Friday, June 15, 2007

Penicillin Allergy

Penicillin is a common antibiotic used to treat many illnesses. When it was discovered it was considered a breakthrough in the treatment of illness and infection. It is derived from the penicillin mold, the blue-green mold found on moldy oranges. Before penicillin, common infections and diseases that are only a nuisance to us today were quite often fatal. For years penicillin was the only effective antibiotic treatment available for doctors to use. It is relatively cheap and easy to manufacture, making it the most often used antibiotic world wide.

Allergic reactions to penicillin can often be a serious and life threatening matter. They can range from annoying rashes to life threatening breathing difficulties. You might recall answering the question " are you allergic to penicillin" on a medical question form at your doctors office or upon admittance to a hospital for treatment. This is because doctors must know if you are do to the potential for catastrophic results should you be given penicillin and you are allergic to it. Knowing if they are allergic to penicillin is something every person should know. Penicillin is the most common drug allergy.

It is unclear why some people have an allergic reaction to penicillin while others don't. It is also unknown what predisposes one person with an allergy to penicillin to minor symptoms while another person allergic to it will experience life threatening symptoms. For those who are allergic to penicillin, the only treatment is not to use it. Fortunately there are other powerful antibiotics available to replace penicillin. Prior to their discovery, penicillin allergy could sometimes have grave consequences. It could leave doctors with their hands tied in treating the infection or disease.

Common symptoms of penicillin allergy are as follows. A rash or hives that can range from a minor rash to a dark red rash that covers large portions of the body. Swollen lips tongue and face, ranging from minor swelling to extreme swelling. Itchy, irritated eyes that can be bloodshot and watery. The most serious reaction happens in people that are highly allergic to penicillin. An anaphylactic reaction is a reaction that manifests itself as a swelling of the bronchial airway, making it difficult to breath. This can also be accompanied by a sudden drop in blood pressure, resulting in lightheadedness. This reaction can be deadly, so it's important to be aware of this fact.

If you are given penicillin and experience any of these symptoms, tell your doctor immediately. It's much better to be safe than sorry. The most serious reaction, the anaphylactic reaction, appears almost immediately. The other less minor reactions can take hours to appear. Treatments for the symptoms are readily available but as of yet there is no cure for the allergy itself. If your child has never been given penicillin it is imperative that you let your doctor know this. He or she can make a determination as to whether or not your child is allergic to it prior to administering a large dose of penicillin.

Article by Sven Ullmann, who runs Deserved Health - information on health for you and your family.

Cat Allergy - What Can I Do, I Love Cats

According to a recent report, between six and ten million people (that’s approximately two percent of the population!) in the United States are allergic to cats or exhibit symptoms of cat allergy. However, people often misunderstand these symptoms. Majority believe that cat allergy are caused by allergens from the fur or cat dander (scales of the skin), when, in fact, most of the potent allergens come mainly from saliva and sweat.

A cat’s saliva or sweat contains a protein with a carbohydrate structure called “Fel d 1.” It is an allergen that causes symptoms of cat allergy. “Fel d 1” is much smaller than pollen or mold spores, which are already very potent allergens because of their diminutive size, but because of its much smaller size, “Fel d 1” has even greater potential to cause an allergic reaction. “Fel d 1” can easily bypass nasal passages and lodges deep in the lungs, where it can cause allergic episodes and asthma.

Like pollen and mold spores, “Fel d 1” are airborne allergens. They are often microscopic and float in the air easily. After a cat licks itself while grooming, “Fel d 1” allergen is deposited on its fur and once that happens, the dried specks of saliva can float off and drift around your home. The protein allergen can be found anywhere as aside from being airborne, it attaches itself to walls, windows, and furniture. What is even more amazing is that this allergen can remain in your home for years after a cat leaves your home. So if you want to remove the allergen from your home to protect yourself from cat allergy, everything would have to be totally cleaned.


