Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked question on Allergy, Asthma & Anaphylaxis:

Q1. What are allergies?

A. An allergic reaction occur when our immune system react with the substances which are considered harmless to most of us. For example if someone has allergic symptoms after eating peanut then he if suffering from peanut allergy.

Q2. What are allergens?

A. Allergens are the substances, which cause allergic reaction.

Major allergen include

  • Dust mite
  • Pet dander
  • Pollen
  • Cockroach
  • Mold
  • Foods

Q3. What are the types of allergy?

A. Based on symptoms the allergy can be

Mild to moderate: These are non-life threatening reactions. Symptoms can be controlled by taking over the counter or prescribed antihistamines or steroids.

Severe allergy/Anaphylaxis:  It is the most severe form of allergy. Urgent treatment is necessary to save the child.

Q4. What are the most common allergic diseases?

A. The most common allergic diseases are:

  • Hay fever/Allergic rhinitis
  • Allergic asthma
  • Allergic Conjunctivitis
  • Food Allergy
  • Urticaria /hives
  • Latex Allergy
  • Insect Sting Allergy
  • Drug Allergy
  • Atopic Dermatitis /eczema
  • Contact Dermatitis
  • Anaphylaxis

Q5. How can I tell the difference between a cold and an allergy?

A. You can tell the difference by your symptoms. Not everyone may be able to tell without a doctor’s diagnosis. However, here are some clues:

Q6. What are symptoms of allergy?

A. Symptoms of mild to moderate allergy include:

  • Runny Nose, Stuffy Nose, Sneezing
  • Wheezing, Shortness of Breath
  • Cough
  • Rashes
  • Headache
  • Nausea & Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Fever

Q7. What are the symptoms of anaphylaxis?

A. Symptoms of severe allergy include:

  • Generalized urticaria and angioedema
  • Itching, tightness in the throat, hoarseness of voice
  • Vomiting, diarrhea, cramp in the abdomen
  • Respiratory difficulty/shortness of breath, cough, wheeze
  • Weak pulse, dizziness, reduced BP

Q8. Best treatment of allergy?

A. Mild to moderate allergy: over the counter or prescribed antihistamines or steroids.

Severe allergy/Anaphylaxis:  Injection adrenaline is necessary to save the child.

Q9. Can allergy be prevented?

A. If you have allergy to a particular substance then avoidance of the substances are the best preventive measure to avoid allergy. But in spite of the best effort, an individual may come in contact with the allergen.

Q10. Can allergy be cured?

A. Symptoms of allergy can be controlled. An individual can live happily if he follow appropriate management.

Q11. If there any treatment to cure allergy?

A. Yes. Immunotherpy can cure allergy. But immunotherapy is not available for all allergic diseases.

Q12. I am allergic, what happen to my baby?

A. If parents are allergic then there is increased risk of allergy to there baby.

Q13. I am suffering from allergic symptoms throughout the year. What to do.

A. Attend an Allergist for consultation and management.

Q14. Can my pet cause allergy?

A. Yes pet like cat, dog can cause allergy. Pet dander can cause perennial symptoms.

Frequently asked question on Asthma:

Q1. What is asthma?

A. Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of airways. In this airways become narrow leading to cough wheeze and respiratory difficulty. Globally more than 100 million people had asthma. In India 15-20 million peoples are suffering from asthma.

Q2. Types of asthma?

A. Mainly two types based on etiology.

Allergic: due to allergy to various kinds of agents.

Non allergic: due factors other than allergy

Q3. What are the symptoms of asthma?

A. Common symptoms are:

  • Wheezing
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness
  • Increased mucous production

Q4. What are factors that can aggravate asthma symptoms?

A. These factors are called triggers of asthma. These include:

  • Allergens
  • Tobacco smoke – both active and passive
  • Cold air, wind, rain
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Paint fumes, smog, aerosol sprays
  •  Perfume spray, mosquito liquid/coils
  • Sudden changes in the weather
  • Exercise
  • Some medications

Q5. Can medicine cure asthma?

A. Till date there is no cure for asthma. Asthma can be controlled with medications and patient can live happily as normal individual.

Q6. What medications are used to treat asthma?

A. Asthma medications mainly are of two types:

Preventer medications: Usually taken daily as a long term basis. They reduces inflammation of airways. These medications include:

  • Inhaled corticosteroids
  • Inhaled corticosteroid and Long-acting bronchodilator
  • Leukotriene modifiers

Controller medications: They relax the smooth muscles of airways for short period of time. They include:

  • Inhaled short-acting bronchodilators
  • Inhaled Anti-Cholinergics

Q7. Which is the best treatment for asthma?

