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Tips for Managing Asthma for Kids Playing Sports

Asthma doesn’t have to prevent your child from playing a sport that he or she loves. It is reported that nearly 8% of Olympic athletes suffer from asthma. While your little one may not be ready to head to the Games, it is positive news that some of the greatest athletes in their sport are managing their asthma and performing at the top of their field.

Don’t let fear of a flare-up stop your child from getting exercise and the team atmosphere that sports foster. In denying them, you are actually hurting them. As we discussed in our previous blog, exercise has actually been proven to help strengthen children’s lung capacity.

Here are a few tips to ensure your child can enjoy sports without worry of an asthma attack.

To avoid flare-ups:
Make sure your child always has time for a careful warm up and cool down.
Breathe through the nose instead of the mouth while exercising.
Skip outdoor workouts when there’s lots of pollen in the air.
Wear a scarf or ski mask when playing outside during the winter when it’s very cold and dry.

Choose the Right Sport:
When it comes to asthma, some sports can be less risky than others.  Athletes in sports that combine a cold climate with intense physical activity such as hockey, snow skiing or ice skating can be particularly prone to asthma attacks. Many child athletes have excelled at baseball/softball, track & field (short-distance events), golf, volleyball, and swimming to name a few.

Be Prepared:
Be sure the coaches are prepared and have the right medicine on hand in the event of an attack. Keep their inhaler handy at all times during play in case of an asthma attack.

Don’t let asthma get in the way of your children’s dreams. If playing sports is what they desire, then asthma doesn’t have to stand in their way. Be sure to visit the juvenile asthma specialists in Somerset County, NJ to discuss your concerns before they begin a new sport.

Should a Child with Asthma Play Sports?

Your child suffers from asthma but really wants to play football this fall, should they? The answer is yes! Not only can a child with asthma play sports, but they should!  Being active and playing sports is a good outlet for all children, particularly those with asthma. Roughly 7 million children in the U.S. under the age of 18 have been diagnosed with asthma, and exercise has been shown to help strengthen their lungs, increase lung capacity and speed recovery after an asthma attack.

Naturally, as a parent, you are concerned with the idea of letting your child with asthma play sports. Running around leads to shortness of breath and can lead to an asthma attack. Learning to manage your child’s asthma and helping them to help themselves will allow them to be involved in the sports they love – building not only physical strength, but also to develop stronger lungs. That’s a win, win!

Some sports are less likely to bother a young person’s asthma. Golf and yoga are less likely to trigger flare-ups, and so are sports like baseball, football, and gymnastics. However, that’s not to say that a young person with asthma can’t play soccer, basketball or ice hockey.  In fact, many athletes with asthma have found that with the right training and medicine, they can do any sport they choose.

What’s most important before playing any sport is that your child has their asthma under control – meaning few symptoms and flare-ups. Meet with your child’s asthma specialist in Somerset County, NJ to talk about restrictions, symptoms and to be sure they are taking the proper medicine.

When is Blood Testing for Allergies Necessary?

children eating school lunchesYou’ve probably seen the stories on the news – more and more schools are banning peanut products for fear of triggering allergic reactions in the students. Food allergies are more common today than they ever were. As a parent, you may be planning on taking your child to get skin or blood tested for food allergies as soon as possible, but that might not be wise – yet. When it comes to testing for allergies, there is an appropriate time to do it.

Confirming Your Suspicions

If you have suspicions that your child may be experiencing a food allergy, think carefully about what your child has been eating, and identify common allergens like wheat, nuts, eggs, dairy, and soybeans.

If your child is experiencing hives or itching, tingling in the mouth, digestive problems, or swelling – particularly in the lips, mouth, or face, this could be a sign that they are experiencing a food allergy. If that is the case, you definitely want to bring them to our Asthma, Allergy, & Sinus Center for a blood test for allergies in Hunterdon County, NJ. This will allow us to test for specific allergies and confirm what you already expect.

The Problem with Early Allergy Testing

When you get a general allergy test, whether through skin testing or blood testing, you can end up with a lot of false positives. These allergy tests are non-specific, so you may test positive for foods you are not actually allergic to.

The problem with this is that you could wind up severely limiting your child without needing to. This could even lead to nutritional deficiencies, depending on what they test positive for. Very serious, life-threatening allergies are not quite as common as modern parents are led to believe.

If you do think that you child is exhibiting the symptoms of an allergic reaction, contact our allergy specialists today to make an appointment.

The Most Common Food Allergies to Look Out for In Children

With food allergies becoming more and more common in children, many parents are becoming concerned about potential allergens in their children’s food. You can’t just force your child to avoid common allergies out of fear, because that can unnecessarily complicate your child’s life and cause some anxiety for them. But what you can do is monitor your child when they eat particular foods to determine if they are actually allergic. Here are some common allergies for children that you can look out for:

Dairy – Symptoms of a milk allergy include hives, wheezing, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, an itchy skin rash around the mouth, or a runny nose.

