Is this Allergy; Sneeze, Crease or Wheeze?

What is an allergy? Allergy is a response of the body’s immune system towards a foreign substance which is usually not harmful to your body. The foreign substance is called allergen and may include pollen, dust mites, pet dander and certain foods. The allergic response can cause symptoms like itching, hives, sneezing, redness and difficulty breathing. What causes allergy? The job of our immune system is to protect us from harmful substances like bacteria and viruses. However, when the immune system starts fighting with substances that are usually not harmful to us, it causes allergy. During an allergic reaction, the immune system releases antibodies and histamine which causes symptoms like reddening, sneezing, hives, itching, etc. Common substances that cause allergy are: Certain foods: wheat, milk, peanut, tree nuts, fish, soy, eggs and shellfish Airborne allergens: pollen, animal dander, dust mites and mold Insect bites: bee or wasp Medicines: particularly penicillin or penicillin-based drugs Latex or other substances: can cause skin reactions What are the symptoms of allergy? Symptoms depend on the type of allergen involved and it can affect your airways, nasal passages, skin or digestive system. Most common allergic symptoms may include: Sneezing, runny or stuffy nose Itching Watery, red or swollen eyes Hives Swelling of lips, tongue or face Cough Chest tightness Wheezing or shortness of breath Rashes Anaphylaxis (life-threatening allergic reaction) What are the risk factors for allergy? Family history of allergies or asthma Childhood Asthma or any other allergic condition What is Allergic March? In some children, different allergies occur in a specific order as they get older. It usually starts with eczema, the food...

Asthma: Symptom Triggers & Action Plans to Control

Since Asthma is not a disease but a condition, the triggers cannot be cured. It is imperative to practice preventive measures every day even if the symptoms are not exhibited. Below are the few points that you need to keep in mind as a parent: Get to know about the triggers: Asthma triggers are not the same for all and need to be identified at the earliest. Take the help of your doctor to identify these. A few triggering factors of asthma are pet hair, dust, pollen grains, non-allergic irritants such as perfumes, etc.  Prepare Asthma Action Plan: An Asthma Action Plan is a strategic plan written for managing Asthma. It shows the daily treatment which needs to be administered to your kid along with dosage details. It also elaborates the ways to manage Asthma in the long term and what to do if the condition worsens. Make the child sit in an upright posture and let him take 1-2 puffs of reliever inhaler immediately as prescribed by your doctor. Ask him to take slow steady breaths Rush to the physician immediately if the wheezing worsens and if there is an appearance of a bluish tinge on the lips which is a sign of respiratory system failure.  Medications: It is very important to understand that taking regular medications and inhalers is the only way to reduce the risk of Asthma attacks.Inform your kid’s teacher, nurse, caretaker, the baby-sitter about the Asthma Action Plan and also medications which your child needs to take regularly.Household chores like vacuum cleaning, dusting, changing bed covers, pillow covers and curtains should be done regularly. But it is better to avoid doing...