Allergy Prevention


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allergy-preventionThere are many beliefs in the best methods for allergy prevention when compared to the straightforward methods of diagnosing and treating allergies. Here are some of our most important questions with the best answer for allergy prevention.

Can allergies be prevented?
Generally, people who are aware of their problems can avoid offending allergens by not walking or driving in the country during the pollen season; by avoiding drafts and exposure to cold; by minimizing their exposure to house-dust; by trying not to breath the fumes of paint, insecticides or products containing irritants and other allergy symptom triggers. Allergic persons should strive to stay in good physical condition and to avoid emotional tension and fatigue. When they occur, respiratory infections should be taken seriously and treated immediately. It is especially important that parents watch children for allergic tendencies.

Foods are a common cause of allergies in infancy. Breast milk is preferable than cow’s milk in potentially allergic children. Eggs, wheat products and nuts should be added to the diet one at a time, and the child’s reaction should be recorded in a daily log.

Can indoor allergies be prevented?
When it comes to indoor pollutants; bedrooms and frequently used rooms should be kept as dust-free as possible. It is important to utilize HEPA vacuums and air purifiers which clean airborne particles from the air very efficiently. The more they are used, the better the indoor air quality becomes. Having pets such as a dog or cat should be avoided in homes which have an allergy sufferer as animal dander is hard to remove from the indoor environment once they are introduced.

Is good health important to allergy prevention?
Yes, allergy symptoms may be minimized with good health. The best way to achieve and maintain good health is with a balanced diet and a well-rounded program of exercise, recreation and rest. Smoking and drinking can actually set you up for allergy reactions and should be avoided. Although these measures will not cure allergies, they help prevent allergic symptoms by contributing to better resistance.

What are lesser-known allergy triggers?
Allergy scientist state that such emotions such as anxiety, fear, anger and strong excitement can precipitate an allergy attack. This is not to say, however, that these emotions are the physical basis of the allergy; which is real and of primary importance to people with allergies. In general, the allergic sufferer is better off in an atmosphere of calm and confidence. Parents of asthmatic children should as much as possible, maintain an attitude of calm and reassurance. The allergic child for example, should be encouraged to be self-reliant and to take part in family activities as possible.

To learn more about how to make your home a allergy-free haven, please sign up for our sponsor’s Free 10-Part Email Mini-Course on this page or click here to read more.

Source: The AllergyReliefExpert.com staff

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Animal Allergies


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animal-allergiesAnimal allergies are one of the most common type of reactions allergy sufferers experience worldwide. Here are some of our most important common questions along with the best answer for animal-related allergies.

We had a dog for two years before our son became asthmatic. How could the dog be the cause if the asthma took so long to develop?
No one is allergic to a substance the first time it is encountered; a period of sensitization usually precedes the onset of allergy. Two years is a typical period, though some allergies may appear sooner.

Is it safe to have a pet that does not shed?
The allergen from dogs or cats that causes an allergic reaction is not present in the hair of the animal, but rather in the dander (flakes of the animals skin).

Is it all right to have a pet if it is outside most of the time?
It only takes a few minutes for sufficient dander to accumulate on carpets, furniture and other indoor surfaces. This is why allergic individuals have a problems when a pet is kept outside or even kept in a basement. It should be noted that when the pet is removed from the house, and after thorough cleaning, it may take up to 4 weeks for the dander to dissipate. Cat dander can actually take years to disappear from the indoor environment once introduced.

Can’t I just receive shots for allergy to dogs?
Allergy injections for sensitivity to animal dander are not advisable except in unusual circumstances.  One circumstance is a blind person who becomes allergic to an seeing-eye dog; another is a veterinarian who becomes allergic to animals. The most effective course of action is to remove the pet from the environment.

I have two children who are allergic to pollen and mold. They have never had problems around animal. Is it safe to give them a dog or a cat?
Allergic children are predisposed to allergies to new substances. A Casual encounter, such as visiting friends who have a pet may not be enough to sensitize a child; but continued, massive exposure to a house pet such as a dog or cat may. Unfortunately, this sensitization frequently takes one or two years, which means the new allergy becomes evident just as the net pet becomes an integral part of the family and just when separation can be the most traumatic for the child. The best advice is simply not to have a dog, cat or other fur-bearing animal in the home where a family member is allergic. Some pets that are safe for allergic families are tropical fish, turtles, chameleons, iguanas and snakes.

