• 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.

  • Can Children with Asthma Play Wind Instruments?

    Chronic conditions like asthma will inevitably affect a child’s life, but that doesn’t mean they should stop children from doing the things they love. Quite a few professional musicians have asthma. One example is Dougie McCance, a bagpiper who has toured with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Playing the bagpipes requires considerable lung power, yet Dougie manages to do it on the professional level despite his asthma. Of course, it’s essential to consult an asthma specialist before signing your child up for music lessons.

     

    An asthma doctor will ensure that your child is on the right treatment plan to manage symptoms and prevent asthma attacks. He or she may also recommend that your child be very careful to keep the instrument clean of saliva and grime, especially if colds and other viruses can trigger your child’s asthma.

     

    To discuss your child’s asthma symptoms and lifestyle, you can call 1(800)86-COUGH to schedule an appointment at Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM. Our board-certified asthma doctors see patients in Blue Bell, Center City, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, King of Prussia, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania.

  • How to Use a Diskus Inhaler

    Your asthma specialist may prescribe a diskus inhaler. It contains a dry powder form of your medication. The device looks like a disk. You can see a demonstration of its proper use by watching the accompanying video. You’ll learn about the different parts of the inhaler, and you’ll discover how to hold it properly.

    This asthma educator walks a patient through using her new diskus inhaler. To use yours, you’ll place your thumb on the thumb grip and push this part back until you hear a clicking sound. Then, you’ll inhale deeply and quickly through the mouthpiece. Hold your breath for 10 seconds before exhaling away from the inhaler.

     

    Patients who have questions about their asthma treatment can consult a board-certified immunologist at Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM. Call 1(800)86-COUGH to reach one of our asthma treatment centers in Blue Bell, Center City, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, King of Prussia, or Collegeville, Pennsylvania.

  • Eczema: What Patients with Allergies Should Know

    You may already know that allergies and asthma are closely intertwined. For example, a patient’s asthma may be triggered by exposure to an allergen. But did you know that eczema is also linked to both allergies and asthma? If you develop any unusual symptoms, such as changes to your skin, it’s a good idea to tell your allergy and asthma specialist about them.

     

    What Eczema Is

    Eczema is also known as atopic dermatitis. It’s an allergic skin disease that often develops in early childhood, but may arise later in life. It’s a chronic problem that tends to flare up in episodes. The signs and symptoms of atopic dermatitis include the following:

     

    • Dry skin
    • Small, raised bumps
    • Thickened, scaly skin
    • Moderate to severe itching, especially at night
    • Reddish, brownish, or grayish skin patches

     

    The frequent scratching can cause the skin to become raw and sensitive, and it may cause the bumps to crust over. In severe cases, excessive scratching can lead to skin infections.

     

    How Eczema Is Linked to Allergies and Asthma

    According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), about half of all patients who have moderate to severe atopic dermatitis are also diagnosed with asthma, food allergies, and/or allergic rhinitis (hay fever). While the exact reason for the connection is still under investigation, there are a few theories. Some people with eczema have errors in the Filaggrin gene. This means that the skin lacks a specific protein it needs to maintain a strong barrier against germs and irritants. As a result, the skin is more sensitive to the irritants that can trigger eczema. In addition, that same defect may allow for greater exposure to allergens, which is thought to make people more sensitive to those substances.

     

    At Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM, patients with allergies, asthma, and related conditions will find a complete spectrum of compassionate care delivered by board-certified allergy doctors. New and current patients can schedule a visit with an asthma doctor by calling 1(800)86-COUGH. Our offices are conveniently located in Blue Bell, Center City, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, King of Prussia, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania.

  • Common Cold vs. Seasonal Allergies [INFOGRAPHIC]

    Knowing the difference between a cold and allergies means you can get the right treatment and feel better, faster. When you know the right allergy doctor to call, you can be confident that your doctor will find the solutions you need to control your allergies. At Allergy & Asthma Specialists SM, we use allergy skin testing and asthma screening to determine the source of your discomfort. If you’re suffering from asthma or allergies, we offer immunotherapy to alleviate the problem. Our goal is to provide you with top-quality medical care focused on controlling allergic reactions and asthma here in a comfortable environment. Call us at 610-825-5800 or reach us through our website for an appointment, or to learn more about all we have to offer.

