Monthly Archives: April 2011

On Line Allergy Treatment

When we think about allergies most people associate them with Spring and Summer, but there are allergies that affect people during the Winter months and Holidays. The obvious allergies we think of are food allergies and pet allergies, but we forget about the Holiday allergy triggers that cause us to have a runny nose, to sneeze, to cough, or even bring on an asthma attack.

Fireplaces Can Be Allergy Triggers

How snug as a bug in a rug are we when we curl up by a wood burning roaring fire. Some can trigger an asthma attack because of the smoke from the fireplace. The heat from the fireplace feels great on cold Winter nights, but if you have asthma keep your distance if you find the smoke or some fumes affect your breathing.

Timber! That Wonderful Christmas Tree

Oh, the wonderful smells of Christmas. If you’re like me and like a real Christmas tree, be prepared for some possible watery eyes and/or sneezing. Do you know that Evergreen trees, for the most part, can have mold spores? Surprised you, didn’t I? YEP! You might not be allergic to the Christmas tree after all – it could be the mold spores.

You Can Bring Outside Allergy Triggers Inside

Do you like the look and smell of Pine? The pine you broke off from the tree in the front yard this morning. It looks great on a fireplace mantle. Well guess what – could be an allergy trigger because of mold spores. Under wet conditions, mold gathers in the bark and on the needles of Pine trees. How about that wood that Uncle Bud just chopped and is bringing in the house to use as fire wood? Also be mindful of any artificial smells you may bring in to your home.

Dusty Decorations Anyone?

Just don’t take out your decorations from the attic and put them on the Christmas tree. Clean them first along with that artificial Christmas tree you have. While in storage they can gather dust and mold. For cloth decorations wash in hot soapy water to get rid of dust and mold. Items to remember to wash is that pretty base cover that’s placed at the bottom of a Christmas tree. Wipe down Christmas lights, bulbs, wreaths, and the Christmas star you place on the top of the tree, just to name a few.

Don’t forget your Thanksgiving decorations you have stored away too like your Fall wreaths, Turkey pillows, centerpieces, and plastic leaves, just to name a few.

What’s In The Pillows?

Are you and your family staying at a hotel, inn, or bed & breakfast for the Holidays? Or maybe at a relative’s house? If you’re not sure that what’s in their bed pillows won’t make you sneeze, have a runny nose, or watery eyes then bring your own allergen-proof pillow cases and/or comforters. You really aren’t sure about the Dust Mites either – so take precautions.

Enjoy yourself during the Holiday season and try to reduce the affects allergies have on you and your family.

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Bargain Allergy Treatment

Henna is most commonly used for hair dyes and temporary tattoos. Some people experience allergic reactions when henna comes in contact with their skin. For these people, prolonged or repeated exposure can pose serious risks. Knowing what to look for and how to treat henna allergies can diminish life-threatening reactions.

Symptoms

Symptoms of a henna allergy are similar to those of other allergies. They can include sneezing, swelling and hives, and difficulty breathing due to a restricted airway.

Causes

Henna itself seldom causes an allergic reaction. However, additives are used in making the henna paste to boost color or speed up the coloring process. P-pheynlenediamine (PPD) makes the naturally reddish brown henna more black. Although it’s safe for hair coloring, it can irritate the skin, leading to an allergic reaction.

Treatment

If a henna allergy is suspected, you may try the following applications: calamine lotion, cold compress, hydrocortisone creams or antihistamines. An oatmeal bath will also alleviate itching.

Prevention

People who experience a reaction to the PPD additive in henna tattoos are susceptible to having more serious reactions with increased exposure. Therefore, if you have encountered an allergic reaction, you are advised to avoid further henna tattoos or having henna come in contact with the skin.

Warning

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t endorse henna for direct skin contact. Therefore, caution should be used when receiving a henna tattoo.

Online Remedies for Allergy

WIth our world becoming more polluted and the increasing use of chemicals it is not surprsing that our bodies can become over-loaded and unable to cope with the stimulation from toxins and chemicals.