Eggs – If you child is allergic to eggs, they will most likely develop skin inflammation or hives. Some less common symptoms include nasal congestion, cramps, nausea, and vomiting, or asthma-like symptoms. A more sever egg allergy could result in anaphylaxis, where the child will be unable to breathe.

Peanuts & Tree Nuts – This is the allergy that most parents are concerned with, as it can be potentially life-threatening. In addition to anaphylaxis (which is not very common), you should also look out for itchy skin and hives, nausea, itching or tingling in the mouth or throat, and a runny nose.

Soybeans – An allergy to soybeans can present itself with hives and itching, tingling in the mouth, swelling in face, lips, tongue, or throat, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, or skin redness.

Wheat – Wheat allergies, or intolerance to gluten, can cause digestive issues (particularly constipation in children), keratosis pilaris (small red dots on the back of the arms), and fatigue after eating a meal, or mood issues.

If you are concerned that your child has one of the above allergies, visit our Allergy, Asthma, & Sinus center for food allergy testing in Somerset County, NJ.

Allergy Pills or Nasal Spray: Which Works Better

A common question for allergy treatment is whether allergy pills or nasal sprays work better and with the wide variety of options, it can be overwhelming to pick one. For more information on which one is better, please read on!

Both the pills and nasal sprays work to relieve the symptoms of allergies but a lot of people do not feel comfortable putting medication in their noses. However, a lot of studies indicate that nasal sprays are more effective, especially with reducing any stuffiness or congestion. The reason is because a lot of allergy pills do not help with nasal congestion. Any pills that do have a decongestion usually contain pseudoephedrine, which can be bad for anyone with high blood pressure or heart disease.

The steroids in a nasal spray work to decrease any inflammation in the nose. One con to using nasal sprays is that they need to be used daily. A lot of them do not work until a week after using them so this is another factor that people need to consider. If you choose to use nasal sprays, you may need to start taking it a couple weeks before your symptoms start. One side effect that might occur when using nasal sprays are occasional nose bleeds.

The choice between nasal sprays and allergy pills are usually based on personal preference and health needs. Before trying any kind of medication, it’s important to consult one of our certified asthma and allergy specialists in Hunterdon County, NJ, and nearby towns.

To schedule an appointment, please give our professional staff a call today at (908) 526-0200 or email us at info@bestallergycare.com.

Differences Between Childhood and Adult-Onset Asthma

Asthma is a lung disorder that causes those who suffer from it to experience symptoms of swelling and inflammation in their lungs. It usually is more common in children but it is possible to develop it any age. In fact, a lot of people over 50 are diagnosed with asthma. The main trigger of adult-onset asthma is allergies, an immune reaction to certain allergens. Some of the allergens that cause an asthma attack can be:

  • Dust
  • Dry Air
  • Cold Temperatures
  • Exercise
  • Smoke
  • Mold and Mildew
  • Pollen
  • Animal Fur, Dander, or Saliva

Symptoms of Adult and Childhood Asthma

Since asthma swells the lungs, the most common symptom is difficulty in breathing and chest tightness. There a lot of similarities for children and adults when they experience an asthma attack. Adult-onset and childhood asthma exhibit a lot of the following symptoms:

  • Pressure in Chest
  • Difficulty Breathing After Physical Activity
  • Pain in Chest
  • Congestion
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Excessive Mucus Secretion in Airways
  • Trouble Sleeping

Differences Between Adult-Onset and Childhood Asthma

While the symptoms are the same, the way the attacks are triggered and the frequency of attacks are different for children and adults. For children, they are more sensitive to allergens and are prone to asthma attacks because their bodies are still developing. In some cases, children diagnosed with asthma when they are younger discover they no longer have it when they start puberty. However, there is a chance the asthma will come back. In adults, the effects of asthma are usually persistent and they require constant treatment to control symptoms.

If you or someone in your family experiences any of asthma symptoms, please schedule an appointment with our asthma and allergy specialists in Somerset County, NJ, and surrounding towns to learn about treatment plans. We can be reached at (908) 526-0200 or email us at info@bestallergycare.com.

Myths About Allergies

A lot of people suffer from allergies but despite this fact, not a lot of them really know the truth behind their allergies. To learn about some common myths about allergies and the truth behind them, please read on!

Milk Allergy and Lactose Intolerance are the Same Thing

A lot of people think that a milk allergy is the same as lactose intolerance but they’re actually very different. People who suffer from lactose intolerance feel discomfort after they consume milk or milk products. A milk allergy is a potentially life-threatening reaction by your body’s immune system from an exposure to milk proteins.

Peanut Allergies are the Most Common Food Allergy

A peanut allergy is definitely one of the more common allergies but milk, egg, and shellfish occur more in both children and adults.

Food Allergies are the Most Common Health Issue in the U.S

A lot more people suffer from allergies because about 1 in 5 people are affected.

