Allergy Headache


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allergy headache Headaches and Allergies

Any allergic reaction may cause a headache by increasing swelling and blockage of the sinuses which in turn creates pressure that causes a headache. However, not all headaches in the sinus areas is directly related to allergies.

While headache symptoms may be reduced by taking an over-the-counter pain medication; therapy for allergy related headaches should be directed at the cause such as a sinus infection, sinus inflammation or other related allergic reactions.

If you believe that you may have pain as a result of a severe sinus infection, seek medical help from a ear, nose and throat professional immediately.

Here are some helpful tips to reduce sinus pain and a directly related headache:

  • Learn more about how to reduce allergens in your home where you spend the most time.
  • Use a HEPA (High Efficient Particle Air) vacuum weekly and a HEPA air purifier daily to reduce pollen, house dust, dust mites and other airborne allergens which can be found indoors.
  • Use warm, moist cloths applied to the sinus areas for 1o minutes to reduce inflammation.
  • Irrigate your sinus cavities daily with a sinus rinse device or Neti-Pot with distilled water. This will remove excess pus and will stimulate proper nasal function.
  • Drink hot teas and fresh water to assist the sinus cilia to heal.
  • Breath in steam to assist in opening up the sinuses. It is best to use distilled water.

Related Post: Related Post: Sinus 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.

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.

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Dander Allergy


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dander-allergyDander Allergy

It is believed that over 60% of all modern households throughout the world have a dog or cat as a pet and over 10% of those households can have at least one person which has dander allergies.

What is Dander?

Dander from pets are secreted (oily) fluids from their skin, a particle which contain allergens called dander. The oily-like fluids can collect on fur and feathers and can can cause allergic reactions in hypersensitive persons.

Even though dander allergies from a dog or cat are more prevalent, other pets can create dander allergy problems as well to include:

  • Birds
  • Guinea pigs
  • Mamsters
  • Mice
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • and other furry friends

While an allergic individual may exhibit allergic reactions from their dander, they are more likely to actually be allergic to their saliva and urine. Once dry, these secretions become airborne and can be a source of allergic reactions for children, adults and laboratory animal workers. Proteins whcih are found in the animal’s saliva and urine are considered to be strong allergens.  Many of these allergens are microscopic and can become airborne for extended periods of time only to be breathed in by an allergy sufferer.

About the Author: Daniella Jensen is a pet shop owner in Santa Monica California and writes pet related articles for local and online publications.

Related Posts: Pet Allergy, Pet Allergies and Dog Allergies.

Allergy Symptoms & Treatments : How to Prevent Dander Allergies

House Allergies


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house allergiesFew think that their home may be a source of pollution but the truth is that the air may be up to 100 times more polluted than the air outside their home. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air pollution is one of the top 3 biggest health problems in America.

Over 40 million people in the United States are affected by allergies. An estimated 20.3 million Americans suffer from asthma and even more people suffer from upper respiratory problems that are caused by pollutants such as mold, fungi, smoke, and dust. On average we spend about 90 percent of our time indoors – which 65 percent is spent at home.

What is Indoor Air Pollution?

Airborne pollutants are generally divided into two classes: Particulate matter (such as plant, animal, mineral, pollen, mold, dust mites, lead, asbestos, soot, smoke, and man made dust, etc.) and gas (combustion products, natural gas, propane, radon, plus vapor outgassed from building materials or household products).

House Allergies Effect Some Worse

The people who are especially susceptible are the very ones who spend the most time at home. However, many chronic illnesses are caused by short term exposure to indoor air pollution. What’s worse, like so much air pollution, many of the contaminating substances give no warning and produce vague and sometimes similar symptoms that are hard to narrow down to a specific cause.

Allergies Are Not From the Ducts

Advertising campaigns by duct cleaning companies in recent years has lead people to point the finger to their ductwork as the source of their indoor air pollution. However, dirty ducts are usually the symptom of a problem not the actual problem itself.  The ductwork of your house in effect acts as the respiratory system allowing conditioned air to circulate throughout the structure. If your ducts are getting dirty, you are also breathing dirty air. The initial cause of dirty ducts is the lack of particulate control. Particulates can be filtered efficiently thus reducing buildup in the air conditioning system as well as the living space.

