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Which Allergy Medicine Depends on Allergy

What allergy medicine is best used for the treatment of allergies? The reality is that it all depends on what you are allergic to. Allergy medicine can be confusing because there’s a great variety ranging from over the counter, to prescription and other treatments that are given in doctors offices.

An allergic reaction can be energy sapping. You may find yourself coughing, sneezing, having problems seeing, or worse yet puffing up or having your breathing passages swell up. Some people experience migraines(myself included) because of their allergies. Let’s not forget about the scary and dangerous reaction of anaphylactic shock. Bottom line is that every allergy is different and most medications can’t treat every allergy. The right allergy medicine can be found by talking to your doctor or allergist.

Step 1 is to Test!

When an allergist tests you for allergies, they have to test you for many different substances. There are so many things in our environment nowadays that unless they do this they will have a difficult time pin pointing your specific allergy. They usually inject you down the length of your spine, with several different substances, they can include dairy products,dander, grass and even dust. Your allergist is looking for is a certain type of reaction. A sure sign of allergic reaction is that your skin will become red and raised. Once the allergist sees the reaction they can then prescribe the proper allergy medicine.

Do You Need a Prescription?

The right allergy medicine is crucial to restoring a good quality of life. Some medicines only treat mild allergies and are typically over the counter medications like Benadryl. However if you are severely allergic to something like shell fish or eggs. You can blow up like a balloon or feel your throat starting to constrict every time you eat these. You may even have to be rushed to the emergency room. An over the counter allergy medicine won’t do anything for you then. You need to get a prescription as well as know enough to avoid whatever causes you these severe reactions.

Make sure you pick the right allergy medicine that works for you. You may find that some work better for you than others. Claritin for some reason does not help me but Benadryl does. Unfortunately it also makes me pretty sleepy. Don’t get discouraged from trying different ones and discussing the issue with your allergist. They may even recommend advanced treatments like allergy shots or allergy drops. Time is a precious commodity and if the right allergy medicine can help you enjoy every last minute then you should continue to look for the right one for you and your specific allergy.


Allergy Treatment Options

Allergies can make life miserable. I know because some of my allergies cause migraines that practically stop me in my tracks. Many others are affected by other terrible symptoms that can severely affect the quality of their lives and their ability to work. Can any allergy treatment help us? The good news is yes but first we need to understand what the different types are and what allergy treatment may make more sense for you.

Not all people have the same allergies. Some are affected by one allergen like pollen but may not be affected by mold. Some may have a terrible reaction to dust mites but have no problem being exposed to the smell of a recently mowed lawn. Airborne allergies are not the same as food allergies. You get the picture, given the many allergens out there today allergy treatments don’t work the same on every allergy and may not work the same from person to person.

The first step is to identify what your allergen is. The best way to find this out is by working with an allergist. They can put you through a battery of tests that may include scratch tests, elimination diets and blood tests. This will help them narrow down the possible allergens. You can be a big help by identify trends and patterns that surround your allergic reactions. Do you start to sneeze or get a stuffy nose when your neighbor mows the lawn? Do you only get your symptoms at night, when you are sleeping(or trying to sleep)? Do you get a headache after you have breakfast every day?

Answering these types of questions and working with an allergist will help you identify the source of your allergy and can therefore lead to recommendations regarding what allergy treatment is right for you.

Allergy Treatment Types

  • Basic
  • Medications
  • Advanced

Basic treatment of your allergy once you identify what it is is to avoid it. If you know your neighbor mows the lawn every Saturday morning close the windows or better yet go grocery shopping or something. Forced hot air exacerbates my allergy to dust mites so my husband and I decided not to buy a house with that type of heating system. These things may seem simple but they help. Unfortunately some things you can’t avoid which leads us to allergy treatments to manage the symptoms that we do get.

Medications are aimed at relieving the allergy symptoms so that you can function day to day. This probably the most common allergy treatment people use today since so many medications are available over the counter. These medications include antihistamines, decongestants, bronchodilators, and corticosteroids. Allergy medications are usually available in a variety of forms, including pills, nasal sprays, eye drops and topical creams. Epinephrine is used to treat the severe allergic reaction called anaphylactic shock. This reaction is life threatening and involves difficulty breathing due to swelling of the breathing passages.

Advanced treatments are also available that not only attempt to relieve the allergic symptoms but to cure them as well. These usually include allergy shots or allergy drops. These are forms of immunotherapy that seek to make you immune to the affects of your allergy but exposing you to that allergy in certain doses over a certain period of time.

An allergist can discuss which allergy treatment is right for you. Now you know that you do have options. You don’t have to live with the discomfort of allergies. Take the step to visit an allergist today.


Infant Allergies – Misdiagnosis Often the Case

Bringing your newborn home is a happy time but if your baby develops infant allergies your happiness can turn to misery very quickly. Nowadays mothers are advised to breastfeed their baby for a variety of good health reasons. I myself struggled through the challenges of breastfeeding for both my babies. Unfortunately for some mothers this benefit can bring on other challenges associated with infant allergies.

