Living With & Managing Allergies

Living With & Managing Allergies

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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 , 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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    A answered
    Here are five lifestyle factors that you may not be aware of that can make allergy symptoms, like sniffling, sneezing and watery eyes, worse.
    1. Bringing fruits, vegetables and household plants home. Fruits and veggies are thought of as being good for you, but considering that pollen and other plant-derived allergens are what cause seasonal allergies, it makes sense that bringing plants, ferns and flowers into your house could aggravate your sinuses. When it comes to household plants, ficus, yucca, ivy, palm, orchids and ferns are the most common causes of flare-ups.
    2. Not following doctor's orders. If you've been prescribed a medication for severe allergies, it's best to take it exactly as your doctor directs. Putting off starting your medication until late in the season when symptoms are in full swing or switching drugs or doses on your own may not produce the results you need, not to mention inadvertently putting more chemicals in your system than necessary.
    3. Having that evening cocktail. This is one trigger that you may not want to hear about, but drinks like beer and wine contain bacteria and yeast, microorganisms that produce histamines, which are known allergy triggers. Studies have shown that wine has the most profound effect, especially in women. Red wine has 20 percent to 200 percent more histamines than white wine. Further, pickled or yeast-containing foods, like cheese, bread or cider, can have a similar effect on allergy symptoms.
    4. Washing your laundry in cold water. Doing all of your laundry in cold water may leave behind dust mites or other allergens in your sheets, clothes and towels. You don’t have to do the entire wash on the hot cycle, but it may be best for items like bedding that tend to collect particles or for times when your allergy symptoms are at their worst. If you don't want to set your water temperature as high as 130°F, which kills dust mite eggs, you may alternatively use the hottest dryer setting.
    5. Hanging out with smokers. While cigarettes are a known trigger for people with sensitive sinuses or respiratory issues, you may also want to avoid hanging out very long with the people who smoke them. The harmful particles in tobacco smoke tend to stick to hair and clothing -- hence the ever-present odor that smokers tend to carry -- where they can be breathed in by you.
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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
    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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    A , Allergy & Immunology, answered
    Here are some allergy sufferer's tips for you and your yard:
    • Wear a pollen mask while gardening.
    • Keep grass cut short.
    • Avoid touching your eyes and nose while gardening.
    • Plan outdoor time for rainy, wet, cloudy and windless days -- which usually have lower pollen counts.
    • After yard work, leave your clothing outside of your bedroom, brush off your shoes and rinse your glasses. Also, wear gloves to minimize local contact and reduce irritation to the skin of your hands and arms.
    • Limit your gardening to short intervals on "high" pollen days.
    • If you are allergic to mold spores, avoid damp places and stagnant water.
    • Proximity and location of pollen-producing trees, shrubs and plants will affect your exposure to seasonal allergens.
    • Planting female trees in one's own yard may trap incoming airborne pollen from male plants.
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    A , Allergy & Immunology, answered
    Traveling during the holidays can be stressful, so it is absolutely essential to plan ahead if you have asthma, food allergies and other indoor allergies. Don't forget to bring your regular and "as needed" medications when traveling, especially because holidays are synonymous for delays in airports.

    Never pack your essential medications in the luggage. Always keep them on hand. Have a letter for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) from your health care provider if you have to carry an epinephrine auto-injector with you at all times.

    You can even call ahead to an airline and inquire if they will be serving nuts, a leading cause of food allergies.

    If you have indoor allergies and/or asthma it can be helpful to bring pillow and allergen-proof mattress covers to use when visiting family or staying at a hotel during your holiday. Don't forget to inquire if the hotel has allergy friendly "green" rooms available, which may be a good idea if you have asthma or indoor allergies.
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    Allergies cannot be cured. But depending on what a person is allergic to, he or she can often find relief by avoiding the allergen, taking prescription or over-the-counter medications or getting allergy shots.
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    Following are some questions to ask your healthcare provider about your allergies:
    1. Could an underlying medical condition cause my allergic symptoms?
    2. Do I have any medical conditions that might limit my use of over-the-counter medications?
    3. What are the side effects of the medications or treatments you're recommending? Will they interact with any other medications I'm taking?
    4. How will you monitor my treatment? How long will it take to work?
    5. Is my condition potentially dangerous? When should I seek professional medical care after an allergic reaction?
    6. Where are some of the unexpected places I might encounter the substance I'm allergic to?
    7. Should I be tested for allergy shots?