Category Archives: Mold

How To Prevent Winter Allergies

Winter months can be rough for people who are allergic to mold spores and dust mites, and holiday decorations may contribute to the problem.

“During the winter, families spend more time indoors, exposing allergic individuals to allergens and irritants like dust mites, pet dander, smoke, household sprays and chemicals, and gas fumes — any of which can make their lives miserable,” Dr. William Reisacher, director of the Allergy Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, said in a medical center news release.

winter allergy prevention

If you know what’s causing your winter allergies, you can help prevent them.

One way to prevent a winter allergy flare-up is to keep holiday decorations mold-free.

“Mold spores can cause additional problems compared to pollen allergy because mold grows anywhere and needs little more than moisture and oxygen to thrive,” said Dr. Rachel Miller, director of allergy and immunology at the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, which is part of the medical center.

Click to read expert advice on avoiding winter allergies.

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Christmas Allergies

Allergies During the Holiday Season

Are holiday allergies keeping you on the sidelines? Take control of your symptoms with these quick tips.

Pass the tissues and antihistamine please — ’tis the season for holiday allergies. Like unwanted gifts, sneezing and congestion arrive, making allergy sufferers miserable and putting a damper on holiday fun.

Fortunately you don’t have to be sidelined from the festivities. Whether it’s symptoms to food, pets, mold or mildew, allergies during the holidays can be beat — with lifestyle changes, medication, and a few simple tips.

Why Allergies Spike During the Holidays

Lots of holiday favorites can trigger or irritate allergies, from food and pets to wood-burning fires and seasonal greenery. And while you may manage allergy symptoms pretty well most of the year, symptoms to indoor allergens like these can really spike during the holiday season.

Why? Blame our tendency to snuggle in when the weather cools.

“You’re in a closed-up house, the heater is on, the windows shut — that’s why indoor allergies get worse in the winter,” says Asriani Chiu, MD, associate professor of pediatrics and medicine (allergy/immunology), at the College of Wisconsin. You can do a lot to alleviate holiday allergies — but first you need to know what’s triggering your symptoms to begin with.

Read more about what causes allergies during the holiday season.

10 Point Halloween Allergy Plan For Your Child

Kids love Halloween. How do parents make sure their kids are safe from allergies on Halloween? Here is a plan to help.

Food allergies at Halloween

Protect Your Ghosts and Goblins From Allergies!

  1. First and foremost is prevention. If you’re not sure what your children are allergic to, you can’t prevent a reaction. You can get tested at your doctor’s office or perhaps it’s more convenient and affordable to purchase a home allergy test kit.
  2. Your child should needs to know what treats they are taking. If he or she is allergic to wheat, only gluten-free goodies are allowed! Here are some great recipes for gluten-free treats specifically for Halloween.
  3. Talk to parents and teachers about providing non-candy treats such as haunting stickers, witch finger puppets, spider rings or glow in the dark ghost stickers. They are many fun things that your child may enjoy even more than candy and will definitely last longer.
  4. Review the labels of any treats your child brings home. The terms can be confusing sometimes so if there’s an ingredient you don’t recognize be sure to look it up first.
  5. Make-up can trigger skin allergies so be sure to investigate their face paint before applying it.
  6. If your loved one is going to a haunted house, get the details first as fog machines can trigger allergic reactions and asthma.
  7. When you get out Halloween decorations from last year or a hand-me-down costume, wipe them down and wash them off first. They may be dusty or even have mold spores depending on where they were stored.
  8. Pumpkin patches can harbor mold in damp areas. It may be best to head to your local farmer’s market for a pre-picked pumpkin that you can take home and wash before the carving ensues.
  9. If your kid is not too embarrassed, accompany them to any Halloween events they participate in (classroom party, trick-or-treating, haunted house). If they are embarrassed, be sure they are educated enough to be safe or make a parental executive decision that’s best for your family.
  10. Be sure to carry an epi pin or your child’s allergy plan just in case.

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Sources: http://www.acaai.org/allergist/news/New/Pages/Halloween-Fun.aspx                                                                                                 http://news.yahoo.com/top-tricks-managing-food-allergies-halloween-110223346.html

 

Hiking and Fall Allergies

Going for a weekend hike? Don’t forget your tissues!

Even though people associate spring with allergy season, fall can be just as potent. In fact, over 30% of people with seasonal allergies are affected by exercise-induced asthma. Because a nice hike is often out in the middle of nowhere, it’s important you take precautions. If you’re not sure what you’re allergic to, be sure you get tested for specific allergies so you know best how to prepare.

