Browsing: Allergies

5 Easy Ways to Reduce Pet Allergens at Home

Pet allergens are one of the most common indoor allergy triggers. Contrary to popular belief, it's the pet dander and not just the pet hair that causes most of the problems. Pet dander consist of both hair (or feathers) and tiny flakes of dead skin that your pet sheds naturally. If you or another member of your family has serious pet-related allergies you may consider removing the pet from your home but in this article we'll talk about some ways to reduce pet allergens which may alleviate the indoor allergy symptoms that they can cause. You should talk to your doctor about your specific situation and allergies before taking any action.

1.) Have a designated pet zone. The pet should not have full run of the home but should instead be confined to a room or two. That way you can focus your allergen reducing efforts in one area instead of trying to control allergens all over the house. Ideally, this room should have hard floors instead of carpeting so you can avoid constant vacuuming. Your pet should never be allowed in bedrooms or bathrooms.

2.) Do not share furniture. That means your pet needs to stay off the couches and upholstered furniture. Get your pet a comfortable bed that you can toss in the washing machine often. Use hot water to wash your pet's bedding and the hottest setting on the dryer than the fabric will take.

3.) Clean your pet and his area. Bathing your pet on a regular basis may help reduce allergens, especially if you use a allergen-reducing pet shampoo. How often is often enough? Shoot for every three days for the best results. The person doing the bathing should not be the person with the allergies. Also, make sure to keep your pet's area clean and dusted. The floors need to be mopped or vacuumed regularly. Again, it should not be the person with the allergies cleaning that space if you can avoid it.

4.) Get some help from technology. There are several items you can invest in to help you battle pet allergens. A good air purifier can be an excellent tool but make sure you do your homework before you buy so that you can be sure to purchase one that will best meet your needs. You can also replace the filter in your heating and air conditioning unit to a HEPA filter. Some newer vacuum cleaners employ the HEPA filter or have other allergen reducing features, so that is another option if your pet is in a carpeted area.

5.) Love your pet from a distance. It may be hard to take a hands off approach to your pet but if getting to close or handing your pet sparks allergy symptoms this may be a necessary step. It may help to keep track of your symptoms and record what you were doing at the time so that you can decide how much contact is too much. Again, talk to your doctor about your allergy symptoms; he or she should be able to provide possible treatment options or preventative measures for your pet allergies.

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Most Common Allergy Triggers – 5 Irritants And Suggestions For How To Handle Them

Struggling with allergies that are triggered by airborne pollutants cna being tiring at best. Here are 5 of the most common allergy triggers and suggestions for managing them effectively.

Dust Mites — Unfortunately, the droppings from these invisible bugs are one of the most potent allergens known. They make their home in places that are moist, dark, warm, and provide unlimited food source. This is the perfect description of your bed.

They feed on dander, or dead flakes of skin. And since humans constantly shed dead skin to make way for new healthy skin, your bed and dust mites are a perfect match, at least as far as the bugs are concerned.

Their feces, which they are constantly excreting, contain a protein which can send those bodies which are sensitive into overdrive. This can result in symptoms such as congestion, sneezing, watering eyes and an inability to sleep well. Studies show that the usual bed can contain billions, yes billions of these bugs.

Encasing your mattress and pillows with allergy covers makes it difficult for them to take up residence. Washing your linens once a week in water that is 140 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter will kill them.

Seasonal Pollen — Depending on where in the world you live, pollen can start as early as January and continue through late November. That's a long time to have to deal with allergies if they are triggered by tree, flower, grass, or weed pollen.

Minimizing air exchange between your indoor space and the outside is a proactive step that will help. Figuring out which type of pollen is the trigger and when its peak season happens is important information to have. And filtering indoor air continuously with the right air purifier will keep the spore count low enough to provide you with a safe place to go regardless of what's in the air outside.

Mold and Mildew Spores — The good news is that these spores are nature's way of returning organic material to their natural state. However, you may not be able to celebrate this as good news if you are sensitive to these spores. Since they can not be avoided or totally eliminated, the best you can do is reduce the moisture in your home to minimize their presence.

Make sure the areas under your kitchen and bathroom sinks are dry. Check the basement to make sure it remains dry in all kind of weather. Be conscious of how much water you put in your house plants. Soil that is continuously moist makes a great breeding ground for these spores.

Pet Dander — If you have a warm-blooded pet, you have dander. So that means (and these are not mentioned in order of importance) dogs, cats, birds, ferrets, and bunnies all contribute to this problem.

