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Archive for September, 2011

Many pet owners allow their animals to share their bed, but this can be a bad idea if the owners have asthma or allergies. Even if you are not allergic to the animals themselves, their dander is one of the favorite food sources for dust mites, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Dust mites themselves are major allergens that are present in every home.

WTOP Radio in Washington D.C. reports that at least 60 percent of cat owners allow their feline friends to snuggle up with them at night, and about half of dog owners share their sleeping space with their dogs, according to a survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association.

Many people keep pets in their homes, even if they are allergic to their furry friends. Some choose to get allergy shots to reduce their symptoms and others just suffer in silence. One way to fight back against pet allergies and dust mites can be to keep the animals out of the bedroom, even though it may be difficult to resist. If animals have spent time on your bed, you can use a mattress encasement to trap their dander inside, which will help you get a better night's rest.

While there is no guarantee that bed bugs will not find a way into your home, there are plenty of steps you can take to reduce your risk of an infestation.

Avoid buying used furniture, but if you just can't resist a good deal on Craigslist, make sure to inspect any previously-owned furniture for signs of bed bugs. Keep in mind that when a deal sounds too good to be true, it likely is. People may lower the price of items that have come into contact with bedbugs, or they could be unaware that they had them at all. The tiny insects, which are between a quarter and a fifth of an inch in diameter, can live undetected in furniture, even when not upholstered, Harold Harlan, a military bug expert, told MSNBC, so take precaution when buying used goods.

You should wash all bedding and other fabrics throughout the home, such as curtains and pillow cases, frequently and in hot water, which will kill any bed bugs that may be hiding in the folds of the cloth. This will also kill dust mites, which cause allergic reactions in many people.

Mattress covers, such as those offered by Clean Rest, can protect beds from infestation as the material is woven so tight that the bugs cannot get through.

A few tips to reduce snoring

Snoring is a common issue that occurs when an individual's airway is restricted or blocked while sleeping. There are a number of actions that you can take to reduce snoring so you and your spouse can get a better night's rest.

One of the main contributing factors of snoring is lifestyle. If you are overweight, have an unhealthy diet, drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes or don't get enough exercise, you are more likely to snore, according to Ghana Broadcasting Corporation. Sleeping on your back, poor sleeping habits and allergens can also contribute to snoring. The news source recommends sleeping on your side to avoid having your tongue slide back and block your airway.

Dust mites can cause allergic reactions that restrict airways and make it difficult to breathe, which directly contributes to snoring. In order to reduce the allergens, you should keep your bedroom clean and wash your bedding weekly in high temperatures to get rid of dust mites and their eggs. You can also use pillow covers and mattress covers to reduce the amount of contact you have with dust mites and other allergens in your bedding.

If these steps do not relieve your snoring, you should talk to your doctor. The National Institute on Health reports that snoring may also be indicative of sleep apnea, a treatable disorder that causes you to stop breathing for brief periods when you sleep.

Mold, dust mites and pet dander are more than just mild irritants. They can cause severe allergic reactions and have other adverse health effects. Symptoms that you or a family member may be suffering from one or more of these household allergies are chronic rhinitis, asthma attacks, eye irritation, chronic fever, exhaustion and cough.

Many allergy-suffering animal lovers think they can never have pets, and while staying away from pets may be the best thing you can do for a pet allergy, you may be able to control many of your symptoms by vacuuming upholstered furniture and rugs regularly and nkeeping the pet out of your bedroom.

To stop the spread of mold it's important to keep your house well ventilated and dry. A dehumidifier can be helpful, but you should also be mindful of any leaks or water damage in the home. Clean and dry carpets immediately upon the time of the spill. If it's not taken care of within 24 hours, consider replacing the rug.

In addition to frequent cleanings, one of the best things you can do for a dust mite allergy is to protect your mattresses with mattress covers, such as those available through Clean Brands.

It may be difficult to admit, but summer is over, and the days are rapidly growing colder and shorter. This means that people will be putting air conditioners away until spring, shutting windows and spending more time indoors, which can bring about allergies that have been dormant during the warmer months.

Even though it's not spring, thoroughly cleaning a home should be on the winter preparation list, especially when there are allergy sufferers present. Cleaning floors can be a crucial step in removing allergens from the environment, as pollen, dust and other debris can get trapped in carpets and floor boards.

It is also a good idea to wash blankets, winter clothes and other household fabrics such as curtains and pillows in hot water. They can collect dust mites, even if they've been stored carefully during the warmer seasons, and these microscopic critters are a major allergen for many people.

Another step people can take to reduce allergens in their homes is to purchase and use mattress covers, which can provide a protective barrier between people and the dust mites and other allergens that can be found in most beds. They also protect against bed bug infestations, which are becoming an increasingly common problem.