Source: The AllergyReliefExpert.com staff

Abraham Hicks ~ Allergies to animals

Air Duct Allergies


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air-duct-allergiesDuct cleaning has grown rapidly as an industry since the 1990’s primarily due to the advertising campaigns utilized by these firms. The average advertising campaign states that indoor air quality problems from dirty ducts are the primary cause of allergies and asthma symptoms.

Dirty Duct Allergies

The fact of the matter is, dirty air ducts are a symptom of a larger problem which exist in most homes throughout the United States. My best analogy to understand the source of the real problem is that; the air ducts are the lungs of the home and if they are getting dirty, then the occupants of the home are breathing dirty air. The real problem is a control problem.

Controlling Allergens

Dirty ducts are simply an outcome of a lack of “particle control” methods. Ducts become dirty from the accumulation of various dust particles which can include airborne allergens. The key to reducing allergy symptoms caused by the typical airborne allergens found in the average home environment, is to implement particle control measures over a period of time. Some of the most common airborne allergens found to cause allergy symptoms are:

  • Tree and Grass Pollen
  • Dust Mites Feces and Mite parts
  • Other insect parts
  • Mold particles

The above allergens listed above are just a few of the many allergens which can be measured in the typical home environment. Here are some tips you can use now which are proven methods for reducing allergy symptoms in the home:

  1. Keep your pets outdoors as much as possible. If you allow them inside, keep them from getting on the furniture and going into your bedroom.
  2. Use a HEPA vacuum for all dust related cleaning in the indoor environment of your home.
  3. Use a HEPA air purifier in the rooms of your home you spend the most time in.
  4. Use high-quality “pleated” filters in your HVAC system.

Relief of your allergy symptoms may be realized within a period of 1-2 months by utilizing the above tips. If you want to get results even faster, then vacuum every single surface you can in the home with a HEPA vacuum daily for the first week and then weekly thereafter. And another plus, you probably will never need to have your ducts cleaned.

About the author: Stan K. Hall a.k.a. The Sick House Doctor is a recognized specialist in Indoor Air Pollution as well as Health & Safety in the home. He has performed over 400 indoor environmental evaluations over the past 26 years and has helped hundreds of homeowners make their homes a haven. He is widely known as the originator of T.E.A.M., the scientifically proven approach to controlling and resolving indoor air pollution.

Dirty Nasty Mold Duct under Concrete Slab

Vaccination Allergies


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allergy-vaccinesAllergy shots, also known as allergy vaccines have an interesting history. The idea behind a vaccination is this: That which doesn’t kill you will make you stronger. No doubt, all these developments in vaccinations around the turn of the century gave rise to allergists experimenting with the same principles in an attempt to treat allergies. This is based on the notion that inoculations small but increasing doses of the offending allergens will eventually induce a tolerance to the allergen.

However, “allergy shots” that a conventional allergist administers represents a rather crude approach that is rarely effective. A recent study reported in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine shows that shots are of no significant benefit as compared with a placebo when it comes to treating children with asthma.

Why Are Allergy Shots Still Used?

Consider treatments for a diagnosis of food sensitivity, relief can usually be observed by the mere avoidance of the offending foods. One can readily see the economic advantage for the allergist to continue to give and charge for weekly shots rather than give dietary advice just once. The true answer may lie more within economics than within science.

In fact, it is believed that as high as 28% of allergy shot patients actually have an allergic response to the vaccine itself thus creating an acute allergic response. In fewer cases, patients have reported that they would consider their allergic response from a single allergy shot to be “serious”. The fact that many allergists know that a serious reaction may be possible have caused them to reduce the allergens placed in the vaccine itself and thus reducing it’s effectiveness.

Many allergy patients and some allergists have stopped using allergy shots for allergy reactions due to both their ineffectiveness and the danger of a serious reaction. Many of these same individuals are reporting better results from avoiding the allergens themselves combined with methods of boosting the immune response of allergy sufferers with known food supplementation.

About the author: Stan K. Hall a.k.a. The Sick House Doctor is a recognized specialist in Indoor Air Pollution as well as Health & Safety in the home. He has performed over 400 indoor environmental evaluations over the past 26 years and has helped hundreds of homeowners make their homes a haven. He is widely known as the originator of T.E.A.M., the scientifically proven approach to controlling and resolving indoor air pollution.

