Tag asthma

10 Ways To Fight Pollen At Home

10 Ways To Fight Pollen At Home.

1. Keep the car in the garage. 

2. Wipe your feet on the mat, then take off your shoes and other outerwear as soon as you enter the house. 

3. Decontaminate — Get the pollen off your body and your clothes. 

4. Wash that green right out of your hair. 

5. Prevent your indoor-outdoor pets from bringing in the pollen. 

6. Empty the vacuum outdoors. 

7. Keep the windows and doors closed. 

8. Be vigilant about dusting. 

9. Keep porches clean or put off using them a lot until the season is over. 

10. Don’t let the pollen get you down; it’s one of the most beautiful times of the year. 

To read these tips in detail, please click on the link above.

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Mold at School can Cause Asthma; a Recent Study in CHEST Journal

 

Photo Credit: Mokra from Brazil

Photo Credit: Mokra from Brazil

 

A cross-sectional survey was conducted to assess allergic/asthmatic conditions in schoolchildren aged 6∼15 years old in 44 schools across Taiwan. Personal histories and current asthmatic conditions were collected. Fungal spores in classroom were collected using a Burkard Personal Air Sampler and counted under light microscopy.

The survey was completed by 6346 out of 7154 parents. The prevalences of physician-diagnosed asthma, current asthma, and asthma with symptoms reduced on holidays or weekend.

Classroom mold counts were significantly associated with childhood asthma and with reduced asthma symptoms on weekends. Government health policy should explore environmental interventions for the elimination of fungal spores in classrooms to reduce the prevalence of childhood asthma.

If your child has asthma, please call us for a simple allergy test to exclude mold and other allergies. 

A Beautiful Morning at the Clinic

clinicSnow

 

Pristine snow, colorful skies, and a magnificent moon over the Clinic. Happy Wednesday, friends.

Are you allergic to your Christmas tree?

Are you allergic to your Christmas tree? From WebMD UK

One US study which investigated evidence for ‘Christmas tree syndrome’ found that respiratory illnesses peaked in people of all age groups in the weeks either side of December 25th. An examination of levels of airborne mould spores in an apartment increased from 800 spores per cubic metre before the arrival of a Christmas tree to 5,000 spores per cubic metre after 2 weeks…

The authors concluded: “Most molds that were identified are potential allergens and have been shown to increase the risk of wheeze, persistent cough, and allergic sensitisation in infants.”

Maureen Jenkins says these molds can also lead to “watery, itchy, or sore eyes and a blocked or runny nose, and sometimes difficulty breathing”, and not just in those with asthma…

The advice from Allergy UK is to make sure live Christmas trees are washed down thoroughly before being brought into the house. An even safer bet is to opt for an artificial tree, but even with these it is important to wash them before they are packed away and stored.

Read more by clicking the link above.

14 Tips for a Dust-free Bedroom; Sleep Deeper, Breathe Easier

new-treatment-for-people-with-allergies-to-grass-and-dust-mites

As the weather cools off, we spend more and more time indoors, which makes indoor allergy symptoms worse.  Here, are my tips to help you minimize dust mite exposure and hence allergy symptoms.

1. Empty and clean all closets and, if possible, store contents elsewhere and seal closets. If this is not possible, keep clothing in zippered plastic bags and shoes in boxes off the floor.

2. Remove carpeting, if possible.

3. Clean and scrub the woodwork and floors thoroughly to remove all traces of dust. Wipe wood, tile, or linoleum floors with water, wax, or oil. If you use linoleum, cement it to the floor.

4. Wear a filter mask when cleaning.

5. Clean the room thoroughly and completely once a week.  Clean floors, furniture, tops of doors, window frames and sills, etc., with a damp cloth or oil mop. Carefully vacuum carpet and upholstery regularly. Use a special filter in the vacuum.

6. Wash curtains often at 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

7. Carpeting makes dust control impossible. Although shag carpets are the worst type for the dust-sensitive person, all carpets trap dust. Therefore, health care experts recommend hardwood, tile, or linoleum floors.

Treating carpets with tannic acid eliminates some dust mite allergen. Tannic acid, however, is Not as effective as removing the carpet from the room.

8. Encase box springs and mattress in a zippered dust-proof or allergen-proof cover.
Scrub bed springs outside the room.

9. Use only washable materials on the bed. Sheets, blankets, and other bedclothes should be washed frequently in water that is at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Lower temperatures will not kill dust mites. Use a synthetic, such as dacron, mattress pad and pillow.

10. Avoid fuzzy wool blankets or feather- or wool-stuffed comforters and mattress pads.

11. Keep furniture and furnishings to a minimum.  Avoid upholstered furniture and blinds.  Use only a wooden or metal chair that can be scrubbed. Use only plain, lightweight curtains on the windows.

12. Electrostatic and high-efficiency particulate absorption (HEPA) filters can effectively remove many allergens from the air. If functioning improperly, however, electrostatic filters may emit ozone, which can be harmful to your lungs if you have asthma.

13. A dehumidifier may help because house mites need high humidity to live and grow. You should take special care to clean the unit frequently with a weak bleach solution (1 cup bleach in 1 gallon water) or a commercial product to prevent mold growth. Although low humidity may reduce dust mite levels, it might irritate your nose and lungs.

14. Keep toys that will accumulate dust out of the child’s bedroom. Avoid stuffed toys.  Use only washable toys of wood, rubber, metal, or plastic. Store toys in a closed toy box or chest.

Although these steps may seem difficult at first, experience plus habit will make them easier. The results-better breathing, fewer medicines, and greater freedom from allergy and asthma attacks-will be well worth the effort.

