Asthma is controllable, but it can be scary and even dangerous if it’s not kept in check—and having allergies can be downright annoying. Having both asthma and allergies, though, can be the source of some major problems, and the two often coexist. Often, asthma worsens when allergies do—during the spring and late summer.
Millions of people suffer from allergies and experience the daily nuisance of sneezing, itchy eyes, and a stuffy nose. But if you have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), you might be wondering—can my allergies also cause a COPD flare-up?
The answer is yes, your allergies can cause a COPD flare-up. In this article, we will discuss the types of allergens that can cause a COPD flare-up and what you can do to avoid them.
Bob Jacobs is a man of faith, with a loving wife and a renewed appreciation for life, after he was brought back from the brink of death 11 times. He now uses a home oxygen concentrator that we were happy to provide him with, and is alive and well in his home in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.
On a fateful day in March 2013, Bob suffered a sudden cardiac arrest because of ventricular fibrillation. The lower chambers in his heart started to function erratically, fluttering instead of beating like they are supposed to, due to a change in electric activity.
Unfortunately, when the weather starts to warm up, many of us can't celebrate the way others normally do. Those with allergies can feel the onset of spring right in their sinuses, and that can be very bad news for oxygen therapy patients who also suffer from spring allergies. However, there are plenty of ways to protect yourself this spring, so you won't need to suffer or risk your allergies turning into something much worse.
Allergic rhinitis, or the allergy symptoms effecting the nose, can make a very negative impact on the lungs and the rest of the pulmonary tract. Those with asthma or COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) who also have allergies, can attest that whenever their allergies start to rear its ugly head in the spring time, they can also feel their lungs becoming more irritated.
Allergy season is just around the corner, and in some parts of the country it's starting early. In North Texas, they've already started sneezing from the wind that blows the pollen from the cedar trees. Those in the South will always have to deal with an earlier allergy season than those in the Northern United States. However, even in the north, we will be experiencing tree pollen as early as late February. Many of us are effected by allergies, and if you are, they can be a huge pain.
If you have to use oxygen therapy on a daily basis, having allergies can seem even worse. No one wants to deal with nasal congestion, especially while you have to use a nasal cannula. If you know you are going to suffer from allergies soon, do yourself a favor and be prepared. Read ahead to find out what steps you should take to avoid allergy symptoms as much as possible.
It can be frustrating to find out that you are now allergic to something that you weren't allergic to just a few years ago. It's possible to go all your life without being allergic to dog and cat dander, mold or pollens, and develop one later in life. This is known as adult onset allergy, and it's more common than you may have guessed. Many allergies are known to affect the airways, and this can be dangerous for those with a chronic lung condition, such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or asthma.
What causes late onset allergies?
Experts have come up with several possible causes for why you would develop an allergies late in life, and it's not always easy to pin point why for each individual case. One reason is, you can actually overexpose yourself to a certain allergen, like animal dander if you've had pets for a long time. Or maybe you live in a house with a mold problem, and now you've started having reactions to it.
The latter part of the summer, from around mid-August to the end of September, should be a time for enjoying the last few days of beautiful weather and soaking up the sun in most parts of the world.
Unfortunately, it's also a time when many peoples' allergies are at their worst. It's the time for the dreaded hay fever – or the allergic reaction caused by the pollens that are being released from grasses and weeds. Itchy eyes, runny and stuffy noses happen in differing degrees, depending on how severely you are affected.
May is Asthma and Allergy awareness month, since this is the month of the year in much of the United States when the trees and flowers are blooming and pollen counts are high. Asthma symptoms are often triggered by allergies, and if you have asthma, you are already well aware of this. The spring time and May in particular, are rough months with many people who have sensitive respiratory systems. Many people who only have allergies and no history of asthma may also have a hard time breathing during this time.
If you suffer allergies and you've been diagnosed with COPD, you will need to protect yourself even more during the peak of the allergy season. People with chronic lung diseases under the umbrella term of COPD, which are emphysema and chronic bronchitis, now have sensitive lungs that need to be protected from any extra inflammation and irritation.
Some of us don't need to watch the weather to know when the pollen count is high, or know that some of the trees have already begun to release their pollen spores. Many allergy sufferers in parts of the southern United States begin to see their symptoms develop as early as January, when it used to not start until February. People in the north aren't used to needing their allergy medicines until the last half of February. Doctors around the country are already seeing the signs of a particularly long and tough allergy season.
With the apparent climate changes and winter seeming to come to an end quicker than it did in the past, we can expect trees and other plants to become active sooner. Tree pollens are released during early spring, while ragweed comes later in the spring and in late summer.
With spring on its way and cold and flu season on its way out, you might still have plenty to deal with in preventing breathing problems. The Food and Drug Administration estimates that 36 million people in the United States suffer with hay fever – AKA allergic rhinitis – which can put a major damper on the onset of nice weather. We might be looking forward to more sun and the blooming of the trees and flowers, but must we suffer along with it?
If you have COPD or another chronic lung condition, allergy season can actually be dangerous for you if you them. The symptoms of allergies can send you into an exacerbation, caused by drainage from your sinuses down into your lungs. Extra mucus and inflammation occurs, and your doctor may find it necessary to increase the dosage on your medication or prescribed oxygen.
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