It is the protein in the dander that is such a potent irritant for those who suffer with allergies and asthma. Unfortunately, there is no way to be completely free of the dander but you can certainly minimize it.

To literally keep the dander down you can design a pet-free space in your home. Bathe your pet to wash lose hair and dander away. Wash pet bedding and favorite toys frequently. And finally, be realistic about the number of pets you choose to live with you.

Gaseous Pollutants — These can come into your home in so many different ways. Smoke from the fireplace or wood stove, scents from household products, volatile organic chemicals that off-gas from new carpet, paint, varnish, or press wood can all create air that is trigger-filled.

You can cut down these irritants by choosing products that are odor free, using paints that emit fewer VOC's, and by choosing furnishings that are more earth friendly and contain fewer chemicals.

Being aware of these common triggers that can disrupt your life will give you a better chance of staying on an even keel through the year. And that will yield a better, happier, healthier life for you and those you love.

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Top Tips To Reduce Suffering From Allergy Symptoms

While many people suffer from seasonal allergies, which tend to get worse certain times of the year due to an increase in pollen, others seem to have problems all year long. In the latter set of individuals, the cause of allergies may be in the home. Dust mites live in dwellings, eating the dust and dander that collect in the fabrics. By decreasing the number of dust mites, it is possible to reduce allergy suffering.

Encase the mattress and pillows of the bed with hypoallergenic covers. These tightly woven fabrics allow the bedding to continue to breathe, so the user does not feel like he or she is sleeping on plastic, but they are sufficient enough to prevent penetration by the dust mite. Bedding should be changed and washed weekly. When the sheets are off the bed, be sure to vacuum the cover to remove any skin particles that may have collected.

Vacuum the carpets two to three times per week. The longer between one waits to clean rugs, the more dust particles work their way into the fibers, where they remain to become food for mites. Carpets should be shampooed at least twice per year. However, make sure they dry thoroughly before moving furniture back into the room. If the carpets do not dry, mold can grow, creating a new set of problems. Consider replacing carpets with tile, hardwood or other hard surface flooring.

Vacuum upholstered furniture at least once per week. Leather or vinyl upholstery may be a better choice as it is harder for the dust to penetrate. Heavy drapes should be avoided and window covering should be cleaned regularly.

Consider adding a HEPA cleaner to the room where the individual who suffers from allergies spends most of his or her time. A better filter may be available for the HVAC system in the home. Electrostatic furnace filters are available and remove dust by blasting it to oblivion using electricity. The vacuum should also be equipped with HEPA filtration to prevent spewing dust back into one's home.

If problems continue, consider having the ducts of the air conditioning system cleaned. In older homes, many years of use may have allowed dust to collect in these air passageways. Every time the system turns on, another layer of dust is forced into the room, aggravating the allergy symptoms once again. Companies providing this service use high performance vacuums to remove the particles from the system and out of the home.

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7 Types of Allergy Tests

Quote of the month:

“If you do not take care of your body, where are you going to live?” ~ Unknown

Did you know that there is more than 1 way to test for allergies? Well, we thought we'd attempt to describe them all to you below. But first there's a few basic definitions we'd like to give you:

Allergy: An IgE immune response to an allergen

Intolerance: A response to an allergen where it's uncertain whether the immune system is involved or not

Sensitivity: A catch all phrase for both allergies and intolerances

Antibodies: Proteins registered by the immune system to identify and neutralize foreign objects such as bacteria and viruses and unfortunately also foods and environmental allergens.

Now that we got those out of the way, here are the 7 types of tests. You will either learn a lot or become completely confused …

1. Skin Test:
We're all familiar with this one. The skin is pricked (ouch) and the substances (or versions thereof) are introduced on the area. Swelling and redness indicates an issue. Works best for inhalant allergies. Can miss 50% of food allergies because the IgE antibody they're looking for may not be located on the skin where the test is being done.

2. ELISA Test:
A blood test (more needles). Good for looking at delayed food allergies and looks at both the IgG and IgE antibodies.

3. RAST Test:
Yet another blood test that measures the IgE antibodies. Considered good for airborne allergens butis expensive.

Cytotoxic Test:
With this test, blood is extracted (again more needles) and the white blood cells (immune cells) are exposed to various foods or chemicals. If the blood cell changes, it's deemed to be an intolerance / allergy.

5. Elimination:
This one is pretty straight forward. Key foods are avoided and then reintroduced one at a time. If any symptoms appear after reintroducing a food it indicates an allergy / intolerance. The only problem with this method is your own willpower and making sure you're not exposed to the items accidently in the form of hidden ingredients, but it does make you read labels!

