Air Conditioning and
To help alleviate problems with pollen, molds and
air condition your house and car and, if possible, add an
cleaner to your central air conditioner.
Anaphylactic shock, the most severe allergic reaction, is most
commonly associated with bee or fire ant stings. If welts
(hives) erupt following a sting, this is a warning flag to
seek prompt medical attention.
Don't use your attic fan during
allergy season. The fan sucks
pollen into the house.
Avoid dyes, especially the ones in toilet paper. Use white to
Bedding and Dust
If dust mites give you trouble, seal your mattress, box
springs and pillows in allergy-resistant plastic covers
available at most discount stores.
Allergy experts recommend you dump the carpeting and use throw
rugs instead. Since most people enjoy a carpeted home, try the
new allergy care carpet treatments now available.
Clean humid areas, such as the bathroom and basement, with a
fungicide (mold-killer). A cheap and effective one is bleach.
Use a solution of 3/4 cup bleach to one gallon of water, let
stand 5 minutes and rinse.
Aluminum chloride, aluminum sulfate and zirconium
chlorohydrate in antiperspirants often cause dermatitis,
especially after shaving. Try to choose antiperspirants that
contain the anti-irritants allantoinate, zinc oxide, magnesium
oxide, aluminum hydroxide, or triethanolamine.
Cold Compresses for
Are your allergy eyes giving you fit? Try a cold compress for
15-20 minutes. Wet a washcloth with cold water and place over
Common Allergens and
A listing of common allergens: pollen, mold spores, dust
mites, animal dander, feathers, foods, medications, and insect
stings. Common allergy symptoms: watery, itchy eyes, sneezing,
and a constant runny nose.
The most common pollens causing allergies include: tree
pollens (April - May), grasses (June - July) and ragweed
(August - October).
Dandruff and Shampoo
Dandruff sufferers may be allergic to the dyes in the shampoo
they use. Even dandruff remedy shampoos often contain dyes.
If you are hypertensive, over-the-counter decongestants are a
big no-no. Decongestants raise blood pressure and can lead to
heart attack or stroke.
Keep the humidity in your home below 45%. To measure the
humidity level, buy an inexpensive hygrometer available at
many discount stores.
Antihistamines often cause drowsiness and should not be taken
if driving or operating machinery.
Drug Treatment for
The over-the-counter antihistamine diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
works well for allergy treatment and has few drug
interactions. Be sure to read the label for proper dosage,
side effects, etc. and check with your doctor if you have any
Wear a face mask when doing chores that are most likely to
expose you to allergens like vacuuming and gardening. You can
buy face masks at a hardware store.
Even though fall temperatures are mild, keep windows closed
and use air conditioning to reduce allergy problems. Air
conditioning filters out pollen and keeps humidity low, which
keeps indoor mold down.
Hay Fever vs.
Allergic rhinitis (hay fever) is caused by allergies and is
often characterized by a runny nose, sneezing and congestion,
and itchy eyes, nose, throat and inner ears. Non-allergic
rhinitis (sinusitis) is characterized by a swollen, inflamed
nasal lining and a stuffy nose. It may be triggered by
irritants such as smoke, changes in barometric pressure or
temperature, or overuse of over-the-counter decongestant nasal
Hidden Sources of
Hidden peanut sources may include:
Artificial nuts can be
peanuts that have been deflavored and reflavored with a nut,
such as pecan or walnut. Mandelonas are peanuts soaked in
Arachis oil is peanut oil.
It is advised that
peanut-allergic patients avoid chocolate candies unless they
are absolutely certain there is no risk of cross-contact
during manufacturing procedures.
African, Chinese, Indonesian,
Mexican, Thai, and Vietnamese dishes often contain peanuts, or
are contaminated with peanuts during preparation of these
types of meals. Additionally, foods sold in bakeries and ice
cream shops are often in contact with peanuts. It is
recommended that peanut-allergic individuals avoid these types
of foods and restaurants.
Many brands of sunflower
seeds are produced on equipment shared with peanuts.
If you have severe allergies to laundry products, try using
baking soda to wash your clothing and linens.
Mites and Mattress
Wash your mattress pads weekly in hot water to kill dust
Don't be tempted to treat an allergy with an over-the-counter
decongestant nasal spray for more than three days. After a few
days of use you may get a "rebound" effect, and your nose may
become even more congested than before. These drugs are more
useful for short-term use to relieve nasal congestion
associated with a cold.
No Open Windows
If you're an allergy sufferer do not ride in a vehicle with
the windows down or vents wide open. It will worsen your
allergies 200 percent. The same goes for your home. Invest in
an air conditioner.
One Room Sanctuary
If central air conditioning isn't an option for you, make your
bedroom your sanctuary. Install a window air conditioner,
properly care for your bedding and keep the door closed at all
Pets, Bedrooms and
Pet dander is a common allergen, especially cat dander. To
ease the suffering that Fido or Fluffy may cause you, ban them
from your bedroom at all times.
Preventing a More
Severe Peanut Allergy Reaction
In one of seven studies published in the Journal of Allergy
and Clinical Immunology, researchers say liquid charcoal,
which is often used when people ingest poison to block
absorption, can also absorb peanuts.
"After you've eaten the
peanut and you have an allergic reaction, you still have
peanut in your stomach," explained Dr. Donald Leung, editor of
the journal. "And so rather than allow further peanut to be
absorbed and have an even more severe reaction ... drinking
the charcoal will prevent the further triggering of increased
Leung advised that parents of
young children with the allergy keep liquid charcoal --
available in pharmacies -- in the home, in case of accidental
Problems with ragweed, the most common weed pollen, usually
start in the middle of August and continue until the frost
begins. Interestingly, some regions are less affected than
others: The West coast does not have any ragweed.
Dust mites like synthetic pillows as much as down or foam
ones, but synthetic pillows have the major advantage of being
washable in hot water which kills the mites.
Trees that can cause seasonal allergy symptoms include: maple,
ash, oak, elm, birch and cedar. When they pollinate depends on
the area in which you live.