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

 

Back to School with Asthma and Allergies

time-is-nowYes the calendar still says July, but its not too early to start thinking about your back to school strategies for dealing with asthma and allergies.   You and your doctor know what needs to be done to keep your child’s asthma and allergies under control, but do the people at school?

Your School Asthma and Allergy Team

The American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology recommends that you enlist the help of the following school personnel:

Teacher – Your child’s teacher should know your child’s triggers. So, make sure you tell them.  Also, make sure that your child takes their medication BEFORE they leave for school. Don’t miss a dose.  Also, don’t let allergy control measures at home be lost in the back to school craziness that happens the first few weeks of every school year.

Room Parent – If your elementary age child has food allergies, be sure to let the room parent know.  This is especially important if the school allows treats to be brought in from outside.

School Nurse – Take time to discuss emergency procedures with the school’s nurse.  Even if your child is returning to the same school, it doesn’t hurt to provide a quick refresher.  Ever since 2010, all 50 states recognize a student’s right to carry and use emergency asthma and allergy medications such as rescue inhalers and Epi-pens.  If your child has been prescribed emergency treatment medication make sure your child and school staff know how to properly use it.

PE Teacher/Sports Coach – Asthma and allergies doesn’t mean your child must sit on the sidelines. If your child’s doctor has given the go-ahead for participation in sports, then make sure that the PE Teacher or Coach knows what to do in case of an asthma-related event.  Exercise-induced asthma events may signal that the asthma is not under control.

Boost the Immune System Before Back to School

It never hurts to start boosting the immune system before the back to school assault begins.  Be skeptical of remedies and treatments off the shelf that promise to increase immunity.  The tried and true methods are just common sense:

  • Make sure adequate hydration is maintained – that means drink water
  • Get plenty of rest – that means no more all night video game sessions
  • Eat right – that means more frozen juice bars and fewer ice cream cones
  • Play outside – just make sure to use sunscreen, then get some Vitamin D naturally
  • Wash your hands – that doesn’t mean drown in hand sanitizer, it means use soap and water after playing outside and again before eating

Continue to avoid allergy and asthma triggers as much as possible in the lead up to school.

Back to School Physical

Don’t delay in scheduling your child’s back to school physical.  This is a great time to discuss any changes in medication or treatment that may be necessary as your child grows.

Have Fun

Make the most of the remaining days of summer.  Don’t let asthma How to Send you child with allergies to campand allergies hold your child back from swimming, playing, and enjoying childhood.

Til Next Time!

Cheryl

 

Read – How To Prepare For An Asthma Attack

 

 

 

Enjoy a Happy and Healthy Summer Vacation

Summer has officially started and so have the thoughts of summer vacation. It conjures up visions of relaxation, sports, sunny days spent on a sandy beach or a mountain trail.

Summer Vacation!
Summer Vacation!

For individuals and families with allergies and asthma though, it means extra thought and preparation before letting the “good times roll”

As we head full tilt into summer here are some common sense but commonly missed suggestions for healthy vacation.

Medications – Make a detailed list of any medications showing prescription refill numbers, prescribing doctor, phone number and dosage. Make sure you pack your medications in a carry-on bag just in case the airline happens to misplace your checked bags. One would think that could not happen with what they charge for checking a bag these days but it does.

Also make sure to pack an extra Epipen in case someone has an allergic reaction to an insect sting or something they ate. Another good thing to pack is a topical hydrocortisone cream.

Essential Gear – If someone has asthma and is using a peak flow meter be sure to bring it and their chart to record results. I don’t need to tell you not forget the nebulizer but if you are travelling overseas don’t forget the electrical converter. We have heard from many customers over the years they could not use their nebulizer because of power problems. For people who are camping you can either use a power converter that hooks into your car or buy a portable one that runs on batteries.

To protect yourself from dust mites it may be wise to pack your own allergy proof pillow and mattress covers. Many of our customers use the king size fitted mattress covers and king size pillow encasing the when I travel.  They are easy to use and the king size covers fit any bed.

Insurance – Don’t forget to check your insurance policy to make sure you’re covered in the area that you’re traveling. Way too many people get a big surprise if they run into a problem and need to go to a clinic or emergency room.

Sensible Behavior – During the hot summer months people with allergies and asthma should drink plenty of fluids especially water.  Try to avoid exposure to cigarette smoke whenever possible. Make sure you request a hotel room that is non-smoking and mold free.  If you have food allergies call ahead order special meal on the airplane or better yet pack your own snacks. When eating out make sure you let your server know you have allergies.

Just because you have allergies does not mean you cannot have a great summer vacation. You just need to do a bit more planning.