Living With & Managing Allergies

Living With & Managing Allergies

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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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    The most important part of managing skin allergies on a daily basis is knowing and avoiding the particular allergens that cause a reaction. If it's impossible to avoid the allergen, which can happen due to work requirements, wear protective clothing such as gloves. If contact with the allergen does occur, wash the area thoroughly to get any irritating chemicals off the skin's surface as soon as possible. Try not to scratch itchy rashes or hives, since that can further irritate the skin. Instead, apply appropriate topical steroids or take oral antihistamines to reduce the symptoms of the allergic reaction.

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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 answered
    Avoiding allergens and irritants isn't always practical or possible, so keep these self-care measures up your sleeve to help you get the allergy relief you need:
    • Use a saline nasal spray or rinse to help clear your nose of mucus and irritating allergens.
    • Take a shower or go for a swim to wash pollen from your skin and hair. But keep in mind that chlorine may make allergy symptoms worse for some people, so opt for a dip in the ocean or in a stream, lake, or saltwater pool.
    • Drink lots of fluids. Staying well hydrated helps keep the lining of your nose and sinuses moist and healthy and in good working order.
    • Steam away stuffiness. Breathing in steam -- in a hot shower or over a bowl of hot water -- may provide temporary relief by opening stuffed sinuses and promoting drainage.
    • Use a cold compress or chilled gel mask to soothe itchy, irritated eyes.
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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.
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    A , Allergy & Immunology, answered
    Keep your bedroom allergen-free by following these steps:

    Step 1. Pets -- Remove any furry or feathered animals from the bedroom, permanently. No pets should ever be in the bedroom, even when the patient is not there.

    Step 2. Bedding -- Discard any feather (or down) pillows or quilts. Use hypoallergenic (polyester) pillows and washable blankets. Blankets should be washed immediately and often to keep them dust free.

    Step 3. Heating and air-conditioning -- Forced-air ventilation is very bad for patients. Buy filter material (Vent-Gard or equivalent) and install in the bedroom air-inlet vent, so that all the air that enters the room is filtered. Wash or change this filter every month.

    Step 4. Humidifiers -- Do not use humidifiers of any kind. Increased humidity increases the growth of dust mites and molds and will make you worse. The most effective way to keep your air passages comfortable during the night is to keep the bedroom very cold (55 - 60 degrees F).

    Step 5. Plastic covers -- The bed must have plastic covers that completely encase any pillows, the mattress, and box spring. Do this even if the mattress and pillows are new.

    Step 6. Rugs -- Remove any rugs and carpets. Rugs trap dust whether they are wool or synthetics. Hardwood or vinyl floors are preferable but a washable throw rug can be used. If it is impossible to remove carpeting, vigorous vacuuming must be performed daily.

    Step 7. Vacuum cleaners -- Vacuum cleaners blow a lot of fine dust out the back. Purchase special allergen-proof vacuum cleaner bags. Special vacuum cleaners such as the Miele or Nilfisk work well, but are very expensive.

    Step 8. HEPA air purifiers -- HEPA air purifiers are very useful when there are allergens floating in the air in your bedroom, such as pet dander, mold spores, or cigarette smoke, or if you have forced-air ventilation. They can run all the time, but only when the door and windows are closed.

    Step 9. General clean up and other dust collectors -- Remove all upholstered furniture, drapes, old books and newspapers, and stuffed animals. Wooden or metal chairs and plain light curtains can be used. Clean the woodwork and floors to remove all traces of dust.

    Step 10. Regular cleaning -- The room must be cleaned daily and given a thorough and complete cleaning once a week. Clean the floors, furniture, tops of doors, window frames, sills, etc. with a damp cloth. Air the room thoroughly but keep the door of this room closed as much as possible.
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    A , Allergy & Immunology, answered
    Allergies can be more than an annoyance. Fatigue, itchiness, snoring and problems breathing can harm a healthy sex life. The following tips can help mitigate allergies' impact on the bedroom:
    1. Keep Fido off the Bed: Keep pets out of the bedroom to lower the amount of animal allergens present which can cause allergy symptoms to flare, killing the mood.
    2. Wash Wisely: Wash and shampoo nightly, if you were outdoors on high pollen days. This way you can prevent transferring fresh air containing pollens from getting into your bedroom and bedding.
    3. How You Look Affects How You Feel: A dripping nose or puffy eyes may leave you feeling less attractive or self-conscious, not exactly putting you in the mood. Proper allergy and/or sinus care (whether it be over the counter or prescription) can often lead to a reduction in puffy, swollen lids and under-eye circles, making you look and feel better.
    4. Seek Help: An allergist can find the source of your suffering and stop it. With allergy testing, your doctor can help develop a plan to end your 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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    It's important to pinpoint the cause of the person's skin allergies. Once you know the particular allergens causing the reactions, try to limit the person's exposure to those things. Also, keep in mind that similar substances may cause a reaction-so if a person is allergic to chemicals in a particular lotion, it might be a good idea to have that person avoid cleansers or makeup products that may contain the same or similar chemicals. Try to discourage scratching of hives or rashes, especially in small children.