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Archive for July, 2011

If you've spent time ensuring that your home is as close to allergen-free as you can make it, you may be wondering why your symptoms still seem to persist. Have you considered that maybe your workplace is doing a number on your allergies? There are actually a lot of products commonly used in the office that can be exacerbating your symptoms without you even knowing it!

Adhesives are a big culprit in this, as is carpeting and upholstery. Chances are the people in charge of maintaining your office aren't as diligent about keeping allergens out as you are, so you need to take extra steps to ensure you can make it through the work day with your sanity intact. This means bringing extra doses of (non-drowsy) medication and keeping some tissues close by in case you start acting up.

Spending your nights with an allergy mattress cover can also help reduce your symptoms in the evening, which in turn can make the workday much easier to cope with. If you carefully manage your allergies at home, you'll be in a much better state to handle them when they arise at work.

If you suffer from allergies, you've probably been told countless times that buying a high-powered air purifier will put a stop to your symptoms. Maybe you've even tried one for yourself, but still find yourself waking up throughout the night. There's a lot of misperceptions about air purifiers floating around – here are a few of the most common ones.

Air purifiers are by no means the be-all end-all of your allergies. In fact, they should just be one part of a comprehensive anti-allergy system in your household, especially if your symptoms are particularly acute. The reason they aren't 100 percent effective is that some allergens, like pollen, are actually quite heavy and hit the floor before the purifier can even get to them.

You must open windows for some period of time every day, even though you may think you don't have to with a purifier. There has to be some exchange of fresh air daily, or it'll grow stale and inhospitable pretty quickly.

This isn't to say that air purifiers aren't useful, but you shouldn't rely on them entirely. Sleep on allergy-free pillows to keep allergens away from your bedding, and be diligent about vacuuming your rugs and carpets at least once a week.

Most experts agree that optimal humidity in a household is somewhere between 30 and 60 percent. Of course, this varies from person to person, but you want to stay within this range, according to Akron.com. If conditions are too wet you'll find the air sticky and hard to breathe, and if it's too dry your skin will start to dry out.

If you suffer from allergies, however, you will want to err on the drier side of the spectrum. This is because allergens thrive particularly well in wet conditions. Allergy mattress covers can help prevent stray allergens from getting into your bedding, but it's important to reduce their numbers as much as possible by keeping your house in optimal condition.

You can easily lower the humidity in your house by using a dehumidifier, but you can also do small things like moving plants outdoors, frequently opening windows and reduce the temperature of showers you take, especially if you live in a smaller apartment. By taking the right steps, you can drastically reduce the presence of allergens in your home, which can do a lot for your overall peace of mind.

According to the Los Angeles Times, people who wake up frequently in the middle of the night – even for just a few moments – may have a harder time committing things to memory when compared to those who sleep all the way through the evening.

Researchers at Stanford University made the discovery when simulating what they dubbed "microarousal events" on laboratory mice. A special protein was injected into their brains and stimulated using a laser diode. Before going to bed, these mice were introduced to a cage with two new areas, and brought back in after sleeping. It was found that those who experienced these microarousals took longer to familiarize themselves with their new surroundings.

If your night's sleep is constantly being interrupted by irritating allergies, you may want to consider investing in allergy-free pillows. These can keep allergens at bay long enough to get you through the night well-rested and ready to take on the day. Healthy sleeping habits are vital, so don't let allergies stop you from catching those much-needed Z's!

If you or someone in your household suffers from debilitating pet allergies, you may be scrambling to find respite from the itchy eyes and sneezing. Luckily, you don't have to go so far as shaving your dog. Here are a few tips that will help reduce the presence of allergens in your home and make life easier.

Be diligent about cleaning your rugs and carpets at least once a week. Using a high-powered vacuum will rid them of most of their allergens. Similarly, try to regularly wash your bedding in hot water to keep them from causing reactions at night. You can also use special allergy-free pillows and a box spring encasement to prevent allergens from making their way into your bed.

Keep windows open and try to have a steady supply of air running through your house. This can help wash away any stray allergens that have become airborne. Just make sure no one in your house has pollen allergies before you do so, or you'll have a bigger problem on your hands!

