"I Can Only Wear Gold Jewelry" – The Truth About Jewelry Allergies

I can only wear gold jewelry, everything else breaks me out.” How many times did I hear that exact phrase from my mother when I was a child? Every time I would give her jewelry that was her response.

Why does everything but gold break my mother out? Is that statement even true? When I started designing jewelry over ten years ago I decided to find out. I wanted to design jewelry for my mom that she could wear without fear of a breakout. Now I am going to let you in on what I have discovered.

My mother, like many people, develops contact dermatitis when her skin comes in contact with some types of jewelry. Her dermatitis is a result of an allergic reaction to the nickel found in many types of jewelry. Nickel allergies are very common, in fact one out of every seven people are likely to suffer from a nickel allergy. More often, women tend to suffer from nickel allergies than men. Allergy treatment can help with the symptoms of a nickel allergy. Unfortunately once the allergy has developed, a person will remain sensitive to nickel for the rest of their life.

Nickel is found in many types of costume jewelry, especially those that are mass-produced. It may also be found in other everyday items like coins, zippers, eyeglass frames, and cellphones.

So why is my mom allergic to nickel, you may ask. For some reason, which science still does not understand, her body has mistaken nickel (or similar metals like cobalt) as a threat. In response to that threat, her body causes an immune response (aka allergic reaction) to get rid of the threat. This reaction causes her to breakout in an itchy rash. But others could have a more severe reaction to nickel.

Now that I knew what was causing my mother’s breakout, I set out to find out which types of jewelry did not contain nickel.

First I looked at gold jewelry. Generally speaking, yellow gold (above 14 karat) will not cause an allergic reaction. However white gold may. White gold alloys contain nickel and other “white” metals to produce its silver coloring. One out of every nine people will react to the nickel in white gold.

Another form of gold jewelry is gold filled or “GF” jewelry. Gold filled jewelry metal is created when a base metal is coated with a layer of gold. Gold filled differs from gold-plated by the amount of gold applied. The layer used in gold filled jewelry is typically 50 to 100 time thicker that the layer used to coat gold-plated products.

Next I looked at silver jewelry. For those who are nickel sensitive, fine silver and sterling silver are great choices for “white” metals.

Fine silver is by definition 99.9% pure silver. Jewelry is generally not made of fine silver because the metal is extremely soft and does not withstand normal wear and tear well.

Most silver jewelry is made using sterling silver. Sterling silver is by definition 92.5% pure silver. In most cases, the remaining 7.5% metal is copper. Copper is infused to harden the silver and make it more durable. I use this type of sterling silver in my jewelry designs it is a great metal for nickel allergic people. Sometimes you can distinguish sterling silver by a “925” mark found on the jewelry. This is common on manufactured pieces, but may not be present on artisan jewelry.

Some other metals that are considered safe for people with nickel allergies are:

Copper – Copper jewelry is generally considered pure and not mixed with nickel or nickel alloys.

Platinum – Platinum jewelry contains 95% platinum and 5% of a secondary metal typically iridium.

Titanium – Titanium jewelry is both hypoallergenic and durable. It is a highly recommended metal for those who suffer from nickel allergies.

Niobium – This is a relatively new metal in the jewelry industry. It is a rare earth metal that can be anodized (naturally coated with beautiful colors). Like titanium, this metal is recommended for nickel allergy sufferers, especially those looking for a pop of color.

Since I have given you a list of safe metals, I thought I would also give you a list of metal terms to watch out for when you are shopping for jewelry.

Fashion or costume jewelry typically has base metals that include nickel. Sometimes these metals are plated; however that plating will wear off over time exposing the skin to the base metals. If you choose a plated metal, remember that it will need to be re-plated regularly.

Some have suggested that brass may be a hypoallergenic option. However my research has suggested that brass is sometimes alloyed with small amounts of nickel or even lead to strengthen the metal.

German silver or nickel silver is a metal to stay away from where jewelry is concerned. German silver does not contain any silver. The silver refers to the silver coloration of the metal. The color is derived from a combination of nickel, zinc, lead, and tin found within the alloy.

