News & Tips
You are not alone. Millions of Americans suffer from allergic reactions which are often a result of pollen and mold
What is allergy?
Allergy is a reaction of your immune system. People who have allergies often are sensitive to more than one thing.
Substances that often cause reactions are:
- Pollen from trees, grass and weeds. Allergies that occur in the spring. Allergies that occur in the summer are often due to grass and weed pollen. Allergies that occur in the fall are often due to ragweed.
- Dust mites are tiny living creatures found in bedding, mattresses, carpeting and upholstered furniture. They live on dead skin cell and other things found in house dust
- Mold spores are common where water tends to collect, such as shower curtains, window moldings and damp basements. It can also be found in rotting logs, hay mulches, commercial peat moss, compost piles and leaf lifter. This allergy is worse during humid and rainy weather.
- Pet dander. Proteins found in the skin, saliva and urine of furry pets such as cats and dogs are allergens. You can be exposed to dander when handling an animal or from house dust that contains dander.
- Insect stings
Scientists think both genes and the environment have something to do with it.
What are the symptoms?
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Itchy nose, eyes and roof of mouth
- Stuffy nose
- Pressure in the nose and cheeks
- Ear fullness and popping
- Dark circles under the eyes
Finding Relief for:
Track the weather report when the pollen is high:
- Close house and car windows to keep allergens out. Use air condition, if possible, to keep the air clean , cool and dry
- When you are outdoor, wear sunglasses to help keep pollen out of your eyes. Consider a dust mask on high pollen days
- Wash your hands and rinse your eyes with cool water after coming indoors to get out of the clinging pollen
- Avoid yard work, specially in windy days
- Shower or bathe before bedtime to wash off pollen and other allergens in your hair and on your skin
You can reduce the amount of mold in your home by:
- Removing houseplants
- Frequently cleaning shower curtains, bathrooms, windows, damp walls, areas with dry rot and indoor trash cans.
- Use a mix of water and chlorine bleach to kill mold
- Open doors and windows and use fans to increase air movement and help to prevent mold
- Don’t carpet bathrooms or other damp rooms and use mold –proof paint instead of wallpaper.
- Reducing the humidity in your home to 50% or less.
- You can control your home air quality by using a dehumidifier, keeping the temperature set at 70 degrees.
- Cleaning or replacing small–particle filters in your central air system.
There are ways to reduce the amounts of pet dander in your home:
- Using allergen–resistant bedding
- bathing your pet frequently
- Using an air filter can help reduce pet dander.
- If your allergies are severe you may need to give your pets away or at least keep them outside. Cat or dog dander often collects in house dust and takes 4 weeks or more to die down
- Ask your Veterinarian for other ways to reduce pet dander in your home.
Dust and dust mites
To reduce dust mites in your home you can:
- Remove drapes, feather pillows upholstered furniture, non–washable comforters and soft toys.
- Replace carpets with linoleum or wood. Polished floors are the best.
- Mop the floor often with a damp mop and wipe surfaces with a damp cloth.
- Vacuum regularly with a machine that has a high–efficiency particulate air filter (HEPA)
- Vacuum soft furniture and curtains as well as floors.
- Install an air cleaner with a high–efficiency particulate or electrostatic filter.
- Wash carpets and upholstery with special cleaners, such as benzyl benzoate or tannic acid spray.
- Wash all bedding in hot water every 7 to 10 days.
- Don’t use mattress pads.
- Cover mattress and pillows with plastic covers.
- Lower the humidity in your home using a dehumidifier
There are two common over the counter medicine allergy medicines:
- Antihistamines: help reduce the sneezing, runny nose and itchiness of allergies; they’re more useful if you use them before you are exposed to allergens. Some antihistamines can cause drowsiness and dry mouth.
- Decongestants are found in many medicines. They are best used only for a short time and come in pills, nose sprays and nose drops. They are best used only for a short time. Nose sprays and drops shouldn’t be used for more than 3 days because you can become dependent of them. How ever, decongestants can raise your blood pressure, so it’s a good idea to talk to your Dr. before use them especially if you have high blood pressure.
Asthma is a lung condition that makes breathing difficult. The cause of asthma is not known, however, asthma does tend to run in families. It often appears first during childhood. Sensitive airways can be come affected by many things. These are called asthma triggers.
Asthma can't be cured, but it can be controlled by controlling common asthma triggers:
House Dust Mites: which are tiny insects found in house dust in almost all parts. They live on human dander (skin flakes shed by all people) and moisture in the air. Dust mites are plentiful on mattresses, pillows, carpets, bed covers and upholstered furniture.
- Control dust mites by washing the bed pillows, sheets and covers every week in hot water.
- Use special dust-proof mattress and pillow covers.
- Get rid of carpets, extra pillows and upholstered furniture, especially in the bedroom.
- Limit stuffed animals in children's rooms, and wash them in hot water.
- Dust and vacuum often.
- Use a dehumidifier (Dust mites need moist air to live).
Animals: All warm-blooded animals, including birds and small rodents, produce dander (shedded skin, fur and feathers), urine, saliva and droppings that you may be sensitive to.
- Give away your pets.
- If that's not an option, keep pets out of your bedroom and living areas as much as possible. Keep your bedroom door closed and consider using dense filters over forced-air heating or cooling outlets.
- Keep the pet away from carpet and upholstered furniture.
Mold: can grown many homes and apartments, especially if you have a dampness problem.
- If possible, correct dampness problems and use a dehumidifier.
Cockroach Droppings: You can breathe in the dropping of cockroaches and become sensitive to it. This is a concern in big cities and areas of the country with cockroach problems.
- Use traps and poison baits instead of chemical spray to control cockroaches. Sprays can be irritating to your airways.
- If spraying is necessary, people with asthma must leave the home until the odor has cleared.
Outdoor triggers: Tree, grass and weed pollens and outdoor mold can also be a problem. Air pollution, smoke and car exhaust can affect you as well.
- Stay inside during the time of year when blossoms are producing pollen. Keep your doors and windows shut during those times, when possible.
- Avoid the doors when air pollution or ozone is high.
Strong Smells from painting, spraying, cleaning fluids, garden chemicals, perfumes, lotions, hair sprays and deodorants can trigger asthma problems.
- People with asthma should stay away from the house or apartment when these chemicals and sprays are in use, and stay away until the smell clears.
Smoking: Cigarette, pipe and cigar smoke triggers that can affect asthma severely. Children in homes with adults that smoke are far more likely to have asthma problems.
- If possible, smokers in families with asthma should quit. At the very least, smokers should never smoke indoors, in cars and never around people with asthma.
- Choose not to smoke in your home and do not permit other to do so.
- If you must smoke, choose to smoke outside. Moving to another room or opening a window is not enough to protect your children.
Weather Changes can affect the lungs and airways of people with asthma (usually very hot, humid weather or very cold, dry weather).
- Avoid much outdoors when the weather is very hot or cold. Wear scarf around your mouth and nose to protect your airways when you must be out in cold, dry weather.
Exercise and stress: Many people with asthma can have attacks during exercise or during times of high stress.
- If exercise is one of your triggers, your doctor can provide medicine to take just before exercising to prevent an asthma attack.
- Even though asthma can affect exercise, you should not avoid it. Regular exercise can improve your lungs and overall health. Its important part of controlling your asthma. Ask your doctor to help you plan a safe exercise program.
- Controlling your asthma triggers is the first important step in keeping your airways open and in controlling your asthma.