6. Muscle Test / Applied Kinesiology / Biofeedback:
With this method, a muscle of the body is exposed to an allergen in one of several ways: diluted (eg the liquid used for skin scratch tests), actual substance or via an electromagnetic frequency of the substance. If a change in muscle strength occurs, the person has a sensitivity. With this method, it's believed that the electrical signal of the substance interferees with the electrical signals of one's muscles (as per Dr. cox). No needles or scratch testing here … yeh!

7. Vega / Electro Dermal Screening:
This is the modern day form of muscle testing. An acupuncture point (s) is tested against a substance using a computer (or similar device) and numerical responses are recorded. Again, no needles..yeh again!

The benefits of the last 3 methods are:

No needles / non-invasive
Will be able to pick up on allergies, sensitivities and intolerances
Safe for kids

Hope this gave you a better understanding of testing methods and techniques. By the way, we use only the last three methods with an added advantage – we can help you to heal from those sensitivities (food, environmental or other); whereas, the others only help to identify!

Did You Know?

– IgG can account for almost 75% of reactions
– IgE makes up only 1% of the antibodies of an individual
– Ever wanted to know what the McRib is really made of … (photos and ingredients on the bottom)
– Most all MSM is ineffective once it's made into a pill form. Learn more about real sulfur crystals here
– You can not absorb vitamin D without vitamin K
– Need Vitamin C – get the real form called ascorbate or even rosehips – we have them!

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Got Mountain Cedar Allergies – 7 Things You Should Know

If you did not know better you'd think Mountain Cedar allergies occur in the mountains. Surprisingly, this allergen often occurs in central Texas (where the cedars grow in huge numbers) in the winter months, lasting often from December through April. If your allergies are triggered by these trees, here are 7 answers to know.

Why is it sometimes called Cedar Fever? That's a good question. Like hay fever the term is a misnomer. There is generally no fever involved. The term simply refers to allergic rhinitis, or swelling of the nasal linings and passes because of the body's overreaction to the pollen produced by these trees.

When is the peak season? New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas are the most affected areas, and the trees can begin Pollination as early as October, peak during December, January, and February and have significant levels continue through March and sometimes into April.

What does the tree look like? It is an evergreen tree that can grow to an impressive 30 feet in height. And unlike the pine, it has more of a leaf than a needle.

Is cedar pollen toxic? If you are sensitive to this potent allergen it can cause you to feel like death warmed over, but the pollen is not toxic. It does, however, create vicious symptoms including watering eyes, congestion, sneezing, coughing, and feeling tired because of the body's constant struggle to ward off what it feels is a threat.

Even though the following statement may not be an emotional help, you should be aware that you share those symptoms with millions of other who suffer from hay fever triggered tree, grass, or weed pollen other than the cedar.

Will cutting down cedars stop cedar fever? The tiny granules called pollen can and do travel for miles. So it is unrealistic to believe that cutting down the cedars close to you will eliminate or even minimize your contact with the irritant.

On a windy day, the pollen you're breathing can have been blown in for the town next to where you live! And unless you are absolutely certain that the tree you are cutting is a male, it will have all been for naught.

What can be done for relief outdoors? Planning outdoor time is key. Levels are generally highest between in the mornings between 5 and 10 am Windy days are good days to stay indoors. And keeping abreast of the daily pollen count in your area will keep you as comfortable as possible.

There are over-the-counter and prescription drugs that can control symptoms for the short-term. There are also prescription drugs that can help desensitize your body's reaction to the allergen. Allergy shots are a more gradual and hopefully more permanent solution to desensitizing the body's reaction.

What can help with indoor relief? Minimize air exchange by keeping windows and doors closed. Take off clothes that have been worn outside immediately and put them in a container so any pollen can not escape into the air. When possible, shower to remove pollen from hair and skin.

Use a HEPA or high efficiency particle arresting vacuum to clean surfaces and a HEPA air cleaner to airborne pollen and other allergens from the air.

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Got Cedar Allergies? 3 Non-Invasive Solutions

Mountain Cedar pollen can fill the air starting as early as October and last as long as March in some places. That's a long time to suffer with allergies if you are sensitive to the pollen. Here are 3 things you can do to make it through the season in good health and with your sense of humor intact.

Rinse The Nasal Passages — This may make you a little squeamish at first, but if your symptoms persist and are intense enough, this suggestion may start to look a lot better.

