• A Look at the Rise in Red Meat Allergies

    Did you know that it’s possible to develop an allergy to red meat? Cases have been on the rise in the U.S., and it’s all thanks to one tiny critter. When the Lone Star tick bites a non-primate animal, such as a cow or sheep, it’s possible for it to acquire alpha-gal molecules. These molecules can then be transmitted to humans if that tick then bites people. The alpha-gal molecules are responsible for triggering allergic reactions to red meat.

    You can hear more about the red meat allergy by watching this featured video. Consult an allergy doctor if you’ve experienced any of the symptoms discussed in the video. The expert featured here also explains why the red meat allergy isn’t always permanent.

     

    If you suspect you might have developed food allergies, you can visit an allergy doctor in Blue Bell, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, Doylestown, King of Prussia, or Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Schedule an appointment online at www.AllergyandAsthmaWellness.com or call 1-800-86COUGH.

  • Planning Safe Sleepovers When Your Child Has Food Allergies

    Food allergies can be incredibly disruptive to daily life, especially for a child who just wants to have fun with other kids. The good news is that with practice and precautions, it’s still possible for a child with food allergies to enjoy him- or herself while socializing. Assuming that the child is mature enough, it’s always a good idea to encourage him or her to be a proactive patient. At each visit to the allergy doctor’s office, ask your child if he or she has any questions or concerns about upcoming events, like sleepovers.

     

    Introduce your child to sleepovers gradually.

    Remember that your child might be nearly as nervous about staying safe during sleepovers as you are. Build up his or her confidence level by starting slowly. Plan to have a sleepover at a trusted relative’s house first. Later, your child can plan to have a sleepover at a friend’s house. It may be best to start with sleepovers in which your child is the only invited guest. Sleepover parties can be more difficult to manage.

     

    Meet the other child’s parents.

    If you’ve never met the child’s parents before, then it might be a good idea to have an in-person talk, rather than a phone call. This allows you to get a good sense of how responsible the friend’s parents are likely to be regarding your child’s food allergies. You can also reiterate the critical importance of preventing cross-contamination with the allergen. Don’t be shy about discussing the potential consequences of allergen exposure. You should also demonstrate how the epinephrine auto-injector works.

     

    Send your child to the sleepover with plenty of supplies.

    Find out in advance which meals will be served. If possible, feed your child dinner before sending him or her off to the sleepover. Send your child to the party with plenty of safe snacks (pack extra for your child to share), dinner if needed, and safe breakfast foods. Provide your child with a reusable water bottle labeled with his or her name, and remind your child not to share cups, water bottles, or eating utensils with anyone else. And don’t forget to pack your child’s allergy medications!

     

    For all of life’s events, you can count on the medical and lifestyle guidance you’ll find at Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM. These board-certified allergists/immunologists work one-on-one with patients of all ages to ensure they fully understand their treatment plans. To request an appointment with one of the allergy specialists in Blue Bell, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, Doylestown, King of Prussia, or Collegeville, Pennsylvania, request an appointment online at www.AllergyandAsthmaWellness.com or call 1-800-86COUGH.

     

  • Dealing with Immune Deficiency

    Your immune system is a complex network. Its cells, organs, and tissues all work together to fend off foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses. When the immune system can no longer do its job properly, this problem is known as immune deficiency. A compromised immune system requires a personalized treatment plan. An allergy doctor can develop a treatment plan to work toward the primary goals of managing symptoms and preventing complications.

     

    For example, an allergy specialist may recommend a preventive antibiotic during seasons when patients are most susceptible to developing respiratory infections. Some patients with immune deficiency are unable to manufacture sufficient quantities of antibodies. The allergy doctor may recommend immunoglobulin replacement therapy for these patients.

     

    Board-certified allergy doctors comprise the staff at Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM. Immune deficiency is one of the medical problems treated at allergy specialist offices in Blue Bell, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, Doylestown, King of Prussia, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Schedule an appointment online at www.AllergyandAsthmaWellness.com or call 1-800-86COUGH.