A. Inhalers are the best treatment for asthma

Q8. I don’t want to take inhaler? Any alternate treatment?

A. If you are a diagnosed case of asthma then you must take inhaler as advised by your physician.

Q9. Can a child be given inhaler?

A. Yes.

Q10. Whether there will be any harm to my child if he take inhaler?

A. No harm. One thing must be remembered that, if a child has asthma/wheeze then you have to give him inhaler/nebulization.

Q11. My physician given inhaler to my 1 year old child for 3 months. Is if cause any damage to my child?

A. No. You should follow your physician’s advice.

Q12. I am suffering from asthma/allergic disease. If there any chance of asthma/ allergies in my baby?

A. Yes. There is increase chance of asthma/allergies.

Q14. Can I live normal lifestyle if I follow medication?

A. Yes. If someone adhere to the treatment then he can live happily.

Q14. Can people die from asthma?

A. Asthma is also a killer disease. Worldwide annually more than 180,000 deaths are occurring due to asthma. Each day, 14 people in the United States die from asthma.

Frequently asked question on Anaphylaxis:

Q1. What is anaphylaxis?

A. Anaphylaxis is a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction. The term anaphylaxis was first proposed by physiologist Charles Robert Richet and Paul Portier in the year 1902. “Ana” means “against” and “phylaxis” meaning “protection”. Urgent attention is needed to save the life of the individual who is suffering from anaphylaxis.

Q2. Is anaphylaxis common?

A. Exact incidence of anaphylaxis is unknown. Anaphylaxis is often underreported, under diagnosed. The lifetime prevalence may be as high as 2 percent.

Q3. What are causes of anaphylaxis?

A. Foods including peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, cow’s milk, soy products, eggs, wheat.

Insect stings including honeybees, yellow jackets, fire ants, hornets and paper wasps

Medication including β-lactams like penicillin,  Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin and ibuprofen Biologic modifier.

Blood transfusion- Anaphylaxis can occur in approx 1 in 20,000 to 1 in 50,000 transfusions.

Natural Rubber Latex including gloves, intravenous tubing, syringes, catheters and condoms etc.

Radiocontrast media

Q4. What are the symptoms of anaphylaxis.

A. Generalized urticaria and angioedema are the most common manifestations of anaphylaxis

Following are the symptoms of anaphylaxis

  • Throat:  Itching, tightness in the throat, hoarseness of voice
  • Skin: Itching, hives/ Urticaria, redness, swelling, angioedema
  • GIT:  Vomiting, diarrhea, cramp in the abdomen
  • Lung:  Respiratory difficulty/shortness of breath, cough, wheeze
  • Heart:  Weak pulse, dizziness, reduced BP

Q5. Most important treatment of anaphylaxis.

A. Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency. It can be fatal if left untreated. If someone has symptoms of anaphylaxis, you should: Use an adrenaline/epinephrine auto-injector. Give another adrenaline injection after 5-15 minutes if the symptoms don’t improve and a second auto-injector is available.

Q6. I had anaphylaxis to certain food. What to do next?

A. Avoidance of the particular food is the most important. Consult with an allergist. Have your anaphylaxis action plan ready.

Q7. I had anaphylaxis previously to a food. Will it cause anaphylaxis in near future?

A. Most probably yes. Though it is seen particularly in children that milk allergy can subsided when they grows but it is wise to avoid the particular food if you already suffered from anaphylaxis.

Q8. What is Adrenaline autoinjector?

A. Adrenaline autoinjector is life saving in anaphylaxis. If you suffered from an episode of anaphylaxis then you have carry Adrenaline auto injector all the time with you.

Q9. My child had anaphylaxis. What I have to do?

A. If your child had anaphylaxis then inform all key personnel about the condition. Consult with school teacher and tell them that the child had anaphylaxis to certain substance. Always have the action plan ready and have adrenaline autoinjector.

Q10. I just suffered from anaphylaxis, adrenaline autoinjector is given. Now I am ok. Whether I have still attend hospital?

A. Yes. You have to go to nearest hospital for observation of at least for 4 hours.

Q11. Can anaphylaxis be prevented?

A. If you have allergy to a particular substance then avoidance of the substances are the best preventive measure to avoid allergy. But in spite of the best effort, an individual may come in contact with the allergen.

Q12. Can anaphylaxis be cured ?

A. No.

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