With the new year come new opportunities for health goals and resolutions. For allergy and asthma sufferers, it’s the perfect time to get the wheezing and sneezing under control and commit to better breathing in the coming year!
There are many benefits to seeing an allergist early in the year. Here are just a few allergy and asthma tips to help you enjoy a year with fewer symptoms and better health!
Tips for Allergy Sufferers:
- Identify what is triggering your symptoms. Knowing what triggers your allergy symptoms is the only way to control them effectively. A board-certified allergist will take a complete history and perform testing that will definitively identify your specific allergies.
- Make changes around your home to combat your seasonal allergies this winter. If you are perpetually stuffy, have itchy eyes, and have pressure in your head this time of the year, you might suffer from what is often called winter or indoor allergies. Because you are indoors more during the colder months (often with little ventilation), you are exposed to indoor allergens like mold, dust mites, and animal dander. A visit to an allergy expert will include a discussion on environmental control measures to help reduce your allergic reactions when inside.
- Plan ahead for the spring pollen season. In Central Texas, we go from mountain cedar pollen season to the spring pollen season, where trees such as oak, elm, and ash release their pollen. If you are allergic to any of these pollens, you may experience symptoms from December through May, and that’s a long time to be miserable! Your allergist will advise you on what medications and when to start them to reduce the runny nose, itchy eyes, and congestion that plague so many. For those with year-round or particularly bothersome seasonal allergies, your allergist might prescribe immunotherapy which can permanently modify your allergies, and in some cases, prevent allergy development.
Tips for Asthma Sufferers:
- Identify your asthma triggers. Just like with allergies, knowing what triggers your symptoms is the first step in controlling your asthma. Be aware of the allergy/asthma connection. Approximately 80% of children and over 50% of adults have allergies that trigger their asthma symptoms. If you treat your allergies, you will help control your asthma.
- Avoid smoke! Giving up cigarettes should top your list for overall health, and especially for healthier lungs. But beware of secondhand smoke as an asthma trigger. A recent study showed that children with asthma who are exposed to secondhand smoke had nearly double the risk of being hospitalized than children who aren’t exposed. Additionally, a fire in the hearth is wonderful this time of year – but that smoke can also cause an asthma exacerbation.
- Beware of cold temperatures, especially during exercise. Try not to exercise in a cold room or outdoors during the winter season. Use your inhaler before exercise and during, if needed. Simply breathing cold, dry air will affect asthmatics. Keeping the humidity level in your home between 30 and 50 percent will help minimize asthma symptoms.
- Take care of yourself. Viruses are more prevalent during winter and can trigger asthma symptoms. Wash your hands often, get plenty of rest, stay hydrated and avoid crowded/stuffy places when possible. Also, make sure you are current on vaccinations. Get your annual flu shot and COVID booster.
- Manage stress. Emotional anxiety and stress can increase asthma symptoms and cause an attack.
Can an Allergist Help Me with Better Breathing?
Allergists are physicians specially trained to treat asthma. Studies have shown that compared to care by a general practitioner, asthma sufferers getting care from a board-certified allergist have fewer hospitalizations and emergency room visits, higher ratings for the quality of care, fewer restrictions in activities, and improved physical function.
Scheduling an Appointment with our San Antonio Allergists
As the largest allergy and asthma practice in San Antonio, our board-certified doctors and medical staff are experts at treating ailments in children and adults. Our team of medical professionals are committed to caring for patients with asthma, allergies, and immunology issues. We seek to improve the quality of life for our patients and their families by providing them with comprehensive medical services in a timely and caring manner.
Our allergy and asthma clinics in San Antonio provide an accurate diagnosis and customized treatment plans to help you breathe better and live better! We see patients at three area locations, Stone Oak, Medical Center, and Southside. Schedule an appointment today by calling 210-616-0882.