Like most allergies, cat allergy can affect your eyes, nose, ears, throat, lungs, and skin. The symptoms, especially respiratory reactions, usually occur between fifteen and forty minutes after one is exposed. However, note that pet-related allergies like cat allergy can take days from initial exposure for its onset.

The most common symptoms associated with cat allergy are:

* Red, itchy, or swollen eyes
* Reddened areas on the skin
* Runny nose * Nasal congestion
* Sneezing
* Ears that become stuffed up or itchy
* Post nasal drip
* Itching and hoarseness in the throat
* Frequent bronchitis
* Coughing and wheezing

How to Control Cat Allergy

Always the best way to control allergic reactions is avoidance method. However, majority of people with cat allergy often ignore medical advice and continue to keep at least one cat at home even after diagnosis of their condition. We all love our cats and we want to protect them, but you should think about yourself once in a while. Below are some tips to help you control your cat allergy even while keeping a cat home:

* Use reputable allergy relief and avoidance products at home

* Since “Fel d 1” allergens float in the air, having a source of fresh air will reduce the allergen. Improve ventilation in your house by using an air conditioner even during humid months.

* Use a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter to reduce particles of cat allergen in your home. If symptoms persist even after following the tips provided above, then perhaps it’s time for you to consult a doctor for his advice on proper medication or immunotherapy.

Hans-Ole Wandt is a very known environmental inventor. He has started a site called

Monday, June 11, 2007

Allergies - Quality Of Life

Having allergies isn't simply a matter of sneezing once in a while during the day. If it was then nobody would make too big a deal about them. But the truth is, allergies can greatly affect our quality of life depending on what type of allergy we have and how severe the symptoms.

Let's start with the most common allergy, hay fever. Millions of people suffer from hay fever but few really understand how terrible this allergy can be. Going outside and breathing in pollen that starts us sneezing and wheezing is only part of the problem. In itself, that's bad enough. But what about the person who doesn't have a nice comfortable job inside an air conditioned office? This is the poor guy who's maybe a landscaper or gardener. These people work outdoors for a living. What are they supposed to do? If their symptoms are severe enough where medication brings little or no relief they have two options. Continue to suffer and possibly miss many days of work or find a new line of work. If this sounds drastic, it isn't. Sadly, many people lose their jobs because of medical problems, allergies being among the more common.

For the person who works indoors, they are not always so lucky either. Many people have allergies to indoor mold which is very common in old buildings, especially old schools. There was a recent documented case in Irvington, NJ where the mold situation in the high school was so bad that one teacher became ill enough that she had to leave her job until the situation was rectified.

This is even worse for people with allergies to mold who live in old homes. Many times when the problem gets out of control the person has to sell his home or move out of his apartment. Mold is not an easy thing to get rid of if it has spread far enough and if it does get out of control many times people are forced from their homes. This isn't just a minor quality of life change.

It isn't just people with indoor and outdoor allergies who have their quality of life affected. People with food allergies or sensitivities have their lives sometimes drastically altered. Many people suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome because of allergies to certain foods and because of this either miss time from work or spend a good part of the day at work in the bathroom. In either case these people are forced to give up their jobs because they can't do them dependably.

But it isn't just work that gets the worst of it with allergies. Many fathers with young sons are unable to go outside and play ball with their kid because of hay fever. Others can't go on that vacation with the rest of the family because they have to be close to a bathroom at all times because of food allergies.

The sad fact is, people with allergies suffer greatly. And it's not just a little sneezing during the day.

