CERTIFIED Allergy Blog!

The Official Blog for CERTIFIED Allergy & Asthma of San Antonio

CERTIFIED Allergy Blog! - The Official Blog for CERTIFIED Allergy & Asthma of San Antonio

Making the Most of Your Spring Allergy Visit

Credit: AAAAI

Credit: AAAAI

This handout was recently posted by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI). We hope you or someone you know may find this helpful. Click the link above for the PDF file or read on below:

Spring is the busiest time of year at your allergist’s office as patients begin experiencing the first
symptoms of seasonal allergies, or ‘hay fever.’
An estimated 35 million Americans suffer from allergies to pollen and mold, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.  Symptoms include sneezing, a stuffy or runny nose and itchy, watery eyes.

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Spotted: FREE Asthma Wallet Cards!

Tired of always having to write down everything about your asthma or your child’s asthma when meeting with alternate caregivers? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a clear and easy-to-understand reference, always ready for these situations?

Well look no further, folks! Because the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute has put together some nifty wallet cards that can do exactly that! The card  includes information on common warning signs of an asthma attack. It also provides space to record your asthma action plan, peak flow, and medicines.

Best of all, it looks like they will be FREE for a limited time (max 10 per customer), so take advantage of it! Click here to order.


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Vocal Cord Dysfunction: a Masquerader of Asthma

Vocal Cord Dysfunction

“I can’t breathe!”

I had a patient come in my office this week who I’d like to share with you (with his permission, of course!). He was a twenty-year-old young man with a bright future: he is studying business, just finished summer school calculus with a B+ average, and is heavily involved in sports.

He’d never been told he had asthma or breathing problems his whole life.

… Which is why he was so concerned… because for the past two months before seeing me, he was having sudden episodes of coughing followed by the complete inability to breathe in. He saw his primary physician who told him he may have asthma and gave him some inhalers. Unfortunately, he did not get better, so he came to see me.

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Back-to-School! Is Your Child with Asthma or Food-Allergies Ready?

I always remember my back-to-school days. I would dread that fateful end to my freedom that was sweet, wonderful summer vacation. Parents of food-allergic and asthmatic children, on the other hand, have a lot on their minds too! While schools and society in general have become much better at being sensitive to the needs of these children, the best advocate for your child is and always will be YOU.

But never fear! We’re here to help with the following tips.

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Dr. Ramirez was on KENS-5 Talking About Cedar Allergies!

In case you missed it, Dr. Ramirez Jr. was on KENS-5 briefly yesterday discussing our current cedar season. Mountain cedar is one of the only plants that actively pollinates in the winter (specifically, late November through late February), and is a very nasty allergen for many people. While it hasn’t been as heavy as it was last year, he still suggested a three-pronged approach to tolerating the season as best possible:

  • Avoidance. If you’re really sensitive, stay indoors as much as possible. Replace your air conditioning filters (MERV rating of 12 or better) monthly, don’t open your windows (especially in the mornings), and put your car A/C on recirculate.
  • Medications. If you have prescription nasal steroid sprays at home, it’s probably a good idea to start taking them right now if you haven’t already. This will make sure your nose will be saturated with the medication when cedar pollens peak. If you don’t have prescription medications, see us for refills or stock up on over-the-counter antihistamines.
  • Immunotherapy. If all else fails, or if the thought of repeated medication use (and copays) does not appeal to you, allergy shots are a proven way to make your body more tolerant to mountain cedar. Check out our article on allergy shots here.

Do You Have “Christmas Tree Allergies?”

Christmas trees are usually a welcome reminder of a joyous holiday season, but for some people they seem to wreak havoc on their allergies and asthma. I often get asked why this is, and here is what I tell my patients:

  • First of all, Christmas trees are not mountain cedar trees (whew!).
  • They’re not pine trees either.
  • Christmas trees usually come from North Carolina or the Pacific Northwest.
  • These Christmas trees may be coated in the Fall pollens of that region (like ragweed!)
  • They also may be contaminated with mold, thanks to their storing process.

Below is a great video from the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology that discusses the various treatment options that will help you celebrate the holiday season. Enjoy!

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“Take My Asthma Medications? … But I Feel Fine!”

“Take asthma medications? … But I feel fine!”

As a guy who doesn’t like to take medications…  and as a father who’s wary about giving medicines to his own daughter, I fully understand why I hear this question from my asthma patients and/or their parents. After all, isn’t giving a medication to someone who doesn’t have symptoms a little excessive?

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