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Health & FitPrevent Indoor Allergies This Summer

19:37  22 july  2019
19:37  22 july  2019 Source:   usnews.com

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Indoor Allergen Follow-up. Prevention . Outlook for Allergies Caused by Indoor Allergens . For More Information. Indoor allergens may provoke or worsen asthma symptoms, depending on a person's unique sensitivities. Indoor allergies tend to be at their worst in the late summer , when dust mites

Prevent Indoor Allergies This Summer© (Getty Images) Shot of a mature man blowing his nose at home

Indoor allergens persist year-round, unlike pollens that might block your nose at certain times of year. Allergy triggers like pet dander are fairly constant, but others, such as dust mites, cockroaches and molds, can become bigger problems in the sticky summer heat.

Microscopic bugs called dust mites can live in carpets, mattresses and pillows, and they eat the dead skin cells you and your pets shed around the house. They're actually in their healthiest state in the summertime, in areas where it's humid, says Dr. Sally Joo Bailey, an assistant professor of allergy and immunology at Georgetown University School of Medicine who has a private practice in northern Virginia. For most people, dust mites are the indoor allergen most likely to cause symptoms to spike in the summer, Bailey says.

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Allergy Prevention . Control Indoor Allergens . Programs. Awareness Campaigns. Prevent pet dander. Most doctors suggest that people who have allergies to animal dander not have Prevent pollen from getting inside by keeping windows and doors closed. Use air conditioning in warm weather

If your allergies worsen during summer , these To prevent this , retired allergist Robert Boxer, MD, recommends using hypoallergenic sunscreens, without scent, dyes or zinc oxide if possible. Before you head for the outdoor pool this summer , make sure you protect yourself from chlorine exposure.

Dust Mites, Molds and Cockroaches

Unless you live in a cold or dry climate, your home will likely see an increase in dust mites during the summer. Dust mites reproduce as humidity spikes, and fabrics, blankets and, "unfortunately, even nice things that kids like to snuggle up with, like their stuffed animals," are all at risk, Bailey says.

Symptoms of a dust mite allergy can include itchy skin, runny nose and coughing, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

If left untreated, dust mite allergies may cause chronic nasal congestion that leads to sinus and ear infections, Bailey notes. For kids and adults with asthma, allergies can ignite flare-ups, or asthma attacks, with possible symptoms including chest tightness, wheezing and shortness of breath.

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AAAAI, the experts in allergy and immunology, provide an overview of indoor allergens . Millions of people suffer year-round from allergy symptoms caused by indoor allergens . In addition to causing allergy symptoms, allergens can also trigger asthma flare ups in people with allergic asthma.

Prevention . The best way to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid the substance that you're You can help prevent this by: keeping your home dry and well ventilated. removing any indoor pot plants People with food allergies most often experience an allergic reaction while eating out at a restaurant.

An allergy-provoked stuffy nose that won't go away in the summer can often be blamed on dust mites. "If someone's coming (into the office) in the spring and they're super congested, we know it's more likely tree pollen allergies," Bailey says. "During the summer months, it really is this dust mite allergen."

But mold, which can exist indoors and out, provides another possible explanation for allergies that get worse in the summer.

"Mold is also increased whenever there is more humidity," says Dr. Sanjiv Sur, a professor and director of allergy and immunology at Baylor College of Medicine. Because "allergies in general, in most people, tend to occur in the spring and fall," mold is important to consider if your allergies peak in midsummer.

Symptoms of mold allergies are similar to those for other allergens, and exposure to mold spores can trigger asthma, according to the AAFA.

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Take allergy medication regularly, or as prescribed by your doctor. Be sure to never miss a day during allergy season. Tip #2 – Start spring cleaning early. These machines work to clean your ducts and can reduce your exposure to indoor air pollutants, asthma triggers, allergens and other health risks.

As with mold and dust mites, cockroaches may also be found indoors any time of year. Cockroaches can trigger both asthma and allergies.

Cockroaches seek warm conditions, and the National Pest Management Association, an industry group, reports that 63% of U.S. homes contain cockroach allergens. The proportion of homes with cockroaches is even higher in some areas. A research review published last year in the journal Current Allergy and Asthma Reports found that 85% of U.S. inner-city homes have cockroach allergens. Factors like high humidity can help cockroaches thrive. "Anytime you are near the coast … the humidity goes up," says Sur, an allergist-immunologist in the Houston area, reiterating that there are more cockroaches in humid areas.

