If you have asthma, you know all too well how scary an asthma attack can be. If you don’t have asthma, it’s hard to fully appreciate what it’s like not to be able to breathe and the panic that can cause. As an allergist/immunologist asthma specialist, I hear statements like this a lot from my patients with asthma, which is why I offer this blog to help people understand what things can trigger an asthma attack and just as importantly, how to avoid them.
Most people think that spring and summer are the worst seasons for allergies, but fall is not far behind, bringing with it these unpleasant and annoying symptoms:
- Watery, itchy, irritated eyes
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Rashes or hives
- Itchy throat
- In severe cases, trouble breathing or anaphylaxis (a life-threatening allergic reaction)
Even though ice, snow and freezing temperatures bring an end to pollen, many people still suffer from winter allergies, primarily due to more time spent indoors. In fact, the most common allergens—house dust mites, animal dander, cockroach droppings, fabric fiber, bacteria and forced-air furnaces circulating airborne dust—are actually worse in winter when there is less ventilation. For allergy sufferers, the old saying “Home is where the heart is” could be “Home is where the allergens are.”
For many people with allergies, spring is the worst season of the year. But here at Westchester Health, we’ve observed that for a large number of our patients, fall is right behind it in severity. People with nasal and eye allergies, as well as asthma, often suffer throughout the fall, from late August thru November.
If you have seasonal allergies, you know awful they can make your life, especially in summertime when you really want to be outdoors. They can make you feel tired, keep you from sleeping at night and negatively effect the way you function at work. Here at Westchester Health, a good number of our patients suffer from seasonal allergies, especially pollen. What we’ve found over the years is that if people can make certain adjustments to their lifestyles, they can minimize their exposure to a lot of the things that are making them sneeze, cough and feel miserable. We share those here:
Spring is on its way! While many people look forward to this season of renewal, warm weather and beautiful blossoms, for those with allergies it can be something to dread. At Westchester Health, our patients with eye, nose and respiratory spring allergies usually find themselves symptomatic from late March until late May, although the onset of symptoms could be earlier depending on warm weather trends.
For many years, expert opinion said that the best way to prevent food allergy, especially an allergy to peanuts, was to not feed that food to a child until age 3. However, a landmark study published in 2015 (the LEAP study) has disputed this long-held belief and instead, demonstrated that children at risk for peanut allergy in fact had a much lower incidence of allergy by age 5 if they were fed peanuts regularly by age 6 months, compared to children who avoided peanuts. James A. Pollowitz, MD, FAAAAI, FACAAI, an allergy, asthma and immunology specialist with our Westchester Health Pediatrics group, explains these dramatic new findings in a recent blog.
At Westchester Health, many patients come to us who think they may have a food allergy, or a food intolerance, or maybe both. To get the facts, and some answers, we refer them to one of our allergists who perform specific tests to determine what is causing the reactions. If it is determined that they do indeed have a food allergy, our specialists work with them to develop a diet and treatment plan so that a severe allergic reaction can be avoided.
If you have a child with peanut allergy, here is some fantastic news. A recent groundbreaking study reveals a revolutionary new way of thinking about peanut allergy in children, reports James A. Pollowitz, MD, FAAAAI, FACAAI, an allergy, asthma and immunology specialist with Westchester Health Pediatrics, in his highly-informative blog.
For people in the Northeast with allergies, Spring is the worst season but Fall can be almost as troublesome. From late August thru November, watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, a stuffy nose and asthma are often the order of the day.