If you suffer from allergy symptoms, you're not alone. Millions of people across the U.S. have the same issue, whether it's in response to indoor or outdoor allergens, seasonally or year-round. You may take an over-the-counter antihistamine to address those itchy, watery eyes and seemingly constant sneezing, but day-to-day life just must go on whether your eyes dry up and go back to normal or not. One of those daily tasks we all take on is driving, whether it's to work, to appointments, to the gym, to school, etc., the list goes on.
New research sheds some light on just how dangerous driving around with major allergy symptoms is. In fact, that research suggests that these drivers compare to those who are under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol content of .03 percent. This stark fact shows just how serious it is to find allergy relief. Not only are your eyes, throat, or nose affected, but your memory and driving abilities are affected as well.
Researchers in this particular study focused on those who had documented issues with tree and grass pollen. Participants who were given nasal sprays or non-drowsy antihistamines were able to competently drive during a one-hour driving test that was administered. Those who had not received any treatment to combat allergy symptoms had driving skills comparable to someone with a .03 blood alcohol content.
Though it may seem shocking to some, this outcome makes sense to those in the medical field. The body reacts to allergens by releasing histamines, which can influence the brain. It only makes sense that this impact on the brain would lead to impaired driving skills, they say.
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you may have turned to routine allergy shots to control your symptoms. Many of us have gone through the experience as a child and continue to do so now as adults. There's a new solution called rush immunotherapy that has gained national attention as a more convenient solution to the age-old problem of seasonal allergies. If you or your child relies on routine shots for symptom relief, you'll want to learn about this innovative option. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions:
What is rush immunotherapy?
It is an anti-allergy plan that is given on a condensed timeline. For example, instead of a patient coming in for weekly injections for a period of many months, he or she may be able to receive the entire series in a period of just a day or two.
Is it safe?
Yes, this procedure has been tested and proven effective and safe for use among allergy sufferers.
What does a typical treatment plan look like?
One typical plan would be a series of 50 allergy shots being replaced by a series of four to six shots which are administered over the course of a single day. The same dosage would be administered, but in a much smaller number of injections and on a dramatically shorter timeline.
What happens during this type of all-in-one-day treatment?
In between the injections, you will be closely monitored to make sure you don't experience any adverse reactions.
Is this a permanent solution?
For many patients, rush immunotherapy is in fact a permanent solution. While additional treatments may be necessary for a period of several months, the one-day session often provides the relief needed almost instantly.
Allergies got you down? It's time to fight back. While you can't mitigate what's outside, you can control the inside of your home. Follow these seven tips to allergy-proof your house. Take back control of your life.
1) Change air filters as directed. People often forget this simple task, but it means a world of difference. An old, clogged filter builds up allergens over time, pumping them back into your home through your heating or cooling system. If changed regularly, a new, clean filter won't blow back allergens.
2) Ditch the drapes. Install blinds or shades instead. Blinds or shades don't trap allergens like cloth and cloth-like materials, and are easier to clean with household products.
3) Get rid of wall-to-wall carpet. Carpets accumulate pet dander, dust, pollen, and more, an allergy attack waiting to happen, all underneath your feet. When you step across the carpet you kick allergens into the air before they slowly settle back into the carpet and into a vicious cycle. Install easy-to-clean hardwood floors instead.
4) Clean your bathroom. Any allergy doctor will tell you there are more than 10,000 species of mold on the planet and they all love warm, moist places like your bathroom. Clean it regularly. Remove standing water. Ventilate it.
5) Pump allergens out, not in. Many built-in home-fanning systems like those in your bathroom or kitchen circulate indoor air. If there are particles that upset your allergies, install a true exhaust system that forces unwanted particles out of your home entirely.
6) Purchase a testing kit. Kits will indicate what allergens reside in your home so you can pinpoint the cause, like pet dander, and mitigate it.
7) Purchase a standing air filter. These machines improve your allergies by trapping airborne allergens and clean the air your breath.
If you have allergies, you've probably experienced most of the symptoms involved. While most people think sneezing is a common reaction, many people don't realize that it's our eyes that are also under attack when we sneeze. Itchy, red, swollen eyes are a common reaction to dust, pollen, and otherallergens that tend to crop up during the springtime. There are a number of treatments available, and allergy tests can help you pinpoint the specific problems causing the reaction.
