Asthma Information Resources

December 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Education

There are many support groups available for persons who have asthma or care for those who have asthma. Below is a listing of groups and phone numbers you can call for more information.

The American Academy of Allergy, and Immunology
1-800-822-ASMA (2762)

The American Lung Association
1-800-586-4872

A.A.F.A. – The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
1-800-727-8462 (1-800-7-ASTHMA)

Asthma Explorers
1-800-982-3902

Lung Line
1-800-222-LUNG (5864)

One way for your child to have fun and also learn about asthma is at asthma camps. You can find out more about these camps by calling one of the numbers listed above.

Tags: Allergy Foundation of America, phone numbers, Asthma, asthma camps, allergy

Asthma Prevention Medicines

December 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Education

There are a few medicines available that might keep your child from having asthma attacks. Because these medicines work by reducing the inflammation in her lungs, they are called anti-inflammatories. These type of medications must also be taken on a regular basis, not when your child is having an attack. During an actual asthma attack, these medicines will not work well because they take too long to take effect. Your child will need “rescue medicines” to treat attacks directly. The following medicines work to prevent attacks:

Cromolyn
Doctors usually choose to prescribe cromolyn, or sometimes called cromolyn sodium, first as a preventive medication for children with asthma. Your child will need to take it twice or three times a day, and it comes available as a pill and in an inhaler for your child to breathe directly into her lungs. It takes a while, sometimes as long as six weeks, to really see results. But this medicine can prevent attacks, and helps many people to get through their days without one.

Theophylline
This drug is very much like cromolyn, only it cannot be inhaled, only taken in pill form. People with asthma who take theophylline have found they have fewer attacks during the night. However, some people have some bad side effects when they take this medicine. You will want to talk to your doctor about this medicine before it is prescribed for your child.

Steroids
You may have heard the term “steroids” relating to drugs taken by athletes who want to build muscles or have better performance. These are different and do not build muscles, but reduce swelling in the lungs. Your child will probably be told by his doctor to take these steroids if cromolyn or theophylline are not effectively relieving his symptoms. Unlike cromolyn and theophylline, which have to be taken every day to prevent attacks, steroids are usually taken only every other day. Your child can take steroids in a tablet or liquid form, or they can be inhaled, like cromolyn. If your child is currently taking steroids, check with your doctor before stopping this medication.

Other medications are available that might help your child in preventing attacks. Antihistamines are sometimes helpful to children whose asthma attacks are brought on by allergies. Antibiotics can be used as well, since they can destroy infections in your child’s body. Your doctor will advise you on what he feels will best treat your child’s asthma. He will also let you know which medicines your child needs to avoid taking together. Some combinations of medicines can be harmful, and your doctor knows what drugs and in what amounts your child should take to keep attacks away.

Always remember to read labels on any over-the-counter medicine that you may want to give to your child. Some medications cannot be taken by persons with asthma, and the label will tell you whether or not that drug is safe. If you have any questions about the safety of an over-the-counter medication, do not give it to your child until you have talked with your doctor or pharmacist.

Tags: Dosage forms, allergy, Asthma, Allergology, Respiratory therapy, Cromoglicic acid

Food Allergies

August 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Education

This information is about food allergies. It covers the symptoms of food allergies, the foods and chemicals that cause them, and some practical ways to deal with them.

Certain foods cause allergic reactions in some people. The reaction may be an itchy rash, upset stomach, runny nose and sneezing, itchy throat, wheezing or dry, itchy skin or eczema.

Allergic reactions to food vary greatly. They may appear within minutes or be delayed for several hours. They’re affected by how much you ate, the cooking method used, and the number of allergic foods eaten together. These factors affect the type, severity, and duration of allergic symptoms. Sometimes, you don’t have to actually eat the food. For example, steam from cooking food can cause a reaction if you are extremely allergic to that food.

Allergic reactions can be caused by many different foods. Some of the common ones include eggs, milk, soy, nuts, fish and shellfish, cereals, wheat, beans, berries and fresh fruits. Some people are allergic to whole families of related foods, such as peanuts, peas, beans, soy and licorice.

Allergic reactions are rarely caused by food additives. Some dyes, preservatives, and other additives in colored beverages, foods, and mouthwashes can cause skin rashes or wheezing.

Sulfites, which are used to retard discoloration and spoilage can also cause allergic reactions, especially in people with asthma. If you have this , be extremely careful with anything containing small amounts of sulfites-and try to avoid them completely. Sulfites are often found in wine, restaurant salads, shellfish, dried fruits and vegetables, canned mushrooms, pickles and sauerkraut, vinegar, preserved cheeses, and other preserved foods. Sulfites may be included on package labels, so be sure to check them carefully.

