Allergies Articles

Sniffing out sinus relief

Chronic sinusitis strikes when inflammation leads to swelling within the lining of the sinuses. This can interfere with normal drainage, cause mucus buildup, and make it hard to breathe through the nose. Over-the-counter treatments and home remedies can often control the problem, although surgery is sometimes needed for severe cases. (Locked) More »

Think twice before going gluten-free

It appears that gluten does not prevent heart problems. People who eat low amounts of gluten often have diets low in whole grains. Restricting whole grains may be bad for heart health. More »

The secret to an easier allergy season

Pretreating allergies before the season starts will lead to better control of symptoms and may prevent symptoms from showing up. This is partly because some drugs, such as corticosteroid nasal sprays, take a few weeks to become fully effective. It’s also because the reaction to even a few allergens has a snowball effect. Only certain allergy medications should be used in advance, including corticosteroid nasal sprays and antihistamines. But antihistamines can sometimes cause drowsiness, which can lead to falls, so they are not recommended for older adults. More »

The upshot of allergy treatment

Many people try to manage allergies with over-the-counter or prescription medication; however, allergy shots may better control symptoms as well as reduce dependency on allergy drugs. After a three-to-six month build-up phases, people received monthly shots for about three to five years on average.  (Locked) More »

In search of a milk alternative

People who are unable to or don’t want to drink cow’s milk have alternatives. Lactose-free milk has an enzyme added to it that helps break down lactose into more easily digested sugars. Soy milk is the fluid that’s strained from a mixture of ground soybeans and water. Nut milks are the fluids from a mixture of water and ground almonds, walnuts, or hazelnuts. Grain and seed milks are the fluids from a mixture of water and ground rice, oats, quinoa, or hemp. Nut, grain, and seed milks don’t have as much protein as soy milk unless they are fortified. More »

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity

Many people who have celiac-like symptoms repeatedly test negative for celiac disease yet respond well to a gluten-free diet. Specialists now recognize that these people—between 1% and 3% of the population—may have non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Symptoms of gluten sensitivity include: Gluten sensitivity is a baffling condition because it has been difficult to understand how gluten could trigger such a host of seemingly unrelated symptoms. One theory is that gluten sensitivity is part of the "undersea" portion of the "celiac iceberg." More »

Medication allergy

Some people are allergic to some medications. Their bodies sense the drug as harmful and make antibodies to it. The antibodies bind to the drug to rid it from the body. That's a problem, because clumps of drug-bound antibody travel can harm body tissues or interfere with normal body function as they travel through the bloodstream. Allergic reactions to drugs are often limited, causing skin rashes. But they can also cause problems in the kidneys, liver, joints, and blood. Some are severe enough to be deadly. If you think you are having an allergic reaction, call your doctor right away. The most severe type of allergic reaction is anaphylactic shock. This is a life-threatening problem in which blood pressure drops and your airways become so narrow that you can't breathe. It requires emergency treatment. More »

Fighting back against allergy season

Allergy seasons are worsening, possibly because of the effects of climate change. Fighting back against allergy symptoms involves medications, such as antihistamines, corticosteroid nasal sprays, nonsteroidal nasal sprays, and decongestants. Other strategies to combat symptoms include starting a nasal steroid spray a few weeks before the spring allergies begin, making sure air conditioning and heating filters and vents are clean, closing windows and wearing a mask for outdoor yard duties, staying indoors when pollen levels are highest, using nasal saline irrigations in the nose after working in the yard, and avoiding irritants such as cigarette smoke and pollution. More »

What to do about sinusitis

Sinusitis occurs when blocked sinuses cannot drain and the backed-up mucus gets infected. The simplest and often most effective treatment is daily nasal irrigation. It can also help to drink a lot of water, inhale steam, and sleep with the head elevated. More »