21 Ocak 2008 Pazartesi

Tips for Dealing with Pet Allergies

It will seem horribly unfair to any child who suffers with allergies that they cannot have a pet or must loose one whom they have grown attached to. Is there a way to deal with pet allergies which may lessen or even eliminate the suffering for adults and children with allergies?


By establishing whether the animal is actually the cause of an allergy is certainly the best starting point. However, that can be a difficult task if you already have an animal since the allergens are extremely difficult to remove entirely.

If an existing pet can be removed and the home thoroughly cleaned (carpets, walls, furniture etc.) you MAY be able to verify the allergy in several months. Obviously that is not the easiest solution.

Having the child stay with a friend or relative for a week (as long as there are no pets in the home) may show an improvement that might indicate an allergy to the family pet.

A visit to the doctor can confirm an allergy with a simple test. The tests vary, but some can be mildly uncomfortable and would probably not be considered if the allergy symptoms were mild.

Some allergy symptoms are compounded by exposure to several allergens. By identifying other sources and removing them you may find the reaction to pets is lessened and not a barrier to enjoying their presence.


There are several steps you can take to reduce the build up of allergens and bring relief to allergy sufferers.

The first recommendation is to have hardwood or other smooth surface for your flooring. Carpets hold far more of the particles that cause allergies and hard flooring makes it easy to clean.

Leather furniture is also ideal for homes with pet allergies. For the same reason as hard flooring is more suitable than carpet, leather holds far less allergens than fabric.

Keep a seat for the allergy sufferer that pets are not allowed to sit on. Also be certain that animals do not sleep on the beds or enter the bedrooms of allergy sufferers. Consider keeping the sleeping area of the home as a pet-free zone.


There are even things you can do with your pet to reduce the allergic effects of having them in your home.

Frequent grooming and bathing with a mild soap to prevent over drying will reduce the dander that is one of the main causes of pet allergies. It would be recommended that someone without allergies take on this task.

Washing hands after playing with a pet and avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands will also help. Since some individuals are also allergic to the saliva of pets it would be sensible to not allow your pet to lick you.

In the case of more serious allergies or asthma it may be best that no pet share the home. For older children or adults it may be possible to find a medication or treatment which makes the situation tolerable if they prefer to keep the pet despite the allergy.

What to do When the Air Brings You Down

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Why do millions of people choose to make their allergies worse instead of better? Sounds hard to believe, but it happens everyday. Whether allergies affect you year-round or during seasonal changes, allergies equal fatigue, congestion, sinus infections and all-around lousy feelings. Yet, millions of people unknowingly aggravate their allergies just by using common everyday products that wouldn’t bother them if it were not allergy season. When you’re down and out, chemicals and strong scents make matters worse. You can sneeze all about it in this article.

Does Scent-Free Mean Sneeze-Free?

When an allergen is incoming (pollen, bee sting, ragweed, etc.) the immune system springs into action and fights off allergens, so it only makes sense that the more foreign bodies that enter your system like chemicals, pollution and strong scents, the harder the immune system has to work and thus the more tired you become. One fragrance may not affect you, but when you’re bombarded with fragrances, odors and chemicals all day long the numbers can add up. The encounter of these chemicals day after day during your allergy season can start to break down the immune system and make you susceptible to exaggerated allergic reactions such as hives or skin swelling. Allergy season doesn’t have to equal exhaustion, but you’ll have to pitch in and take a few steps to avoid immune system overload.

So, how can you do this? When you know your allergy season is approaching, adopt a scent-free chemical-free lifestyle. (Don’t worry, you don’t have to live in a bubble and make everything from scratch.) Take a stroll down the laundry aisle of the local supermarket and you’ll see perfume-free, allergen-free, and/or dye-free products. Why? Allergies, sensitive skin and asthma are a growing epidemic in this country and manufacturers can no longer ignore the need for scent free and chemical free products.

Everyday Cleaners to Avoid During Allergy Season

Cleaning is a good thing, certainly no one wants to be around stinky people, but unfortunately some of the ingredients in cleaners can cause or aggravate the allergy/asthma problem. For example, ammonia is found in window cleaners and many general cleaning products. It is actually a powerful eye irritant and may trigger asthma attacks. According to the Office of Environmental Affairs in Colorado, Paradichloro–benzene which is found in toilet bowl cleaners and fumigants is a possible cancer-causing agent. Aside from being toxic to pets, furniture polish and heavy duty cleaners have the same ingredient as many pet flea treatments which is petroleum distillates which is known to irritate eyes, skin and the respiratory system. Those disinfectant sprays you put into the air actually contain Sodium Hypochlorite (bleach) that is not only corrosive but can irritate the eyes, skin respiratory system and may especially irritate people with heart and respiratory conditions.