Many times the nose hairs do a great job of trapping pollen and keeping it from going further into the body. But it is important to clear the nasal passes so that sniffing and just inhaling prevent the pollen and other irritants from moving further into the body.

Rinsing the nasal passes with warm solution of water and salt can really help to lessen your exposure to pollen and other more usual everyday pollutants in the air.

You can buy the saline solution already made, or make your own. Many doctors recommend this as an effective way to minimize contact with irritants.

Plan Outdoor Time Wisely — Knowing when the pollen count is high and staying indoors until the count is lower is still one of the best ways to avoid the trigger. And even with all of our modern technology, avoiding the trigger is still the best way to manage allergies in a non-invasive way.

Keeping up with your local pollen count daily online, plugging in alerts to come to you on a smartphone, or just listening to the local forecast in your area are all easy ways to know what's in the air outside.

Pollen is generally heaviest in the mornings between 5 and 10 am And windy days can elevate the count to unbelievable highs. If it is impossible to avoid the outdoors during these times make your stay as brief as possible or consider wearing a mask.

Filter Indoor Air — Regardless of how careful you are to take your clothes off after coming in from outside, showering to get pollen off skin and hair, and minimizing the air exchange between indoor and outdoor air, it is impossible to keep all of the pollen out.

Continuous filtration of indoor air with a high efficiency particle arresting air purifier is a proactive yet non-invasive way to keep not only the pollen at acceptable levels, but other indoor irritants that often work in concert with seasonal allergens.

There is no cure for allergies. And even if you could chop down all the Mountain Cedar trees in your area (and you certainly would not want to do that), the granules from other areas would probably find their way to where you live.

Using these 3 tips to manage your allergies can make a huge difference in your quality of life, particularly during peak seasons. And there's no down side to that.

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Allergies And The Emotions – 5 Doable Steps Towards Managing The Condition With Less Stress

Allergies are a challenge to deal with physically, but often the emotional part of the condition for the family and the one with the condition gets overlooked. Here are 5 suggestions for how everyone affected can take some of the stress out of managing this incurable condition.

Educate Everyone — This is one of the best ways to help everyone feel more capable to cope with a situation should it arise. Let family and friends know what irritants cause your allergies to flare. The people that you live with will be relieved that much of the mystery is taken out of triggers for flare-ups.

For instance, regardless of whether it's perfume, smoke, pollen, pet dander or dust, everyone gets a chance to work toward keeping the air indoors free of these irritants.

Be sure to educate children about these problem substances. You'll be surprised at the good ideas they can have about keeping the air clear for you. And doing this helps empower them and makes them feel like they are making a difference in keeping you well.

Extended family and friends should be kept in the loop too about allergens that can cause an attack. More than likely they will be happy to create a safe place for you in their homes when you visit.

Create An Emergency Plan — Sometimes as much care as we take with avoiding allergens, a flare-up will happen. Just like practicing for a fire by figuring out the best escape roots and where to meet, knowing what the best course of action is in an emergency before it happens will help everyone deal with it more effectively, and could possibly save a life.

Write emergency numbers close to the phone. Have children practice dialing the numbers without actually connecting. Make sure they know that they should follow the plan if you are able to remind them or not. If there is medication for fast acting relief make sure everyone knows where it is.

Practice having children unlock doors alone in case they need to let paramedics in without the help of an adult. Give them the number so family, friends and neighbors that they can call as a backup if they are home alone when an emergency happens.

Adopt A Healthy Lifestyle —- Help your family understand that even though there is no cure for allergies, there is much that can be done to live a normal and healthy lifestyle anyway. Eating healthy, exercising, getting the proper amount of sleep, and going for regular check-ups are all things that everyone in the house can be involved in doing.

Not only are these patterns good for allergies but they are good for all and set a wonderful example for children. The habits they see you follow will likely stay with them for a lifetime, and will go a long way towards making them aware of just how much a healthy lifestyle can affect good health and quality of life.

Follow The Doctor's Advice — If your condition is sufficient enough to consult a physician, it is important that you follow his advice. Seeing a professional and deliberatively disregarding their advice can be stressful for those who live with you and is also a very poor example to set for children.

Taking medication, even when you do not want to shows those you love that you are doing all you can to help yourself. Helping yourself in this way takes a huge emotional burden off your family's shoulders. And be sure to explain that even though there is no cure, there are many people who live long lives in spite of this condition.

Filter Your Air — One of the best ways to continuously provide air that is low in allergy triggers is to clean the air with a high efficiency particle arresting (HEPA) filter. A cleaner that runs all the time and that can keep air quality high by keeping known airborne triggers low can put everyone at ease.