Surgical or stainless steel – Surgical grade stainless steel is made to be in the human body. However, the steel alloy contains between eight and twelve percent nickel. I have heard varying reports about how safe this metal is for people with nickel allergies. Since the steel alloy does contain nickel, I would tend to avoid it, but some people swear by it.

If you do buy a piece of jewelry and are concerned that it may contain nickel, commercial test kits are available online. These kits contain chemicals that react in the presence of nickel.

Doing a little research can prevent a nickel allergy attack and still allow you to wear beautiful jewelry.

Radiators for Those With Dust Allergies

Which radiators should you install to help minimise the symptoms caused by allergies to dust, dust mites, pollen or other air borne particles?

If you are allergic to dust, dust mites or other air borne particles, then you should avoid installing radiators that work by convection i.e. that blow heat up into the air.

Convection radiators force hot air out which then circulates around a room. Accordingly convector radiators will cause dust and other particles to be circulated around the room. Such movement of these particles will aggravate an allergy.

If you are an allergy or hay fever suffer, you are best to look for radiators that work by radiating heat, as opposed to convecting heat, as these designs cause less air and dust movement so are a better choice.

Popular radiators that work by radiation are made of cast iron or stone, so offer a good solution for those who suffer from dust or pollen allergies. Other options to consider are radiant panel heaters, electric radiators or glass and mirror radiators.

Consider the ability of the radiator to retain dust and the ease of cleaning. Flat panel radiators that are easy to wipe down lend themselves particularly well to those who suffer with allergies. There is now a host of slimline radiators offering the practical benefits of radiant heat and easy cleaning alongside minimalist style and affordable prices.

Also, it is advised against drying clothes on radiators, as humidity can exacerbate symptoms. Think about other ways of decreasing humidity levels such as improving ventilation.

Some people also may suffer with allergies caused by chemicals that are used in some paints. This means standard panel radiator may not be suitable for many sufferers and other products should be considered. For instance, stainless steel radiators offer a stunning finish, alongside good heating performance and have no chemical coatings that may aggravate an allergy. The range of stainless steel radiators is now huge and this is a popular option for those looking to avoid radiators that are painted. It is also worth considering stone radiators, made of granite, marble or limestone, or even glass radiators, though these tend to have a lower heat output than their metal equivalents.

For further information on suitable products for those suffering with allergies, it is worth contacting a radiator specialist or expert such as Feature Radiators. An expert such as this can provide practical and affordable yet attractive solutions to meet any specifications and are used to dealing with all sorts of unusual requests.

Will Soy Candles Affect My Soy Allergies?

Do you know someone who has an allergy to soy beans? It’s more common than you think. According to the Asthma and Food Allergy Foundation of America, soy allergies fall within the top nine food allergies for child and adult food allergy patients. Reactions can vary from red and itchy skin to anaphylaxis which needs immediate medical attention with epinephrine.

So, if soy beans can cause death in an untreated individual with a soy allergy, why do soy candles not carry a warning on them? The answer is simply because they don’t need it. Wax, be it soy, paraffin or beeswax, is very non-reactive and even though someone may be allergic to soy in foods, it’s the digested protein that triggers the allergy, not the byproducts of the combustion (mainly carbon dioxide and water). In order for the allergy to take place, the soy must be digested to enter the blood stream. If it’s burned, the protein chains are broken up and are no longer the same molecules that could cause the allergy.

However, an allergy aggravated by scented soy candles is very common, but it’s caused by the added fragrance, not the soy wax. No one is able to predict or determine if they will have a reaction to a particular fragrance. The only way to find out is to burn the candle and observe the outcome. Fragrance materials that are known allergens are not used by the fragrance industry. But, as with foods, some individuals will experience an allergy to a fragrance that the majority of the population has no reaction to.

The bottom line is that no one needs to be afraid of soy wax candles aggravating their soy allergy. If you want to be safe, avoid particular fragrances if you have known allergies to them and if you buy a candle that does bother you, make a note of its fragrance and discontinue its use immediately.

