Dealing With Seasonal Allergies

If you’re sneezing, coughing and have watery eyes during certain times of the year, then you might have seasonal allergies. Most of the time, you’ll notice these symptoms in the spring when the grass begins to grow and when pollen is flying through the air or in the fall when there is more hay around. There are a few ways that you can deal with seasonal allergies and still maintain a normal daily routine. An allergy test Somerset County NJ doctors perform can reveal just what you’re allergic to instead of guessing as to what you need to avoid. The test is simple, and it doesn’t take long to get the results back. Once you know what you’re allergic to, you can begin taking medications or using other solutions to get relief.

Stay inside as much as possible if you know that there are triggers outdoors that will make you sneeze and cough. Turn on the air or the heat in the home so that you don’t have to keep the windows open as this will allow the allergens to flow through the home. There are filters that you can get for the window if you do want to keep them open that will keep pollen and other debris outside while letting the fresh air flow through.

When you wash your hands or take a shower, scrub the skin gently. If you scrub in a rough manner or with harsh soaps, it can strip away the protective layer of cells that help to keep allergies away. You’ll usually be more susceptible to eczema and other skin irritations as well. After being outside for any length of time, change your clothes once you get back inside. You also want to wash them as soon as possible. Everything from pet dander to pollen can stick to your clothing when you go outside. This is why it’s important to remove the clothing so that you remove the source of the allergens right after you get back indoors. Hot water works best when washing your clothes to remove as much debris as possible and also works well when washing your skin to kill any bacteria and to remove dander.

Pollen Allergy Symptoms

AllergiesCommon Pollen Allergy Symptoms

Pollen allergies also known as hay fever are very common and its estimated that anywhere between 5%-10% of people suffer from pollen allergy symptoms. Pollen allergies are caused by plants that reproduce through wind pollination. Male pollen cells are spread through the air using this method. Unfortunately they are also the cause of pollen allergy symptoms.

Pollen Allergy Symptoms

  1. itchy skin and eyes
  2. stuffy nose, possibly nose bleeds
  3. headaches
  4. sore throat
  5. trouble breathing
  6. dark circles under eyes
  7. plugged ears
  8. sneezing
  9. coughing

What Season Do Pollen Allergy Symptoms Occur?

Well the answer is it depends. Pollen allergies are also known as hay fever because they most commonly occurred during the haying season, but pollen allergy season lasts from spring till fall . Of course climate and geography also effect when plants will pollinate. In the spring trees and many flower plants pollinate. The summer is when grass pollinates and fall is the season for ragweed. Pollen allergy symptoms can also be responsible for triggering other health problems like asthma.

Tips For Dealing With Pollen Allergy Symptoms

  • Check the allergy levels daily
  • Stay inside on bad days, keep windows closed
  • Change clothes when coming in from outside, shower if possible
  • Wash bed sheets in hot water weekly
  • Ask your doctor for a antihistamine or decongestant
  • Natural antihistamine or decongestants
  • Some believe honey (local) can help
  • Try a alternative treatment to compliment your current treatment under guidance of a doctor
  • Acupuncture
  • EFT
  • Aromatherapy
  • Homeopathy

You can also try immunotherapy if all else fails. Over the course of time allergy shots can make your pollen allergy symptoms go away but they do not work for everyone. Dealing with pollen allergies can be a matter of trail and error until you find what works best for you, in the mean time avoidance to pollen will be your best cure.

Will Taking Local Honey Reduce Pollen Allergy Symptoms

There is a popular notion that taking local honey will reduce ones pollen allergy symptoms. The theory is that by consuming the local honey you will build up immunity to local pollens. While there is no scientific proof that this theory works, there is one major flaw to the theory.

Bee’s collect pollen from flowers which have pollen that is very heavy and not easily spread by the wind, which is why the bee’s help is needed. Most pollen allergies come from grass, tree or weed pollen which is lighter and relies on the wind for pollination. This is not to say that it does not work as there could be another reason why it helps.

How is The Skin Prick Allergy Test Done?

skin-prick-testingThe theory behind skin prick testing, skin puncture testing and scratch testing is the same though methods very slightly. The most commonly performed is the skin prick test which is relatively pain free and fast. Scratch testing has been losing favor and some patients report more discomfort and scaring from scratch testing compared to skin prick testing.

The Skin Prick Test Done

A very small amount of a possible allergen is placed on a area of the body, usually the forearm or back. The skin is than pricked with a sterile needle point to allow the allergen to enter. The tester notes if the skin begins to react in the form of hives or rash. The size of any outbreak on the skin is also measured.The size helps the allergist or doctor who is performing the test grade the reaction, there are a few different scales used for grading the reactions. Usually many allergens will be tested on the skins surface in a grid that has been marked out on back or forearm.

Negative Control: The power of the mind is so great that the mere mention of a test can cause the skin to react with rashes in some people. For this reason a negative control is used in the test. The negative control can be nothing more than a saline solution. If the skin reacts to the negative control than all results of the skin prick test can be considered suspect.

Positive Control: A positive control like histamines is also used to induce a reaction on the skin.

What Else You Should Know About Skin Prick Testing

Antihistamines should be avoided before the test. Your doctor will tell you the exact period of time you should stop taking them before the scheduled test.

The skin prick test relies a great deal on the qualifications of who interprets and performs the test. Go with the most qualified professional you can find preferably a allergist.

False positives are not uncommon where there is a reaction from a allergen during the test even though the patient experiences no problems with the allergen in normal life.

False negatives also occur even with a allergen the patient is allergic to.

Skin prick testing is considered accurate by many but it will only help diagnose those allergens that produce a IgE antibody response.

Egg Allergies: what you need to know?

egg-allergiesEggs allergies rank near the top in terms of which food allergies are the most common. One of the reason for this is unfortunately the fact that eggs contain so many different healthy proteins. The many different proteins also make it difficult to figure out which protein is responsible for causing egg allergy symptoms. Like most food allergies children are the most at risk to suffering from egg allergy symptoms although many will out grow their egg allergies.

There are varying degrees of egg allergies and some people with them will be able to tolerate eggs in different states. The reason for this is because cooking the eggs changes it molecular structure, and the longer it is cooked the more the structure is changed and this will eliminate some of the proteins. For this reason some people may find that they are able to tolerate hard boiled eggs but not soft boiled. If you are allergic to eggs you should however not test if you are allergic to eggs in various cooked states with out proper medical supervision. Both the yolk and egg white contain different proteins so most people will be allergic to either egg whites or yolks but not both. Unfortunately separating the egg yolk from the egg white is not really possible as small amounts will be  left on the yolk so in many cases even people allergic to only egg whites will need to avoid egg yolks as well

Avoiding Eggs

Eliminating eggs from the diet is not as easy as skipping them at breakfast as eggs are found in everything from pastas to dessert toppings. Baking is a little easier as egg replacers can be found in most local grocery stores and depending on the eggs purpose (liquid,binder or agent) in a recipe substitution can be made in recipes with a little experimentation. Many grocery stores now care specialty line for allergy sufferers making it more easy to buy egg free goods that typically contain eggs.

Egg Allergy Symptoms

Egg Allergy Symptoms can occur minutes after eating them or may take several hours to occur.

Stomach problem like gas or upset stomach are common as well as diarrhea.

Skin problems like eczema are one of the more noticeable problems in small children. Hives and other rashes may also appear.

Asthma attacks and breathing problems may also result from egg allergies.

Anaphylactic shock is the most serious and requires immediate medical attention. During anaphylactic shock mouth and throat swell and breathing becomes very difficult.