About Allergy Shots

Allergy Tips


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allergy-tipsAllergies may be more prevalent than we really know. A lot of symptoms attributed to other causes are, in fact, allergic responses. Chronic allergies to foods, food additives or everyday chemical products can produce symptoms that are labeled as colitis, migraine headaches, sinus problems, asthma and a variety of other health problems. Some allergies are disguised as addictions. You may actually crave a food or a substance that causes an unhealthy response, ranging from mood swings to headaches. Common food allergies include milk, wheat, corn,chocolate, peanuts and soft drinks.

There are some tips to consider for alleviating your allergies:

  • A food log can help you pinpoint possible suspect foods. If you write down the menu for every meal, you may be able to identify foods or dishes that are followed by allergic reactions. When you identify a food that may be responsible, try eliminating it for a week to two weeks. If there are no symptoms, reintroduce it to see if symptoms reappear.
  • If you catch colds frequently, your problem may actually stem from an allergy. The runny nose and swollen membranes associated with such allergic responses may be caused by histamines (naturally occurring body chemicals). Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine and can often relieve these symptoms. Sinus-related allergies and hay fever are other problems that can be treated with Vitamin C.
  • If you often have rashes or other skin problems, they may be allergic responses to cosmetics, soaps or even laundry detergent.

Here’s another little-known method of identifying the source of an allergen without the expense of seeing a doctor; Use an unexposed area of your skin, such as your back (you may need assistance from someone). Make sure your skin is clean and dry. Apply a small amount of a suspected allergy-causing substance to your skin and cover with a square of surgical gauze, followed by a bandage or surgical tape. If the test substance is dry, such as a face powder or solid makeup, put a tiny amount of it in mineral oil and apply that to your skin. Keep the test patch on your skin for 24 to 48 hours and watch for an allergic reaction to develop. Once you find out which substance or substances are setting off your allergic response, you’ll know what to avoid.

To learn more about how to make your home a allergy-free haven, please sign up for our sponsor’s Free 10-Part Email Mini-Course on this page or click here to read more.

Understanding Allergies

Exercise Asthma Prevention


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Exercise-induced-Asthma“Exercise asthma” or as it is more commonly called “exercised induced asthma” can trigger an attack in 80 to 90 percent of people with asthma.  In fact, even amateur and professional athletes have particularly high rates of exercised-induced asthma, with studies finding that between 11 and 50 percent are affected.

However make no mistake: exercise-induced asthma, also called exercise induced bronchospasm, is asthma. It’s not a type of asthma, an “asthma-like” condition or a separate disease. It is almost always diagnosed shortly after a person has had an asthma attack or spasm of the bronchial airways, usually with the symptoms starting 5 to 15 minutes after beginning or ending physical exertion. The main cause isn’t really known, but researchers suspect it’s related to the loss of heat, water or both from the lungs during exercise. This occurs because of the common tendency to breath through the mouth when exercising, so cooler air is taken in verses warmer air which passes through the nose (which warms and moistens it).

Some asthmatics may go months before learning they may have exercise-induced asthma. This is because the breathlessness and wheezing they experience after exercising may be the only symptoms of their exercise-induced asthma leading them think that they may only get out of breath easily. That could be why one study found unrecognized exercise-induced asthma in as many as 29 percent of athletes studied.

Exercise-Induced Asthma Prevention Tips

As with any form of asthma, medication plays a major role in controlling the symptoms, but there are several non-medical tips you can use to possibly avoid exercise-induced asthma:

  • Improve your overall physical condition. The better shape you’re in, the stronger your lungs are. Thus, they’ll be less sensitive to the cool, dry air you may take in while exercising.
  • Warm up for at least 10 minutes before you start exercising.
  • Try not to exercise outside in cold weather. If you must (as with skiing), cover your mouth and nose with a scarf or face mask to help warm and moisten the air. Exercise in warm, humidified environments. Swimming in a heated indoor pool is actually considered a good exercise for persons with exercise-induced asthma.
  • Try not to exercise outside in areas of high pollution or at times when the air quality is poor.
  • Wait at least 2 hours after eating before exercising. This ensures that your stomach has emptied and reduces the risk of gastric reflux or heartburn.
  • Try to breath through your nose, not your mouth when possible.

Make sure you always have an EpiPen with you and you know how to administer it to yourself during an emergency attack.

Go to Exercise Asthma for more information about Exercise-Induced Asthma.