Asthma and Allergies – Hidden Mold Can Affect Your Asthma Or Allergies

We received a phone call from a homeowner who was concerned about mold in the bathroom ceiling. My first question to him was: Is there a roof leak that you are not aware of? He told me that a roofer had checked it out and said there was no roof leak. We made an appointment to do an Environmental Inspection of his home. Advised him not to change anything about the home until we got there to do the inspection.

No Moisture, No Mold is our motto concerning mold. During the inspection of the home, it was discovered that there was a slow roof leak that the roofer did not find. This is a common problem we find with roofers because they do not go to the area in the attic to check it out. This location was in the corner with minimal clearance, so the roofer did not go there. Well, the homeowner called another Roofing Company because they felt the previous Roofing Company was incompetent. In the current financial climate, it is important to do the best job possible. This is a prime example of what happens when you do poor quality work, the Roofing Company lost out on valuable work.

Now lets get to the another case of hidden mold. This is one example of hidden mold in a Home: The owner of the Home is complaining about getting ill with allergies after a water leak. This often occurs if the flooded area is not properly died up.The water was cleaned up in the A/C Closet within 72 hours which is generally sufficient to prevent microbial growth. No Moisture, No Mold. There was no visible microbial growth anywhere but the client was complaining about getting ill in the home.

The next question you are going to ask is if “No Moisture, No Mold” why is there a problem in this house. The first thing we did was take microbial air samples inside the 3 walls of the Air Conditioning Closet. We sent them to the Microbial Lab for analysis. The samples came back positive for Chaetomium and Staphybotris Mold in the walls. The next phase of the investigation requires an invasive investigation with a licensed Microbial Remediation who is properly trained.

During the second phase, it was discovered that there was an old water leak that was never cleaned up properly. This is common especially when the previous homeowner tries to hide existing water damage during a sale. This is why it is important to have your home properly investigated when you are buying an older home. The cost of the remediation to the homeowner was an approximately $950 plus clearance testing costs, which should have been paid by the previous homeowner. Guess, we live and learn the hard way.

In conclusion, roof leaks need to be investigated by a competent Roofing Contractor who checks it out in the attic if accessible. Most mold cases are clear cut and do not need an extensive Microbial Investigation. Just because you do not see mold, doesn’t mean there is not a problem. It can be hidden inside the walls. If you suspect mold, call in an experienced Professional Mold Investigator who has credentials from a valid organization such as the Indoor Air Quality Association. If you are under a Doctors care, always consult with them first before taking any advice concerning Asthma and Allergies from Microbial Growth.

If you have any questions, feel free to call us or visit our website.

The Chemistry of Allergies

An allergy is characterized as an immune reaction to the presence of certain substances in one’s body. Allergies occur when the immune system mistakes a harmless substance for a pathogen. The immuniglobin responsible for allergies is the IgE immuniglobin. Humans are not born with IgE antibodies in their body. The IgE develops 10 days after the first exposure to allergens. Therefore, it takes repeated exposure to an allergen, to develop an allergy. Allergies are often not formed upon first exposure.

Have you ever wondered why people have specific allergies? This is because IgE immuniglobins have a single protein structure and a set of molecules that all have a slightly different structure. The IgE, for example that reacts with pollen, is not the same IgE that will react with dust. People who have allergic reactions, also have more IgE present in their bodies than the average, non-allergy containing person. For example: people with hay fever have about 14 times as much IgE as those who do not.

There are four basic ways that allergens can enter human bodies: inhaling, touching, ingestion or by injection. There are also two basic types of allergic reactions known as: immediate or delayed. In a delayed allergic reaction, symptoms usually appear about 4 hours, to a few days after exposure to an allergen. In an immediate reaction, symptoms usually appear only minutes after exposure.

The chemical that is associated with the symptoms of allergy such as itching or swelling, is called Histamine. Histamine is the main chemical involved in allergies. Histamine is formed from the breakdown of Histine, which is an amino acid. Histamine causes many things that lead to the symptoms experienced during an allergic reaction. Histamine, for example, can cause contraction or swelling of certain muscles, or stimulate the production of tears or saliva. It can also cause blood vessels to become dilated, which leads to swelling. The most severe reaction relating to histamine is known as anaphylactic shock. This occurs when an allergy causes a significant drop in blood pressure, and can result in death.

