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Podcast

Episode 11 • Health

11b

Suffer from allergies

A pain in the neck

Flare up

Have an asthma attack

Pass out

Story

I’ve suffered from allergies since I was a little kid. Having lots of allergies can be a real pain in the neck. There are so many things I wish I could eat but I can’t. Peanut butter, for example. You have no idea how sad I was on the day I found out I was allergic to peanuts! And then eggs, peaches and lots of other fruit. I’ve mostly learned to live with them but a couple of months ago, I got really scared. I was out camping with a bunch of friends and there was a lot of pollen in the air. I normally just sneeze a lot and that’s it, but, that time my allergies flared up and it got more and more difficult for me to breathe. I soon realized I was having an asthma attack. My friends panicked and before they could do anything I passed out. My friends got so scared and brought me to the hospital immediately. Now, every time I go camping with my friends, they always call me to make sure I’ve packed my inhaler!

Questions

It's finally time to take a look at the words.

Suffer from allergies

'I’ve suffered from allergies ever since I was a child.'

• How do you know you suffer from allergies? What are the most common symptoms?

Well, it depends on the allergy and it depends on how serious it is. Some people may have difficulty breathing for example, some people may develop a rash, when your skin gets red, and it starts itching. These are the most common symptoms.

• Do you suffer from any allergies?

There's one thing that will cause me an allergic reaction and it's not something that you use very often. It's a cream and it's an anesthetic cream. It's something that you put on an area to make it numb so that you don't feel any pain. It's sometimes used, like I found out I was allergic to it when I was younger, and I had to get a small surgery, and they put it on me and it got a little red, the area got a little red and it started to itch and so we found that out, and it's no big deal. But recently I went to the dentist and I told them, I said, "Okay, this is the cream that I use-- I mean, this is the cream that I'm allergic to," because I normally say it, because you never know. They said, "Great thing you told us because this is actually the cream that we use." A few days later, I went back to the place because I had to get something done to my teeth and I noticed they put something in my mouth and I was like, "Okay, should I say something?" Then I did say something and the dentist was like, "Okay, maybe I should just wash your mouth off or something," because he actually had put the cream in my mouth. If it's in your mouth and your throat swells up or whatever, your mouth swells up, then it may be difficult to breathe and so a good thing I told them. I had no allergic reaction, but, you know.

A pain in the neck

'Having lots of allergies can be a real pain in the neck.'

• If something is a pain in the neck, is it pleasant or annoying?

We're talking about pain so it's obviously related to something annoying.

• If something is a pain in the neck, do you literally feel pain in your neck?

No, that's just an expression, you don't actually feel pain in the neck. You're talking about something that's very annoying, just like pain in the neck.

• Can someone be a pain in the neck?

Yes, you can say it. It's not very nice to say it but you can say for example, "Oh my gosh, my friend Mike, he's such a pain in the neck." Meaning, they're annoying.

• Can you think of someone or something that is a pain in the neck?

Let's see. Who do I think it's a pain in the neck? Okay, I've got it. I know someone who can be a real pain in the neck and that's me. I can be a real pain in the neck. A lot of people can actually tell you that that's true. I have a lot of needs and I'm always complaining. I don't want to make it sound too bad, but yes, I can be a pain in the neck. I can also be very sweet though, so that's good. That's why people like me, but still.

Flare up

'My allergies flared up.'

• If your allergies flare up, do they get better or worse?

If your allergies flare up, they get a lot worse.

• If your allergies flare up, do they get worse suddenly or slowly?

Normally it's a very sudden reaction. It's a very fast reaction.

• What should you do if your allergies flare up?

Again, I don't have a lot of experience, but I would say definitely go to the doctor. Like the kid in the story, maybe you have an inhaler with you or another type of drug that you take in this case. Definitely if it's something super serious, then just go straight to the hospital, and they'll take care of you.

Have an asthma attack

'I was having an asthma attack.'

• If you’re having an asthma attack, does it get easier or harder for you to breathe?

If you're having an asthma attack, it's really hard to breathe. You hyperventilate.

• Have you ever had an asthma attack or do you know someone who suffers from asthma attacks?

I don't suffer from asthma attacks. I'm very lucky, but my niece, she's now 10, but she does suffer from asthma attacks. She has some allergies. She's allergic to cats and she used to be allergic to eggs. When she's exposed, for example to cat hair, it gets harder for her to breathe. What you will hear is the breathing changes. If you're having even a small asthma attack, it kind of sounds like [breathes] Okay, that's creepy, but you get the point. Anyway, the important thing here is that you say have an asthma attack, and not anything else.

Pass out

'I passed out.'

• If you pass out, do you become conscious or unconscious?

If you pass out, you become unconscious.

• If you pass out, are you unconscious for a long time or a short time?

Well, it really depends. It can be short or long time. Normally you're not passed out for like a day, though. It's usually within a few minutes, a lot of times you will become conscious again.

• What could make you pass out?

Lot's of the things. Maybe let's say if you fall and hit your head, that's going to cause you to pass out sometimes. If you don't have a lot of energy, maybe you haven't eaten in a while, you might pass out. I don't know if that's really true, but from fear, you could pass out, or at least that's what you see in movies, right? These are just some of the reasons why you could pass out.

• Have you ever passed out or have you ever seen someone pass out? Why? What happened?

I think I've gotten close to passing out, because I remember this one time I was sitting and I hadn't eaten in a while and I was teaching and so I couldn't really eat anything. I remember just feeling very weak. I started seeing things in front of me, and I'm not talking about ghosts. I'm talking about dots and it started to become black, and so I figured okay, this is what it feels like. I immediately told my students and they were like, "Oh my gosh, you should eat something, you're going to feel better." I had a little bit of cheese and I felt better again, so I did not pass out, but I think I was close to passing out.

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