Related posts: Avoiding Asthma Attacks.

About the author: Stan K. Hall a.k.a. The Sick House Doctor is a recognized specialist in Indoor Air Pollution as well as Health & Safety in the home. He has performed over 400 indoor environmental evaluations over the past 26 years and has helped hundreds of homeowners make their homes a haven. He is widely known as the originator of T.E.A.M., the scientifically proven approach to controlling and resolving indoor air pollution.

Exercise Induced Asthma

Exercise Asthma


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Exercise-induced-Asthma

“Exercise asthma” or as it is more commonly called “exercised induced asthma” can trigger an attack in 80 to 90 percent of people with asthma.  In fact, even amateur and professional athletes have particularly high rates of exercised-induced asthma, with studies finding that between 11 and 50 percent are affected.

However make no mistake: exercise-induced asthma, also called exercise induced bronchospasm, is asthma. It’s not a type of asthma, an “asthma-like” condition or a separate disease. It is almost always diagnosed shortly after a person has had an asthma attack or spasm of the bronchial airways, usually with the symptoms starting 5 to 15 minutes after beginning or ending physical exertion. The main cause isn’t really known, but researchers suspect it’s related to the loss of heat, water or both from the lungs during exercise. This occurs because of the common tendency to breath through the mouth when exercising, so cooler air is taken in verses warmer air which passes through the nose (which warms and moistens it).

Some asthmatics may go months before learning they may have exercise-induced asthma. This is because the breathlessness and wheezing they experience after exercising may be the only symptoms of their exercise-induced asthma leading them think that they may only get out of breath easily. That could be why one study found unrecognized exercise-induced asthma in as many as 29 percent of athletes studied.

Exercise Asthma Warning Signs

When you exercise, watch out for shortness of breath or wheezing, decreased exercise endurance, chest pain or tightness, upset stomach or a sore throat. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop exercising immediately and allow your breathing and heart-rate to return to normal. Usually the “attack” should only last only a few minutes, but it can be as scary as any other asthma attack, often leading otherwise healthy people to avoid exercise altogether.

The only way to know for sure if your symptoms are related to asthma is to see an asthma and allergy specialist, who should conduct an “exercise challenge” test to confirm a diagnosis. This test usually involves evaluating your lung function before and after you’ve run on a treadmill or exercise bicycle.

Go to Exercise Asthma Prevention for related prevention tips.

Related posts: Asthma and Allergies.

About the author: Stan K. Hall a.k.a. The Sick House Doctor is a recognized specialist in Indoor Air Pollution as well as Health & Safety in the home. He has performed over 400 indoor environmental evaluations over the past 26 years and has helped hundreds of homeowners make their homes a haven. He is widely known as the originator of T.E.A.M., the scientifically proven approach to controlling and resolving indoor air pollution.

Exercise induced asthma

Fire Ant Allergy


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fire-ant-allergyFire ants were originally introduced to the United States from South America during the 1920s, fire ants are now well established in several southern states. The venom of the fire ants differs from that of small biting insects, in that it can produce several local allergic reactions or systemic anaphylactic reactions.

The fire ants attack by biting to secure itself, then inserts its stinging apparatus, which contains the venom. Highly sensitive individuals with high levels of allergic antibodies against the venom of the fire ant are usually treated with immunotherapy.

Someone who is sensitive to insect bites should avoid:

  • Standing in the direct path of fire ant mounds and their traffic zones
  • Contact with a nest
  • Throwing objects or disturbing a nest
  • Hitting a mound when mowing
  • Planting flowers in a fire ant zone
  • Trimming hedges or shrubs in a fire ant zone
  • Walking barefoot outdoors
  • Cooking or eating outdoors

Fire Ant Control Tips

There are many safe fire ants mound control products available today which will help in controlling the fire ant population in your yard. However, they usually require more than one application per season. Always make sure you keep your pets away from fire ant zones as they can also have severe fire ant reactions when bitten. If you have a fire ant problem in your yard then it is advisable that you walk your perimeter weekly to help spot new mounds and zones so you can treat them promptly.

About the author: About the author: Stan K. Hall a.k.a. The Sick House Doctor is a recognized specialist in Indoor Air Pollution as well as Health & Safety in the home. He has performed over 400 indoor environmental evaluations over the past 26 years and has helped hundreds of homeowners make their homes a haven. He is widely known as the originator of T.E.A.M., the scientifically proven approach to controlling and resolving indoor air pollution.

