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Oak Street & Oregon Allergy Blog

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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Asthma

140425OSMasthmaawareness 1Asthma is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the lungs, causing coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath.

Here are 10 reasons why Asthma Awareness Month is so important:

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131015JohnHillmanPatientActivePic13John Hillman was driving home one evening from his job as a firefighter when his breathing became labored. His lungs struggled for every breath. By late evening, he was in intensive care. That was 1995. He was 47 years old.

None of his doctors knew what caused his first asthma attack. He had never suffered from a respiratory condition in his 20 years as a firefighter. After that first — and a subsequent — asthma attack, John ended up missing work for nine months, and eventually left the field after 21 years.

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Tagged in: Asthma

Over the past few decades, the prevalence of food allergy has risen. If you were a student in the 1970s, you might have been the only food allergic student in your class – or even your school. This no longer seems to be the case.

The CDC reports that from 1997 to 2007, the prevalence of food allergy increased 18 percent. By 2007, about 4 percent of people had been diagnosed with food allergy. A current estimate by another research group in 2011 puts the rate for children even higher, at about 8 percent. Researchers now estimate that between 3 million and 6 million children in the United States have food allergies.

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Tagged in: Asthma Children Food

If you or your child has asthma or allergies, here are some tips to make a smooth transition from warm sunny days to cool, wet weather and the start of viral season.

School tips:

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As the 2012 London Olympic Games take center stage around the world, all eyes will be on the many athletes set to compete. Did you know that more than 20 percent of athletes in the 1998 Olympic Winter Games had asthma? Asthma is a condition that makes a person’s airway narrow and swell, which results in difficulty breathing.

Some of the best U.S. athletes, such as heptathlete and retired Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee, have competed with asthma.

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Tagged in: Asthma Olympics
Marion Jones competing at Eugene's 2004 Prefontaine Classic in the midst of her fight against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

Track season is under way, and the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene and the Summer Olympic Games in London will be here before you know it. Some elite athletes with allergy, asthma and related conditions, especially those with grass pollen sensitivities, see our allergy doctors before competitions in our area during high pollen months, not only to relieve their symptoms but also to apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) so they can use certain approved medications during competition.

Given this, you may wonder why some elite athletes are banned from competition. Unfortunately, some athletes use performance-enhancing drugs to gain an advantage over competitors. During the Trials, you will likely hear about an athlete who has been suspended or disqualified for using a banned substance.

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Tagged in: Asthma Olympics
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Summer is here, and for many families that means camping! If you or your child has asthma or allergies, follow these simple tips to ensure that your camping trip is a success:

  • Air out the tent before your trip, and check the tent and any tarps for mold. Use liquid bleach diluted with hot water to remove any mold.
  • At the campsite, find a grassy spot to set up your tent. If you are allergic to grass, find a cleared area, but avoid stirring up a lot of dirt.
  • If you are weed pollen allergic, beware of camping in open meadows in July and August.
  • Campfires can be significant irritants for those with asthma and allergies. Try to sit farther from the fire, move away if the wind starts blowing smoke toward you. And change your clothes after sitting near the campfire.
  • Bees, yellow jackets and other stinging insects often hover near campsites. If you are allergic to stings, always bring along an Epi Pen and antihistamine. Avoid sugary drinks and the wearing of scents and bright colors, which attract stinging insects.
  • Most importantly, bring all your asthma and allergy medications with you, even those you might not think you’ll need. For asthmatic patients, consider bringing along a back-up supply of prednisone in case of an asthma attack.

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In the Willamette Valley, May not only brings with it tree pollens but it also heralds the beginning of grass season – a time when many asthma and allergy patients really begin to sneeze and wheeze.

May is "National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month," according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), which every year releases a list of "Allergy Capitals in the U.S."

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Tagged in: Asthma Pollen
Asthma symptoms can be dramatically reduced by making your bedroom a dog-and-cat-free zone.

Just because you have asthma doesn't mean you have to give up Fifi or Fido - but it wouldn't hurt. Simply shutting your bedroom door and creating a furry-friend-free zone can do wonders for those with asthma, lessening symptoms five fold.

Furry friends are just one of the many asthma triggers that can be curtailed in the home, according to a recent study summarized by the Oregon Public Health Division and Oregon Health Authority. By removing triggers - dust mites, pests, rodents, mold, second-hand smoke and furry pets - asthma sufferers are more likely to breathe easier.

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Recent studies have begun to look at a possible association between the use of acetaminophen (Tylenol) and asthma symptoms. Acetaminophen depletes a protective antioxidant called glutathione, which scientists believe may lead to future asthma symptoms.

acetaminophen

Most studies that show a link between acetaminophen use and asthma symptoms are "retrospective." This means that patients (or their parents) are asked to recall information about acetaminophen use to see if there is a relationship between that and current asthma symptoms. Many of these studies also show an association between mothers taking regular doses of acetaminophen during pregnancy and babies with asthma symptoms.

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Tagged in: Aspirin Asthma