When you consider that we can absorb chemicals and toxins through the skin, breathe them in through the nose and swallow the through the mouth it is not surprising that the body can fel overwhelmed.

Yet, there is also a body of thought that believes our reactions to certain stimuli is not about the stimuluss itsef (whether that is dust, pollen or particular foods) but to an unresolved emotion). Furthermore the resolution of the emotion could lead to a reduction or elimination of the allergic reaction.

Please Note
Under no circumstances should you expose yourself to a substance or food that you know you have a reaction too without the advice of your medical practitioner.

Hay Fever Symptoms

Hay Fever can be an annoying medical problem if you suffer from it. Hay Fever is also commonly called allergic rhinitis, and this is caused by an allergic response from your body to pollen and other organisms that are in the air. Pollen can not be seen, but it is present in the air most of the time. During certain seasons, organism levels can get extremely high in the air, and this can bring on severe symptoms of Hay Fever, but in some sufferers this can be an all year long condition. The severity of the symptoms will depend on how sensitive you are to the organisms in the air. If you are highly allergic, you may have symptoms all year long instead of just in the spring and fall. Pollen is not the only cause of Hay Fever, it can also be caused by mold spores, feather particles, animal hair and dander, dust mites, and other organisms and particles that can not be seen but that are present in the air you breathe.

Hay Fever symptoms can vary from one person to the next, depending on many factors including individual sensitivities, the levels of organisms that are in the air, and the number of allergens present. It is possible for you to be allergic to many different organisms at the same time. This can be a main cause of Hay Fever that occurs all year long. When you come into contact and breathe in these organisms, your body wrongly interprets this as an enemy and produces the allergic response to try and get rid of the enemy, which in this case is harmless. It is not the organism, but your reaction to it, that makes you miserable. Symptoms of Hay Fever can include sneezing, a nose that runs or is congested, coughing, eyes that may burn, itch, and water, wheezing and difficulty breathing, and others.

Hay fever and asthma are commonly found together, and this situation should be monitored carefully by your doctor because allergens can be a trigger for an asthma attack. Allergies can be determined by allergy testing but this can get expensive if a number of substances are tested for. In an allergy test, a small amount of the possible allergen is placed under your skin. If a red bump or swelling occurs then you are allergic to that substance. There has been some research and results with exposing patients to increasing amounts of an allergen to desensitize them to the substance, but this should only be done under the care of your physician because of the risks involved.

Hay Fever affects millions of Americans each year, and can make them miserable. If you suffer from this condition, there are some things you can do to help minimize and prevent symptoms from occurring. There are over the counter medications that can really help control hay fever symptoms and make you more comfortable. Antihistamines and decongestants can be very helpful, and nasal sprays can reduce any congestion. For eyes that itch and burn, eye drops can be used to relieve these symptoms.

To know more on Hooikoorts and allergies do visit our site.

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Hayfever Allergies and Coping

If you suffer from an allergy of any kind, it may seem like a restriction on your life. An allergy might colour your thoughts and lead you to think of it as burden. Most people have some issue that affects their life. The solution is not to let it get in the way of living.

If you know what triggers your allergic reaction and take the necessary steps to avoid or prepare for it, you then get into the habit of looking after yourself. It is no different from that person who cannot digest lactose or are sensitiver wheat or gluten. It’s a real pain to find those products that don’t contain those ingredients but once the initial work is done and you know where to look, buying those products that keep you safe becomes an easy habit to get into.

The way of thinking and idea of developing habits can be useful for any allergy. Certainly fire prevention is better than cure.

As you get to discover more about your allergy, you can then have more ways and options in place to help you avoid a reaction and keep you feeling in control.

Bargain Remedies for Allergies

Skin allergy can be caused by several factors namely insect bite, bugs, occupational hazards, family history, unclean environment, reactions, certain food elements, drugs and medicines, the outcome of it is rash on skin, inflammation and itching.Dermatitis is another general term for an inflammation of the skin.