Knowing that the air inside the house is safe as you can make it regardless of the conditions outside means that not only does it help the person with allergies be physically comfortable, but it can also help put everyone emotionally at ease.

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10 Surprise Allergy Symptoms

Quote of the month:
“The absence of disease, does not implicate health just as physical fitness does not implicate health”

Happy New Year to Everyone! Hope everyone received some much deserved time off!

People are always familiar with typical allergy symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, hives or breathing problems, but have you ever considered these:

Arthritic pain
Conjunctivitis (pink-eye) – consider dust or pollen, contact lenses, makeup as possibilities
Tinnitus (ringing of the ears)
Ear infections
Weight Gain
Muscle pain

So why would these symptoms at all? The reason is this, symptoms can occur anywhere in the body. It is determined by where the substance has been taken by the blood. In other words, they do not need unnecessarily at the point of first contact with the body! Therefore, no part of the body is immune to allergy. As an example from above, bed-wetting can come from dairy, as can ear infections. How about tinnitus? Some can be triggered by dairy and to others WiFi may be the trigger (yes, someone can be sensitive to cell phones, cell towers and the like). And what about fatigue? If you were to think it over carefully, continued and repeated exposure to a substance you are sensitive to will eventually wear you down and you will feel more tired! How about weight gain? Many items the body perceives as a threat it will often store in your fat cells! Then there's Diabetes. What has got to do with allergies? Diabetes and anyone having trouble regulating their blood sugar levels may have an issue with insulin (the hormone responsible for lower blood sugar levels) and may even be sensitive to sugar (go figure). Arthritc and muscle pain is also a common symptom. There have been numerous studies showing that arthritis can appear suddenly when people are given foods which they are sensitive to. Symptoms also disappear when those foods are removed again from their diet. When muscle aches are common upon waking or keep recycling then you should start investigating!

Did You Know?

– 90% of food allergies are delayed insect. In other words, you may have symptoms up to 3 days later. There before skin and RAST tests may not detect them at all.

– Fatigue is one of the biggest symptoms of allergy

– Taking products to suppress your symptoms, actually pushes the issue into the body

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Sinus Drainage

Sinus drain is basically the over production of mucus and blockage of the sinuses that is caused by irritation of the nasal lining. What happens during this process is that as an irritant like dust or pet dander enters the nose defences try to get rid of the irritant by releasing histamines, which end up worsening the condition rather than solving it. Irritants or allergens are not only natural; these can also be from man-made things like cigarettes, pollution and so on.

The inflammation in the sinuses does not only cause blockage but it can also leave individuals with headaches, body aches and post nasal drip from the inability to drain.

Causes of sinus drainage

There are with no doubt adequate reasons how sinus drain is caused but the one reason is that the body produces a large amount of mucus every single day and this mucus has to exit the body at some point. Now if the nose is blocked there's no other way for the mucus to exit rather than down the throat. Here a few common reasons for the cause of sinus drainage:

  • Having an allergy to common allergens like pollen, mold, dust
  • Being excessively exposed to bacteria or viruses when you have a weaker immune system
  • Accidentally hurting the nose structure and passes
  • Having nasal growths like nasal polyps or tumors

How to avoid getting sinus drainage

Below are precautions that can be taken in the avoidance of sinus drainage.

  • Limit your chances of getting the common cold by keeping a healthy immune system
  • It is difficult to just quit smoking but you have to try your best especially if your health is in questioning
  • Treat all kinds of respiratory infections properly by visiting a doctor about effective treatment
  • If you suspect that allergies are the problem, get yourself to an allergy specialist.
  • Live a healthy life, be aware of the environment you are in and drink lots of water!

Treating Sinus Drainage

There are many ways of treating this kind of sinus problem. One could choose to go all natural or medicated, at the end of the day it is merely about what the patient is best capable with and how serious their sinus problem is.

Typically, sinus drainage medication involves the following:

Nasal sprays or nasal decongestants: These are a great way to get rid of a blocked sinus fast but they should not be used consistently and for too long otherwise they cause an aggravation in initial symptoms.

Sinus medication: As mentioned before there are different kinds of this medication, and it reduces inflammation and helps with the draining of mucus. These may take up to three days to completely relieve symptoms.

Hydration: One can not emphasize enough on how important it is to stay completely hydrated while you have a nasal blockage. Hydration can achieved through drinking herbal teas, chicken soup and so on.

