Tag Archives: allergic rhinitis

Telemedicine for Asthma And Allergy Care

Spring brings plenty of seasonal irritants along with it, so we thought it was an opportune time to examine the benefits of telemedicine as an option for continued allergy and asthma healthcare. Telemedicine can be a beneficial means of care for many other chronic illnesses such as arthritis, skin conditions, diabetes or stroke aftercare, so why not asthma and allergies? Studies already show that telemedicine is making major strides in asthma day-to-day care and maintenance.

Technology Aided Monitoring

Our modern world brandishes advanced technology including sharper images, HD screens and crisp audio. These attributes make it easy to diagnose and monitor chronic conditions such as allergies via telemedicine. If a person suffers from worsening hives, they can send photos of the different stages, as well as show a telemedicine doctor via teleconference the condition of their skin. A telemedicine doctor can also clearly see swelling, rashes and bloodshot or irritated eyes. When it comes to asthmatics, the doctor will be able to hear any wheezing or breathing changes that may be present, making it easy to assess the state of a patient’s condition. He or she will also be able to see potential physical characteristics such as blue/purple lips or nails, or pale skin and under-eye bags which may be indicative of inadequate sleep due to an asthma flare-up.

Get Prescriptions Filled Or Changed

Based on the doctor’s assessment of the progression of the patient’s allergies or asthma, the doctor can alter antihistamine levels or brands, change up puffers, or prescribe corticosteroids if need be. Doctors can send the prescriptions straight to the patient’s pharmacy and arrange for them to be home delivered.

Continued Medical Advice

Sometimes, especially with asthma, patients simply need general advice, or reassurance on the status of their condition. If a patient is having trouble sleeping or feels like they may be breathing extra shallow, a telemedicine consult can help determine whether the patient should be concerned and seek primary or emergency treatment soon, or if they are okay and should just up their puffers and try to relax. This is a helpful resource as the person likely doesn’t want to waste hours in an emergency room or try to get a doctor’s appointment just to be told they simply need to temporarily up their puffers, especially since clinic environments are dangerous for an asthmatic’s weakened immune system. In this way, telemedicine doctors can act as convenience triage for asthmatics.

Convenience During Pollen Season

This method of healthcare can be extremely convenient during hay fever months if the person has a bad allergy to pollen, or if their asthma flares up because of it. Those who are hypersensitive to pollen will want to spend as much time inside as possible so as not to worsen their condition. Being able to check in with a doctor without having to head out into a threatening cloud of pollen and wait in a germy clinic when their resistance is already down would be a big plus for hay fever sufferers or asthmatics during this time of year.

Feel free to call, email or visit DocChat‘s website to set up a video consultation with one of our highly skilled physicians about your allergies or asthma today. Thanks for visiting, hope to see you soon!



How To Prepare For The Season Of Sneezes

Spring is undoubtedly the worst season for grass and pollen allergy sufferers. Pollen allergies (commonly known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis) can range from a few sniffles to rare cases of dangerous facial and tracheal swelling, with a million degrees of severity in between. So what can be done if you’re hypersensitive to pollen? It may seem impossible to protect yourself against gazillions of tiny particles closing in around you, but there are measures you can take to minimize your springtime discomfort.

Advice For Mild Sufferers

For those who mainly get stuffy noses and itchy eyes, allergy season can still be unpleasant. Going through boxes of tissues and rubbing your eyes raw can be quite frustrating. Here are some tips for mild sufferers:

  • You can talk to your eye doctor about allergy drops if your eyes are frequently bothering you. Be careful when choosing over-the-counter (OTC) eye drops, some contain ingredients that may make the eye even more dry and uncomfortable.
  • Try topical anti-itch cream if your skin bothers you a little from the pollen.
  • There are many OTC antihistamines you can try before going to the doctor. You may only have to take antihistamines as needed instead of daily depending on your symptoms. Allergy tablets with a decongestant can be helpful as well for your stuff nose, but only if you’re not asthmatic (dextromethorphan can be a harmful ingredient for asthmatics).

Tips for Moderate Sufferers

For allergy or allergic asthma sufferers who experience more extreme symptoms such as urticaria (hives), itchy eyes and face, wheezing or other similarly unpleasant symptoms from exposure to pollen, you may need to take more extreme measures to stay safer and comfier during the Spring:

  • OTC antihistamines can help for some. You may even be permitted to take some anti-histamines at higher doses than listed, however, only when guided by a doctor or allergist. Do not increase the dosage without first discussing it with a professional as each case is different and it could be dangerous.
  • Benadryl cream can be good for itchy skin and urticaria
  • If you are very wheezy, you should ask your doctor to evaluate your lungs to make sure you don’t have an underlying lung condition such as asthma. Even if you don’t have asthma, he or she may prescribe a puffer for you to take temporarily until the pollen (and your symptoms) have calmed down.
  • For your stuffiness and other nasal symptoms, your doctor may prescribe a nasal corticosteroid which can help by reducing inflammation of your nasal canals
  • You should pay attention to the weather and pollen count, and avoid going outside during peak pollen hours of the day

What About The Severely Allergic?