How Many Particles Are in Indoor Air?

Each cubic foot of air in your home can contain millions of particles. Particles are commonly measured in microns, a metric unit of measure. There are 25,400 microns in one inch. A human hair can range from 40 to 300 microns. The average person breathes in about 16,000 quarts of air per day. Each quart contains over 60,000 visible and invisible particles. Approximately 98-99% of all particles by count are in the size range of 10 microns or less.

Particles 5 microns and smaller are known as respirable and typically remain in the lungs for the body to process. They will often lodge themselves in your mucous membranes and the linings of your lungs. Breathing respirable particles long term can lead to severe allergic reactions and may also lead to chronic respiratory disorders.

Living Particulate Matter

Living particles from organic sources are often referred to as bioaerosols. They can make up a very large percentage of airborne particles. One of the most alarming bioaerosol polluters is the common dust mite and is believed to be the leading cause of asthma in the home. Microscopic particles from non living mold spores, pollen spores and dead insects are also very common in the typical American home and are believed to be the primary cause of mild to severe allergies in the indoor environment.

How Can I Improve my Indoor Air?

FOUR primary methods of controlling indoor air quality is:

  1. Identify the source of pollution in your house. The first step to improving your indoor air is to identify the sources of air pollutants. Be aware by reading articles such as this. Pay attention to chronic illnesses and symptoms you feel is worse in the home environment. Hire an indoor air consultant if you feel there is something wrong in your house you can’t seem to identify.Testing can determine the presence, amount, and type of allergens, molds, gas, bacteria, chemicals and other pollutants that may exist.
  2. Remove and prevent the source of pollution. Preventing the sources through awareness is the most effective way to improve your indoor air.  Be aware when using household cleaners. Remove identified sources when possible. Pay close attention to damp areas which can quickly become the breeding ground for pollutants such as mold and other microbes. Although it is not possible to eliminate every contaminant source, reducing the sources and/or the amount of pollutants they emit, will contribute to a healthier living environment.
  3. Control the indoor temperature and humidity. Try to maintain an indoor temperature in a comfortable range at all times. Your ideal indoor humidity level should be between 30 to 50%. Be aware of drastic changes to temperature and humidity which can lead to condensation. Remember that molds, bacteria and dust mites thrive readily when the indoor humidity is 60% or more.
  4. Clean the air with scientifically proven devices. Utilizing HEPA (High Efficient Particulate Air) vacuum cleaners and air purifiers are the most valuable tools available to remove all types of particles down to the sub-micron range. Additional filtration devices utilizing carbon or potassium permanganate can control organic and non-organic chemical vapors. Certain electronic air purifiers can assist in controlling bacteria, viruses and odors.

In Summary
The greatest hazard to the indoor air quality issue is misinformation. There are a host of claims from individuals and companies which are attempting to sell a service or product to address the issue. Improving and controlling the indoor environment requires a complex approach and should only be addressed with scientifically proven products and practices which form a protocol to improve and maintain acceptable indoor environmental quality.

The subject of Indoor Air and Environmental Quality in the home is vast, yet resources for factual data are becoming readily available. Your home can be your “haven” by being aware of the issues regarding the cause and effect of indoor pollutants combined with making simple changes to your everyday routine.

About the Author:
The Sick House Center is a resource and information center about indoor air pollution and related issues. Read about What Causes Allergies in the home at the Sick House Center.

Best Little Cat House Owner Allergic to Cats!!

Cheese Allergies


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cheese-allergy

Anyone have a cheese allergy – is there such a thing?

I quit cheese about 2 weeks ago and MAN do I feel better.  I was exhausted all the time – now not so much anymore.

Actually – I had no digestive indications – just felt exhausted all the time.  Is this common? Is there data on this?

