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FAQs
LOCATIONS

FAQs

FAQs

FAQs

FAQs2021-03-31T19:33:04+00:00

Here are some commonly and frequently asked questions for our practices.

What Types Of Plants Produce The Most Allergy-Causing Pollen?2021-03-29T21:58:10+00:00

The type of pollen that most commonly causes allergy symptoms comes from plants (trees, grasses, and weeds) that typically do not bear fruit or flowers. These plants produce small, light, dry pollen granules in large quantities that can be carried through the air for miles.
Common plant allergens include:

  • Weeds, such as western ragweed, slender ragweed, false ragweed, sagebrush, wingscale, lenscale, lamb’s quarters, iodine bush, tumbleweed (russian thistle), pigweed, saltbush, careless weed, marsh elder, burrobrush, baccharis, mugwort, cocklebur, kochia and english plantain.

  • Grasses, such as canary grass, ky/june grass, johnson grass, bermuda grass, meadows fescue grass, bahia grass and rye grass.

  • Trees, such as mountain juniper, chinese elm, fremont cottonwood, sycamore, arizona ash, mulberry, willow, lombardy poplar, acacia, olive, arizona cypress, gamble oak, privet, mesquite and pine mix.

What Does A Pollen Count Mean?2021-01-29T21:49:57+00:00

A pollen count is the measure of the amount of pollen in the air. Pollen counts are commonly included in local weather reports and are usually reported for mold spores and three types of pollen: grasses, trees, and weeds. The count is reported as grains of pollen per square meter of air collected over 24 hours. This number represents the concentration of all the pollen in the air in a certain area at a specific time. The pollen count is translated into a corresponding level: absent, low, medium, or high.

In general, a “low” pollen count means that only people extremely sensitive to pollen will experience allergy symptoms. A “medium” count means many people who are relatively sensitive to pollen will experience allergy symptoms and a “high” count means most people with any sensitivity to pollen will experience allergy symptoms.

Although the pollen count is an approximate value and fluctuates, it is useful as a general guide when you are trying to determine whether or not you should stay indoors to avoid pollen contact.

Should I Consider Moving To Decrease My Allergy Symptoms?2021-01-29T21:50:52+00:00

No. Moving to a different geographic climate will not help “cure” allergies or allergy symptoms. Most people who relocate to get away from pollens that cause their allergies tend to find that they eventually develop allergies to the plant pollens in the new area.

How Can I Tell If My Child Has Allergies Or A Common Cold?2021-03-29T19:49:35+00:00

Symptoms of allergies and colds can be similar, but here’s how to tell the difference:

  • Occurrence of symptoms:
    Both allergies and colds cause symptoms of sneezing, congestion, runny nose, watery eyes, fatigue, and headaches. However, colds often cause symptoms one at a time: first sneezing, then a runny nose, and then congestion. Allergies can cause these symptoms all at once and is associated most times with itchiness.

  • Duration of Symptoms:
    Cold symptoms generally last from seven to 10 days, whereas allergy symptoms continue as long as a person is exposed to the allergy-causing agent. Allergy symptoms may subside soon after elimination of allergen exposure.

  • Mucus Discharge:
    Colds may cause yellowish nasal discharge, suggesting an infectious cause. Allergies generally cause clear, thin, watery mucus discharge.

  • Sneezing:
    Sneezing is a more common allergy symptom, especially when sneezing occurs two or three times in a row.

  • Time of Year:
    Colds are more common during the winter months, whereas allergies are more common in the spring through the fall, when plants are pollinating.

  • Presence of a Fever:
    Colds may be accompanied by a fever, but allergies are not usually associated with a fever.

What Does It Mean When A Product Is Labeled “Hypoallergenic”?2021-01-29T21:58:56+00:00

“Hypo” means “under” or “less than,” so “hypoallergenic” means a product is less likely to trigger an allergic reaction.

Many products that we use every day, such as cleansers and soaps, deodorants, makeup, and even mouthwash, have ingredients that can irritate the skin or act as antigens (substances that act as an allergy trigger). Exposure of the skin to these ingredients — most often fragrances and chemicals used as preservatives — can lead to a condition called contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis appears as areas of redness, itching, and swelling on the skin, and sometimes as a rash or blisters.

Many manufacturers of cosmetics and cleaning supplies now market their products as “hypoallergenic,” meaning the products do not contain ingredients that are known to cause irritation or allergic reactions. However, manufacturers are not required to prove the claim that their products are hypoallergenic and there are currently no regulations or standards for manufacturers to follow.

