

Rather than the respiratory tract symptoms that humans experience, dogs and cats are prone to skin irritation and inflammation called allergic dermatitis. You’ll notice your pet struggling with very itchy skin and the following symptoms:

  • Scratching excessively
  • Biting and chewing certain spots
  • Rubbing against vertical or horizontal surfaces to stop itching

Unfortunately, this itch and scratch cycle causes your pet’s skin to become even more inflamed and tender to the touch. Your pet will eventually experience hair loss, scabbing, and open sores on the skin if his allergies are not treated. Continue reading “What to Do If Your Pet Has Seasonal Allergies”

Considering Allergy Shots? Here’s What You Should Know

Services-ShotsNow that the harsh Florida summer is subsiding, fall allergies are arriving to make you equally as miserable. If you’re tired of spending every autumn behind a box of tissues, allergy shots could offer the relief you need. Here’s everything you should know about this treatment option and its potential benefits for your quality of life.

Identify Your Allergies First

Allergies come in many different variations, and your doctor needs to identify your specific allergens before treatment can begin. Allergens are uncovered using a “scratch test.” During a scratch test, your doctor places several small scratches on your arm or upper back. Small amounts of common allergens are placed on the scratched area.

Your skin will become irritated, red, and itchy in the area where your specific trigger allergens are located. For example, your upper back might become red and itchy where pet dander was placed. Dust, pollen, and molds are the other most common allergens. Continue reading “Considering Allergy Shots? Here’s What You Should Know”

How to Treat Your Urticaria and Hives

Services-HivesHives, also known as urticaria, is a condition that triggers itchy patches of skin that turn into swollen red welts. You may only experience this issue once or twice, or it may develop into a chronic condition. Either way, an allergist can help you determine the root cause of your hives and recommend a lasting treatment to preserve your comfort and health.

What Are Hives?

Hives are a type of skin reaction. They usually appear as red, itchy welts that range in size. You know you are experiencing hives based on the following symptoms:

  • Red welts that appear anywhere on the body
  • Welts that change in size and shape
  • Itching that is often severe
  • Painful swelling of the lips, eyelids, and inside of the throat
  • Hives that flare with triggers like heat, stress, and exercise

Continue reading “How to Treat Your Urticaria and Hives”

Tips to Make Your Home Asthma and Allergy Friendly

florida allergiesAsthma and allergies aren’t just minor inconveniences; they are serious respiratory conditions that need to be properly treated and prevented. Medications are important, but improving the air quality of your home is also a powerful tool to combat allergies and asthma. The following tips will help you make simple changes to fix or remove triggers and make your home a more welcoming place to breathe.

Keep Pollen Out of the House

Pollen and other airborne allergens are most common in the spring and fall. Trees, grasses, weeds, and ragweed all release pollen that can sneak into your home and cause allergic reactions. Take these steps to minimize the amount of pollen lurking in your home:

  • Keep windows shut and use the air conditioner with a HEPA filter to catch 99.97% of allergens
  • Watch the pollen count and stay inside on high pollen days
  • Shower every night before bed
  • Take your allergy medication to prevent reactions

Continue reading “Tips to Make Your Home Asthma and Allergy Friendly”

Back to School Preparation For Children With Food Allergies

food allergiesMost students can enjoy school lunches, snacks, and birthday treats without a second thought. However, as a parent of a child with food allergies, you know how challenging and dangerous it can be to avoid potential food allergy reactions, especially since you can’t be there to double check everything your child eats or touches.

The new school year is right around the corner, and you want your child to enter school feeling confidence and joyful, not nervous and fearful. With the right preparation, you can help your child stay safe from food allergies and embrace all that the new school year has to offer.

Communicate With Your Child’s Teacher, School Nurse, and Administrators

Communication is key to ensuring your child is not exposed to the foods that trigger her allergic reactions. Begin by requesting a meeting with your child’s teacher, school nurse, and main administrators. Be sure to cover the following important topics during your meeting:

  • Learn about the school’s food allergy management policies
  • Provide written and verbal explanations of your child’s food allergy, signs of a reaction, and best ways to treat a reaction
  • Work with the school to create a comprehensive Food Allergy Management and Prevention Plan.
  • Confirm where your child’s emergency medications will be stored and retrieved in an emergency situation

Continue reading “Back to School Preparation For Children With Food Allergies”

3 Ways to Protect Yourself From Summer’s Poor Air Quality

Services-AsthmaFlorida’s summer air doesn’t just become extremely hot; it becomes unhealthy, too. Air quality advisories are often announced on hot and humid days, making you wonder if you should venture from your air conditioned home or just stay inside where it’s safe.