Why are itchy, red eyes generally a symptom, and what causes the problem?
Just as any other reaction, itchy eyes are caused when the body reacts to things that are not harmful. Things like pet dander, mold, and pollen cause allergies. These substances release histamine and causes swelling. Your eyes' blood vessels can become inflamed, leaving them itchy, red, and teary.
You can treat your itchy eyes with histamine blockers to reduce puffiness and swelling. Pills and eye drops can also work to relieve itchiness and watery eyes. There are a variety of treatments available both over the counter and through a prescription from your doctor.
Trees, weeds, pet dander, dust, perfumes, and other chemicals are common causes for an allergic reaction. You should keep track of what causes your itchy eyes in order to better treat your allergies. If you are still having problems with itchiness and red eyes even after taking over the counter medications, consult your doctor about getting allergy shots.
There are other precautions you can take as well. Contact lenses may worsen symptoms, so try wearing eyeglasses instead. Wearing sunglasses can also actually help to reduce the chances of itchy, red eyes. Also make sure stay away from touching or rubbing your eyes. Doing so will make the problem worse.
Watery eyes. Itchiness. Trouble breathing. Some of us know much better than others that the effects of spring allergies can be very problematic during that certain time of the year. While others see beautiful sunny skies and flowers blooming, some of us are just waiting for the months to pass, so we can get back to normalcy. Did you know that some cities are much worse for these reactions than others? Take a look at some of the worse cities to live in for springtime allergic reactions.
With so much pollen in the air at springtime, people living in this southern city can find it difficult to walk outside without dealing with itchiness and water eyes. Spring allergies in Birmingham are very common.
Dallas is guilty of having one of the highest pollen counts in the United States. The cypress, elm, ash and cedar trees that heavily populate this city are to blame for the allergic reactions that Dallas residents have to deal with throughout March and April. The area is also low in doctors, so appropriate allergy treatment can be scarce.
Jackson is the largest city in the state of Mississippi, and its citizens understand how complicated it can be to live there when the allergy season is at its worse. Unlike some other cities Jackson is home to a high number of doctors who specialize in this area, so the future may be bright for people dealing with itchy, watery eyes.
Are you noticing a pattern here? The cities with the worst spring allergies are all located in the south of the U.S., and Louisville is at the top of the list for the worst cities to experience those troublesome allergic reactions during springtime with pollen counts getting high as early as February.
If you suffer from allergies, you are probably curious about what exactly causes your specific problems. Allergy testing can help you to get to the bottom of the cause of your symptoms. Whether you get red, itchy eyes when you go outside during springtime, or you can't pet a cat without become extremely itchy, these thorough examinations can help you discover what exactly is causing your issue. Depending on the nature of your reaction, a different examination may be more appropriate for your needs. There are two main types of examinations that can be conducted.
During this examination, different allergens will be placed on your skin. The doctor will take note of the reactions that you exhibit. There are a few types of skin allergy tests that can be conducted. The intradermal exam involves injecting an allergen into the skin. The prick test is conducted by putting a small allergen solution onto the skin. Needle pricks or scratches are made to allow small amount of the allergen to get into the skin. Skin patches can also be placed onto the skin for extended periods of time to reveal skin allergies.
This type of allergy testing leads to on-the-spot results where your skin may or may not react within a few minutes to the allergens you are exposed too.
Your blood can be analyzed for substances that may cause allergic reactions. Skin testing is the more common form of examination, but blood allergy tests are common for people who have an existing skin condition, or people who are unable to stop taking a certain medication. This test is a bit more comfortable for patients considering that the allergens are not being directly exposed to the skin, but this also means that results may take a while longer to return from your doctors lab.
The results of your examination can reveal what kind of treatment you that you may benefit you best. Consult your doctor today to learn more about which allergy tests will be right for you.
For people who suffer from allergies, the home can be an unexpected source of irritants. In almost every room in your home, there are allergens lurking that can make you miserable. Here are 4 tips for combatting them in your home:
1. Is there a fireplace in your house? If your fireplace is made of wood, it can be a source of displeasures. The wood you’re using may be growing mold. Be sure to check any wood before bringing it into your house.