By: Michael Russell

Your Independent guide to Allergies
Prescription-drug Allergies
Some people affected by allergies to certain medications. People affected by such allergies should make sure their doctors are aware of these medications. It is very common to treat many infections with medicines like penicillin. Penicillin is a form of mold that helps to reduce swelling or other symptoms of allergic reactions. If a person is allergic to molds, they would be unable to take a medication such as pencillin. There are people who are simply unable to take certain medications.There are other medications that can also trigger an allergy attack; some are everyday drugs and others are prescription medications. If you begin to feel sick or develop a rash soon after you begin taking a new medicine, you should discontinue its usage under the supervision of your doctor. Never take yourself off any prescription medication. It is best to go to your doctor immediately and report how the medicine makes you feel and show them any rashes that you may have developed as a result of it. It is not uncommon for people to suffer allergic reactions or extreme side effects from prescription medication.
When visiting the doctor for a possible medication reaction, you should bring a list of anything out of the ordinary that you may have been using or eating, as well as a list of new medications that you have been prescribed. This will aid the doctor in identifying any triggers that could have caused your reaction. Normally, there are several brands of medications or types of medications that can help you with the same health conditions. It may be necessary for you to switch brands or medications for your treatment. You should discuss your options with your doctor and get his or her opinion on the matter.By bringing your side effects to the attention of your doctor, he or she can help you feel better. Do not feel hesitant to approach your doctor, this is a matter of your health. It is important that you make sure that you are not being prescribed a generic type or brand of medication to which you know you are allergic. When you see a doctor and they subsequently prescribe something for you, it is important to verbally note your allergies to them. Sometimes they may miss a mention of a medical allergy that is noted in your medical file. This will be beneficial to both you and your doctor.
By: Susan Wilson -
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Susan Wilson is a writer for several popular online magazines, on health and wellness and allergies and health themes.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Seasonal Grass Allergy - What to Know

Spring and summer are peak times to develop a seasonal grass allergy. A grass or tree allergy is a common and prevalent allergy that affects people throughout the spring season and during the onset or ending of the summer season. Grass allergy is often directly linked to hay fever, because their symptoms and causes are somehow similar to each other. Seasonal allergies are fairly common in children age 5 and up: According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, about 10 to 15 percent of school-age children have seasonal allergies.

Symptoms of Season Grass Allergy

The common symptoms of grass allergy are sneezing, a runny nose, watering and itchy eyes. If these symptoms sound familiar, and they occur at the same time each year and last longer than a cold would, then you could be experiencing seasonal allergies. Monitor your health. If you tend to have few allergy symptoms on days that are rainy, cloudy, or windless, that may tell you something. Grass pollens don't move around much on those days. To be sure, schedule allergy testing by a physician. If the symptoms are severe or you experience or long-lasting allergy symptoms, medical testing is vital.

The decision about which individual allergens to test for is dictated firstly by the patients history, and taking into consideration his geographical location (particularly with respect to aero-allergens). Symptomatic medications for treating the eye and nose symptoms of allergy are generally available to grass allergy sufferers. Not everyone who has seasonal allergies needs allergy shots, but if your life is being impaired by seasonal allergies, you should discuss this with an allergist.

With a few preventative measures, and knowledge of how to handle allergic symptoms, you can make your life significantly easier. Histamine inflames the nose and airways, and the chemicals cause the well-known symptoms of hay fever: runny nose, watery eyes, and frequent sneezing to flush the allergen from the body.

Sources of Grass Allergens

Typical allergic symptoms caused by airborne allergens include sneezing, runny nose and nasal congestion (allergic rhinitis or hay fever). Grass pollen allergens cross-react with food allergy proteins in tomato,lettuce, onion, celery, corn and sometimes carrots. There is a Chrysanthemum allergy that originates from flower pollen. The cousins of birch pollen allergens (apples, grapes, peaches, celery, apricots), produce severe itching in the throat and ears. The cypress pollen allergy can require identifying allergens and cross reactivity between divergent species, such as olive, ash, privet, and Russian olive tree pollen allergens.

Another form of seasonal grass allergy, is the combination of airborne particles of pollen mixed with mold. This tends to occur around rural areas and farms where the soil is plowed and molds become airborne with the dust of the land.


Antihistamines are usually prescribed to curtail grass allergy development among patients. The most effective treatment for tree or grass allergy is preventing the occurrence in the first place by avoiding exposure to outdoors or wearing a mask to prevent inhaling grass pollens.

By Dave Pipitone

For more information about seasonal allergies, visit