Archive for May, 2012

4 Tips to Allergy Proof your Home

This time of year we are inundated with tips to ease allergy symptoms by allergy proofing your home.  This HSH article, Four Easy Ways to Allergy-proof Your Home from May 2 2012 offers some good, standard advice.

 Seasonal allergy sufferers can be allergic to pollen, pet dander, dust mites, or a mix of all three.  Warmer weather can mean more pollen and when mixed with household dust, the resulting dust mites could make you feel like you have around the clock hay fever.

There are several ways to lower the allergies in your home and get some relief.

Change your home’s air filter.  If you have forced air heating and cooling system, changing a dirty filter is a simple but critical step in ridding your home of sneeze-inducing particles, say Ted Myatt, a senior scientist at Environmental Heat Engineering in Needham, Mass.

Use allergy-proof pillow and mattress covers.  You probably spend more hours of the day in your bed than in any other place in your home, so use dust-proof bed and linen covers if you suspect you are allergic to dust mites. Wash them at least once a week, and make sure the water is at least 130F.  The water needs to be hot in order to kill dust mites.

Make sure your vacuum is HEPA-ready.  If your vacuum doesn’t have enough suction, it can leave behind dander and other particles that provide a steady food source for dust mites, says Caroline Blazovsky of HealthyHomeExpert.com.  Combat that by making sure you have a good high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter in your vacuum cleaner.

Invest in an air purifier.  Technically these machines are called “room air filters”  which circulate air throughout a room, while at the same time trapping allergy-causing pollen and other particles through filters, all before you have a chance to inhale them.

Learn more about the strategy of Allergy Avoidance to manage your allergies on my website, NYCAllergyDoctor.com. If you suffer from indoor/outdoor allergies, and live in the NYC area, please feel free to contact me for a consultation 866-632-5537.  I have successfully treated NYC allergy sufferers for over 25 years.  Together we can address and resolve your allergy condition.

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Stinging Insect Allergies

This question from the Seattle Times is very relevant to the time of year and for those that experience symptoms other than pain and itching at the site of the sting.

Q: Last summer, I walked on the deck where a yellow jacket was lying upside down. I stepped on it and immediately went down. My foot and calf swelled up within seconds, and I found it hard to breathe.

Should I ask my doctor for an EpiPen? I’m afraid this will happen again this spring or summer.

A: Tell your doctor about your reaction. We believe this could be a strong indication of a serious allergic reaction, and next time might be worse. Your doctor can prescribe an EpiPen and explain how and when to use it to avoid anaphylactic shock, which can be life-threatening. Even with a shot of epinephrine, you would need to go immediately to an emergency department.

The normal reaction to the “sting” of an insect such as a bee, wasp, hornet, yellow jacket or fire ants may result in pain at the sting site, reddening, swelling and itching that may last just a few hours. Enlarged local reactions may have painful swelling several inches around the area of the sting lasting for days.

If you have a history of reaction other than that spelled out above – you may be allergic to the insects’ venom.

The symptoms of severe allergic reaction include;

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Hives and itching
  • Wheezing and difficulty breathing
  • Anaphylactic reaction (shock)
  • sudden drop in blood pressure
  • loss of consciousness

Anaphylactic reaction may lead to death and can occur if no immediate medical care is provided.

In a majority of patients, venom immunotherapy will protect against any future life-threatening reactions. In the case of severe or generalized reactions, patients with known allergic sensitivities to insect venom should be evaluated by an allergist and placed on protective desensitization therapy.

If you experience abnormal reactions to the “sting” of an insect. Consult your allergist.  Live in the NYC area, I welcome you to call my office at 866-632-5537.  Together we can manage your allergies.

Learn more about Common NYC Allergies here

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Too Much Clean?

A May 1st article appearing on the Mother Nature Network asks the question, “Why are pollen allergies so common?”  According to Susan Waserman, Professor of Medicine in Clinical Immunology and Allergy at McMaster University in Canada, the question should be “Why allergies at all?”

Many of us have become allergic to normal things we’ve been frequently exposed – even allergic to substances since we’ve been around since we were children.  Pollen is one of those things.  And we are routinely exposed to food and pets as children; some of us develop allergies to those substances as well, “if you’ve got that genetic tendency to become sensitized.”

Allergies set in when your immune system misjudges a protein and interprets it as a threat.  Unfortunately, once your immune system sets the “trigger” it operates on this wrong assumption that certain substances such as pets or pollen grain must be defended against, you are stuck with an allergy. And most likely, you will have to cope with the symptoms of this allergy for the rest of your life.

Recent research has shown that inadequate exposure to bacteria and viruses during early childhood may increase the likelihood that you’ll develop allergies.  In this modern time of antibacterial soap, clean water, pasteurized milk and more – children aren’t exposed to nearly as many microbes as they used to be.  As a result, immune systems get fewer opportunities to learn how to discriminate between dangerous pathogens and harmless substances like pollen.  According to Waserman, it’s an now an accepted theory that “people whose immune systems are no longer busy fighting infection become disregulated and allergic.”

So, what is the perfect balance of filthiness and cleanliness during childhood?

For more information on allergies, their diagnosis and treatment, check out my website . If you suffer with allergies and live in the NYC area, please feel free to contact me for a consultation 866-632-5537.  For over 25 years I have successfully treated NYC allergy.  Together we can find a solution that can relieve your symptoms. Book an appointment online.

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