Children with Allergies Will Have Them Their Entire Life

If your child has a food allergy, such as a peanut one, they might grow out of it. The best approach is to bring your child to our clinic for a comprehensive allergy testing in Somerset County, NJ, and surrounding areas. We will schedule a reevaluation to determine if your child will eventually grow out of his or her allergy.

An Allergy Attack Can Be Caused by Airborne Exposure

It is a common thought that someone who suffers from food allergies can experience an attack just by smelling the allergen. However, this is not true because the protein that triggers the reaction must be ingested.

 

To learn more about your allergies, please schedule a visit with our professionals today at (908) 526-0200.

Tips for Swapping For Food Allergies and Intolerances

If you suffer from food allergies, it can seem like it’s difficult to have a meal you can enjoy. However, with the recent rise in new food products, it can be extremely easy and satisfying! Read on to learn about some substitutions for food allergies.

Milk

There are a lot of dairy free options available in the supermarkets today. You can find some of the following in any supermarket:

  • Coconut
  • Hemp
  • Cashew
  • Oat
  • Soy
  • Hazelnut
  • Rice
  • Almond
  • Flaxseed

As you can see, there are a lot of different types of milk substitutions and all of them can be used for different recipes and types of food. An added bonus is that a lot of these options tend to be even healthier for you than regular dairy milk.

Gluten

Gluten allergies are one of the more common types of food allergies and it can be difficult to find food because almost everything seems to have gluten, or some form of it. However, there’s been an increase in demand for gluten free products and most supermarkets now have a section that caters to this diet. If not though, you should try to find food with some of the following ingredients:

  • Grains and Flours: arrowroot, corn, cornmeal, buckwheat, quinoa, wild rice, lentils, potato flour, etc.
  • Breads, Biscuits, Cakes: look for gluten free or GF on the label or look for products that are made with any types of flours or grains above.

Eggs

Eggs are an easy item that can be swapped in recipes by using some of the following tricks:

  • Use an extra teaspoon of baking powder for each egg that is needed
  • Make a mixture with water and arrowroot powder
  • Use gelatin as a binder instead

 

Please note that if you plan to try any of these substitutions or make any changes to your diet, you should first consult our asthma and allergy specialists in Hunterdon County, NJ, and surrounding areas.

To schedule an appointment, please give us a call today at (908) 526-0200!

Information on Food Allergies

Food allergies are a very common occurrence in people of all ages because they can develop at any stage in a person’s life. If you suspect you have a food allergy, please read on to learn more about the symptoms and treatment!

Symptoms

An allergic reaction is when the immune system in your body reacts negatively to a certain food or substance in the food. Your body sees the food as a foreign substance and it triggers a protective response. Your body’s reaction to the food can vary from mild to severe, such as a small itchy rash or hives to anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is the most severe reaction and it can result in death because your breathing becomes impaired. Some minor to moderate symptoms are as follows:

  • Shortness of Breath
  • Repetitive Coughing
  • Tight Throat
  • Issues Swallowing
  • Extreme Dizziness
  • Weak Pulse
  • Swollen Tongue

Some of the common foods that people experience allergic reactions to are dairy products, nuts, fish, wheat, and soy. During a food allergy testing, our asthma and allergy specialists in Hunterdon County, NJ, and nearby areas, will work closely with you and assess your diet, the symptoms you have after eating food, how long they last, your medical history, etc. Our professional staff can also perform a skin testing or a blood testing.

 

For more information, please refer to the website of American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology at http://acaai.org/allergies/types/food-allergy.

 

To schedule an appointment with one of our asthma and allergy specialists in Hunterdon County, NJ, and nearby areas, please give us a call today at (908) 526-0200!

Tips for Surviving Spring Allergies

With the spring weather approaching, it can be a huge worry for people who suffer from severe allergies. However, with the help from the asthma and allergy specialists in Hunterdon County, NJ, and Somerset County areas, you can help keep your allergies under control.

Schedule an Appointment ASAP

The best way to prepare for your seasonal allergies is to schedule an appointment with one of our asthma and allergy specialists in Somerset County, NJ, and surrounding towns. It might be beneficial to start your allergy medications before the pollen and mold begins to affect you.

Prep Your Home

While it is nice to have your windows and doors open when the weather gets warmer, the small particles of pollen and mold can easily get through the holes of your screens.  A great tip is to run your air conditioning system earlier in the year to prevent stuffiness.  You should also change your air filters in your AC unit in your home and in your car. For extra filtration, consider using an air conditioning unit that uses a HEPA filter or a high-efficiency particulate air filter.

You will also want to make sure you keep your home dry, wash and air out your bedding, curtains, etc. and dust the surfaces of your home regularly.

Exercise Indoors

If you exercise, you will want to monitor the levels of pollen throughout the day. The best choice is to exercise indoors but if you really want to go outside, pick a time in the afternoon when the pollen count is the lowest.

 

 

If you suffer from severe allergies, please schedule an appointment with one of our asthma and allergy specialists in Hunterdon County, NJ, and surrounding areas by calling (908) 526-0200!