Best Answer – Chosen by Voters

You most likely have an  dairy allergy or are lactose intolerant than allergic to the cheese itself.  Depending on the type of cheese you eat determines how much milk it contains.  For example; low fat would of course have less milk than high fat or highly processed cheeses. However, certain cheeses are also known to can contain histamines which can mimic an allergy.  The making of cheese is closely related to how mold grows and some people which have mold allergies may also react to certain cheeses.  It is always wise to seek out allergy testing to see what other dairy related foods might be bothering you.

Related Posts: Dairy Allergies, Milk Allergies and Food Allergies.

Source: Yahoo Answers

Cheese Allergy

Sinus Allergies


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sinus-allergies2What can I do to stop these allergies or sinus problems?

I have allergies most of the year, but it is rare for me to get sinus problems. But my sinuses are suddenly get’s really bad. They come and go and its been happening for a week. I feel I have a scratch in my throat and I have to sneeze frequently. My air filter was changed already for nearly a week and I vacuumed my house the other day. What can I do to stop scratching the throat and the feeling of sneezing?

Best Answer:

One solution is a sinus rinse (made by NeilMed). I swear by it! Can be a bit hard for someone who has allergies all the time, but sounds like it might help. It’s about $10 and can be purchased at most drug stores nationwide. They come with premixed salt solution packets. You mix a packet with distilled water that is preheated (microwave for 15-20 seconds) in the sinus rinse bottle. Squeeze the bottle in each side of the nose a few times. It really helps wash out the pollen, dust and other allergens which can lead to inflammation of the sinus cavities.

I used to have the worst allergies, but since I started getting allergy shots for the 40+ things I’m allergic too and my allergy doctor started my using the sinus rinse product, my symptoms have been much less. My allergy doctor convinced me to start using it because he said that hundreds on his patients swear by it.

I hope that helps.

Related Post: Sinus Allergy Relief, Sinus Allergy.

Source: Yahoo Answers

NeilMed Sinus Rinse Video

Summer Allergies


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summer-allergiesI thought allergies were only in the spring or fall, but I have them worse in the summer?

What medication should I take?

Best Answer:

Unfortunate for some people, allergies are not just for the spring and fall seasons.  Pollen from the spring plants and trees are still plentiful and can play havoc for some. The main thing to keep in mind is that you need to keep your summer allergy symptoms from developing into a sinus infection.

The first thing I would do is to rinse my nose two or three times a day with a sinus rinse or neti-pot product. Secondly, there are a few over-the-counter medications you can take. If you can take a Claritin and it all goes away, are most surely…allergies.  If not, then you has a cold or worse yet, a sinus infection. You can also try taking a decongestant like Sudafed to help with nasal drainage and to prevent your symptoms from progressing into something worse. If you have problems with mucus in the throat or lungs, try Mucinex to help loosen it up  so you can cough it out. Benadryl can help too. If all else fails, try a mild antihistamine since they often have a drying effect and will stop a runny nose. Of course, there are many other medications you can try as well.

Remember that none of these medications will work unless you stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Limit your juices since they contain lots of sugar. Take lots of vitamin C and get at least 8 hours or more of good sleep until symptoms subside.

If this still doesn’t do it, then go to the doctor and get a stronger medication.

I hope you get better soon.

Source: Yahoo Answers

Summer Allergies Relief

Nightshade Allergy


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nightshade-allergy

Allergies to nightshade plants are common throughout the western part of the world since they are common staples in the typical modern diet. Many people associate their aching joint pain as old age or over-use when in fact it is really an allergic reaction to the consumption of nightshade foods.

The nightshade family of plants are eggplant, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes and yes . . . even blueberries and tobacco. These plants have alkaloids which can cause inflammation and cause allergic reactions. If a person is allergic to one nightshade food, then there is a 75% chance they will be allergic to all nightshades.

Nightshade allergies seem to have more symptoms than other food allergens. Here is a partial list of symptoms which can result from a nightshade allergy:

  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Tiredness
  • Headaches
  • Joint pain
  • Upset stomach
  • Skin swelling

The good news is; there are great alternatives to cooking with nightshade foods and just takes some practice like anything else. The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook written by Cybele Pascal is an excellent book with a good range of recipes for people with allergies.

