• Climate Change and Your Health

    Climate change is a major shift that affects the entire world. But it can also have adverse effects on a local level, such as by increasing the number of patients seeking allergy treatment. Watch the accompanying video to hear an expert discuss why climate change is causing allergies and asthma to worsen.

    Since climate change brings more frequent and severe storms and floods, it has a direct effect on the mold in the environment. Mold allergies and asthma attacks are the result. Additionally, as levels of carbon dioxide increase, pollen production also rises. This triggers seasonal allergies.

    If you suffer from seasonal allergies, consider seeing an allergy specialist in Blue Bell, Center City, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, King of Prussia, or Collegeville, Pennsylvania. You can schedule an appointment regarding asthma or allergy treatment by calling Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM at 1(800)86-COUGH.

  • Got Asthma? Here’s Why You Need a Flu Shot

    Asthma treatments, such as inhalers, are only one part of your complete asthma management plan. Your asthma doctor will also help you learn how to prevent symptom flare-ups and complications. One important way to protect yourself is to get a flu shot at the start of every flu season. As a patient with asthma, you’re considered at a high risk of suffering from flu-related complications, including asthma attacks and pneumonia, which may require hospitalization.

    Although the flu shot is the most effective way to prevent transmission of the flu, you should still take other precautions. Wash your hands often, and try to keep your distance from people who are sneezing or coughing. Avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes because doing so will transfer germs to the mucous membranes. If you do contract the flu, see your doctor or go to an urgent care clinic right away. Anti-viral medications can help lessen the symptoms.

    At Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM, your health is our top priority. New and current patients can call 1(800)86-COUGH to request an appointment with an asthma doctor in Blue Bell, Center City, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, King of Prussia, or Collegeville, Pennsylvania.

  • Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction to Medication

    When you visit a hospital or doctor’s office, you will probably be asked if you have any drug allergies, or allergies to any medications. This is an important question, because medications that do cause you to have an allergic reaction can pose a dangerous situation in your treatment with a wide range of potential symptoms.

    Like other allergies, there is a risk of anaphylaxis in severe cases. This is a life-threatening reaction that can cause difficulty breathing and severe inflammation. Drug allergies may also cause symptoms such as:

    • Hives, which are usually accompanied by itching.
    • A sudden drop in blood pressure.
    • Wheezing or coughing.

    Usually the symptoms of an allergic reaction to medication will occur suddenly and should be managed with emergency care.

    If you have experienced a medication allergy, you should work with an allergy doctor to manage this allergic reaction and understand your treatment alternatives. Allergy & Asthma Specialists SM can provide complete allergy care with patient education from our compassionate providers serving Blue Bell, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, King of Prussia, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania. You can reach us online or at 1(800)86-COUGH.

  • Understanding Your Asthma Medications

    Your asthma doctor may prescribe two types of medications for you. You can learn more about these asthma treatments when you watch the featured video. The first is a rescue medication. It’s taken when you experience asthma symptoms, such as shortness of breath, coughing, or tightness in the chest.

    You may also be prescribed a controller medication, which is intended to prevent symptoms. You’ll take your controller medication every day, regardless of whether you experience symptoms or not. Consistent use is essential for managing the inflammation of the lungs.

     

    Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM provides complete diagnostic services and treatments for patients with asthma in Blue Bell, Center City, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, King of Prussia, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Call 1(800)86-COUGH to request an appointment with a board-certified asthma doctor.

  • Quitting Smoking When Your Child Has Asthma

    Smoking is one of the worst things you can do to your health. And if you’re a parent, it’s one of the worst things you can do to your child’s health. Cigarettes are deadly, and there’s no better time than right now to quit smoking. Quitting will help your child get his or her asthma symptoms under control, and it will benefit your own health as well.

     

    How Cigarettes Harm Your Child

    Even if your child never tries a cigarette, he or she is susceptible to health risks from secondhand and thirdhand smoke. Exposure to tobacco smoke and residue is linked to more frequent and severe asthma attacks. It can be more difficult for your child to control asthma symptoms, and your child may not respond as well to medications. Not only is tobacco a trigger of asthma attacks, but exposure to smoke is also linked to the development of asthma. Babies of smokers are more likely to be diagnosed with asthma in childhood.

