Living With & Managing Allergies

Living With & Managing Allergies

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    A , Allergy & Immunology, answered
    Stormy weather including tropical storms and hurricanes can worsen allergies and asthma as increased gusty winds can seriously spread wet mold spores into the air. Additionally, if a homeowner loses power, air conditioning which filters and dehumidifiers warm, humid air can allow outdoor allergens (particularly mold spores) to enter the home and trigger those pesky allergy-associated symptoms. In many areas we are already seeing high levels of various pollens, including ragweed, weeds and mold spores.

    Of course indoor water-damaged areas can be problematic due to mildew and mold growth as a result, especially in basements, ground level areas as well as water-damaged walls, ceilings and flooring.

    Those with chronic or persistent respiratory problems such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema may be in jeopardy if power outages result in loss of electricity needed for compressor-driven home "nebulized" asthma medications. Alternative medications and therapies need to be part of an asthma action plan that should be in place for those at risk.
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    Perfume allergies at work can be a difficult problem, especially since dealing with them will require the cooperation of your coworkers. It is probably best to be open, non-confrontational and polite. Explain at an open meeting (as opposed to directly to the perfume user) that you have an allergy to perfumes. If your coworkers understand that the presence of perfumes makes it difficult for you to work, hopefully they will be understanding and either cut down on perfume or not use it at work altogether. If you have an Occupational Health department at work, consider asking them for assistance if all else fails.
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    A , Dentist, answered
    It all starts with nutrition. Seasonal allergies put your immune system on alert, stressing your body and increasing the need for nutritional support. Remember the A-list: Alkalizing, Anti-inflammatory, and Antioxidant-rich.

    Eat green leafy veggies and juices, lots of berries (especially blueberries), fresh fruits and vegetables. At the same time, avoid foods that produce mucus such as sugar, dairy, and wheat. Supplements such as grapeseed extract, quercetin, and vitamin C are also effective in reducing allergy symptoms.
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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    Some fascinating new research reveals that allergies protect you from brain cancer.

    How do allergies keep good brain cells from going rogue? Something in the immune system's overwrought reaction to allergens seems to help it recognize and wipe out bad brain cancer cells. This appears to be especially true in men, who are somewhat more susceptible to the often deadly brain tumors called glioma. It’s the most common brain tumor and the type scientists have been worrying cell phones may cause. (There's new evidence against this, but that's another story.
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    A , Allergy & Immunology, answered
    Here are some helpful strategies to help better manage allergy and asthma problems after a hurricane:
    • If you suffer from allergies remember that opening windows may aggravate symptoms as outdoor allergens enter the home.
    • If you have pet allergies, be prepared for a spike in allergy symptoms as a result of closer and prolonged exposure in a relatively closed environment.
    • Engage the "do not re-circulate" mode for your air conditioner to reduce outdoor allergens from entering your home.
    • Change your home air conditioner/furnace filters regularly.
    • Mold growth can build up from fallen leaves, branches around your home. You can measure indoor humidity levels by using an inexpensive room "hygrometer."
    • Consider humidity surge as a result of rain and flooded areas. Expect that indoor humidity levels will surge (over 50%). Be aware that the use of a room or central dehumidifier can help to prevent mildew growth that can worsen respiratory allergies.
    • Have your prescribed and over-the-counter (OTC) allergy and asthma medications in close proximity and on hand (especially important if you have a power loss).
    • Work with your family allergist or asthma specialist to learn the warning signs of uncontrolled asthma and have a plan in place for worsening symptoms, as well as your health care provider's emergency contact information.
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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    Dr. Oz - MERV filter

    If you have allergies, an air filter can help -- if, that is, the filter has the right MERV rating, says allergy specialist and Dr. Oz Show guest Clifford Bassett. In this video, Dr. Bassett tells Dr. Oz how to judge the quality of an air filter, and what kinds do the best job. 


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    A , Allergy & Immunology, answered
    When I was in training to be an allergist at a New York hospital, an industrialist who had allergies gave us the money to build an allergen-free room. He had used the new "clean room technology" in his business and was convinced he could treat allergy by putting asthmatics in this room. At best we got only mixed results. The asthmatics would live in this room for a few days. Allergens such as molds, mites, and foods were present even though the air was constantly filtered.
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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered

    Your home is filled with free-floating allergens such as pet dander (skin flakes from your cats and dogs) that find their way into your nose, throat, and ear passages, causing a scratchy throat, watery eyes, sneezing, and congestion. Regular cleaning keeps allergens from building up.

    Dust, sweep, and vacuum at least once a week, including curtains, blinds and vents. Whenever possible, use HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters, which trap even the smallest microns of dust, as well as pet dander.

    Wear a dust mask when you clean to keep from breathing in the allergens you are trying to contain. Masks are cheap, and you can find them at your local drugstore or hardware store.

    Use a particle-trapping dust cloth instead of a feather duster. It will pick up the dust rather than just sending it in a flurry into your air.


    This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com
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    If a person can determine that a certain skincare product is causing symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as hives, redness, itchiness, or a rash, it's best to avoid that particular product. Some common cosmetics that often cause reactions include certain deodorants, moisturizers, sunscreens, shampoos, and perfumes. Even harsh soaps can cause a reaction. If you know you have sensitive skin or skin that is prone to allergic reactions, look for skincare products that are specially-formulated for sensitive skin, or made with all natural ingredients.

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    A , Allergy & Immunology, answered
    Researchers have identified a possible link between your level of anxiety, mood and depression likelihood with whether seasonal allergies are present and/or well controlled.

    Let's start with what we already know. If you have uncontrolled allergies, whether you are a child, adolescent or adult it will affect the quality of your sleep, and can be associated with daytime drowsiness, reduced alertness and learning optimally in the classroom as well. Just remember the last time you had a cold. Ask yourself; did I sleep well or not, when my nasal and sinus passages were congested? Chance is you awoke feeling tired the next morning. Same story for those who do not have controlled allergy symptoms, such as nasal congestion, that can be associated with poorer quality sleep and subsequent daytime drowsiness, etc.

    It appears that having springtime allergies can have an impact on mood. We already know from some recent studies that having suboptimal control of allergy symptoms can be associated with a negative effect on your love life, probably secondary to feeling less amorous, due to allergy symptoms affecting your appearance, such as puffiness of eyelids, runny, drippy nose, etc, especially during the height of the allergy season.

    A study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine found those seasonal pollen sufferers with sensitivity to ragweed pollen had experienced "significant fatigue and mood changes" in a number of patients studied.