You can get to a point wherey your sinus blockage is so bad that only surgery can help you. This is usually at the stage of chronic sinusitis.

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Fighting Allergic Reactions

Allergies can appear at any given time in a person's life and can severely hinder the person's quality of life. Not only are allergies a pain to deal with, but they can cost someone their life. Allergies can be caused by a myriad of different things – including but not limited to: pets, foods, medicine, seasonal allergies, and even, some unique ones like allergies to the sun and light sensitivity. For the person with severe allergies, every day tend to be a battle.

Allergies can present themselves with sneezing, coughing, rashes / hives, convulsions, difficulty breathing, and so on. If you have any of these symptoms develop, you should contact your doctor immediately. S / he will probably refer you to an Allergist whom can test you for what affects you.

To treat allergies, there are many options. First of all, allergy treatment depends on how frequent your reactions are, what you are allergic to, and how severe your allergies are. Once the Allergist tests you, s / he will let you know what you allergic to. Oftentimes, if the allergy is related to food, season changes, or things like dust or pet hair; s / he will tell you to stay away from these things or to take an allergy medicine such as Benadryl before and after being around these triggers.

However, if your reaction is to certain ingredients in medicine – for instance, you may have an allergy to an inactive or active ingredient – you will need to figure out which ingredient it is and stay away from it. Common medicine allergies occur with the ingredients Magnesium Stearate or Sulfate – however, there are many more ingredients that you may be allergic to.

When you find out what you are allergic to, make sure that you take every opportunity that you have to fight these. You do not have to suffer with your allergies, but you can fix what is undone. Also, having allergies does not mean that you have to change your life; it just means you need to know what you are allergic to and how you can fight it. You can discuss with your doctor about how to combat your allergies and get the upper hand on your ailments. S / he will let you know if you need a lifestyle change or just to take certain anti-histamines to block the allergic reaction from occurring. Do not delay; your health should be taken with the utmost respect. Once you get your allergies figured out, you will be able to enjoy your life more thoroughly. So, choose today to fix your allergies; get an appointment with your doctor today.

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All Yarned Up: Wool Allergies and Wool Sensitivity

A common question people have when shopping for cold weather clothing is how much wool is in specific garments. Although rare, wool allergies are a big part of why polyester fleece sales have skyrocketed since it was first introduced back in 1981.

Polyester fleece is a gentler and less abrasive alternative to those suffering from sensitivity reactions to wool products or products containing even a modicum of wool. If you suspect that you are having an allergic or sensitivity reaction – see your doctor. Do not self-medicate.

All about wool allergies

Although medical experts are not quick to dismiss the reality of people experiencing wool sensitivity, there are very few instances of true wool allergies. Just like allergic reactions that certain people have to chocolate or shellfish, a wool allergy will manifest when the sufferer comes into contact with the allergen. Depending on the severity of the allergy, any simple contact such as an innocent brush can trigger an allergic reaction.

Studies show that about forty to fifty million people in the United States have some type of allergy but the exact numbers for wool allergies is as yet unknown.

A common manifestation of an allergic reaction to wool is the presence of a rash in the contact area – face, hands, arms … this can manifest directly after contact or after a few days, depending on the severity of the allergy.

Wool allergies are thought to be caused by the natural oils found in wool which are used as a main ingredient in the production of linolin. Lanolin is commonly found in cosmetic products such as lotions, creams and make-up. If you have an allergic reaction to products that contain lanolin, then there is a great chance that you are also allergic to raw wool.

To determine the presence of a wool allergy, the sufferer can undergo a patch test which tests the skin's reaction to wool oils or wool alcohol.

If you are found to have a wool allergy, fear not! Polyester fleece is a great alternative fashion-wise. It can be made into pretty much anything that wool can; vests, jackets, and fleece blankets , except it is actually lighter and softer. If you're into knitting, however, you may need to do a bit of recon to find non-wool alternatives for your thread. You might be better off looking into cotton, silk, bamboo and linen.

It's not just wool that makes me itch!

Wool sensitivity, on the other hand, is more common and can be classed as more of a marked sensitivity to coarse material in general and not an allergy to wool specifically. Think of the children's story of the Princess and the Pea. The princess was not allergic to the pea; she was just really sensitive to its presence in her bed. Which made her really, really uncomfortable. People who have sensitive skin may feel discomfort when wearing wool or other abrasive materials but they do not have true allergic reactions.

If you notice your nose is getting a bit runny while you're wearing a wool sweater or if you can not stop sneezing, then sometimes your wool sweater has picked up some allergens from where it was stored. The culprit used in the weave of the wool could range from ordinary dust mites to pesky cat dander from your old aunt's Siamese cat.