     

    Why It’s Impossible to “Control” Cigarette Smoke

    Some smokers may think that they can adequately protect their kids by only smoking outdoors. But unfortunately, it’s impossible to control where cigarette smoke goes. When you open the door to go back inside, the smoke will follow you. It will get in through windows and drafty areas. There is also a danger of thirdhand smoke, which is the residue left on objects from tobacco smoke. This residue is found on smokers’ clothes, furniture, car upholstery, and anything else exposed to cigarette smoke. Thirdhand residue can be just as dangerous for a person’s health as secondhand smoke.

     

    How You Can Overcome Nicotine Addiction

    Quitting cigarettes is never easy, but it will be one of the most important and rewarding things you can do for your family. Start by talking to your doctor to find out about your medical treatment options. Try as many different cessation methods as it takes to finally quit. And never give up—most smokers require multiple attempts to quit for good.

     

    The board-certified allergists and asthma doctors at Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM can help you and your child understand the asthma treatment options. We provide compassionate care and patient education for individuals of all ages. Call 1(800)86-COUGH to speak with a friendly staff member at our locations in Blue Bell, Center City, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, King of Prussia, or Collegeville, Pennsylvania.

  • Get the Answers to Your Questions About Food SLIT

    SLIT is an acronym for sublingual immunotherapy. It’s one of the treatment options that your allergy doctor may recommend if you have certain allergies. SLIT introduces very tiny amounts of an allergen to your body. Over time, it can reduce allergic reactions to the substance. SLIT should only be performed by a qualified medical provider. If you have allergies, do not intentionally expose yourself to your allergen, as there may be a risk of a life-threatening reaction.

     

    Which allergens can SLIT address?

    Currently, sublingual immunotherapy has limited approved uses. Allergy doctors can administer SLIT for patients with peanut allergies. This treatment is also approved for patients with allergies to dust mites, grass, ragweed, tree pollen, and cat dander.

     

    Is food SLIT a cure for my peanut allergy?

    No, SLIT isn’t a cure. You’ll still be allergic to peanuts, and you’ll still need to avoid all exposure to them. The purpose of undergoing sublingual immunotherapy is to build enough of a tolerance to the allergen to prevent a life-threatening reaction from accidental exposure. You should still carry your emergency autoinjector of epinephrine with you everywhere you go.

     

    Is food SLIT safe?

    Generally, sublingual immunotherapy is well-tolerated. However, as with any medical treatment, there is a risk of side effects. You should speak with your allergy specialist about these side effects before deciding if you’d like to try it. You may experience an allergic reaction to the peanut allergy drops. In clinical trials, most of the reactions were mild and required only oral treatment.

     

    How is food SLIT done?

    It’s a very simple treatment that requires no shots or pills. Your allergy doctor will place a small amount of peanut extract under your tongue. You’ll hold it there for two minutes, and then swallow it. The doctor will monitor you for signs of an allergic reaction. Over time, you’ll take progressively higher concentrations of the food extract to increase your tolerance.

     

    Food sublingual immunotherapy is one of the allergy treatment options we offer here at Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM. To find out whether you’re a good candidate for this allergy treatment, you can give us a call at 1(800)86-COUGH. You can meet with a board-certified allergy doctor in Blue Bell, Center City, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, King of Prussia, or Collegeville, Pennsylvania.

  • A Quick Look at Peak Flow

    If you’ve been diagnosed with asthma, your asthma doctor will give you all of the information you need to manage your condition properly. Monitoring peak flow is one of the ways you can take care of yourself. Peak flow is a measurement of how well you can exhale air out of your lungs. A high peak flow score is ideal. A low peak flow score could mean that you may experience an asthma attack soon.

     

    Your asthma specialist can show you how to use a peak flow meter. You should check your peak flow every morning, before you take your asthma medications. You should also check it when you experience symptoms, after using rescue medications, and at any other time your provider instructs you to. Write down each score on a chart, and take it to each appointment with your asthma specialist.

