Ask the Nurse (for Hopkins students only)Click the "ask the nurse" link above to ask a health related question. Your questions are submitted anonymously. I will review all of the questions I receive and periodically select a few questions to answer on this page.This page is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a service for diagnosis or treatment.
- What happens to my lungs when I have an asthma attack?
- Why is it important to drink water?
What are seasonal and environmental allergies?Posted by Molly Steen at 4/24/2017
A seasonal or environmental allergy, much like a food allergy, is a substance the body mistakenly thinks is dangergous. The body then releases a chemical called histamine and allergy symptoms develop. Common seasonal and environmenal allergies include weed or grass pollen, dust mites, animal dander, and mold. Because these allergens are breathed in, they affect the eyes, nose, and lungs causing symptoms such as runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes or nose, and dark circles under the eyes.
What happens when you have an allergic reaction to food?Posted by Molly Steen at 3/9/2017
An allergic reaction occurs when the body mistakenly thinks a certain food is harmful to it. The most common foods to cause allergic reactions are eggs, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, and soy. Your immune system overreacts to the food by producing antibodies that release chemicals, which cause the allergy symptoms.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction include vomiting, stomach cramps, hives, difficulty breathing, coughing, trouble swallowing, dizziness, and fainting. Anaphylaxis is a potentially life- threatening reaction that needs to be treated with a medicine called Epinephrine (an Epi-Pen.) If you are allergic to a food, do not eat it or share utensils or drinks with others who have because even a very tiny amount of the food can trigger an allergic reaction. People eating highly allergic foods around others should make sure to wash their hands after eating so they do not accidently contaminate a surface with the allergen.
Why do I bleed when I get a cut?Posted by Molly Steen at 1/4/2017
When your skin is cut, blood vessels located under the skin are damaged. When this happens, special blood cells, called platelets, clump and form a plug over the damaged area of the blood vessel. This plug, called a clot, keeps blood and other fluids from leaking out. When the clot is dried and hardened, it becomes a scab, which forms a crust over the wound and protects the area so the skin underneath can heal. When the new skin is ready, the scab falls off. If you pick at the scab, the new skin underneath can be damaged and the wound will take longer to heal. Also, picking at a scab might leave a scar.
Why is it important to drink water?Posted by Molly Steen at 3/1/2016
Every system in your body depends on water. Water helps you to digest food and absorb nutrients. It keeps things moving along your digestive tract and prevents constipation. Water helps your kidneys function properly so that they can transport waste out of your body through urine. Blood, which contains water, carries oxygen to all of the cells of your body to keep them alive and working. Water also helps your muscles work better when exercising, helps your body produce saliva, and helps to maintain your body temperature.
What happens to my lungs when I have an asthma attack?Posted by Molly Steen at 2/26/2016
During an asthma attack, the lining of the air passages in your lungs swell and the muscles around the airways become tight. This reduces the amount of air that can pass through your airway, which makes it more difficult to breathe and causes a wheezing sound.
Welcome!Posted by Molly Steen at 2/23/2016
Welcome to the Ask the Nurse blog!