Can Allergies Cause Chest Pains?

Do you have pain in the chest this Valentine’s Day?  That feeling might not be a broken heart.  Chest pain is a symptom of allergies and allergy-related conditions.  Pain in the center of the chest that feels like squeezing along with pain in the arms, back, neck or jaw can be heart attack.  That’s when you need to call 911.  But if you have a persistent tightness in the larger chest area, it may be a condition related to allergies.

Allergy Induced Asthma

Asthma Cigarettes – Seriously?

Uncontrolled allergies can lead to asthma.  Asthma inflames your airways, makes them narrow,  and fills them with mucous.  This makes breathing difficult.  You may hear a wheezing noise as you breathe.  You may also cough.

During an asthma attack, your chest may feel tight.  Some people describe it as a feeling of something pressing down on the chest.

The repeated coughing and gasping for air associated with asthma can cause damage to the scalene muscles.  These muscles are located on the side of the neck and attach the neck vertebrae to the 1st and 2nd ribs. Scalene muscle damage causes pain in the upper chest that may or may not radiate down the arm.

Medication and allergy avoidance control asthma.  Talk to your doctor and if you have asthma, know how to prepare for an asthma attack.

Allergy Medication Side Effects

Thatpills for allergies pill you swallowed to relieve your allergy symptoms can cause chest pain.  If you take allergy medications that include the decongestant pseudoephedrine you know how well it works.

What you might not know is that tightness in the chest is one of the many side effects of pseudoephedrine.

Talk to your doctor about alternative medications that do not contain this ingredient if you are sensitive.

Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis

People that are sensitive to dust and other inhaled allergens can experience Hypersensitivity pneumonitis if they do not control their exposure.  This can be caused by living or working in dusty areas and has even been associated with molds coming from the HVAC system.  The primary symptom is tightness and pain in the chest.  It is caused by repeatedly inhaling allergens and can cause serious scarring of the lungs.  Reversible if caught early; if not can lead to pulmonary fibrosis.

Control Your Allergies!

If you have allergies, asthma, scalene muscle damage or hypersensitivity pneumonitis you know it isn’t a pain in the neck, it’s a pain in the chest and it can be serious.  Talk to your doctor and then talk to The Allergy Store about controlling your exposure to allergens.

Frequent washing, using allergen proof bedding, and allergen reducing products in your home can all reduce your exposure to allergens.  We can’t mend a broken heart, but we can control allergens.  We’d love to help you!

Til Next Time!

Cheryl

 

Is a Winter Cold or Winter Allergies?

winter allergies or winter cold why are you sneezing

 

Have you had sinus congestion, sneezing or wheezing since last fall?  Does it seem that you’ve got a cold that just won’t go away or just keeps coming back? Every year kids get blamed for bringing home a constant stream of colds from school or daycare and making everyone in the house sick, but the real culprit may be winter allergies; not recurring colds.

Winter Cold or Winter Allergies?

It’s easy to think that you’ve got a nasty cold that you just can’t shake.  Sometimes it’s hard to figure out if its cold or allergies.  How do you know?

Fever.  The first sign of a cold is a fever.  So take your temperature.  A cold will cause a very mild fever.  Flu will cause a high fever.  Allergies will never cause a fever. If you have a fever you don’t have allergies.  If you don’t have a fever, then you may have allergies.

Symptom Onset.  Another difference between winter allergies and winter colds is how the symptoms appear.  Allergy and flu symptoms come on suddenly.   Cold symptoms come on gradually, usually starting with a sore throat.

Duration.  With colds, allergies and the flu, the symptoms last for different periods.  A winter cold will last anywhere from 7 to 10 days, whether you treat the symptoms or not.  After a week and a half, your symptoms should be subsiding.  The symptoms of the flu last longer and can leave you feeling weak for weeks.  Allergy symptoms will not go away until you remove the offending allergen or stop the action of the histamines and leukotrienes. If you’ve had symptoms for weeks, it is probably allergies.

Common Winter Allergens

When you think of seasonal allergies you probably think of hayfever in the spring or fall.  kids get winter allergies tooPlants are the major source of outdoor allergens in the warmer months, but indoor allergens cause problems in winter.   This is because doors and windows are closed, reducing fresh air and increasing allergen levels and we spend more time  inside.  Dust mites, molds and pets are the most common indoor allergens.

To learn more about these allergens and how to reduce or eliminate them from your home, read our article Can’t Shake that Winter Cold?  It May be Winter Allergies.

Til Next Time!

Cheryl

Allergy free living - allergystore.com

PS – Get your free copy of Cheryl’s book “You Can Do It! Allergy Free Living”. Click here to download.

Keep My Boyfriend or My Cat?

love-pets-not-allergies
Love your pet and Not the allergies.

So your boyfriend comes to pick you up at your apartment for the first time, stands in the living room and starts to sneeze his head off. Turns out he is allergic to cats. What do you do?

  1. Look for a new boyfriend
  2. Get rid of Ginger your cat
  3. Find a way to keep both

In our experience, we’ve found the vast majority of pet owners who are allergic to their pets, or have friends or family that are, find ways to manage it. That way they don’t have to give up their beloved cat or dog.

Why are you allergic to your pets? It’s actually related to a protein under the dog’s skin. Cats, dogs, horses, rabbits, hamsters and other furred animals have a protein in their saliva and urine that is a common allergen. While the allergic reaction is the same, the protein is different for each different animal. But these individual proteins are very similar. Many people that are allergic to cats are also allergic to dogs, rabbits and horses.

How do you deal with the allergens? If you have allergies, is an aquarium full of fish your only option for animal companionship? Fish can’t snuggle up with you on the couch.

For many years allergists and other physicians routinely  recommended that people with allergies of any sort not have any pets in the home. Often, that is just not practical. Our pets have become family members and I don’t’ know about you but it is very hard to kick a member out of the family!

So what do you do? Actually there are some fairly simple things you can try without spending a ton of money. Please take a minute to read “Love Your Pet, Not Your Pet Allergies” in our resource center.

As pet owners and allergy sufferers we believe the benefits of pet ownership simply outweigh the drawbacks of allergies for most people who share their lives with a dog, cat or other four-legged or feathered family member.

Wishing you the best of health

The Allergy Store