About the author: Consuelo Vanderof is a master chef for a fine dining establishment in Seattle Washington and writes for a local cuisine magazine in her spare time.

Food For Fibromyalgia: Avoid The Nightshades

Insect Allergy


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insect allergyIf you’re allergic to the stings or bites of insects, navigating your way rhough the summer can be more dangerous than bicycling through New York City. An estimated 2 million Americans have insect allergies, which send more than 500,000 of them to the hospital and cause at least 50 deaths per year. That figure may actually br higher, since some insect-allergy related deaths may not be recognized as such. Almost half of the fatal reactions occur in people who have no history of insect allergies. If you suspect you may be allergic, ask your doctor to do a skin test.

Insect Allergy Culprits

The culprits include stinging insects, such as bees, hornets, yellow jackets, wasps, and fire ants, and biting insects, such as mosquitoes and bedbugs. Most of which are plentiful in late July, August and early September. You’ll know you’re allergic to one of them if, after you’ve been bitten, you develop hives, itchiness, swelling in areas other than the sting bite, difficulty breathing, dizziness, a hoarse voice, and/or swelling of the tongue. In severe reactions, you may lose consciousness and go into cardiac arrest as your body becomes overwhelmed and goes into anaphylactic shock. Don’t be surprised if the symptoms hit several hours after your encounter with the insect and gradually worsen before dissipating.

There’s really no way to know if you’re allergic to an insect until you’ve been stung, since this is one of the few allergies in which there is no clear family history. Just because a parent is allergic to bee stings doesn’t mean that you will be.

If you’re stung, try applying cold compresses and/or an over-the-counter hydro-cortisone cream to reduce the stinging and swelling, but even if that first reaction is mild, make sure you see an allergist.Not only do you need a doctor’s prescription for the epinephrine kit, you should ask if you’re a candidate for venom immunotherapy, or allergy shots, which can desensitize you to most insect stings.

Related Post: Wasp Allergy.

Excerpt from Allergy & Asthma Relief, Debra Gordon, Co-author of Allergy & Asthma Relief, Reader’s Digest, 2004

Insect Allergies Explained

Environmental Allergies


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environmental-allergiesThere has been much confusion over what causes allergies in the home for many years. Health-care practitioners may tell their patients that it is the outdoor pollutants which really cause their allergies whereas in-home air purifier manufacturers may claim just the opposite.

The fact of the matter is both outdoor and indoor pollutants can cause allergy symptoms. However, indoor pollutants have been shown to actually present a greater problem to long-term allergy sufferers. To start with, people spend more time indoors than out and the indoor pollutants are actually smaller than their outdoor counterparts. Indoor pollutants can actually split up and become smaller particles which are more likely to be breathed deeply into the lung and nasal cavities. In effect, the smaller the particle, the greater likelihood of that particle causing an allergic reaction.

Leading Causes of Environmental Allergies

Small sub-micron particles ranging from household dust to dust-mite feces are a leading cause of environmental allergies. Small particles of mold, pollen and cat dander can also aggravate allergy symptoms in children and adults. Even chemicals found in the following common household products have all shown to cause upper respiratory illness symptoms in children which have chronic allergies:

  • Adhesives
  • Air fresheners
  • Carpeting
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Cosmetics
  • Drapes
  • Dyes
  • Floor finishes
  • Furniture polishes
  • Household cleaners
  • Paint

Mold Allergy Symptoms and Causes

Many people believe that mold growth which is visual to the human eye is the only mold which can cause allergy symptoms. However, small mold particles are responsible for over 90% of mold allergy symptoms. Mold particles are everywhere in the outdoor and indoor environment. It is the combination of mold particle size to the quantity found in a cubic foot of indoor air which most aggravates allergies. Each cubic foot of indoor air in a home or building can contain millions of particles. These indoor particles are commonly measured in microns, a metric unit of measure. There are 25,400 microns in one inch. Approximately 98-99% of all particles by count of indoor air are in the sub-micron size range of 10 microns or less in size. These sub-micron particles are known as “respirable” and are invisible to the naked eye. The average adult may breathe in as much as 16,000 quarts of air whereas children under the age of 12 can breathe in as much as 10,000 quarts. Each quart of air breathed in contains some 70,000 visible and invisible particles. That’s potentially a billion particles per day taken in by our respiratory system.