Although choosing products that are hypoallergenic may help reduce the risk of contact dermatitis, no product can guarantee never to irritate the skin or produce an allergic reaction. It’s always a good idea to test any new product before you use it, especially if you have had skin reactions in the past. To test it, simply put a sample of the product on your inner wrist or elbow and wait 24 hours to see if a reaction occurs.

Can Allergies Be Cured?2021-01-29T22:01:06+00:00

Allergies cannot be cured but allergy symptoms can be treated and controlled. This may require making changes in your environment or behavior to avoid or reduce exposure to certain allergens. Medication also may help relieve allergy symptoms. Even with allergy treatment, your body’s immune system may continue to react when exposed to allergens. In some cases, however, children may outgrow their allergies, particularly those to food.

Immunotherapy, or allergy shots, is not a cure. Rather, the shots are a way to significantly lessen the symptoms caused by exposure to specific substances.

How Does Stress Affect Allergies?2021-01-29T22:01:54+00:00

Stress is the body’s response to conflict or situations, both internal and external, that interfere with the normal balance in life. Virtually all of the body’s systems, including the digestive system, cardiovascular system, nervous system and immune system, make adjustments in response to stress. When you are feeling anxious or stressed, your body releases numerous hormones and other chemicals, including histamine. Histamine is a powerful chemical that can lead to allergy-like symptoms.

Stress does not cause allergies, but it can make an existing reaction worse by increasing the level of histamine in the bloodstream.

What Does Asthma Feel Like?2021-01-29T22:14:42+00:00

Imagine trying to breathe through a paper straw in your mouth while your nose is pinched closed! That’s how millions with asthma describe breathing when they have symptoms of an asthma attack. Now think about living daily, breathing through a paper straw. Can you see how difficult it might be to stay active and alert, engage in exercise, and be productive at work or school?

That’s why getting an accurate asthma diagnosis and using the prescribed asthma treatments are priorities for living well with this common lung condition. Self-managing asthma by avoiding asthma triggers or causes of asthma and using the proper asthma medications allows the vast majority of those with asthma to live active lives without asthma symptoms of coughing, wheezing, or chest tightness.

How Will My Doctor Know I Have Asthma If I Don’t Have Symptoms On The Day Of My Office Visit?2021-01-29T22:15:55+00:00

Asthma symptoms come and go for the majority of people with the condition. So it’s very common for patients not to have obvious asthma symptoms when they arrive at the doctor’s office. You may cough and wheeze all week only to have no asthma symptoms when you see the doctor. This makes diagnosing asthma more difficult — but you can help.

Keep a daily asthma diary by jotting down whenever you have respiratory symptoms. Also, write down any factors or exposures that may have caused your respiratory symptoms. Your doctor or health care provider can review the diary, ask questions, do a brief physical examination, and perhaps do a lung function test. Using all of this information, your health care provider can usually make an accurate asthma diagnosis.

What Do Lung Function Tests Tell my Doctor?2021-01-29T22:16:39+00:00

Your doctor may use several tests to make an asthma diagnosis, including lung function tests. The most likely lung function test will measure how much air you can exhale. These important asthma tests confirm the presence of airway obstruction that improves with asthma treatment.

As an example, your doctor will have you perform spirometry, a lung function test that measures how much air you can blow out of your lungs and how quickly. This asthma test is done before and after using an asthma inhaler with albuterol, a bronchodilator. If your airways expand, allowing air to pass through more freely, then it is highly likely that asthma is the cause of your respiratory symptoms.

Are Steroids Dangerous?2021-03-29T19:51:47+00:00

You’re probably thinking of the illegal anabolic steroids that some athletes take to improve performance. The most commonly prescribed asthma controller medication is an inhaled corticosteroid, which reduces airway inflammation. With less inflammation, the airways are less twitchy and sensitive and less likely to react to asthma triggers. This means you’ll have more control over your asthma — and your life. Oral steroids, which most often are given for severe attacks, can have significant side effects especially if taken for more than 2 weeks.  Proper asthma care should markedly decrease or eliminate the need for these medications.

When Should I Go To The ER For An Asthma Attack?2021-01-29T22:18:03+00:00

A severe asthma emergency is frightening and life-threatening. The symptoms of asthma continue despite the use of asthma rescue inhalers and other asthma medications. A severe asthma emergency, or an anaphylactic attack, can occur with little warning and can quickly move to asphyxiation.