If you or someone in your family suffers from seasonal allergies, you may be spending the majority of your summer with the windows closed and the air conditioning cranked to its highest setting. While this is definitely going to keep you cool, according to YNN in Syracuse, it may also be exacerbating your allergies.

"You're kind of circulating around the pollens, the dust mites, the molds, the mildews and even bacteria," Dr. Bryan Gargano told the news source.

Your air conditioner works by drawing in air from the outside and cooling it down before pumping it into the house. Keeping it running on high for a long period of time can cause the filtration system to work less effectively than you may like. Moderation is key – keep it running, but at a lower level, to ensure pollen and other allergies are kept out of your home, only turning it to high when it's especially hot out.

At night, sleeping on allergy-free pillows will help ensure any stray allergens that get into your home don't bother you when you're trying to sleep.

As an allergy sufferer, you may feel your nose start to itch at the mere mention of spending time outside. The notion of getting out there with all that pollen swirling around is unappealing, to say the least. But did you know that you can improve your situation immensely simply by staying on top of your laundry duties?

We all know how easy it is to get lazy and let the laundry hamper fill up, but if you regularly wash your sheets and clothes at a high temperature, the allergens you pick up during the day will naturally come off, meaning a much more comfortable summer for you and your family.

Allergy mattress covers are another great way of keeping those pesky allergens off of your bedding. Their pores are small enough to not allow allergens through, which means you can soon return to the healthy sleeping habits you were used to in the winter. Though it may seem difficult at times, remember that with a certain amount of due diligence you can prevent allergies from holding you back this summer.

According to the Daily Mail, the vast majority of dirt – that is to say, roughly 99 percent of it – stays in our homes, unseen by the naked eye. Although this notion may have you distraught at first, it's also a good idea to bear in mind that by and large these microscopic germs are virtually harmless. In fact, you could make a case to the fact that, to some degree, our lives are a bit too sterile, which may explain the rapid growth in allergy sufferers as the years go on.

This isn't to say that you should simply let your household's cleanliness go to the dogs – be diligent about keeping clean, of course. But also understand that sterilizing every inch of every object is both inefficient and potentially harmful to any young ones you may have at home.

Allergy-free pillows are great for taking care of any allergens that may still be hanging around after you've cleaned your home. Maintaining healthy sleeping habits during these high-allergy seasons is a lot easier than you may think!

This summer, keep in mind that bed bug protection doesn't end at home. If you aren't diligent about keeping the pests at-bay wherever you go, you may soon find yourself with an unwanted infestation in spite of your best efforts. According to Mercury News, bed bugs are still a problem for hotels across the country, though the issue is particularly bad in New York and New Jersey.

The issue arises from the fact that bed bugs love to hide in dark and cool spaces, making the corners of your suitcase an ideal place to hitch a ride to back to your place. Although there are many sprays out there that claim to prevent bed bugs, their actual effectiveness is questionable.

If you're really concerned about stopping these pests when you're traveling, your best bet is to bring along a mattress encasement that will prevent them from getting out and biting you. Inspect your hotel's box spring thoroughly and inform management immediately if you spot a bed bug. It's also a good idea to place your luggage on a dedicated suitcase rack, rather than on the bed or furniture.

In spite of your best efforts, you may find yourself having to deal with a bed bug infestation. Don't panic! If you act quickly, you can make the best of the situation and keep yourself from going nuts trying to clear them out of your home. Here are a few fundamentals you should follow to keep your home safe and help maintain your sanity.

It may sound ghastly, but sometimes the best thing to do is actually stay in the bed you suspect is infected. If you move to another bed or a sofa, or worse, stay with someone else, the bed bugs may just hitch a ride. Isolate your bed and call a pest controller to treat the infected area. With a bed bug mattress encasement, you shouldn't have to worry about them getting out and biting you at night.

If you've spoken to your landlord, do NOT let him release a bug bomb, no matter how much he may want to! These are proven to be ineffective against bed bugs, and you'll just have another stressor to deal with. Insist that he call a professional to help take care of the problem.