There are chemical treatments that are used to treat allergies. Some of these treatments include: steroids and antihistamines. Antihistamines are the most commonly distributed chemical treatment for allergies. Antihistamines simply block histamines from certain sites on cells, which prevents the allergic reaction caused by histamines from occurring. There are very many antihistamine medications that affect people in different ways. That is why it is best to consult a doctor about the one best suited to your specific body type and allergy. Steroids work to relieve swelling, itching and redness that occurs as a result of an allergic reaction. Therefore, steroids are often used on allergy symptoms such as hives or eczema.

Allergies – How to Handle Mold and Your Dryer Exhaust Venting System

Clothes Dryers are a great convenience in our modern day world. They make our lives easier and less complicated than our parents in the past who hung their clothes out to dry on the clothes line. Some people today do not even know what a clothes line is. If you do not, do a search on Google to find out what one is. This convenience is great but it does have a few flaws that very few people even know about. One of them is that they can create mold that can affect individuals with Asthma and Allergies. We will go into these flaws in this article.

If you notice that every time you dry a load of clothes the lint catcher is full of lint that needs to be emptied every other time. This is because it prevents the lint from blowing out the exhaust vent. The truth is, it does not catch all the lint and some goes outside and the rest deposits on the inside of the exhaust vent pipe. Generally, most of the deposits of lint will be where the bends or angles are in the pipe unless you have one of the old ribbed metal piping. The problem with these deposits is that no one ever cleans the pipe.

When was the last time you cleaned your dryer exhaust pipe. It slowly becomes a fire hazard and a mold factory over the years. Have you ever opened your dryer and smelled a musty odor? That musty and moldy odor is from when the wind backdrafts into the house from the outside. This is a common problem for most households. Besides the mold, a lot of house fires can originate from the house dryer exhaust. According to National Fire Protection Agency, dryer exhausts cause more than 10,000 house fires a year. Most of these incidents occur in homes and are the result of improper lint cleanup and maintenance. Fortunately, these fires are very easy to prevent.

In conclusion, it is important to maintain your dryer vent system to prevent mold and fires from happening. Having a licensed Duct Cleaning Company come and clean the dryer vent is a must and should be done on a regular basis. In fact, after reading this article, call a Duct Cleaning Company to clean your dryer exhaust out now. If not, you could be suffering from allergies due to backdrafting of your dryer vent into your home or the worst case scenario, a fire could start from your dryer vent exhaust.

If you have any questions, feel free to call us or visit our website.

Why Do More People Have Allergies Now Than Ever Before?

Did you know that allergy symptoms have everything to do with your immune system’s response to foods and particles? So if your immune system is in a poor state, your chances of having allergies increases. You may have noticed that more and more children are growing up with allergic reactions to pets and foods. You also see more people with eczema, hay fever, lupus, multiple sclerosis and asthma due to a poor immune system. You’ll find more and more families trusting and utilizing naturopathic care center to obtain allergy testing and natural treatment.

All of the aforementioned diseases are caused by the immune system not being able to recognize common substances that are harmless, like peanuts and pollen. If this is a problem you have, then your body’s defense systems are out of whack. MS, lupus, Type 1 diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease are all considered autoimmune diseases.

An autoimmune disease is when your body attacks itself, such as the nerves, digestive tract or pancreas. According to experts, the amount of people living with allergies and autoimmune diseases have quadrupled within just a few decades. In fact, more than 50 percent of Americans today have at least one allergy.

Why the Rise in Allergies?

There are different speculations as to the reasons why this problem is growing at such a rapid rate in a short period of time. One explanation given is that it’s due to our modern way of living. Today’s kids are growing up in sterilized homes, which prevents their immune systems from becoming stronger. In the past, your body was exposed to numerous bacteria and viruses at an early age, which helped to develop your immune system. This is known as the hygiene hypothesis.