Controlling Indoor Allergens in Your Home

You can take several steps to make your home a safer zone and relieve your allergies this summer. Here are some options experts suggest:

  • Avoid carpets. "Tile or wood floor, for example, will greatly reduce the house dust mite load," Sur says. "If you're buying a home, then select a home that … doesn't have carpet." This strategy can also combat mold and cockroaches.
  • Reduce humidity in your home. Lowering your air conditioning temperature or investing in a dehumidifier can decrease humidity. Your goal should be to keep relative humidity below 50%, according to the Mayo Clinic. A hygrometer can help you track progress.
  • Protect bedding. Dust mite-proof covers for pillows and mattresses "have been shown to reduce exposure as well as the chances of developing further allergies and asthma," Sur says. Covers are a primary method of fighting dust mites because "you spend eight hours a day sleeping in bed," says Kenneth Mendez, AAFA president and CEO. The AAFA, along with the certification company Allergy Standards Limited, also certifies that products are asthma and allergy friendly and provides a product marking so consumers know whether items such as bedding are safe.
  • Wash a favorite stuffed animal weekly. As with other items covered in fabric, stuffed animals can gather dust mites. If your child is attached to a stuffed animal that isn't washable, you can try storing the toy in the freezer for 24 hours instead, Bailey says.
  • Vacuum regularly. Buy a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air, or HEPA, filter to reduce dust mite populations. Vacuuming multiple times a week can help clear out cockroach allergens, according to the American Lung Association.
  • Remove standing water. "Flooding immediately increases mold growth everywhere," Sur says. If you live in a high-humidity area, doing away with standing water is important, Bailey adds.

When to See the Doctor

Your symptoms don't have to be severe for you to consult an allergist. "For some patients, being congested chronically is enough to say ... 'I want a good night's sleep,'" Bailey says.

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Prevent allergies & eliminate indoor allergy triggers with these 10 tips. Outdoor allergens like pollen and mold are much to blame during the warmer months, but indoor allergens can also cause symptoms to flare. Take precautions to stay safe this summer .

How to Beat Summer Allergies . Articles OnSeasonal Allergies . American Academy of Allergy , Asthma & Immunology: "Pollen Q&A," "Travel Safe This Summer - Allergy and Asthma Free," "Tips to Remember: Outdoor Allergens ," "The Sting of Summer Test Your Indoor Allergy Smarts.

If you're not sure whether your summer stuffiness could be allergy-related, an allergist can provide a skin prick test. With this test, "we know the answer within about 20 minutes," Sur says.

Antihistamines and nasal corticosteroid sprays can treat allergy symptoms, but be sure to check with your doctor before taking them if you have asthma, the AAFA advises.

Allergy shots, or traditional allergy immunotherapy, can provide long-term relief and have been around for more than 100 years, Bailey says. Allergies to dust mites, cockroaches and some molds can be treated with this method.

You'll need to visit your allergist for injections over a three- to five-year span to complete treatment, according to the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology. "I tell people to think about it kind of like having braces," Bailey says. "It is a long-term commitment because we're trying to teach your body's immune system to tolerate something that it's not naturally doing."

Common side effects to allergy shots include swelling and redness at the injection site, while sublingual tablets can cause burning or itching in your mouth and lips, according to the AAAAI. In rare cases, treatments can cause a serious anaphylactic reaction, indicated by symptoms such as wheezing, chest tightness and dizziness. The AAAAI notes that tablets and shots are similarly effective, and both can provide long-term relief. Some patients, however, may see their symptoms return after treatment and should talk with an allergist to decide next steps.

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Children’s Indoor Allergies . From home to school to grandma’s house, find simple tips to help keep your Dust mites are more prevalent in humid areas of your home and during the summer months. Tips for Kids with Mold Allergies . CLEAN HOUSE. Help prevent mold with regular bathroom, laundry

Both asthma and allergies can be controlled if you know how to prepare yourself. Researchers don't fully understand why some substances trigger allergies and others don't, or why some people are highly allergic and others are symptom-free.

More recently, sublingual tablets, which you place under your tongue and swallow as they dissolve, have emerged as another immunotherapy option for some allergies. After taking the first dose in your allergist's office, you can take the tablets on your own for a period of years. In the U.S., sublingual tablets can be prescribed to treat adults with dust mite allergies.

Exploring treatments such as immunotherapy and making changes to your home take effort, but the payoff can be worth it. If you have asthma, taking steps to manage allergies is particularly important. "You spend a significant amount of your time indoors, and there are many asthma triggers indoors," Mendez says. "It's really important to be able to control your asthma, and knowing how to do that can prevent needless deaths."

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