Although the skin disorder can have many root causes and manifest in many forms, it usually involves swollen, reddened and itchy skin. Usually skin allergies are not contagious and life threatening, however, they cause severe discomfort and itchiness. Fortunately there are cures and medications available for a range of skin allergies  and it is a subject that has been studied in depth.

Cause of Rash on Skin

The skin is a wonderful protection layer gifted by nature with several levels of protection. Your skin is surprisingly resistant to a variety of external assaults , but it will still be susceptible to various invaders with varying degree of resistance. Seasonal and climatic conditions, viruses, parasites, fungi, heat and drugs can all cause skin rashes and unprecedented eruptions.

Many cases in Skin Allergies though not life-threatening require care and treatment. Rashes on skin are often bothersome, uncomfortable or even painful. Some rashes on skin such as heat rash and swimmer’s itch, clear up on their own given some time. Others, including rosacea and drug rashes, require medical treatment. Here’s help in identifying common skin rashes.

Skin Testing for Rashes on Skin

For skin allergy and rash on skin, skin testing is preferred over blood allergy tests because it is more sensitive and specific, simpler to use, and cheap. Some patients may believe they know the source of skin allergy but they might be mistaken, a skin test has been shown to be much better than patient’s observation to detect allergy.

Sometimes, Skin testing is also known as “puncture testing” and “prick testing . It essentially consists of making tiny puncture or pricks in the patient’s skin and injecting small quantities of suspected allergens and their extracts like pollen grains, grass, mite proteins, extract of peanut or other suspected causes. The skin is marked with a pen or dye which is carefully selected lest it might cause an allergic response in itself. Common areas for testing are forearm and the back. The results are evident within half an hour of the skin tests and interpreted by well-trained allergists.

Clinical Allergy: Diagnosis and Management (Current Clinical Practice)

People have allergies and the symptoms affect nearly one-fourth of the population which in turn causes or contributes to significant chronic illness. Allergic diseases are prevalent and are observed by many health care providers. In Clinical Allergy: Diagnosis and Management, the author provides a practical clinical overview for the common disorders encountered in the specialty of Allergy. Designed to be easily readable and to provide clinically applicable information for everyone, the intent is to unravel the mystery of allergy.

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Bargain Remedy for Allergy

Since early 2009, the media & medical community have discussed and addressed several issues getting the H1N1 / Swine Flu vaccine. They’ve addressed people’s worries about the effects of the vaccine. They’ve addressed the importance of getting the vaccine, especially for certain individuals such as pregnant women, asthmatics, the elderly and others who would have a harder time fighting off the Swine Flu if they were to become infected. But there is one issue that hasn’t been addressed by the media & medical community– options for individuals who want the H1N1 / Swine Flu vaccine, but cannot get it because of an egg allergy. In fact, I have only seen this issue addressed by other egg-allergic people with the same concern. And so, I’ve created this lens to address this issue and to help other people with egg allergies find the resources they need to gain access to the H1N1 / Swine Flu vaccine.

H1N1 red text image courtesy of jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Why An Egg Allergy Is An Issue With the H1N1 / Swine Flu Vaccine (and Other Vaccines)

Most (if not all) vaccines are grown inside of chicken eggs. Therefore, the vaccines will have egg in them as well. Individuals with egg allergies can have mild to severe reactions to vaccines as a result. This is why when the H1N1 / Swine Flu vaccine was made available to the public, health officials stated that people with egg allergies would likely not be able to get the vaccine, or would need to take extra special precautions. They also did not want to be held responsible if an egg-allergic individual did have any kind of reaction to the vaccine.

Photo courtesy of photo search Public Health Image Library – PHIL (Phil.CDC.gov). To view a larger version of the photo, click on photo.

My Experience (As A Person With Asthma AND An Egg Allergy)

I have had asthma my entire life. And as you might have heard from news reports, asthmatics were among one of the several high-risk categories of people who could be more severly effected if they caught Swine Flu / H1N1. Any cold an asthmatic gets can affect their already weakened lung function by moving mucus into their lungs, making it even more difficult to breathe. I’ve had this happen often with colds, more so when I was younger.