The first challenge is identifying whether your baby has allergies at all. Many doctors confuse allergic symptoms with other problems associated with newborns. Colic is often blamed and the parent is told to wait until the child outgrows it which can take as long as six months. This can be a challenge since a baby’s main way to express their discomfort is crying which makes for more sleepless nights.

So What are Some Infant Allergy Symptoms?

Itchy skin is a main symptom, besides crying the baby may also roll and struggle trying to scratch the offending area. Dry skin may be visible behind the ears and on the scalp and may be thought to be cradle cap. Any pediatrician will tell you that studies have found a link between eczema, asthma and allergic symptoms. The dry skin behind the ears is typically diagnosed as eczema and you are advised to use eczema creams and lotions to help clear it up. Swelling may also occur in the face or lips. If swelling is observed, the baby’s breathing must be monitored. This is very important because as with most infant allergies the throat may also swell and which could lead to anaphylactic shock and possible death.

Some infant allergies may show up as breathing problems or a runny nose and be treated for colds. Sinus problems also can also occur that cause the baby to develop a cough due to nasal drainage into the throat while sleeping. This can possibly be diagnosed as asthma.

Infant allergies can be caused by many things including food, inhalants and environmental causes like mold and dust. Many allergic reactions can show up quickly, especially when they are breastfeeding. Many health professional advise mothers who will breastfeed their baby to shy away from foods known for causing allergic reactions. These foods such as nuts, corn, wheat and seafood, among others can cause an immediate problem for your baby. A lesser known allergy to gluten causes repetitive diarrhea. Infant milk allergy symptoms can include constant gas, bloated stomach,and throwing up. In most cases with infant allergies, eliminating dairy products from the mother’s diet will generally ease the symptoms. Don’t forget there are other causes of infant allergies besides food.

How to Avoid Infant Allergies?

Try using laundry detergent without perfumes or dyes as well as fabric softeners without perfumes as well the brand Dreft is probably the best known brand. Do not spray chemicals in the child’s bedroom, such as air fresheners with perfumes or window cleaners and furniture polish. Keep the baby’s room as free of dust as possible to avoid the possibility of an allergy to dust mites. Until the cause of your infant allergies are identified, do not allow pets into the baby’s room. Change your child’s clothing at nap time and bed time to get rid of anything that may have been picked up during the day. Giving your baby a bath at bedtime will be even be better.

Dog Food Allergies – Scary Consequences

Dog food allergies have jumped to the forefront of the news recently due to the Menu food’s dog food recalls. What you feed your pet unfortunately can be the difference between life and death. Food allergies are typically associated with people but pets can suffer from adverse reactions and intolerance too.

As with young children that can not speak dog food allergies can be difficult to diagnose in pets because the biggest problem is the pet’s inability to communicate their symptoms effectively. The owner can also be confused by possible other ailments that their pet has. You want to be sure to know the difference between these symptoms and poisoning!

What are the typical symptoms associated with dog food & allergies?

  • ear infections
  • excessive scratching
  • hair loss
  • skin infections

Antibiotics sometimes are used to treat skin infections. It helps to clear them up , but they will reoccur when the antibiotics are stopped. Itchy skin is typically associated with airborne allergies, if an animal with itchy skin does not seem to improve with the use of antihistamines or steroids, they may be suffering from dog food allergies. A food intolerance causes different symptoms. These symptoms may include diarrhea or frequent bowel movements and vomiting. Fortunately, whether the animal is suffering from an allergy or an intolerance, once the proper diagnosis has been made, they can both be treated.

Nutrition is very important, since most canine meals are made from beef, chicken, wheat, eggs, soy and dairy products, it should be no surprise that most dog food allergies are caused by one of these ingredients. The pet nutrition industry has picked up on the need to provide pet owners different options. They have come up with hypoallergenic dog meals that are supposed to help with most allergies. They also have tried other dog food allergy recipes like lamb and rice formulations. Veterinarians usually tell you it is not that simple though.

What approach will your veterinarian recommend to verify dog food allergies?

First they will rule out other possible causes, such as flea bite allergies, intestinal parasites, yeast or bacterial infections. Something else to keep in mind is that they have access to the latest studies. One study that I’ve heard of has found an association to a certain breed of dog. Dietary change is the number one approach veterinarians recommend. They will recommend a new food source containing protein and carbohydrate that should be the only diet of the pet for at least 12 weeks. This will help to determine which of the ingredients in their old pet food was causing the allergic reaction. Dog food allergies can be tricky and you may need to try this a few times as you reintroduce your old foods to see which one your dog is allergic to. The foods that produce reactions need to be eliminated.

The last options is one this is tried and true. Making your pet their food at home seems to be the surest way to avoid dog food allergies. If you don’t have any you can always look up some dog food allergy recipes online. Don’t let the media scare you but be smart about what you feed your pet. If you have the time and talent cook if you don’t test. There is a path to safe eating for your dog.