  • Flying with Your Auto-Injector? Here’s What You Should Know

    As part of your allergy treatment plan, your doctor may have advised you to carry an auto-injector of epinephrine everywhere you go. When you’re traveling domestically or abroad, it may not be easy to refill the prescription if you use one auto-injector. Because of this, allergy specialists recommend taking two auto-injectors on all trips out of town. When flying, you’ll need to take certain precautions, such as keeping your epinephrine easily accessible in your carry-on luggage. Do not store it in your checked bags, just in case your bags are lost in transit or you have an emergency on the plane.

     

    It’s safe for auto-injectors to go through the X-ray machine at airport security. In fact, many allergy doctors believe this is preferable compared to the potential risk of accidental activation from handling by TSA officials. To ensure easy passage through airport security, be prepared with the printed label of the medication and a note from your allergy doctor.

     

    Allergy doctors in Blue Bell, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, Doylestown, King of Prussia, or Collegeville, Pennsylvania can help you prepare to have a safe trip despite your allergies. New and current patients can call Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM at 1(800)86-COUGH to request our next available appointment.

  • Allergy & Asthma Specialists Breathe IX

    Under the direction of program director, Elizabeth Bailey, MSN, CRNP and Dr. Robert Anolik, the ninth annual Breathe Allergy and Asthma Conference presented by the Allergy and Asthma Specialists Educational Foundation was a spectacular success. Over 100 physicians and nurses attended the conference on Friday, March 15 at the Hilton on City Avenue in Philadelphia to hear lectures about the latest treatments for allergies and asthma.  Continuing education credits were offered for both physicians and nurses.

  • Food Allergy Bullying: What Parents Need to Know

    It’s a scene that’s all too familiar in American schools: Bullies taunting and even physically attacking their victims. Bullies tend to target children who are different from their peers. This means that kids with peanut allergies and other food allergies may be at risk. In fact, experts suggest that as many as one-third of kids with food allergies experience some form of bullying. If your child has been diagnosed with a food allergy, here’s what you need to know to protect him or her.

     

    Types of Bullying

    Bullying can take several forms, and may be perpetrated by fellow students or teachers and staff. The most common form is verbal harassment, in which students with allergies are teased or taunted about their medical condition. Some students report being harassed about having to carry auto-injectors of epinephrine with them. Some bullies may even question whether the child has a real medical condition. Verbal harassment is highly damaging to a child’s self-esteem. Physical bullying can also occur, in which students may be confronted by their allergen. One student reported having peanut butter forcibly smeared on the forehead. Another found peanut butter cookie crumbs in her lunchbox.

     

    Signs of Bullying

    Children who are being bullied may become fearful of going to school. If they’re being bullied in a specific class, they may make repeated trips to the nurse’s office, feigning illness to get out of that class. Students might not want to ride the bus, suddenly start getting poor grades, drop out of after-school activities, or have unexplained injuries. Talk to your child if you notice any changes in behavior, emotional health, or personality.

     

    Steps to Take

    The first step is to encourage your child to talk freely about the incidents. The more you know about exactly what’s going on, the better you’ll be able to help your child. Tell your child what to do if bullying occurs. Then, set up a meeting with school administrators to discuss the problem and demand that action be taken. It may be necessary to ask your child’s allergy specialist to meet with school staff and/or students to explain that food allergies are life-threatening and must be taken seriously by the entire community.

     

    The compassionate, board-certified allergy specialists at Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM work with patients of all ages to help them understand their diagnosis and manage it effectively. We pride ourselves on our accessible approach to patient education, and we firmly believe that patient education can empower children and adults to live life well despite food allergies. Call 1(800)86-COUGH to get help from an allergy specialist in Blue Bell, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, Doylestown, King of Prussia, or Collegeville, Pennsylvania.

  • Why You Still Need a Flu Shot Even If You Have an Egg Allergy

    For a long time it was thought that patients with egg allergies shouldn’t receive a flu shot. This was because the vaccine is grown in eggs, which means there is a very minute amount of egg protein inside the vaccine. However, allergy doctors now know that it’s far more dangerous to leave patients unvaccinated compared to the risk of having an allergic reaction from the vaccine.

    You can hear more about this important issue by speaking with your allergy specialist and watching the accompanying video. The expert featured here explains the recent scientific evidence that supports the safety of vaccines for people with egg allergies.

     

    If you have any questions about managing your food allergies, you can find the help you need at Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM. Call 1(800)86-COUGH to request an appointment with an allergy doctor in Blue Bell, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, Doylestown, King of Prussia, or Collegeville, Pennsylvania.