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Ask the Allergist

AAFA's "Ask the Allergist" is a free service provided by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). Our allergist will answer your questions about asthma and allergies. We provide only general advice about managing asthma or allergies, medicines and treatments. "Ask the Allergist" does not answer questions about specific consumer products. This information is not a substitute for medical advice from your physician. Always talk with your doctor before changing your asthma or allergy management plan. You can submit your own question to "Ask the Allergist."

What's causing my allergy flare-ups?

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Question
My allergies have flared up in the past few months. They haven’t been this bad since being a kid. My allergy medicine is not effective either. I have tried many antihistamines without much success. Why would they flare up now when nothing external has changed in my environment? Is it my age or could it be hormonal? What could be changing in my body that would cause more histamine in be released? What should I do? Will they continue to get worse? Should I try immunotherapy?
Categories
Allergy, Treatment

How can I improve the indoor air quality (IAQ) in my home?

Question
I was diagnosed with asthma and allergies within the past few months. I saw my primary care physician (PCP), a pulmonologist, and an allergist in March. All three prescribed albuterol and steroids. I now have a HEPA vacuum, air purifier, pillow, and mattress cover. My symptoms are off and on. I want fresh air and my A/C isn't very good. In the meantime, is it ok to open the windows for fresh air?
Categories
Allergy, Asthma, CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly®, Indoor Air Quality, Pollen Allergy

Could I have eczema?

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Question
Recently, I've struggled with strange tingling from my nose down to my lips. Then my lips turned red, burned/tingled, and swelled like I've had a bad lip injection. My primary care physician says it's eczema. The dermatologist says it's perioral dermatitis. The allergist thinks it's hereditary angioedema. One of these seems to explain my symptoms. What do you think it could be?
Categories
Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)

When should I take my child to an allergist vs. a pulmonologist?

Question
My child is being treated for exercise-induced asthma by his pediatrician. He is still struggling to breathe during exercise and we'd like to see a specialist. He has never experienced asthma until this past January when he had the flu. What is the difference between an Allergist and a Pulmonologist? Which is a better place to start?
Categories
Asthma, Diagnosis

Do I have a cat allergy?

Question
I have never been allergic to cats. Two days ago I got a new kitten. Yesterday I began having a lot of allergy symptoms. Last night I put him in my guest bathroom and deep cleaned my room, which was the only place he had been. It has been approximately 15 hours, but my symptoms haven't improved very much. Is there any way to determine if I have a cat allergy?
Categories
Diagnosis, Pet Allergy
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