It’s important understand why hot summer days cause such poor air quality, and how you can protect yourself from such dangers in the future.

Why Are Hot Weather and Poor Air Quality Connected?

The dangerous combination of sunlight, high temperatures, and stagnant air combine to produce ozone. High levels of ozone reduce lung function, trigger inflammation of the airways, and irritate your respiratory system.

The effects of ozone can be even worse for those with asthma because their airways are already sensitive. Many people with asthma experience difficulty breathing as soon as they step outside on hot days. The effects linger over the next few days, not just while the sun is shining. If you suffer from asthma or other respiratory conditions, use the following tips to protect yourself from summer’s poor air quality. Continue reading “3 Ways to Protect Yourself From Summer’s Poor Air Quality”

How to Handle the Epinephrine Shortage This School Year

Epinephrine is a life-saving drug that millions of children rely upon, so what happens when the most widely used allergic reaction treatment experiences a shortage? That’s exactly what is happening right now with Mylan’s brand-name EpiPen.

The FDA added epinephrine to its drug shortage list in May, leaving parents around the country scrambling to find a way to fill prescriptions for their children before the school year begins. If your child relies on an EpiPen to avoid dangerous allergic reactions, this is information you need to know!

How Does Epinephrine Work?

An EpiPen is an auto-injector that contains epinephrine, a chemical that narrows blood vessels and opens airways in the lungs. It is a necessity for families with children who suffer from severe food, insect, or drug allergies that can trigger fatal reactions. Having an EpiPen on hand makes it possible to immediately prevent dangerous allergic reactions like wheezing, increased or decreased heart rate, and anaphylactic shock.

The Shortage Is Affecting the Entire Country

According to Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), a patient advocacy group, more than 80% of people surveyed across 43 states responded that they couldn’t fill or could only partially fill their prescriptions this summer. Continue reading “How to Handle the Epinephrine Shortage This School Year”

A Beginner’s Guide to Asthma

Nearly 25 million Americans suffer from asthma, a chronic disease that causes the airways to become inflamed and obstruct breathing. Though there is no cure for asthma, proper diagnosis and treatment can help you live a normal, active life with your condition. Get started with the basic information here, then call an allergy specialist to begin your own recovery process.

What Is Asthma, and Do You Have It?

Asthma is a medical condition that causes the airways to become narrow, swell, and produce extra mucus. These three simultaneous changes make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Asthma impacts patients differently; some only consider in a minor nuisance, while others struggle to complete simple daily activities. Continue reading “A Beginner’s Guide to Asthma”

What Kind of Allergy is Causing Your Suffering?

It’s common to hear someone sniffle, sneeze, and mutter, “Ugh, allergies,” but the term allergy is actually a broad umbrella term. It isn’t just seasonal allergies, but a number of ways the body may be rejecting outside elements. Taking an antihistamine might provide temporary relief, but the only way to permanently resolve your allergy symptoms is to determine the root cause of your allergies and seek professional help from an allergy specialist.

Food Allergies

About 5 percent of the population suffers from a legitimate food allergy, while others are simply sensitive to certain foods. A true food allergy can develop at any age when the body’s immune system overreacts and identifies an otherwise safe food as a danger and stimulates a response to fight the “dangerous” food away. Continue reading “What Kind of Allergy is Causing Your Suffering?”

Is Bacteria The Trick to Treating Eczema?

Eczema has long been the enigma of the skin and allergy world. Those who suffer from eczema don’t always know why, and products and treatments don’t always deliver results. Until now! According to recent research by Dr. Ian Myles, it is possible to use the power of healthy, helpful bacteria living naturally on the skin to treat eczema. Here is everything you should know about this groundbreaking discovery.

Why Does Eczema Develop?

Eczema is considered an inflammatory skin condition that causes the skin to become dry, itchy, red, and even scaly. It occurs because the skin does not have the fats and oils needed to self-moisturize and sustain a protective barrier. Without that barrier, harmful bacteria can easily cause reactions in the skin that lead to the signature redness, cracking, and scaling.

Continue reading “Is Bacteria The Trick to Treating Eczema?”