Symptoms might include breathlessness at rest, high anxiety, wheezing during inhalation and exhalation, severe shortness of breath, chest tightness, and difficulty speaking in complete sentences. When these symptoms and signs occur, don’t hesitate to quickly dial 911 for an ambulance. The ambulance crew will immediately provide you with oxygen and nebulized bronchodilators. They will also monitor the level of oxygen in your blood (using a pulse oximeter), and your heart rhythm (using an ECGmonitor). And during the trip, they can talk with a doctor in the emergency department for further lifesaving treatment. None of this monitoring or emergency treatment is available if you get a ride to the emergency department or use public transportation.

When Should I Use A Peak Flow Meter?2021-01-29T22:18:39+00:00

Readings from a peak flow meter can help you to recognize early changes that may be signs of worsening asthma. During an asthma attack, the muscles in the airways tighten and cause the airways to narrow. Reduced readings from the peak flow meter may alert you to the airway narrowing often hours or even days before you have worrisome asthma symptoms such as shortness of breath or chest tightness.

The peak flow meter can also be used to verify that respiratory symptoms are due to bronchospasm. Ask your doctor or allergy specialist for a written asthma action plan that includes the use of a peak flow meter to determine whether you are in the green, yellow, or red zone.

Why Does My Asthma Always Get Worse At Work?2021-01-29T22:19:46+00:00

It’s possible that you have work-related asthma. This happens when substances at your work (irritants or allergens) cause asthma or worsen asthma. Hundreds of substances found in workplaces have been proven to worsen asthma. Examples of people who are at higher risk for occupational asthma include health care workers, those who work with cleaners or solvents, workers in the chemical industry, construction workers, welders, auto body painters, those using isocyanate foams, and animal care workers.

Talk to your doctor or asthma specialist about your work-related asthma symptoms. Once the workplace triggers have been determined, your health care provider can help you find ways to reduce your exposures to these substances.

What Is Eczema?2021-01-29T22:21:19+00:00

Eczema is a general term for many types of skin inflammation (dermatitis). The most common form of eczema is atopic dermatitis (sometimes these two terms are used interchangeably). However, there are many different forms of eczema.

Eczema can affect people of any age, although the condition is most common in infants, and about 85% of those affected have an onset prior to 5 years of age. Eczema will permanently resolve by age 3 in about half of affected infants. In others, the condition tends to recur throughout life. People with eczema often have a family history of the condition or a family history of other allergic conditions, such as asthma or hay fever. The nature of the link between these conditions is inadequately understood. Up to 20% of children and 1%-2% of adults are believed to have eczema. Eczema is slightly more common in girls than in boys. It occurs in people of all races.

Eczema is not contagious, but since it is believed to be at least partially inherited, it is not uncommon to find members of the same family affected.

What Causes Eczema?2021-01-29T22:32:41+00:00

Eczema runs in families. Certain genes can make some people have extra-sensitive skin. An overactive immune system is thought to be a factor as well. Also, it’s thought that defects in the skin barrier contribute to eczema. These defects can allow moisture out through the skin and let germs in.
Factors that may trigger eczema include:

  • Stress

  • Contact with irritating substances such as woolen and synthetic fabrics and soap

  • Heat and sweat

  • Cold, dry climates

  • Dry skin

What Are The Symptoms Of Eczema?2021-01-29T22:27:19+00:00

Almost always, your skin will itch before a rash appears in eczema. Typically, eczema shows itself as:

  • Patches of chronically itchy, dry, thickened skin, usually on the hands, neck, face, and legs, but it can occur anywhere. In children, the inner creases of the knees and elbows are often involved.

  • If scratched, dry patches of skin and open sores with crusts may develop and may get infected.

When Should I Call My Doctor About Eczema?2021-01-29T22:29:26+00:00
  • If you develop an itchy rash and have a family history of eczema or asthma.

  • The inflammation doesn’t respond within a week to treatment with over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams. You may need more aggressive forms of treatment.

  • If you develop yellowish to light brown crust or pus-filled blisters over existing patches of eczema. This may indicate a bacterial infection that should be treated with an antibiotic.

  • During a flare-up of eczema, you are exposed to anyone with a viral skin disease such as cold sores or genital herpes. Having eczema puts you at increased risk of contracting the herpes simplex virus.

  • If you develop numerous painful, small, fluid-filled blisters in the areas of eczema. You may have eczema herpeticum, a rare but potentially serious complication caused by the herpes simplex virus.

How Is Eczema Diagnosed And Treated?2021-01-29T22:30:46+00:00
  • To diagnose eczema, your doctor will first talk to you about your symptoms and medical history.

  • He or she will also ask about your family’s history of rashes and other allergy-related medical conditions, such as asthma and hay fever.

  • While there is no single test to diagnose eczema, a good medical history and an exam of your skin are usually all that is needed.