Another explanation is that our diet and air pollution are to blame, along with our sedentary lifestyles and obesity. Both seem to point to how we live today, which goes to show that whatever it is we’re doing, it’s causing our health to decline. These issues are mainly seen in North America and Europe. However, allergies and autoimmune diseases are now starting to rise in other countries that are developing.

Sterile Lifestyles = Increased Allergies

You’d think that living a cleaner life would be better for your body and health, but if the hygiene hypothesis is right, then this is why most people in America now suffer from allergies. Your immune system is underdeveloped and so it is unable to decipher between real threats and harmless particles, such as dust bunnies and pollen.

You may know of some people who like to travel around with a bottle of antibacterial hand sanitizer everywhere they go. Then the foods they eat and prescriptions they take are also filled with antibiotics, which are used kill off all types of germs. This lifestyle is hindering you from being exposed to the germs, which would in turn allow your body to identify them.

The food and medical industry are too busy killing these bacteria and now generations later, we have children and adults who have never been exposed to them. While it’s a good thing that viruses, bacteria and parasites are being reduced, it’s not a good thing for your body’s defense mechanisms.

Speaking with a naturopathic doctor can help you learn how to better care for your family members who have allergies.

How the Immune System Works

There are two parts to your immune system – one releases white blood cells, which attack cells in your body that have been infected and the other attacks the intruder responsible for infecting the cells. You should consult with a family care physician that specializes in naturopathic care, so you can learn natural ways to treat allergy symptoms. You can also obtain other services, like ozone therapy.

How to Relieve Allergies and Allergic Shiners

There are many different types of allergies, and millions of people around the world suffer from the irritating and miserable symptoms each and every day. And although one in every five adults across the United States suffers from the symptoms of nasal allergies, the issue remains surprisingly under diagnosed and undertreated.

Some allergic symptoms can become so severe that they actually cause allergic shiners to appear under and around the eyes. Allergic shiners cause the areas under the eyes to swell and discolor as in the case of a black eye, or shiner.

Allergic shiners can make an individual appear as if they have just spent a round or two boxing in the ring with Mike Tyson. The discoloration and swelling is a result of allergic symptoms that cause the congestion of small blood vessels located underneath the skin in these areas. Nasal rhinitis, which is a nasal allergy, has been known to produce a combination of issues that can include shiners, swelling of the throat, watery eyes, headaches, mouth breathing, and more.

A short list of several different types of allergies includes, but is not limited to the following:

· Food allergies

· Seasonal allergies

· Nasal allergies

· Pet allergies

· Plant allergies

· Drug allergies

· Sinusitis

· Hay Fever

· Hives

· And more

How to relieve allergies:

You will find that there are several different methods used when learning how to relieve allergies; however, it is best if you can isolate the cause of your allergic symptoms so you can better determine which treatment is best for your particular case.

If your allergies are severe and preventing you from performing your everyday tasks, it is probably best that you pay a visit to an allergen specialist; they will perform a series of blood and scratch tests that can help identify the cause. The doctor or specialist can then make more suitable over-the-counter drug recommendations, administer a shot to relieve the symptoms, and offer other forms of treatment and advice.

A specialist may also administer desensitizing treatments that can help prevent or minimize future allergic reactions. Sub lingual drops placed directly beneath the tongue may also be used to desensitize and are an appropriate alternative for those who do not wish to visit a specialist or a physician on a regular basis. If a monthly visit to a physician is not an issue, you can also consider getting a monthly EPD, or Enzyme Potentiated Desensitization.

Individuals should always take into account the many factors involved when it comes to allergy symptoms. The presence and severity of a variety of allergies can be caused and affected by anything from your home environment, geographic location, pollen counts, pollen sources, and much more. Understanding how these factors affect your specific allergies will help you determine which steps to take in treating them.

Following is a list of tips and suggestions on how to relieve allergies of the most common types:

1. The first thing that you’ll want to do for how to relieve allergies is to clean and dust the entire home. Vacuum all of the carpets and drapes using a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA Filter.