People suffering from wool sensitivity can usually get away with wearing other knit fabrics or wool blends depending on their sensitivity. If you have the resources for it, experimenting with different textiles may be a good idea before going out to purchase alternative products like polyester fleece. Test your body's tolerance before going all in.

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Treat Sinus At Home With These Remedies

Ask any person suffering from a sinus infection and they will tell you how much of an inconvenience it can be. The constantly running nose, watery eyes and splitting headaches can make life difficult for anyone. Sinus infection, or sinusitis, is usually caused by inflammation in the nasal passages. The sinuses are eight air filled sacs that are located towards the front of the face. These sacs are connected to the nasal passage by small holes, which are also used in the drain of mucus. Sometimes, during sinus infection the openings get blocked due to swelling, preventing proper drainage of mucus. This leads to the symptoms associated with sinusitis. Many symptoms are similar to migraine and common cold and hence, people confuse them with such common ailments. The homemade sinus remedies mentioned below will help in providing relief to the affected person.

* Pungent food items, such as garlic, onions and ginger, are very useful in the clearing of the nasal passage. Garlic is one of the best options to try, as it has both, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Garlic can be ingested in various ways. It can be eaten in solid or capsule form, juice can be extracted and drunk to provide relief and garlic can be put in boiling water and inhaled. This will help in the flow of mucus and treat pain.

* Salt water is also a good remedy for sinuses. The salt in the water is good for clearing out the infection and to reduce the swelling. The salt water can be made at home or saline solution can be purchased from any medical store.

* Eucalyptus oil is strong smelling and very good for clearing of nasal cavities and blockages. This oil can be applied on the location of the sinus to reduce swelling and alleviate pain. Another good treatment option is to put some oil in water and bathe in it.

* Spicy food is a good way to give relief to your sinuses, as eating or even smelling spicy food can cause the mucus to become thin and flow out. This will release the blockage. It is advised to be careful while handling the spicy food, as it should not enter the eyes or nose.

These home remedies are preferred by most people as most of the things required can be found in any home. However, one must remember that these are just methods to treat the suffering caused by sinus infection. If these methods do not provide any relief, then it is suggested to visit the doctor to discuss alternative methods for sinus treatment.

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How To Avoid Sinus Infections Caused By Allergies?

Anyone who has ever suffered from a sinus infection knows how discomforting and unbearable the situation can be. From a blocked nose to watery eyes to a constant throbbing pain, the situation is nobody's vacation. In severe cases, even surgical intervention may be required. No wonder, everyone tries their best to avoid the sunset of sinuses. Although this is not an easy task as one of the main causes of sinus infection are allergies. Allergies are difficult to avoid, as allergens are present all around us. The inhalation of any allergen can cause a rapid inflammation of the nasal passage, leading to a blockage of the sinuses. Therefore, it is necessary that one identifies the various allergens that they are allergic to.

The various airborne allergens that are present are dust, mold, pollen grains and pet dander. Each of these can cause an allergic reaction when inhaled by humans. Pollen grains are a major cause of allergies during the spring season, as this is the time when most plants are pollinating. Tree pollen also causes a lot of allergies. Pollen allergies can be avoided by closing the windows of the house during pollination season. Also, as most Pollination takes place during the morning time, a person should not leave the house during that time. Bathing before sleeping can also take care of pollen grains.

Dust is another allergy causing substance, due to the presence of microscopic creatures, like dust mites, in them. These creatures and their droppings are a major cause of allergies. They are found on almost any surface and prefer living in damp areas without sunlight. This can be taken care of by constantly cleaning your home and exposing your bedding material to the sun as they can kill the dust mites present in them. While cleaning your home, you should wear a mask to avoid inhalation of dust particles.

Animal dander is also a cause for allergies. People who are allergic to animal dander should avoid going near animals and not allow them to come inside the house. This will prevent them from inhaling the hair and dander of animals. Animal saliva also causes allergies. For people who have pets and can not live without them, the only way they can stop the allergies is by not letting the pet sleep in their bedroom. Also, do not allow the animal to lick you.

The only way to cure a sinus infection is by preventing them. In case, you do get sinus infections due to allergies, then there are various sinus home remedies that can be used for sinus treatment.

