Our Ask The Allergist blog page features articles written by our physicians that allow you to learn more about current issues and common questions related to allergies and asthma in children and adults.
Food allergy or intolerance?
Have you ever wondered if you have a food allergy or a food intolerance? Allergists can help answer that question. Identifying the mechanism behind food reactions is important.
Is My Cat Or Dog Making Me Sick?
Is my cat or dog making me sick? Can I get an allergy-free dog or cat? Can pet allergies affect me even if I don’t own a dog or cat, or if I am not frequently around animals? Do I have to get rid of my pet if I do have animal allergies? These are common questions that I hear on a daily basis. Let’s explore pet allergy and answer these and many other common questions.
Is it a virus? Or Allergy?
Do you ever wonder if your runny nose, nasal congestion, headache, body aches sore throat, yellow-green drainage or sneezing might be symptoms of viral illness or bacterial sinusitis? These symptoms may leave you feeling sick without an idea of what you are experiencing, or how to treat it. You may feel compelled to call your doctor for a dose of antibiotics or to run to the store for some over-the-counter cold medicine. But what if neither of these options helped ease your symptoms? If this has happened to you, you may be one of the 24 million Americans suffering from seasonal allergies, also known as allergic rhinitis.
What causes allergies in each season?
In most parts of the United States, tree pollen causes spring allergies. Your nose may be telling you that tree pollen season is already here. Common symptoms of allergic rhinitis are itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose, and congestion. We saw Henrico’s first measurable pollen for 2019 on February 4th. Juniper and Alder tree pollens were noted throughout the first week of February when temperatures warmed to the 60s. Elm, one of the most common tree pollens in the Richmond area, was also present last week. Warm, windy days are more likely to have high levels of pollen while cold, wet days tend to have lower levels. Rain brings pollen down and out of the air. When pollen is low due to rain, mold may rise and cause allergies.
Why does adult-onset asthma develop?
Adults may develop asthma symptoms and be diagnosed with adult-onset asthma. Adults may develop asthma at 40, 60, or even later. Allergies can cause airway inflammation leading to asthma. Adult-onset asthma is associated with greater symptoms and medication use compared to pediatric-onset disease.
Are food allergies on the rise?
Yes, according to recent research by the Centers for Disease Control. Between 1997 and 2007, research showed an 18% increase in food allergies in children under 18. In fact, food allergy research has become a priority at the National Institutes of Health precisely because food allergies affect so many people. Continued research is important because even though some risk factors have been identified for food allergy, we still don’t fully understand why a patient’s immune system suddenly recognizes a food as foreign and manifests allergic symptoms. New research is working to solve these mysteries by examining the mechanisms of food allergy in order to treat, and even prevent, food allergy.