MSG Allergy : Always Eat Carefully

Do you think you have an MSG allergy? Going out to eat is always a challenge because typically you don’t know what is in the food you are eating. Whether you think its a food intolerance, an allergy or an adverse reaction you don’t want to be on the other end. MSG otherwise known as monosodium glutamate is used in more food than the average American thinks.

Monosodium glutamate is a chemical used by food manufacturers as well as Asian cooks. It is used to enhance the flavor of food. It does even more than this in that it and other chemicals are used in food to make them appear more abundant and nutritious than they are. It also makes people feel full faster. An MSG allergy is hard to manage when eating out because usually you can’t tell what the spices or chemicals are that may have been added to the food. You actually have to try asking the waiter and they sometimes are reluctant to give the full lists in their recipes.

MSG is thought to usually be found in ethnic foods, such as those cooked in Chinese restaurants but the reality is that the actual chemical monosodium glutamate is used in everyday things such as certain chip type snacks and instant soups. Even a well known fast food chicken restaurant is said to use it. If you have an MSG allergy, particularly if your reactions are severe, you should pick what you eat very carefully.

You may be asking what are the symptoms for MSG allergies?

Typical food allergies upset the stomach but it appears that those with an MSG allergy are usually plagued by headaches, some throbbing and severe. They can experience dizziness, tightening of the jaw and/or throat. If you suspect you are having an adverse reaction to msg check with and allergist who can provide you with a more comprehensive list.

So how do you prevent your MSG allergy?

  • Ask for ingredient lists when you go out to a restaurant. Thought this still is a little difficult it is getting better as the US is passing laws aimed at getting restaurants to provide healthier foods. The banning of trans fats in some cities is a good example of this. Fast food restaurants in particular are attempting to provide some nutritional information. You just need to understand how complete it is though.
  • Ask for a dish to be prepared without monosodium glutamate if at all possible. In theory this can be done the issue is whether the restaurant will be able or willing to accommodate you.
  • Inform anyone cooking for you, even at home about your MSG sensitivity so they are looking at the ingredient list of anything they use in their cooking.

Reactions to MSG can be severe to the point of requiring immediate medical attention. An MSG allergy can best be identified by an allergist. Be sure to keep your primary care physician involved as well to make sure that your allergy is not something potentially more life threatening. The allergist has a better idea of the full range of foods that have MSG and therefore he will be able to help you identify which ones better.

As with any food allergy the key is to avoid it once you know what it is. An MSG allergy does not have to ruin your appreciation for food. You can still enjoy Chinese food. Just make sure to ask questions everywhere you eat food, the danger is in more places than you think.

An Allergy To Down Comforters Make for a Restless Night

In the previous post I highlighted a product that may help those who think they have an allergy to down comforters. I was exposed to these types of products because of my children but I am also finding they apply to me. I had no clue that I could be allergic to my down comforter. Many people don’t realize that the symptom they are having at night are allergies. The type of heat you have can be a trigger and most people attribute their reactions to that or maybe some pollen that snuck through an open window.

An allergy to down comforters can have a significant impact on your quality of life. A bad night’s sleep makes for a very unhappy and often unproductive person. The allergy to down comforters comes from an allergy to the down feathers that make the down comforters so soft. This down isn’t just found in comforters. Pillows, duvet sets and other bedding can also be to blame. If the thought never crossed your mind that you are allergic to your down comforter now may be the time to get tested.

Not ready to get tested? Here are some things to try depending on the severity of your symptoms, the amount of money you are willing to spend and other possible allergens that you are exposed to.

If you have pets in the house they may be leaving pet hair on your pillows and bedding. If you have open windows you might be allergic to pollen coming in the window. You might even be allergic to dustmites which can be anywhere, particularly in beds. Lastly it could an allergy to a down comforter. The other allergens mentioned are small in comparison to the full list of things that could be causing your allergy symptoms at night.

The above may seem laughable because at the end of the day you are nowhere. You still can’t pinpoint the cause of your sneezing, coughing and discomfort at night. I just wanted to prove the point that an allergy to down comforters can only be verified by being tested by a certified allergist.

If you suspect an allergy to down comforters and your health insurance does not cover allergy testing you can try switching bed covers for a few nights. If you replace your down comforter with a regular bed spread, and you go through the night without any allergy symptoms, then you may have an allergy to down comforters.

Your allergy to down comforters does not have to condemn you to no longer feeling the comfort of down comforters. As seen in my previous post Natural Comfort has a luxurious down alternative. There are other imitation down comforters you can get that will help you sleep comfortably at night. They can do this because they are made of material that won’t cause the discomfort of allergy symptoms. They are also soft enough to satisfy your comfort needs. Comforter covers are also an option.

Allertech┬« Ultimate Cotton Comforter Covers – Full/Queen 86″ X 86″

An allergy to down comforters does not have to ruin your life. Make the necessary changes. As you can see the options are out there. More importantly when possible verify that you truly are allergic to this and not something else by getting tested. A positive attitude and some research on soft alternatives will again make your bed the place of renewal that is supposed to be.