How to deal with food allergies…

First, find out what causes the reaction. Keep a diary of everything you ate and notice the foods you wrote down up to three hours before the reaction. If that doesn’t work, stop eating the foods you suspect until you no longer suffer the reaction. Then, reintroduce those foods one at a time until a reaction uncovers the cause of your allergy.

Once you’ve identified the guilty food, simply avoid eating it. If that’s not practical, or if you’ve eaten by mistake, you may relieve your symptoms by taking a non-prescription antihistamine such as Chlor-trimeton or Benadryl.

If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to see your doctor. A stronger medication may be prescribed–or you may be referred to an Allergist for evaluation. If you’re referred to an Allergist, skin tests will likely be done to identify your allergy.

Please remember these key points:

  • Allergic reactions to food vary in type, severity, and time of appearance. Both foods and food additives can produce allergic reactions.
  • Isolate the food or foods that cause the reaction, and then avoid the foods.
  • Non-prescription antihistamines can help control mild reactions. If such medications don’t relieve your reactions, contact your doctor for advice.
Tags: food allergies, Allergic, Allergies, diary, allergy

Medication Allergies

July 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Education

This information is about allergies to medications. It covers what they are, how to deal with them, and how to prevent them. Read more

Tags: wallet, allergy, Allergies, allergy reactions, medication allergies

General Allergy Information

July 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Education

This information is about allergies. It covers what allergies are, why people have them, what makes them occur, and what to do about them. Read more

Tags: allergy reactions, antibodies, allergy, medication allergies, Allergies

Parent's Guide for Children with Asthma

November 22, 2007 by  
Filed under Education

When your child has an asthma attack, it can be a very scary time. Some parents feel that they do not know enough about how to treat asthma or help their child during an attack. This page gives some very basic information about asthma, what it is, how it is treated, and how you, as the parent of an asthmatic child, can better deal with the attacks as they happen. This pages also includes a glossary of defined terms so that you and your child can understand the meanings of some of the words used to describe asthma.

By reading this booklet, you will learn how to prevent asthma attacks by using medications and a peak flow meter. You will be given a list of early warning signs, and how to stop an attack if your child is having one. This booklet also gives you information on recognizing a severe attack and how to single out the most common triggers of an asthma attack. You will even learn what information to give to your doctor so your doctor can best help your child.

At the end of this booklet, some support groups are listed that can help you even more with managing your child’s asthma. Your child may seem panicked during an asthma attack. More often than not, it is the parents who panic while the child is only struggling to keep breathing and might be a little embarrassed about all the attention. In the long run, your patience and ability to remain calm during your child’s attacks will help your child most of all.

What Is ?
Asthma is a disease of the lungs. It is not something you can catch from someone, but it is a hereditary condition, meaning that it does pass down through families. Asthma is a treatable condition, but is not curable. Your child will have his asthma all of his life, and at times it may get better or worse, but if he does what is necessary to control it, he won’t be bothered by symptoms very often.

When someone has an asthma attack, you often see a red-faced, panting person looking as if she cannot catch her breath. What is happening inside her lungs is not letting her catch her breath. During an attack of asthma, the airways react to something they were exposed to and constrict, not letting enough air into the lungs.

An irritant (dust, pollen, something she is allergic to) caused the bronchial tubes, or breathing tubes that lead to the lungs, to become tight and they often become inflamed, or swollen. The breathing passage gets narrow, which does not allow much air into his lungs. At the same time, mucous starts to fill up the bronchial tubes. Breathing becomes difficult, and the person may wheeze or gasp to try to get enough air. Only after the asthma attack passes can the person breathe comfortably again.

Some common asthma attack symptoms are:

  • Difficulty breathing ??? gasping for air, panting
  • Wheezing ??? a high-pitched sound like letting the air out of a balloon
  • Coughing ??? some mucus may be brought up during a coughing spell

Why Does an Asthma Attack Happen?
There are many things that cause, or trigger, an asthma attack. Here is a list of the most common triggers of asthma attacks. You might want to mark any triggers that are present in your home or that your child is exposed to often.

  • dust
  • perfume
  • dust mites
  • pollen
  • pet hair
  • cigarette/cigar smoke
  • auto exhaust
  • mold
  • household sprays
  • roaches
  • air pollution
  • rapid temperature changes
  • aspirin (in some children)
  • vigorous exercise
  • certain foods, such as eggs, chocolate, nuts, dairy products and seafood
  • allergies
  • sinus drainage
  • stress
  • paint fumes
  • other chemical fumes or smells

Additional Information:

Tags: Occupational asthma, Pulmonology, Asthma, Allergology, Buteyko method, allergy

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