2. Are any of your rooms carpeted? If you can replace your carpet with hardwood or tile floors, this would be a great way to reduce the amount of allergens in your home. Transitioning to hardwood floors will prevent any unwelcomed irritants from claiming a residence in your plush carpet.
3. Are your windows and doors in good shape? If replacing the carpet is not a possibility, you should make sure all windows and door entrances are in good shape and are sealed as tightly as possible. Allergens that make their way inside of your home will normally find someplace to settle.
4. Have you taken a good look at your bathroom, lately? Mold can be a huge problem on many different bathroom surfaces. It can grow on shower curtains and even be circulated through the air. To prevent this problem from spreading, you can use mold killing solutions, and an exhaust fan to help reduce the humidity in your bathroom.
Scientists have studied that those who suffer from allergies have bodies that produce a specific antibody in response to its exposure to substances that are harmless in most cases; these substances can include peanuts, pollen, cat and dog dander, and more. Scientists also discovered that symptoms tend to change as people age.
As many understand today, the explanation is relatively simple. When someone is very young, between birth and the age of 18, they tend to remain in the same environment and therefore, around the same substances. Parents or other adults probably serve them the same types of food and use the same laundry detergent and cleaning supplies for most of their life, so far.
When someone moves out of their family’s home, the substances around them will be different. In a college dorm, for instance, pets aren’t there, mattresses are covered in plastic, and tiles are on the floor rather than carpet. Removing potential allergens can help to lessen allergic reactions and symptoms in this stage.
Once the thirties begin, however, people tend to report an increase in their symptoms. This can be a result of many things. Having children in their home can be one of the reasons. Kids carry huge amounts of germs and allergens; they spread them to anyone who’s around.
Some reasons can be purely psychological. For instance, a person in their twenties is normally better at distracting themselves from symptoms by engaging in so many other pursuits. The logic here is simple - someone who is young and having fun won’t let allergies stop them. Someone in their thirties is more likely to notice and complain about their symptoms.
So what can someone in their thirties do to get rid of their resurgence of allergies? The perfect answer is being researched. However, you can choose to live such an exciting life that you don’t even notice, like twenty year olds, or you can simply continue taking your allergy medications.
Drastic climate changes have been known to affect the environment in a great way. Most simply notice hotter summers and colder winters, but many haven’t considered the effect extreme climate changes have on allergies.
For an allergy sufferer, there is an immense amount of evidence that shows how climate change can complicate their comfortable lifestyle. Many doctors this season have reported an increased number of patients who were sneezing or complaining about itchy eyes. This can be attributed to an increase of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. Higher levels of CO2 is always great for plants because it makes them grow quicker, producing more. For instance, it can help a rose bush grow more flowers. However, the increased growth in plants causes them to produce more pollen and other allergens. As a direct result, the increase of pollen in the air will lead to more people suffering from allergies and asthma.
So, what is being done to help alleviate the problem? Today, studies are being funded by the EPA to help analyze any long term effects of more pollen counts in the air. They are also studying to learn if other types of allergies, such as food or hay fever, will also be affected. Scientists and physicians are working on the problem from many different angles, to both alleviate patients’ symptoms and to mitigate climate change and its effects.
You may think the misery of the “polar vortex” winter is over, but sadly, it can still have an effect in months to come for allergy sufferers this allergy season. It seems as if the extreme cold temperatures should have killed everything, but that, unfortunately, is not the case.
Since we had extreme cold temperatures for much longer than our average winter months, it shortened the typical growing season for all of the spring plants that produce allergens. So now, the new spring temperatures, that we are all so excited for, have caused the pollen producing plants to come into bloom at once! This can compound problems for allergy sufferers. The growing season would usually take place over several weeks, but this spring and summer, it is taking place all at the exact same time.
Normally, we think of different allergens as having different seasons. This means that trees tend to cause problems during the spring and that grass tends to cause problems during the summer. However, when the weather gets warmer very quickly, it can cause some complications for allergy season.
So, what can you do to lessen your suffering this year? One thing is to keep your windows closed to prevent any pollen or other allergens from getting into your home. You should also shower before you get in bed to get any errant pollen off of you. A neti pot would also be very helpful. Hopefully, you can enjoy a safe allergy season!