Your nose knows
- Any time of the year that pollen is in the air it reminds us of the importance of clean air. Allergies are diseases of the immune system that cause an overreaction to substances called “allergens.”
- Allergies are grouped by the time of year or where symptoms appear on the body, such as indoor and outdoor allergies (also called hay fever, seasonal, perennial or nasal allergies). Food and drug allergies, latex allergies, insect allergies, skin allergies and eye allergies.
- Some people think they are allergic to paint fumes, perfume, or cigarette smoke.
- Actually, these are not allergens, but may produce the same symptoms as allergies. True they are irritating, but not exactly an allergen.
- Allergy proof your bed
- An old mattress can house 2 ˝ times the allergy-triggering dust mites of a new one, says new European research. But encasing your mattress and box spring in non allergenic covers, available at most home and linen stores, can cut your exposure by up to half. Washing your bed linens in hot water once a week will also help reduce the critters and your symptoms. Journey of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Avoid pet dander
- Animal allergies aren’t actually to the animal, but to the dander they shed and leave behind in the house, on the furniture, in the carpet, etc. Very young animals have no old hair to shed, so there is no dander. It takes a few months for animals to start shedding, which is why an allergic reaction to a new puppy or kitten may take a few months to show it.
- Dogs and cats that spend time outdoors may pick up pollen from the plants they tromp in. Some people who think they are allergic to cats or dogs may actually be reacting to the pollen and not the pet. If you suspect an allergy to your pet, call your doctor for a skin or blood test to be sure.
- The most effective treatment for pet allergy is to avoid exposure to animals. If you own a pet, your best bet is to find it a good home and then vigorously clean your home to remove as much of the allergens as possible.
Avoid second hand smoke
- In addition to all the scary carcinogenic consequences and lingering odor, sucking in secondhand smoke can dramatically worsen allergies – for up to 4 days after exposure.
- When UCLA researchers subjected allergy sufferers to a few hours of secondhand smoke and then gave them a whiff of ragweed, the human guinea pigs reacted with 17 times higher levels of the allergy marker IgE than sneeze prone people who were spared the initial smoke-out.
- Inhaling secondhand smoke causes a shift in the immune system that results in higher levels of antibodies that trigger an allergic reaction, says David Diaz-Sanchez, Ph.D., the lead study author.
- For a list of nicotine-free restaurants and other nightlife in your area, click on Smoke free world and click on your state.
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