How I Cope With Asthma and Allergies

Connie McKinneyStarred Page By Connie McKinney, 24th Sep 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Allergies

Allergies and asthma work together to make you feel miserable. I know how bad these conditions can get. Find out how to cope from my experiences.

Allergies Can Cause Asthma


I started coughing one night about two years ago and couldn't stop. I got up from bed, thinking that would help. Instead, the coughing got worse, and I started gasping for air. I called 911 and wound up in the emergency room.
The doctors diagnosed me with allergy-induced asthma. What that means is I have a form of asthma that can be triggered by allergies. I was tested for allergies and discovered that I'm allergic to dust, pollen, grass, ragweed and pet dander.
I probably have been allergic to these substances all my life. However, I ignored the occasional itching, sneezing and wheezing. I shrugged it off and took an over the counter pill. Finally, my allergies got so bad that I couldn't ignore them any more.
Don't be like me. If you have symptoms of allergies and/or asthma, see your doctor immediately.
Here is an overview of asthma and allergies from a doctor who also suffers from both conditions:

Let's look at some of the more common allergens and see how to cope with them.

Coping With Dust Allergies


If you are allergic to dust like I am, try to keep your house as clean as possible. Vacuum and dust often. If possible, get rid of all carpeting.
But be careful. Last week, I was sweeping some stairs when I suffered an asthma attack. Fortunately, it wasn't that severe, and a few puffs on my inhaler stopped my coughing and wheezing.
Some experts advise that you wear a mask when vacuuming and dusting, according to WebMd. I have not tried this yet but may do so if I keep having more asthma attacks.
Make sure you encase your pillowcases and sheets in allergen-proof covers. Most department stores sell them.
Another option is to buy an air filter for your bedroom. These work well to clean the air of dust particles, pollen and pet dander.

Coping With Pollen and Ragweed


Keep the windows closed on days in which the pollen count is high. If possible, stay inside. Early morning is the worst time for pollen so try to avoid outdoor activities such as exercising, according to Web Md.
Try these same precautions when it comes to ragweed. This weed usually appears in late July or early August and continues blooming up until the first frost. August and September tend to be the worst months.

Coping With Mold Allergies


Air conditioners and dehumidifiers can help get rid of mold. Clean your bathroom frequently using anti-mold cleaners. Use exhaust fans to get rid of steam, according to Webmd.
People with mold allergies sometimes forget that mold is an outdoor as well as an indoor allergen. Be careful when gardening or doing yard work. For example, raking wet leaves can set off your mold allergies.

Coping With Pet Allergies


Pets are a common allergy trigger but it's their dander, not their fur, that causes the problem. However, you don't have to get rid of pets if you are allergic to them as I am.
Instead, don't let them sleep in the same bedroom with you. My dog, Casey, sleeps in
a spare bedroom away from his owners. One cat, Tara; sleeps in the basement while Sammy, our other cat; curls up in yet another spare bedroom.
If you have pets, try to limit how much carpeting you have. Vacuuming may not be enough to get rid of all the allergens. You may need to rip out some carpets as I did two years ago.

How to Cope With Allergies


The best strategy is to avoid allergy triggers. However, this isn't always practical or possible. Not many bosses would be understanding if you called in to work because it's a high pollen day.
If your allergies are not severe, you may be able to feel better using over the counter medications. Zyrtec D is the one that my allergist recommends. Allegra, Claritin and Benadryl also work well. However, some medications may cause drowsiness and may not be suitable for daytime use. Some medications are marked non-drowsy so be sure to read the label before buying it.
I got relief from a prescription drug known as Singulair, also known as Montelukast. This is a pill which helps reduce asthma symptoms and attacks and allows me to breathe better. Ask your doctor if Singulair could help you.
Allergy shots may help you cope. Your doctor will first test you for allergies by pricking your back with allergens. If you have a reaction, you have an allergy.
The disadvantage to shots is they take a long time - three to five years. You'll start by having one shot once a week for six months to a year and gradually reduce the time in between. I started about two years ago and am now down to shots every three weeks.
Whatever you decide to do, learn from my mistakes and don't ignore your symptoms. The sooner you get medical help, the sooner you'll feel better. Then, you'll be breathing easier in no time.

Attribution


This article used some information from Webmd
The inhaler photo came from Wikimediacommons
I took the dog and air filter photos.
The video came from You Tube.

Tags

Allergen Induced Asthma, Allergic, Allergic Pollen, Allergic Reaction, Allergies, Allergy, Allergy Preventions, Allergy Treatment, Asthma, Asthma Patients, Asthmatic

Meet the author

author avatar Connie McKinney
I enjoy exercising, pets, and volunteering as well as writing about these topics and others.

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Comments

author avatar Lady Aiyanna
25th Sep 2013 (#)

Here is mine from experience:
Start swimming, watch your weight, watch what you eat, learn to drip feed environment and above all stay away from processed food, fried and fizzies as these are all asthma triggers.
I never let myself get sick for I know it will debilitate me for days, weeks or even months with the symptoms and I don't want that so I monitor just everything and am honestly fit as a fiddle although I do survive on love and fresh air at times because of circumstance or a whim.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
25th Sep 2013 (#)

How scary to wake up unable to breathe. I am so glad you were able to get help and that you are still here to share your wisdom and experience!!!

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
25th Sep 2013 (#)

Take care of yourself, both of mysons have allergies and one of tehm since our move to the pacific northwest from Southern California has become less dependent of his pills, the other one still needs his nasal spray from his sinusitus. With pets you cannot allow them to slee with you, in teh case of dogs theyre not as dangerous as cats from their fine hair. Take care of yourself my friend , Medicine is making strides and more sooner than later a cure will be available!

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author avatar Connie McKinney
25th Sep 2013 (#)

Thanks, Phyl. It was a very scary experience.

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author avatar Connie McKinney
25th Sep 2013 (#)

Thanks, Fern, for your encouragement. I am glad to hear your boys are feeling better.

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author avatar Mariah
25th Sep 2013 (#)

Hi Connie
Really alarming experience for you, must have been dreadful.
My eldest daughter also has to use and inhaler for allergy triggered asthma symptoms, fortunately it has lessened as she has got older, but I've had my moments of anxiety listening to that wheezing when was younger.
Encouraging and informative page on the subject, very well written.. thank you

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author avatar Connie McKinney
25th Sep 2013 (#)

Thanks,Mariah. It absolutely was dreadful. I'm glad your daughter appears to have less of a problem now. I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
25th Sep 2013 (#)

Very scary my friend...thanks Connie for this informative and very helpful information...

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author avatar Carol
25th Sep 2013 (#)

What very useful information, well done. My son has suffered in this way since he was born, I know it's a curse, but your tips are very helpful

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
25th Sep 2013 (#)

good information Connie...take care...

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author avatar Connie McKinney
26th Sep 2013 (#)

Thanks, Delicia. It was scary.

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author avatar Connie McKinney
26th Sep 2013 (#)

Thanks, Carol. I hope your son is coping well. It's tough to deal with.

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author avatar Connie McKinney
26th Sep 2013 (#)

Thanks, Carolina, for the positive thoughts.

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