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!




Hot Dry Summer Spells Allergy Problems

summer-allergiesA large portion of the United States is spending the summer under the influence of a high pressure system that seems to be parked in the central US. This hot dry summer spells allergy problems for people with seasonal allergies

Just like the high pressure system that parked over Texas and Oklahoma last year, this weather pattern is bringing dry weather, hot temperatures and allergy problems.  This year it is just a little farther north.

Why does a hot dry summer spell allergy problems?

The lack of rain is one reason.  While rain does promote the growth of grasses, it also washes the tree and other pollens out of the air.  Going outside right after a rain storm is the best chance you have of pollen-free air.  If it isn’t raining, you don’t have that chance.

Also, the hot, dry weather prompts grasses to create more pollen. They are seriously trying to pass along their genetic material to the next generation (to put it politely).

When high pressure is in place, it is pushing air down. This means you get increased ozone levels.  The sunlight bakes the emissions from cars, lawn mowers and factories, producing the ozone. Since the air is not circulating the ozone just stagnates.  This can trigger asthmatic attacks and aggravate COPD, allergies, and other respiratory problems.  This is just another way that a hot dry summer spells allergy problems.

Also, there are more dust particles in the air.  While you might not be allergic to the actual dust, it serves as an irritant to the nasal and sinus passages.  If the dust is bothering you, you will benefit from a nasal rinse with a sterile saline solution.  This process will gently flush away the particles and restore moisture to the mucous membranes that line your respiratory system.

You can do you part to help by gassing up your car and cutting gas early in the day.  Carpooling or using public transportation also helps with ozone.  Keep an eye on your local news or The Weather Channel for air quality alerts related to particles or ozone.

If you have to go outside, do it in the evenings, morning, or right after one of those rare rain falls.  The pollen counts will be lower.  If you have an air cleaner, run it on the highest setting when you are not in the room, turn it back down when you come in the room to sleep and know that you will have cleaned the air as best as possible.  Keeps doors and windows closed and the air conditioning running.  Also, if you use disposable filters on your AC, make sure they have a MERV rating of at least 8.  If you have a permanent filter on your AC, remember to keep it clean by washing once a month.

This high pressure may be here to stay for the remainder of the summer. It doesn’t go any good to complain about it because you can’t change the weather. You can only wait for the weather to change and then complain about the ragweeds!

Til Next Time

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Best Dust Mask for Trail Riding


Mu2 Sprt Mask
Mu2 Sprt Mask

I don’t ride ATV’s or dirt bikes or participate in motocross events.  But have talked to lots of people that do. Riding all terrain vehicles (ATVs) is a very popular pastime. The first models were released in the 1960’s and the first 4 wheeler came out in 1983.  People tell me they like being outdoors, riding in different terrain, and seeing our beautiful countryside.

One of the big problems people face is the amount of dust kicked up on the trails. They are looking for something that will keep them from breathing dust, but not be so hot they can’t stand it.  Fitting comfortably under a helmet is a plus. I hear stories of all sorts of things they have tried. Everything from respirators to plain bandanas.

How do I hear these stories? Well, it turns out that our U2 Sports Mask is a big hit with the trail riders.  The mask combines the same material used to make the Q-Mask in a neoprene covering that allows the mask to cover both the nose and mouth without restricting airflow.  Because particles hit the “filtering” material and bounce off, it doesn’t clog up and won’t get hot under the mask.  The neoprene and filtering material are both thin, so the mask straps fit comfortably under a helmet.  These benefits make the Sport Mask  the best mask for off roading.

Best dust mask for trail ridingWe originally sold the U2 mask thinking that people that ride bicycles needed a way to keep molds and pollen out of their respiratory system during their excursions.  I liked the mask, because one of my favorite bike riding routes goes past some wetlands that can be full of gnats and other small flying insects.  While you can keep your mouth closed, you still have to breathe through your nose and I inevitably inhaled a bug or two every time: one of the grossest feelings in the world!  The U2 mask looked perfect for biking and it was. It allowed me to ride without being exposed to pollens and molds, without restricting my airflow and kept the bugs out of my nose and mouth, all at the same time.  As far as I was concerned it was the perfect bike riding mask.

Once we put them out on the internet, ATVers started snapping them up.  Seems they had the same needs as the bikers for a great, comfortable mask.

As one of our customers said, “I can follow my buddy on the trail now without eating his dust”. So next time the rider in front of you says “Eat My Dust” just put on your U2 Sports Mask and reply “I don’t think so”!

Til Next Time