HOW TO KILL FIRE ANTS ~ DEAD !

Allergy History


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allergy-historyHistorians believe that the Egyptians, Chinese, Jews, Greeks and Romans of antiquity were aware of allergies and as Lucretius observed over 2,100 years ago, “One man’s meat is another man’s poison.” In fact, it is believed that the earliest known report of a allergic reaction occurred around 3500 B.C. when King Menses of Egypt died from an an anaphylactic reaction after being stung by a wasp.

Some biblical scholars believe the Old Testament’s dietary restrictions reflected, in many cases, an awareness that certain foods caused severe symptoms in some people. Many of these same scholars have considered the 13th chapter of Leviticus to a passage of scripture which is clearly referring to allergies of the skin. Others have noted that the wheat they consumed during biblical days was “un-processed” and prepared much differently than modern days which could explain partly why allergies have been called the epidemic of the 20th century and continues today into the 21st century.

It is believed that in the early 1800s, a few scientists were already studying the effects of allergies on humans with one of the first official scientist John Bostock coming forth in 1819 with his studies termed “hayfever”.  Even though allergies aren’t directly related to hay or fever, the term is commonly used today to describe respiratory allergies. The American physician Morrill Wyman published a report in 1872 identifying ragweed as a cause of what was then known as the “autumn catarrh.” The well-known scientist Charles Blackley published his findings regarding that hayfever was actually created by a grass pollen reaction in 1873.

New findings and breakthroughs in allergy related studies continued throughout the 1900s by other known scientists such as Paul Portier and Charles Richet that first used the word “anaphylaxis” to describe a severe allergic response to a known allergen.

Fast forwarding to Jauary 1, 1996, the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA), required food manufacturers to start disclosing the top eight food allergen catagories;

  1. milk
  2. eggs
  3. fish
  4. shellfish
  5. peanuts
  6. tree nuts
  7. wheat
  8. soy

Today, approximately 1/3 of the population suffers from some type of allergies.  Could it be that allergies are more of a modern-day problem than a distant one because of the way we process, cook and prepare our food? Only time will tell!

Source: The AllergyReliefExpert staff

To learn more about how to make your home a allergy-free haven, please sign up for our sponsor’s Free 10-Part Email Mini-Course on this page or click here to read more.

Food Allergy Challenges

Allergic Reactions


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allergic-reactionMechanisms of Allergic Reactions

The most common hypersensitivity reaction is the allergic reaction. In susceptible people, IgE antibodies are induced when an individual is exposed to such antigens as airborne pollen of grasses, trees or weeds; animal dander, urine or saliva; mold spores; various insect-derived dusts and airborne organic dust; the venom of a certain stinging insect; or specific foods or drugs.

Allergens are antigens that produce allergic reactions. As encountered in nature, most allergic substances contain many different antigens or molecules capable of inducing an immune response. Most of the time, however, only a few of the antigens in these substances act as allergens. In recent years, allergens from a few pollen and animal sources have been identified, characterized and in many cases, isolated in pure form. In most cases the allergens clearly identified have proven to be proteins in a specific weight range of 10,000 to 40,000 daltons or in other words, they are microscopic in size.

The Single Allergy Gene Theory

We do not yet know what it is that leads to the spontaneous production of large amounts of IgE antibodies in some people. Recent evidence suggest that a person’s total IgE level is genetically determined by a single gene. In allergic individuals, the IgE levels are often two to four times above normal and is presumed to be from a result of the person’s  previous responses to environmental allergens. Exposure to small doses of antigens tend to favor IgE antibody production that is regulated by both helper and suppressor T cells.

Scientist now know that the level of IgE antibodies for ragweed-pollen antigens rises dramatically during and immediate after the annual ragweed season. The level then falls slowly until the next pollen season starts, when it rises quickly again.  Apparantly, T cells cause an influx of mast cells and basophils into an area such as the nose lining when exposed to ragweed pollen. As a result, symptoms of ragweed allergies can occur weeks after the official ragweed season has ended.

Allergy researchers have concluded that to understand and control allergic diseases, we must understand how the immune system functions. Recent knowledge has been harnessed allowing scientist to better control allergic reactions by controlling how the immune system reacts to a given allergen.

Source: The Allergy Encyclopedia

Related Posts: Sinus Allergy.

Scientists discover what triggers allergic reactions to cats