Individuals who are hypersensitive or have a predisposed reaction to these sub-micron particles may have an acute allergic reaction. These allergy-causing airborne particles which remain in the home environment for extended periods of time are the primary cause of chronic allergy symptoms in children and adults.

Allergy Induced Asthma

Allergy induced asthma is the term used primarily by health care practitioners to describe persons which are at a higher risk of developing asthma because of their chronic allergic disposition. This is because the inflammatory and sensitization responses of allergy and asthma sufferers are quite similar. Family history usually plays a role in diagnosing allergy induced asthma.

The good news is that the indoor home environment can be made a haven for all allergy and asthma sufferers by implementing the proper technology combined with proper knowledge. In today’s world of technological advances, there is no reason for a child or adult to suffer with allergies while at home.

Related Post: Dust Mite Allergy.

About the author:
The Sick House Center is a resource and information site about indoor air pollution and other related issues. Read their Indoor Pollutant Fact Sheet here.

House Dusting : Controlling Dust Mites

Childhood Allergies


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childhood-allergyDiagnosing childhood allergies can be long term and daunting task for parents to undertake. Children can exhibit a wide range and variety of allergy symptoms. When a suspected allergy is combined with other infections such as viral or bacterial it becomes important to suspend allergy testing and diagnosing procedures until the infection has subsided. This is why it takes some time to properly diagnose childhood allergies.

It is paramount that parents recognize the child allergy symptoms at the earliest stage possible.  Early diagnosis will not only prevent sufferering, but will also increase the likelihood that the allergies can be controlled or cured. It is believed that a child has about a 50% chance of developing allergies if one parent is allergic while it can rise to above 75% if both parents are allergic. There is also strong evidence that children who breast feed have a lessor chance of developing their parents allergic tendencies.

Rating Child Allergy Symptoms

Childhood allergy symptoms are categorized by allergy doctors based upon their type and/or severity.  The severity of symptoms may be categorized as mild, moderate or severe.  Children who are diagnosed as  severe should receive allergy testing to determine what they are allergic to depending on the age.  Child allergy symptoms ranging from mild to moderate can occur occasionally when they eat something or are exposed to a substance that they have never been exposed to.

Parental Self Diagnosing

If a child is suspected to have allergic tendencies, then it becomes important to keep the child on a regular diet and add various foods every few days to track allergic responses. Keeping a written food schedule is needed for diagnosing reaction dates to the foods given. If a child experiences swelling of eyes, lips, and face within a few hours of eating a food you should  consult a health professional immediately. When a child experiences an moderate or severe allergic reaction then it becomes very important to monitor their breathing due to possible swelling inside the throat and airways.

Food Related or Environmental?

Even though food allergies are a primary cause in childhood allergies, it is still important to be cognitive of other indoor environmental factors which can be fod in the home. There are many indoor pollutants which can cause allergic responses in children to include:

  • Mold
  • Bacteria
  • Pesticide use
  • Household cleaners
  • Laundry detergents
  • Dog and cat dander
  • Dust mites
  • Dead insect parts
  • and much more!

A parent with a child who suffers from moderate to severe allergies must become an investigator which tracks the foods they eat as well as their own indoor environment and how it relates to their allergic symptoms. With perseverance and patience, the causes of their child’s allergy can be determined. Once the causes are discovered, then steps can be taken to control their exposure to the known allergens.

Related Posts: Toddler Allergies and Baby Allergies.

About the author: Stan K. Hall, 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.

On Call – Childhood Allergies