2. Service and replace all air filters in the home immediately and continue to do so every 30 days. This includes your heating and AC unit as well as the furnace.

3. Keep the allergens outside by closing windows and other entrances to the home. Turning the ac unit on will also help circulate the air and filter out excess pollen.

4. Determine whether antihistamines or decongestants help better for how to relieve allergies and symptoms. Decongestants should be used to bring immediate relief of symptoms by contracting the small blood vessels located under the skin under the eyes and in the membranes of the nose. On the other hand, Antihistamines are designed to block the harmful effects that histamines cause in the first place.

5. For swollen and watery eyes, try a cold press or eye cream that contains caffeine; Cold and caffeine both work to reduce swelling.

6. Try using a prescription nasal spray such as Nasonex or Flonase. These reduce swelling in the nasal passage and provide relief of irritating allergic symptoms. Many physicians will prescribe antihistamine nasal sprays when oral antihistamines are ineffective. Treating the problem directly at its source can have a much better effect than taking antihistamines orally.

7. Use an all-natural salt water rinse to clear out irritants such as pollen in the nose.

8. Use the recirculation feature on your vehicle when driving instead of opening the windows. This will reduce the amount of pollen and other irritants from entering the vehicle.

9. Try immunotherapy techniques. This works by a gradually released exposure to common allergens that are difficult to stay away from such as pollen. The objective is to train the immune system to ignore and not react to these allergens. Immunotherapy should only be used when other forms of treatment aren’t effective.

10. Try natural remedies. All-natural antihistamines can help reduce congestion, while antimicrobial herbs such as grapefruit seed extract, golden root, stinging nettle, and butterbur help prevent sinus allergies and nasal infections as well.

After learning how to relieve allergies and they continue to cause a problem, you should always take them seriously and visit your personal physician or an allergen specialist as soon as possible.

Understanding the Top 8 Food Allergies

Food allergies have become an important topic in recent years for a multitude of reasons. Their incidence has been on the rise, affecting 30% of adults and 40% of children. People can be allergic to just about anything but there are 8 allergens which are most common.

What is an allergy?

When your body is exposed to an irritant (known as an allergen), such as pollen, it launches an attack against it. Most of the time when this happens, we don’t even notice it. Sometimes, if there’s an overabundance of the allergen or your body is especially sensitive to it, this immune response shifts into overdrive. Your eyes water, your nosy gets stuffy, or you break out in an itchy rash. Some allergens cause life-threatening reactions, such as anaphylaxis, which leads to a sudden drop in blood pressure and a narrowing of breathing airways.

Foods can also act as allergens. When someone is allergic to a food, they can’t eat it at all. Some allergies are so severe that people can’t even be near the irritant, as breathing it in or touching it could cause anaphylaxis. An allergy is different than a food sensitivity or intolerance. Intolerances, such as the inability to digest milk (lactose intolerance) are not typically life-threatening, although they will cause discomfort, such as bloating and diarrhea, if ingested.

The Big 8

The Big 8 are the cause of 90% of recorded allergies and labeling is required by the FDA to warn consumers of their presence or possible presence in foods.

1. Peanuts: Peanuts are actually legumes, which as a group are responsible for a large number of allergic reactions. People allergic to peanuts are not likely to be allergic to other legumes, such as lentils. Children are more likely to develop a peanut allergy if they already have an egg allergy.

2. Shellfish: Shellfish can also cause severe allergic reactions. Crustaceans (shrimp, lobster, crabs) are the most common, although some allergic reaction may occur with mollusks (clams, mussels, oysters). Shrimp is considered the most allergenic.

3. Fish: Pollock, salmon, cod, tuna, mackerel, and snapper are among the fish which commonly trigger fish allergies. The allergen in this group is the fish muscle protein parvalbumin. These allergies are often developed during adulthood and are less likely to be outgrown.

4. Milk: Milk allergy is the most common allergy in infants and young children. A milk allergy causes an immune response to the proteins in milk. All milks, including those from cows, goats, and sheep can pose a problem. Most children outgrow their milk allergy.

