Tag: Allergies

Allergies, Asthma, and COVID-19 in Spring 2021

We are a few short weeks away from the beginning of spring in the United States, when more than 50 million Americans may be affected by seasonal allergies. Allergies are one of the most common chronic illnesses. An allergy occurs when the body’s immune system sees a substance (referred to as an allergen) as harmful and overreacts to it. Allergies affect as many as 30% of adults and 40% of children in the U.S. The most common allergy symptoms make you uncomfortable, while others can be life-threatening

Allergens can be inhaled into your nose and lungs, ingested through the mouth, absorbed through the eyes and skin, or injected into the body. The severity of symptoms during an allergic reaction can vary widely based on the allergen, infection vector, and individual reaction. Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction include:

  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Itchy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Rashes
  • Hives
  • Stomach cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Pain
  • Tongue swelling
  • Cough
  • Throat closing
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness, loss of breath
  • Feeling faint, light-headed, or “blacking out”
  • A sense of “impending doom”

Asthma, affecting over 25 million Americans, may or may not be related to allergies and can cause similar symptoms. There are two types of asthma — allergic (or extrinsic) and

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World Asthma Day & Seasonal Allergies

Today is World Asthma Day, and we are in the midst of the time of year many know for seasonal allergies and asthma attack symptoms. Most spring allergies are caused by pollen released by trees, grass, weeds, and other plants and can cause runny nose, itchy eyes, and other uncomfortable symptoms. The rising temperatures can also negatively impact those with asthma.

While some of the symptoms are the same, allergies and asthma are two entirely different diseases, but there can be overlap. The primary difference is that allergies are a disease of the immune system whereas asthma is a disease of the lungs. Over 26 million Americans are affected by asthma. There are two types of asthma, allergic and non-allergic, with similar symptoms caused by airway obstruction and inflammation. The most common symptoms are shortness of breath, chest tightness, coughing and wheezing. The difference between the two is that non-allergic asthma is triggered by a variety of causes (such as cold air, exercise, smoke, or stress and anxiety) while

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Tips for National Influenza Vaccination Week

This week is National Influenza Vaccination Week in the U.S. Established by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2005, this week highlights the importance of continuing flu vaccination through the holidays and beyond. Vaccines against the flu are the best defense against the virus and developing flu-related complications.

The CDC holds National Influenza Vaccination Week in December as vaccinations tend to drop quickly after the end of November, leaving many vulnerable during the holiday season. Going on vacation or having relatives visiting from afar can expose people to different strains of the flu than what they have built a immune response to, which can spread illness for those unprotected. The flu vaccine protects against multiple strains of the flu viruses. Yearly vaccinations are recommended because flu viruses are always changing, and each year the vaccine is updated to better match circulating influenza strains.

The CDC recommends everyone over the age of 6 months to get a flu vaccine

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Life-Saving EpiPens Price Rises Over 500%

We have covered the rising costs of medications in previous blog posts (at length), often times regarding specific medications that—while being life-changing—only affects a relatively small population. Despite the smaller personal impact of these raising prices, we address them because they are indicative of a much larger issue.  The issue comes into clearer focus when a life-saving auto-injection device that is necessary to survive allergic reactions for as many as 15 million Americans raises its price by over 500%.

EpiPen has become synonymous with epinephrine auto-injectors used by those with severe allergic reactions.  In 2007 a two-pack of EpiPens cost $56.  Today, the same two-pack is now $365. The device itself contains about $1 worth of epinephrine.

Last year, a generic medication for toxoplasmosis—a parasitic infection that often targets individuals with weakened immune systems such as those with AIDS or cancer—increased from $13.50 per pill to $750 per pill. Despite relatively low prescription

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How to Avoid Cold and Flu this Season

It’s that time of year again. Children are going back to school, the seasons are beginning to change and there is a cold wind starting to blow. These are sure signs of the impending cold and flu season. We at NeedyMeds wanted to give our readers some helpful tips to keep themselves and their children healthy, along with resources available for those in need.

  1. The Center of Disease Control (CDC) recommends everyone over the age of 6 months to get a

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Welcome to the NeedyMeds Voice! We look forward to presenting you with timely, provocative pieces on healthcare reform, patient advocacy, medication and healthcare access, and other health-related news. Our goals are to educate, enlighten, and elucidate; together, we will try to make sense of the myriad and ongoing healthcare-related changes in the U.S. today.