Contributed by Bob Rawlins, consultant to CAIRE Inc.~
Ugh, sniffle, sniffle, sneeze, sneeze, cough, cough. The sounds of allergy season. If we could ever put together some melodies, we would have a top 10 blockbuster on the music billboards.😊
Allergies are so uncomfortable and can lead to additional health issues and challenges for many of us this time of year.
The Cleveland Clinic describes allergies as your body’s reaction to a normally harmless substances. These reactions to a foreign substance or protein can range from mild to life-threatening depending on the person.
So, I find this interesting to realize. Allergies have many origins ¾ food, insect stings, latex, medications, just to name a few. The symptoms can be similar, trouble breathing, itching, sneezing, coughing, runny nose, headaches, red or watery eyes, and even hives and rashes. Which is why it is very important to seek expert advice from a doctor to help determine the cause and the proper approach for curing and/or living with them.
Consider consulting an allergist to test for allergies if you find yourself experiencing allergy symptoms. I was told I was allergic to penicillin for many years, only to find out I wasn’t in my adult years. Which obviously is good given its use to help fight other illnesses as they come along.
Most everyone has some allergy challenges, whether you are sick or not. Those of us fighting lung disease, navigating the unique health concerns post transplants, or other various chronic illnesses can be much more susceptible to allergies and if untreated can lead to more serious complications.
Another point mentioned on the Cleveland Clinic website is that allergies can’t cause a fever. What does this tell us friends? If you are suffering from allergies and running a fever, you have something else going on. Contact a healthcare provider so they can help.
I was in Florida one year playing golf, while using supplemental oxygen, and the spring pollen was so bad that it was coating everything! I had all the annoying symptoms, but it started to get into my lungs and chest and by the time I got home, I had developed bronchitis.
Now, for those of you with chronic lung illnesses you know this isn’t good. I was one step away from getting pneumonia, and probably a hospital stay. I immediately went to my doctors and was able to get treatment in enough time to not have this develop into anything even more challenging.
Ask your doctors on your visits if you suffer from environmental allergies. Find out what precautions can you take and what might be the signs in which you need to call and seek additional health care. Please don’t take things for granted my friends. Our immune systems are already low, and we need help to fight these allergies as they appear.
- Go see an allergist if your doctor recommends it.
- Find what works to help you live with your allergies.
- Be aware of the weather and what challenges you might have and prepare for them.
- Don’t take unnecessary chances when it comes to a potential allergic reaction.
- Be true to the plan, take the medicines they prescribe regularly.
I take an allergy med in the morning and at night. I use allergy relief nasal spray as well. Even when it is not allergy season. And I still get my share of allergies. The meds help me cope better and the symptoms are not nearly as bad if I didn’t take them.
Allergies are not contagious of course. However, during this season it might be a good precaution to protect yourself when heading into a crowded environment.
In crowded places I still choose to wear a mask. Allergies can attract other health symptoms that may be contagious. Now, I understand that if you are wearing a mask and others aren’t, it gives little protection, but it is better than nothing. Many people have stopped wearing masks and I get it, but for those still dealing with certain illnesses my doctors have insisted on me wearing a mask in those crowded places. I try to stay on the side of precaution.
My friends, what makes sense is to be aware of the things that ail us and makes living uncomfortable. I find that even using a common ointment applied to your chest like Vicks can help you clear your nasal passages. Hot water with Vicks in the bowl and a towel over your head works wonders for me. Salt nasal solutions also help. Gargling with salt and warm water are all easy things to provide comfort.
Take care of yourselves and enjoy the warm weather, who doesn’t love warm weather?
Love you all! Till next time,
Bob Rawlins, 65, of Medina, Ohio, is a double lung transplant recipient and a patient advocate for those who suffer from respiratory diseases and have been prescribed supplemental oxygen therapy. He is husband to Terese and father to their 18-year-old triplets. He also has two grown twin sons and four grandchildren. He serves as a hospital volunteer, band dad and chaperone, and marketing guru.
The contents of this blog post are not intended to substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician for personalized medical advice. When using any oxygen therapy device please consult the applicable product instructions for use for product indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions, and detailed safety information.