So you can imagine that this put me, along with other asthmatics, on alert. I wanted to get the vaccine so I would have one less sickness to worry about. However, I knew I’d have some difficulty getting the shot because of my moderate egg allergy. But I had nooooo idea it would be as difficult as it was.

I called several drug stores offering the H1N1 / Swine Flu vaccine. But as soon as I mentioned my egg allergy, they said they couldn’t give me the vaccine. The same went for my local health department, who were offering public clinics for people to get the H1N1 / Swine Flu vaccine.

And so I went to my local allergist’s office and asked to be allergy tested for the vaccine. I don’t know specifics, but they prick a person with a miniscule amount of the vaccine (with some aspect of it taken out). Then they can tell how allergic that person is to the vaccine based on how swollen they get in that area. I wasn’t very swollen at all, and so my allergist cleared me for the H1N1 / Swine Flu vaccine. I could have gotten it the same day, but I didn’t have my form that the health department required for all individuals receiving the vaccine. So I went ahead and got my seasonal flu vaccine, and was told I would have to wait a month between vaccines so that my body wouldn’t confuse the two. I also had my allergist write me a note saying that it was okay for me to get the vaccine, as I had been getting seasonal flu vaccines since I was small.

I did wait a month before scheduling an appointment again with my local health department. However, even with the doctor’s note, I was still being denied the vaccine. I called back my allergist’s office, figuring they were the only place willing to giving me the shot because they’re equipped to take care of any individual if they have a reaction to a vaccine. However, they were now out of the H1N1 / Swine Flu vaccine and weren’t getting anymore in.

So, I called back the health department and asked if they would be willing to send a vial of the vaccine to my allergist office. They could not, but only because they were in a different county (I live in a county north of my allergist’s office). They suggested that I ask the health department in that county. So I did call the other health department and asked them the same thing. They said if no one from the office was willing to come and pick up the vial themselves, they’d be willing to drop off the vaccine vial at my doctor’s office. And so finally, about a week later, I received my H1N1 / Swine Flu vaccine (and thankfully, I had no reaction to the shot).

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

How A Person With An Egg Allergy Can STILL Get the H1N1 / Swine Flu Vaccine (based on my experience)

I was able to get the H1N1 / Swine Flu shot for two main reasons. First, my egg allergy isn’t severe, it’s moderate. Someone with a severe egg allergy would have a reaction to eggs even in small doses. (I have moderate reactions to eggs in small doses, but still make it a habit not to eat eggs or anything with eggs in them.) Secondly, I was very persistent and resourceful in finding a way to get the vaccine. So if you or someone you know has an egg allergy and wants to get the H1N1 / Swine Flu vaccine but hasn’t yet, you most likely still can.

If you’ve had seasonal flu shots in recent years and haven’t had a reaction, you likely won’t have a reaction to the H1N1 / Swine Flu vaccine. However, if you’ve never had seasonal flu shots, haven’t taken them in recent years, or you just want to be sure you won’t have a bad reaction to the H1N1 / Swine Flu vaccine, you can get allergy testing done just like I did. Find a local allergist’s office to schedule allergy testing. A nurse (or possibly a doctor) will extract a small amount of the H1N1 / Swine Flu vaccine and prick your arm with it. Based on how swollen your arm becomes in the area that was pricked, the allergist can tell you whether or not you are allergic to the vaccine. You will either be cleared to get the shot, receive the shot in a few doses instead of all at once, or you won’t be able to get the vaccine at all.

If you can get H1N1 / Swine Flu vaccine, but it’s not available at your local allergist’s office, ask if they will administer the shot if it’s sent to the office by the local health department, or if someone in the office would be willing to pick up a vial from health department. Then call your local health department, tell them your situation (nicely), and ask if someone can pick up the vial or if a vial of the vaccine can be sent to the allergist’s office so the shot can be administered in a controlled environment.