Sleep Well, Breathe Well.

10 Tips for An Allergy-free Fall

Allergy Test

Allergy Test (Photo credit: jspaw)

From August to November, ragweed blooms and releases pollen—a very fine powder also made by trees, grasses, and flowers.

What are the symptoms of ragweed allergy?

Ragweed allergy symptoms include sneezing; runny or stuffy nose; itchy throat or inside of ears; hives; and swollen eyelids and itchy eyes. This is often called hay fever or seasonal allergic rhinitis. Some people also develop asthma symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, and trouble breathing.

People who are allergic to ragweed often feel a tingling or burning in their mouths after they eat cantaloupe, honeydew melon, watermelon, or bananas. These fruits can cause these symptoms at any time but especially during ragweed season. Also, sunflower seeds, chamomile tea, and honey can cause severe symptoms in some people who have ragweed allergy.

How is ragweed allergy diagnosed?

Your allergist will review your medical history, ask questions about your symptoms and allergens, and may test your blood and/or do skin testing. With skin testing, a small amount of a possible allergen is pricked or scratched into the skin. If you’re sensitive to an allergen, a small red lump appears on the skin.

How is ragweed allergy treated?

  • Avoid or limit contact with ragweed pollen.
  • Take medicine to relieve your symptoms. Some allergy medicines should be taken 1 to 2 weeks before ragweed season. Ask your allergist which medicine(s) you should take ahead of time.
  • Get allergy shots, if they are recommended. Some people need them when they can’t avoid an allergen and need ragwood allergy treatment. The shots contain a tiny but increasing amount of the allergen you’re sensitive to. Over time, your body becomes used to the allergen and no longer reacts to it.

What medicines are used to treat hay fever symptoms?

This list gives a brief overview of medicines used to treat these symptoms. Talk to your allergist to find out which medicines are best for you. Your allergist is also the best person to help you decide which medicines you should begin before ragweed season.

Decongestant Clears a stuffy nose; available in pill, nasal (nose) drops or spray

Antihistamine Relieves hay fever symptoms; available in pill, liquid or nasal spray

Nasal corticosteroid Relieves hay fever symptoms; available in nasal spray

Montelukast Relieves hay fever symptoms; available in pill

How can I avoid or limit contact with ragweed pollen?

  • Wash your hands often. Pollen can stick to your hands when you touch something outside or a pet, if it has been outside.
  • Limit your time outdoors when ragweed counts are high.
  • Wear a dust mask that people like carpenters use (found in hardware stores) when you need to do outdoor tasks such as cutting the grass or raking leaves.
  • Don’t wear your outdoor work clothes in the house; they may have pollen on them.
  • Clean and replace furnace and air conditioner filters often. Using HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters is recommended, which remove at least 99 percent of pollen, as well as animal dander, dust and other particles.
  • Use a clothes dryer rather than outdoor clothes lines.
  • If you take a vacation, choose places and times of the year to avoid high ragweed pollen counts.
    (Adopted from American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology)

10 Tips to Minimize Mold Exposure

mold-spores

Molds can cause health problems. Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions or asthma attacks in sensitive people. Mold exposure may irritate your eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs.  (CDC)

Molds are fungi that can be found both outdoors and indoors. They grow best in warm, damp and humid conditions. If you have damp or wet spots in your house, you will probably get mold.

  1. If a water leak is the source of your problem, have it fixed first. If the leak is in your roof hire a roofing contractor to repair the leak. If the leak is from a water pipe, toilet, bathtub or shower, hire a plumber to repair the leak. If the leak has caused substantial water damage or mold you will want to hire a contractor who specializes in mold remediation and water damage repairs. After repairing the water leak, dry out the area completely.
  2. A dirt floor in a crawl space should be covered with plastic (vapor barrier) to prevent moisture from the soil increasing humidity levels in your home. If there is standing water or the soil is wet, dry it out with fans before covering the floor.
  3. Use ventilation fans in kitchens and baths to control moisture. Check to make sure ventilation fans venting directly outside. In some cases the vent fan may have been installed to vent into the attic or become disconnected or blocked.
  4. Keep air conditioning drip pans clean and the drain lines unobstructed and flowing properly.
  5. Ask a heating and cooling contractor to check your heating and cooling system to make sure it is sized and operating properly to remove humidity.
  6. If your basement has a dirt floor, cover the floor completely with plastic to slow down water vapor coming through the soil.
  7. Use ventilation fans in kitchens and baths to control moisture. Check to make sure ventilation fans venting directly outside. In some cases the vent fan may have been installed to vent into the attic or become disconnected or blocked.
  8. Your clothes dryer should be vented directly to the outside. Inspect the vent duct. Make sure it is attached securely to the dryer. Check that it is clear of obstructions (e.g. lint). Check for holes that leak air. If vent duct is damaged replace it with a metal duct. The vent duct should be cleaned at least once a year. The Consumer Products Safety Commission additional safety tips for dryer vents .
  9. Ask a heating and cooling contractor to check your heating and cooling system to make sure it is sized and operating properly to remove humidity. If you system is too big or the airflow incorrect your air conditioner will not remove humidity like it should. Also, ask the contractor to check your duct system for air leaks, and proper size and air flow to each room. To help you find a contractor, please refer to our recommendations.
  10. During hot humid months, using a dehumidifier in the basement can reduce condensation on the walls. This may work better after you’ve sealed air and duct leaks to reduce the amount of humid outdoor air you are bringing into the basement.

Happy Cleaning. Call us if your allergy symptoms still bother you.