Allergy and Asthma
What causes allergies?
Our environment constantly exposes us to different things through the air we breathe, the food that we eat and the substances that touch our skin. Although most people do not have problems with this exposure, some people develop a reaction to these foreign substances in the form of allergies.
In addition to the environment, genetics play a big role in developing allergies as well. Generally, if one parent has allergies, it increases the chances of the child developing allergies. This chance is even higher if both parents have allergies.
What are some common symptoms for allergies?
Common allergy symptoms include stuffy, runny nose; watery, itchy eyes; sneezing; wheezing and cough.
How are allergies diagnosed/confirmed?
Finding out what you are allergic to is an important first step to effective allergy treatment. Today, allergy test are more convenient and accurate than ever before. When combined with a detailed medical history, allergy testing can identify the specific things that trigger your allergic reactions. Allergy tests help to find allergies to pollen, molds, dust mites, animal dander, insect stings, foods and some medicines.
What are some common symptoms for asthma?
Asthma symptoms include coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. An allergist can perform spirometry to help with the diagnosis of asthma or to monitor a patient who is being treated for asthma.
What type of treatment is available for allergies and asthma?
In addition to avoiding the allergen completely, immunotherapy (allergy shots) can be done to try to desensitize the patient to the substances to which they are allergic. Some allergic problems are efficiently treated by immunotherapy. These include life-threatening reactions to bee stings, allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and some cases of asthma.
Why would I need to see an Allergist?
Your allergist plays a central role in the diagnosis and management of different allergic problems including asthma, allergic rhinitis (hay fever), eczema, food allergies, hives, stinging insect allergy, medical and occupational allergies. The allergist is specially trained to identify the factors that trigger asthma or allergies. Allergists help people to treat or prevent their allergy problems.
They work closely with your primary care provider to provide further testing and to recommend different treatment options.
CentraCare Clinic - Women & Children Allergy Physicians
Helpful tips for asthma and allergies sufferers
The Minnesota Asthma Coalition offers these tips for people with asthma and allergies:
1. When pollen counts are high, keep your windows closed and use your air conditioner to clean the air inside your home. If you don’t have air conditioning in your home, simply turn on your furnace fan and drop in a high efficiency furnace filter to take pollen and mold spores out of your home.
2. For most of us, the sight of green grass returning to Central Minnesota is a welcome sight. But to the thousands of people with allergies and asthma, it means another battle against billions of microscopic pollen particles and mold spores that drift in the warm spring air.
3. Did you know that one of the most common sources of pollen in the air is our lawn? That’s right – grass pollen is a major asthma and allergy trigger for many people.
4. Grass pollen is usually at its highest in the early morning, between 6 and 10 a.m. Mowing your lawn later in the day will reduce your exposure to grass pollen, helping you and your neighbors breathe easier.
5. If you buy a cordless, rechargeable electric lawnmower, or use one of the old-fashioned reel mowers, you can cut your yard with less noise, no oily smoke and never have to buy gasoline or oil for your lawnmower again.
For more information about asthma, call 1-800-548.8252.
CentraCare Clinic - Women & Children
1900 CentraCare Circle
St. Cloud, MN 56303
Obstetrics & Women's Clinic,