Photo courtesy of photo search Public Health Image Library – PHIL (Phil.CDC.gov). To view a larger version of the photo, click on photo.

What To Do If You STILL Can’t Get the H1N1 / Swine Flu Vaccine Because of An Egg Allergy

If you cannot find an allergist’s office near you, or you get allergy tested for the H1N1 / Swine Flu vaccine and have a bad reaction to it, you clearly won’t be able to get the current version of the vaccine. But you are not entirely out of options.

New Versions of the H1N1 / Swine Flu Vaccine
There are two companies– FluGen, Inc. & Novartis– who are working on other ways to grow the vaccine. From this online article:

“Newer methods for flu vaccine are on the horizon. Advances in molecular technology have allowed the creation of a flu vaccine that would be safe for those with an egg allergy. FluGen, Inc. recently announced a cell-based production of flu vaccine that doesn’t use egg in any part of the process. The company hopes to ramp up production and have vaccine ready “in the very near future.” This cell-based process would save weeks in manufacture time and is less likely to become contaminated.

Another pharmaceutical company, Novartis, also claims to be close to being able to offer a cell-based vaccine.”

In other words, vaccines will be grown without using eggs, and if successful, will be made available to the public. However, if you are waiting to get the H1N1 / Swine Flu vaccine but you have any kind of animal allergies, beware. According to another online article on MedicalNewsToday.com, the method that FluGen is using is a CHO-based system to grow the vaccine. And CHO stands for… Chinese hamster ovaries. Yes, really. Read this press release for more information on that.

Meanwhile, I’ve emailed both FluGen and Novartis about their upcoming vaccines.

FluGen’s response: “I’ve heard from many egg allergic people like you in the last several months. FDA approved flu vaccine is produced using chicken eggs. Unfortunately, FluGen is still 2-3 years away from FDA approval for our cell based (egg-free) flu vaccine, which we believe is faster and cleaner than the current method of introducing flu virus into chicken eggs for vaccine production. I’m sorry we cannot help you at this time.”

Novartis’ response: “In order to respond to your request we will need the following information:
Country in which you reside:
Are you a healthcare professional?”

I told them I’m in the U.S. and that I am not a healthcare professional, and they sent me a pdf document/letter stating the following:

“Thank you for your interest in, and request for information regarding availability of Celtura (their drug) in the United States. Please note, Celtura is not approved for use in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration. It is currently approved for use in Germany
and Switzerland. It is unknown, at this time, when there will be a cell culture based influenza vaccine approved for use in the United States.”

I sent my emails out in October 2009, so perhaps there have been new developments. I do believe that others with egg-allergy concerns about the H1N1 / Swine Flu vaccine should email both FluGen & Novartis as I did, as well as news media. If enough people contact local news stations & send emails with the same concerns, and they do it more than once (not non-stop, but consistently every 1-2 months), the companies will take notice of this and so will the media, which might move things along and finally put a spotlight on this issue, creating some progress.

What to Do In Lieu of Getting of the H1N1 / Swine Flu Vaccine
Until a vaccine without egg protein in it is available, the usual precautions apply. Wash your hands frequently. Make it a habit not to touch your face (except to wipe or wash it). Avoid people who are sick. When you’re out in public, use hand sanitizer and disenfectant wipes to clean shopping carts & baskets before use (and after use, if you want to keep the next person from getting sick). Drink warm liquids such as water, tea or coffee (this kills off potential germs). And eat foods high in vitamin C.

You can also avoid the H1N1 virus / Swine Flu 2 other ways. Several sources have stated that gargling twice a day with warm salt water or Listerine prevents the virus from building up. The H1N1 virus / Swine Flu takes 2-3 days after initial infection to build up in the throat and or nasal cavity, before any symptoms show up. Gargling with salt water is supposed to have a similar effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu or Relenza would have on an infected one. Cleaning your nostrils with cotton swabs or q-tips at least once every day with warm salt water also keeps the virus from building up.