  • Understanding Exercise-Induced Asthma

    Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB), commonly referred to as exercise-induced asthma, is a type of asthma that is triggered by exercise. A diagnosis of EIB can be disheartening for individuals who like to stay fit. However, it’s still possible (and encouraged!) to exercise despite this condition. You can work with an asthma doctor to learn how to manage your respiratory problem safely while still enjoying your favorite workouts.

     

    Causes and Risk Factors of EIB

    When you exercise, the airways lose both water and heat, which can trigger the symptoms of EIB. This loss of water and heat is particularly apparent when you’re breathing in very dry air. It’s why people with EIB who ice skate or play ice hockey are particularly susceptible to symptoms. Other workout conditions can also increase the risk of triggering EIB, such as the very hot air that is characteristic of hot yoga studios, the chlorine in swimming pools, or the outdoor air pollution when running or cycling—especially in urban areas. Even a gym could contain environmental triggers of EIB, such as the fumes from the cleaners, paint, or new equipment.

     

    Signs and Symptoms of EIB

    People with exercise-induced asthma tend to experience symptoms within a few minutes of beginning to exercise. The symptoms can continue throughout the whole workout and linger for about 10 to 15 minutes afterward. Some of the most common signs of EIB can include the following:

     

    • Tightness in the chest
    • Wheezing and shortness of breath
    • Persistent coughing
    • Sore throat
    • Decreased exercise tolerance or endurance

     

    Some people also develop an upset stomach. Note that while it’s expected for an individual to get out of breath while working out, in people with EIB, these symptoms are unreasonably severe and out of proportion to their fitness level.

     

    Exercise-induced asthma is one of the many conditions treated at Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM. These asthma doctors are available in Blue Bell, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, Doylestown, King of Prussia, or Collegeville, Pennsylvania to provide the personalized treatment plan you need with the friendly, personable care you deserve. Schedule an appointment online at www.AllergyandAsthmaWellness.com or call 1-800-86COUGH.

  • Travel Fearlessly Despite Food Allergies

    With the help of their allergy doctors, patients with food allergies learn to carefully manage the environment around them. They learn how to avoid exposure to their allergens, such as by scrutinizing food labels and preventing cross-contamination in the kitchen. But those precautions can be difficult to follow when traveling. Well in advance of your trip, you should consult your allergy specialist to find out what you’ll need to do differently while away from home.

     

    Medications and Local Medical Services

    Your allergist can write you extra prescriptions for your medications. You should only transport your medications in your carry-on bag or purse; never put them in your checked luggage, as they might get lost. Additionally, you should find out the generic and brand names of your medications in the country you’ll be visiting. While you’re booking accommodations, look for a hotel near a major hospital, preferably one known for its high-quality emergency care. You can also find out if any local doctors specialize in allergy treatment. Keep their names and numbers in your phone’s contact list, just in case.

     

    Language Barriers

    Language barriers can be the toughest challenge to overcome when traveling abroad. Many large, international hotels have English-speaking staff members. Consider conversing with them ahead of your trip to find out about allergen-free menu items at the hotel’s restaurant. A hotel concierge can also help you find nearby restaurants that are allergy-friendly. An additional option is to bring chef cards with you. These will specify your allergens. Bring chef cards written in English and in the language of your destination country.

     

    Fellow Travelers

    Unless you’re planning a solo trip, you can rely on your traveling companions to lend a helping hand. The people with whom you’re traveling should know where you keep your auto-injectors and how to use them. They should also be familiar with the contents of your emergency treatment plan. Don’t forget to bring at least one copy with you!

     

    If you’re planning a trip and have questions about managing your allergies, you can request an appointment with a board-certified allergist at Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM. Our allergy doctors are committed to ensuring each of our patients has appropriate, personalized guidance for the management of their chronic conditions. Call 1(800)86-COUGH to schedule an appointment in Blue Bell, Center City, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, King of Prussia, or Collegeville, Pennsylvania.