A small percentage of the population suffers from extreme allergies to certain pollen. They may experience extreme urticaria, moderate or extreme swelling of the face, body or even tongue and throat (if you experience mouth or throat swelling, call an ambulance or go directly to the ER). Spring can be torturous and frightening for these unfortunate rare sufferers, so more extreme precautions may be in order such as:

  • OTC antihistamines may not effectively take care of extreme reactions, so often doctors will prescribe a series of medications including strong corticosteroids such as prednisone to help those extreme pollen allergies get through the season.
  • Severe sufferers should take all precautions possible to avoid highly pollenated areas, they should avoid traveling to rural areas with more trees, and as often as possible try to stay indoors until the evening when the pollen count is much lower.
  • There are many particulate filter masks available now that can keep pollen out of the mouth and airways in extreme cases. Some of them are designed to look fashionable.
  • Keep windows closed all the time and avoid putting clothing out on the line to dry as it will become infused with pollen.
  • A good tip would be for family or spouses of the extreme sufferer to change clothing when they come inside to avoid getting pollen on the person.
  • Another tip for a moderate or severe allergy sufferer would be to invest in a good air filtration system to help filter most of the pollen out.

If you have any concerns about allergies, symptoms or medication, feel free to contact one of our highly qualified DocChat physicians. Keep an eye out for our tips to help allergy-proof your house!





Does Changing Weather Cause Sickness?



We’ve all heard the old adage that changing weather brings on sickness, but is there truth to this age-old assertion? For some time, the science community said ‘no’, but recent thinking is leaning more towards ‘kind-of’. While there are medical professionals who maintain the rise in colds and infections during seasonal transitions is purely coincidental, there seem to be more facts supporting the idea that temperature changes can contribute to illness, especially for particular demographics. The reasoning behind this new thinking isn’t straightforward, there are many factors that work in accordance to cause sickness to rise as the seasons blend.

Coinciding Factors

Some people think they are experiencing a cold that just won’t leave, or as people dubbed it years ago “The spring flu” but they are most likely experiencing allergic rhinitis (also known as hay fever), allergies brought on by airborne particles such as pollen from plants and trees that start budding in the spring. The Weather Channel claims another factor that makes it appear as though the changing weather causes sickness is that the structure of cold viruses allows them to breed and spread easily in the cold dry air of the beginning of spring. So it may still be viruses, not the weather itself, that causes cold-like symptoms in so many people around this time of year.

Weather Can Confuse Immune Systems

While weather in itself may not cause sickness, fluctuating mercury levels certainly play a role in how the body functions. Our bodies grow accustomed to whatever the current season and temperature is, so when that changes (sometimes drastically) as winter turns into spring our bodies are forced to re-adapt to the new weather and changes in atmospheric pressure. This can cause confusion within the immune system. It has a distracting effect, so while our front line of bodily defence is busy trying to reconfigure based on weather changes, pre-existing conditions may flare up or new germs may set in as our defenses glitch-out.

Healthy Versus Vulnerable

As with many contagious illnesses, people who fall into the immunocompromised category are often the most affected demographic when winter recedes and spring shows its face. Dr Adham Alameddin, medical director of Synergy Integrated Medical Clinic in Dubai says “The community is divided into two groups – those who are vulnerable to illness and those who are healthy. For the healthy sector, as long as they continue to eat a balanced diet, take a lot of exercise and drink plenty of fluids, their body will be able to cope with the dramatic onset of heat. For those who fall into the vulnerable category – young children, pregnant women, the elderly and those suffering from chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes or cancer – the risk of feeling unwell is much higher.”

How to Prevent the Season-Based Sickies

If you fall ill every spring and suspect allergies may be at play, ask your doctor for an allergy test to see if hay fever may indeed be the culprit. Or, if you are a known hay fever sufferer or a severe asthmatic, be sure to contact your doctor or allergist to get a medication plan in place or adjust your current one if necessary, and to find out how to avoid getting hit too hard by your allergies when pollen starts up. If you are immunocompromised and contract a cold or illness, be sure to contact your doctor or one of our qualified physicians at DocChatto make sure you won’t get in over your head trying to fight off the bug. For the general non-allergenic public, be sure to get plenty of rest and quit burning the candle at both ends which will help keep your immune system strong. You should also eat well and exercise regularly, and check in with your body intermittently to make sure you are still in tip top shape.