Allergy symptoms can be mild to severe, but they shouldn't be taken lightly in any case, as symptoms can always worsen. Allergy symptoms can sometimes be so severe that they cause anaphylactic shock or an asthma attack.

Whether you have indoor or outdoor allergies, or even both, the condition can negatively affect your quality of life. Have you ever noticed that many people who are allergic to one substance seem to be more susceptible to other triggers? Although it's possible to only be allergic to one substance, many people who suffer from allergies experience symptoms triggered by more than one allergen. In fact, recent studies have shown that having one allergy may in many cases worsen another. This seems to be the case with pet allergies and hay fever.

"If you have ongoing symptoms from perennial allergies, as soon as you add another allergen into the mix your symptoms develop much faster, and you may have a harder time dealing with it than others," explained Anne Ellis, an assistant professor in the departments of medicine and microbiology & immunology at Queens University in Canada.

One way to keep your allergy symptoms under control while you're at home is to protect your family's beds with hypoallergenic bedding and mattress covers from Clean Brands.
 

Because bed bugs are becoming increasingly common in college dormitories, students should start educating themselves on this pesky problem to reduce infestation and best take care of themselves if they fall victim to one.

First of all, no matter how broke you may be as a college student, you shouldn't try to treat the problem on your own. In fact, you won't be responsible for the bed bug extermination costs, so speak to your school about the need for a real extermination.

Also, bed bugs don't spread disease, they just cause that annoying itch. One thing you should watch out for is scratching, as broken skin can let in infection and then you could have a problem, especially if you're living in a germ-filled dormitory.

Don't bring furniture to school. With bed bugs as bad as they've been, don't bring any of your own furniture to school unless you know it's something you'd be willing to part with should an infestation occur. The school provides rooms with the basic necessities.

You and your roommate may also want to consider purchasing mattress covers, like those available through Clean Brands. They can stop bed bugs from getting into your mattress, or getting out of an already infested mattress.

College has always been a stressful time – between exams, sports, dreaded ex-boyfriends and living with roommates, being a co-ed isn't always a walk in the park. Unfortunately, today's college students have a whole new pest to deal with – bed bugs.

Although they are often unavoidable, there are a few steps you can take to keep those critters away.

1. Before you go back to school, check all your luggage that you took back with you from the prior semester.

2. Thoroughly inspect your mattress seams before putting your sheets on the bed. In fact, before you unpack anything, do a once-over of the entire room, paying careful attention to places where bed bugs could hide, like behind light switch covers or in cracks and crevices.

3. Protect your sleep by keeping using mattress covers like those offered from Clean Brands. These will keep bed bugs from infesting your mattress, or if they are already in your mattress, they will stop them from getting out.

4. Stay away from hand-me-down furniture unless it's from a very reliable source. Still consider furniture covers for everything, especially if your school has had a history of bed bug problems.  

The general rule of thumb for replacing mattresses is to do so every five to seven years. However, this can vary depending on how often you use it, the quality of the mattress itself and the level of comfort it offers. Over time, skin cells, sweat and dust mites can practically double the weight of a mattress.

If it is not quite time to replace a mattress, but you are concerned with the contents of your mattress, you can consider purchasing a mattress cover, such as those offered by Clean Brands. These covers are designed to provide a protective barrier between you and the bacteria and bugs that reside in your mattress. The fabric is woven so tightly that nothing can escape, but there are still pores that make it breathable so laying on your bed won't be uncomfortable.

People who find traces of bed bugs in their mattresses may think that they need to toss out their beds immediately, but this is not necessarily the case. Replacement can be pricey, but a mattress encasement can trap the bed bugs. You need to leave the cover on for at least a year, as bed bugs can survive that long without feeding.

Why did bed bugs come back?

The bed bug problem in the United States was nearly wiped out after World War II with DDT. Many conservatives blame environmentalists for the resurgence of these critters, however, bed bugs began adapting to DDT long before the U.S. banned the pesticide in 1972.

Bed bugs are ancient insects that are highly adaptable, so the more we spray them with chemicals, the more immune they become. This is one of the many reasons why heat treatments come more highly recommended than today's chemical treatments.

In addition to being ineffective in some cases, today's chemicals can have harmful side effects to the environment and to humans. Plus, with what scientists know now, pesticides should not be sprayed on mattresses, and those who choose chemical treatments have to rid their homes of mattresses to get rid of the problem.

Luckily companies like Clean Brands have created secure mattress covers to keep the critters secured during and after treatments. It's the best way to keep them out, or trap them inside of your furniture and stop their spread.