Get a work out in the fall

Hiking in the Fall

How to work out smart during fall allergy season:

  1. If you’re allergic to mold, avoid hiking or exercising in wet areas such as in the woods. Go for a nice stroll in a dry, arid location if possible.
  2. Temperature can play a big part. The colder the air, the more frequent the exercise-induced asthma. If you can’t avoid the cold, bring a scarf or something to warm the air before you inhale into your lungs.
  3. Check the pollen count online before you go to get a good idea of what’s out there.
  4. If you are going to a new area and you’re not familiar with the potential allergens, bring extra tissues and an epi pin to be safe. These items are very lightweight and can make a huge difference.
  5. Before you get back in your car or go back indoors, be sure to wipe off your shoes. That pollen can really accumulate and spread quickly!
  6. If it’s too much to handle, consider other healthy methods of exercise that are indoors: yoga, swimming, weight training, pop in your favorite Jillian Michaels DVD and sweat til you drop!

Be smart, know your body, and investigate your surroundings as much as possible. Fall is a beautiful season that is meant to be explored. With these precautions and tips, exercise-induced asthma and fall allergies won’t be your downfall!

10 Worst Places for Fall Allergies in 2012

In what cities are pollen, mold, allergy medications, and certified allergists most prevalent?

MyAllergyTest Helps Allergy Sufferers in Louisville

Fall is prime allergy season in the Ohio Valley

Some natives of Louisville, Ky., needn’t be surprised if they’re sneezing while reading this article. Their city tops the list this year as the worst place to live in the U.S. for fall allergies.  To earn the No. 1 spot, Louisville received a “worse than average” rating for its pollen counts and allergy medication use by each patient. But it got a “better than average” rating for the number of allergy specialists available in the area.

The rankings are based on an analysis of three key factors: pollen and mold scores during fall 2011, the number of allergy medications used by people with allergies last fall, and the number of board-certified allergists per 10,000 patients.

Click to find out this year’s 10 worst places for fall allergies.

The Most Common Fall Allergies and How to Prevent Them

Most people think of spring as the main allergy season, but fall can be terrible too, especially with the hotter than normal temperatures much of the country is experiencing.

Do you have a cold or is it fall allergies? Experiencing symptoms such as sneezing, sniffles, trouble sleeping, and itchy skin, eyes, nose, or throat? What can you do about fall allergy season? The first step is education and the second step is prevention. You need to be educated on what causes the autumnal allergies. Here are the 3 most common allergy triggers:

  1. Ragweed
  2. Dust Mites
  3. Mold

Now to prevent experiencing allergic reactions based on the top triggers, do the following:

      Ragweed:  If possible avoid being outdoors from 5am-10am on hot, dry windy days. If you must be outside, wear a mask. Don’t worry they are very stylish – more so than a runny nose and red, irritated eyes anyway! The ragweed count in the air is highest at this time. No ragweed in your area? Beware – it can travel up to 400 miles through the air from the location of the actual plant.
Ragweed Pollen

Ragweed allergies are common from mid-August through the end of November

  1. Dust Mites: Wash your sheets! I know your mom has told you this many times, but really, it could actually improve your daily well-being. Remove and/or clean anything that just sits there: stuffed animals (I know they have sentimental value…), artwork, curtains, carpet, etc and definitely get some dust mite covers. These are low-cost and worth it.

    Prevent Dust Mite Allergies

    A dust mite cover is the simplest way to prevent dust mite allergies

  2. Mold: Guess what? Mold spores all over fallen leaves. If you have leaves in your yard, you or your family may be suffering. This is especially common for kids who love to play in the leaves.

    Fall allergies from fall leaves

    As pretty as these fall leaves are, they can cause allergic reactions!

If you’re not sure if you have a cold or allergies, it would be wise to consider getting tested. You can get tested at your doctor’s office or you can order a simple allergy test at home.

Infants exposed to specific molds have higher asthma risk

Need help preventing asthma?

Do your children suffer from asthma? It may be preventable if it’s cause by mold or other environmental factors.

One in 10 children suffers from asthma but the potential environmental factors contributing to the disease are not well known. Cincinnati-based researchers now report new evidence that exposure to three types of mold during infancy may have a direct link to asthma development during childhood.  These forms of mold — Aspergillus ochraceus, Aspergillus unguis and Penicillium variabile — are typically found growing in water-damaged homes, putting a spotlight on the importance of mold remediation for public health.

Click to read more about the results of environmental effects of allergies.

Reference: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120802111502.htm