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Sinus Infection – Everything You Need To Know

Sinus infection, or sinusitis, is a fairly common medical condition that affects millions of people around the globe. This is usually caused by the inflammation of the para-nasal sinuses. All these are sacs which are air filled that are located on the front of face. These sinuses have openings into nasal cavity which can get blocked by any kind of swelling, caused by cold or viral infection. This leads to improper drainage of the mucus, which leads to sinusitis. This occurs predominately in adults, rather than children, but cases of sinusitis in children have also been observed.

People suffering from sinusitis have a constant, throbbing pain in the head. The difference between sinus headaches and others is that this pain will be localized to a point. As the sinuses are located in the front face, most people complain of pain in the front side of the face. This is increased when a person is lying down or bending over, as more pressure is then released on the sinuses. Some other symptoms of this condition are nasal blockage, difficulty to breathe, watery eyes, cough and congestion. In severe cases, it can even lead to fever and dental pain.

As per the duration of the inflammation, sinusitis is divided into four types –

* Acute
* Sub acute
* Chronic
* Recurrent

When there is a sudden appearance of cold like symptoms for over ten to fourteen days, then it is known as acute sinusitis. This usually lasts for less than four weeks. If these symptoms last between four to eight weeks, then it is termed as sub acute sinusitis. Prolongation of symptoms to over eight weeks is termed as chronic sinusitis. If a person has repeated attacks in a year, then it is known as recurrent sinusitis.

According to the severity of the infection, there are various ways to approach sinus treatment. The first treatment option is the use of decongestants. To alleviate the pain and swelling of the sins, a number of decongestant sprays can be applied to the affected area. This is helpful in alleviating pain. As sinus is caused by viruses, taking antibiotics is not compulsory, but if symptoms do not abate, then antibiotics are advised after consulting your doctor, as certain people are allergic to these. If none of these appear to help, then surgical options can be used. However, this should only be used as a final resort, if nothing else provides relief. Other than these there are also various sinus home remedies which are known to provide relief to the affected. These methods are simple and can be transported out using things that are easily available at every home.

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Acute Sinusitis Symptoms and Causes

Acute Sinusitis is the infection and swelling of the mucosal nasal membrane that can be found located in the nasal cavities. This inflammation disturbs the natural flow of thin and clear mucus as the inflammation causes mucus and air to “get stuck” in the nasal cavities.

The longer this mucus is “stuck”, the more pain and pressure patient will experience. There are so many things that cause Acute Sinusitis, ranging from things like allergies, bacteria to viruses. Since Acute Sinusitis is not caused by the same kinds of things, treatment for this inflammation differs. It is hard to determine the difference between a viral infection and a bacterial infection, because at clinic level they do not have labs to examine your mucus in order really sure that they are treating you for the right kind of infection. As a result you may be given antibacterial medication whereas you have a viral infection.

Acute Sinusitis Symptoms

Below is a list of the symptoms that are mainly common to this kind of sinusitis. One needs to keep in mind that these are not all the symptoms and that you do not have to experience all of the symptoms for it to be sinusitis.

  • Moderate difficulty when breathing due to nasal congestion
  • Having a lessened sense of taste or smell
  • Feeling pain when touching the forehead or the cheeks
  • Discharging yellow green mucus
  • Getting cough that seems to be aggravated at night

Other Symptoms:

Symptoms of this kind of sinusitis can also include having bad breath, getting headache and feeling weak from a fever and experiencing pressure in the face. We also have to note that out of the three kinds of sinus infection we find, Acute Sinusitis and sometimes Subacute Sinusitis include having a fever but Chronic Sinusitis does not.

Causes of Acute Sinusitis

As mentioned in the beginning of the article but regardless of what the cause is, the foreign particle enters the nose and causes the lining to inflame and the passages to be thinner. Conditions like a deviated septum where an individual is born with a nose that is not evenly divided, put people at a more risk of getting nasal infection. Here below is a list of these three kinds of infections that can also cause this inflammation.

Viral Infection: This kind of infection is very common; most people know it as the common Cold. This infection can easily be contracted especially when an individual works in a hospital or very public and overcrowded environment. Untreated viral infections can cause nasal inflammation.

Bacterial Infection: This infection is not that easy to pass on to the next person because unlike the viral infection that is airborne, you would have to get a bacterial infection from perhaps sharing a kiss with an infected individual. Antibiotics usually take care of this infection.

Fungal Infection: This infection is not common in the causes of this inflammation and swelling, but people with a immune system immune system are more prone to getting this infection.

If at any point you get a swollen eye / forehead, terrifying headaches or find it hard to breathe, then you should make sure that you contact a doctor immediately. These symptoms can be life threatening and they need to be treated effectively and immediately.

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