     

    At Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM, our board-certified allergists and immunologists emphasize the importance of patient education and proactive self-care. Call 1(800)86-COUGH to request an appointment regarding asthma treatments in Blue Bell, Center City, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, King of Prussia, or Collegeville, Pennsylvania.

  • Staying Active in School Despite Exercise-Induced Asthma

    Exercise-induced asthma can cause the same symptoms as other types of asthma, such as tightness in the chest, wheezing, and shortness of breath. In people with exercise-induced asthma, these symptoms typically occur shortly after stopping a workout. An asthma treatment plan can help students stay active in school sports and gym class, despite the condition.

    Asthma doctors may recommend wearing a scarf or mask over the mouth when exercising outdoors in chilly weather. Students may need to exercise indoors if the school grounds have been mowed recently. The asthma doctor can prescribe a long-acting asthma medication for long-term control, as well as a rescue inhaler for acute asthma attacks. All coaches and teachers should be notified of the student’s asthma treatment plan, including the need to have a rescue inhaler nearby during exercise.

    If your child suffers from asthma symptoms, you can find the help he or she needs at Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM. Our asthma treatment centers are located in center city Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, or Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Call 1(800)86-COUGH.

  • A Quick Introduction to Dust Mites

    Dust mites are microscopic insects that live in warm, humid environments. In some people, dust mites trigger an allergic reaction. In the average home, dust mites are found in carpets, bedding, upholstered furniture, and stuffed animals. It may be impossible to get rid of dust mites permanently, but an allergy doctor can help you learn how to minimize their presence to manage your symptoms.

    Watch the accompanying video to learn more about dust mites and environmental control measures. The allergist featured here recommends washing all bedding frequently in hot water, vacuuming often, and reducing the humidity level of your home.

    A board-certified allergist can help you control your dust mite allergy. Call 1(800)86-COUGH to request an appointment at Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM in center city Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, or Collegeville, Pennsylvania.

  • How to Use a Nebulizer

    Nebulizers are small devices that allow patients with lung diseases to breathe in medications. The nebulizer transforms the liquid medicine into an inhalable mist. If your asthma treatment plan includes the use of a nebulizer, your doctor will help you learn how to use the device properly.

    Get to know your nebulizer.

    Nebulizers are straightforward to use, but it’s helpful if you’re familiar with the basic components of the system. The primary component is the machine itself, which provides the power that turns the liquid medicine into mist. It’s also called an air compressor. A hose connects the machine to the medicine cup, which is connected on its other end to the mouthpiece. Note that some patients, such as young children, who have trouble using the mouthpiece may use a face mask instead.

    Prepare the nebulizer.

    Before using your nebulizer equipment, scrub your hands thoroughly with soap and running water. You don’t want to introduce germs to the equipment that you might then breathe into your lungs. Then, connect one end of the hose to the machine. Add the prescribed amount of liquid medicine to the medicine cup. Close the cup tightly. From this point onward, hold the medicine cup upright to prevent spills. Next, connect the hose to the medicine cup, and connect the medicine cup to the mouthpiece.

    Inhale your medication.

    Put the mouthpiece into your mouth and turn on the machine. Make a firm seal with your lips to prevent any of the aerosol medicine from escaping. You’ll need the full dosage to properly manage your asthma. Now, all you need to do is take slow, deep, steady breaths through your mouth. It may take about 10 to 15 minutes to get the full dosage. Some patients have trouble remembering to inhale through the mouth the entire time. If you experience this, consider using a nose clip to prevent nasal inhalation.

    Get the nebulizer ready for your next treatment.

    Once you’ve received the full dosage, turn off the machine. Wash the medicine cup and the mouthpiece. Place these items on a clean towel and let them air dry until your next dosage.

    If you have any questions or concerns about your asthma treatment, you can count on the doctors at Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM. You’ll find our offices in center city Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, or Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Call 1(800)86-COUGH to request an appointment with an asthma and allergy specialist.