5. Eggs: Also common in children, both the yolk and the whites of eggs can trigger a reaction, but in some cases the egg yolk is less allergenic. Eggs are not only used in foods, but also in skincare products and cosmetics which contain eggs. Most children will outgrow their egg allergy.

6. Soy: Also in the legume family, soy is an allergy that kids are likely to outgrow. Here in the United States, soy is most often found in processed foods, either as soybean oil or soy protein isolate. People with soy allergies may be able to have soy lecithin without issue.

7. Wheat: Wheat allergies are fairly common and typically resolve during childhood. A wheat allergy is different than Celiac disease, where gluten causes the inflammatory reaction. Celiac disease launches a different immune response than other allergens. Actual wheat allergies are uncommon in adults.

8. Tree nuts: One of the most potent and common allergens, tree nut allergies affect 1.1% of the world’s population. Those affected by the tree nut allergy should avoid macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, chestnuts, hazelnuts, and pine nuts. The reactions associated with tree nuts are often severe, with walnuts and cashews causing the most reactions. At least 90% of children that have a tree nut allergy will not outgrow it.

In Conclusion

Accuracy in food labeling is critical for people with allergies, but it’s not as easy to be sure when dining out. Don’t be afraid to ask your server or the chef what’s in the dishes, including any allergens the foods may have come in contact with. It’s in your best interest to enjoy your meal safely!

Manage Allergies In College – 5 Ways To Minimize Allergy Woes

College dorms and apartments can be filled with airborne particulates and odors that can send your allergies into overdrive. Here are 5 ways to successfully manage your allergies and keep symptoms to a minimum.

Live Alone—Granted, this is easier said than done possibly because of financial reasons on your end and the way many colleges assign rooms. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. And since this is a request that will effect your health, nothing beats a failure but a try. And who knows, the answer may very well be yes. You will have the most control over who and what comes into your space if you’re the only one in it.

If you wind up with a roommate after all, ask for their help, and let them know what things will trigger you symptoms. Unless you get someone who is really seriously not nice, most people are likely to refrain from using products that knowingly cause you problems.

Stay Prepared—Always carry a fast-acting medication that can temporarily stop symptoms from escalating. Many local pharmacies have done us a great service by employing pharmacists that are knowledgeable and more than willing to suggest medications off the shelf that can really improve your day-to-day quality of life.

Be sure to check to see if drowsiness is a side effect. And if it is, choose the times that you take it very carefully, as in not right before class, or a performance, or when you intend to drive.

Figure out which medication works best for you. Then keep extras in your car, overnight bag, purse, back pack and cosmetic case. Make it easy to get to at the first sign of symptoms that could get out of hand.

Stay Tuned In To Weather Conditions—If your allergies are triggered by pollen and other outdoor pollutants, staying up to date about the level of irritants in the air is crucial.

There are websites that gives the pollen count by zip code, and local news and radio will also have information about the air quality to expect for the day.

Staying inside to avoid the trigger on days when the allergens are off the chart may seem punitive at first. But when comparing it to the alternative of possibly suffering symptoms that can range from irritating to debilitating, avoidance looks pretty good.

Limit Air Exchange—Opening the windows to let some fresh air in can be quite a misconception. Exchange of outdoor air with indoor air is just that—an exchange, and not necessarily a healthy improvement. Often it simply means exchanging air with one set of pollutants for a different set.

Leave windows closed in the dorm, and keep the vents and windows rolled up in the car, particularly during peak seasons for you.

Filter The Air—Use a portable air cleaner that contains a HEPA or high efficiency particle arresting filter. This is the most efficient at removing the particles that often trigger allergies.

This filter can remove 99,997 out of every 10,000 airborne particles that are.3 microns or larger. Some of these particles include dust, dust mites, mold and mildew spores, pollen, bacteria, and viruses.

24 hours filtration is so important in this situation so don’t settle for a unit that cannot provide this. Also look for little to zero maintenance requirements. Avoid those that produce any amount of ozone or ionized particles and studies differ about how safe and effective they really are.