There are some excellent homemade alternatives to harsh cleaners that clean just as well, but without strong odors or irritation. Here are some quick, safe and great working cleaners:

Recipes for Natural Cleaners

You’ll notice that the recipes listed below are made with everyday household items—not complicated ingredients you have to get from the local high school’s chemistry lab. So, what gives? Will vinegar, baking soda and lemon really clean? Yes and here’s a quick breakdown of why. Lemon has natural cleaning properties and also a pleasant scent (same with orange which you can substitute.) Vinegar is a gentle cleaner and polisher, but it doesn’t have the most pleasing scent which is why it is often paired with lemon juice. Baking soda is an abrasive which makes it good for scrubbing and as an added bonus it neutralizes odors. If you’re a non-believer and want to test out its odor neutralizing ability add a cup of baking soda to your next load of laundry. Be sure to use your most scented laundry detergent or fabric softener. Before putting the wet clothes into the dryer, have a good whiff. You won’t smell a thing because the baking soda zapped the scent as well as any offending odors.

Heavy Duty Cleaners

To get rid of soap scum, shine up your shower doors, tile and sinks use a cup of baking soda, two tablespoons of lemon juice and a tablespoon of dish soap. Add just enough water to create a mild scrub (you don’t want to dissolve all of the baking soda.) Take this into the shower or bath with you and before exiting scrub down the walls, doors and tiles, then rinse. This natural cleaner gets rid of thick soap scum and build up without the nauseating odors. You can also use this to clean and disinfect sinks and toilets.

Window Cleaner

For the best window cleaner you’ll ever use, fill a medium-sized spray bottle half-way with water. Fill another quarter with vinegar then add about one tablespoon of lemon juice and one teaspoon of dish soap. Gently rotate (don’t shake) the bottle to mix up the cleaner. Spray this on glass, appliances, counter and any other non-wood surface you wish to clean.

Furniture Polish

Instead of heavily-scented wood polishers and cleaners, use olive oil. You will be pleasantly- surprised with the results and your home will smell like a bakery!

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

A mixture of vinegar and lemon juice with a little bit of dish soap is perfect for cleaning toilets inside and out. For thick rings and stains inside the toilet bowl, add some baking soda and scrub with a toilet brush. This cleaner is good for anything you want to glimmer and shine including non-wood floors. Now stand back and admire your work—ooh, sparkly.

It sounds simple, but by eliminating unnatural scents and chemicals, as well as pollution and the actual allergen that is bothering you, you can make your allergy season easier to get through!

Know More About Allergic Rhinitis

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Allergic rhinitis is often also called nasal allergy, pollinosis or hay fever, especially when it occurs during the haying season.

Allergic rhinitis is the occurrence of several symptoms, usually in the eyes and in the nose, after exposure to particles that may be airborne like plant pollens, dander and most especially, dust.

An oversensitive immune system is usually cited for the occurrence of allergic rhinitis. Take note that the immune system is your shield against harmful and ailment-causing viruses and bacteria. In some people, immune systems react violently to substances or allergens that are not generally harmful or disease-causing.

The most common and primary cause of allergic rhinitis is allergy to pollen. Pollens are very fine and powder-like substances produced by seed plants’ anthers. Allergic rhinitis can be similar to allergic reactions exhibited in some people by allergies to animal dander, inhaled allergens, mold and dust.

Some of the plants that usually produce pollens that cause reported cases of allergic rhinitis are deciduous and evergreen trees, flowering plants, ragweed and grasses.

Identifying allergic rhinitis

The most common manifestations or symptoms of allergic rhinitis are:

  • Nasal congestion or what you call stuffy nose.
  • Wheezing.
  • Sore throat.
  • Sneezing.
  • Teary eyes.
  • Runny nose.
  • Smell impairment.
  • Headache.
  • Coughing.
  • Itching in the mouth, throat, nose, eyes, skin or any other areas in the body.

How to treat allergic rhinitis

Remember, most allergies are treatable but not curable. Allergic rhinitis is not an exception.

Treatments or medications available or prescribed for allergic rhinitis only reduce symptoms of allergy caused by inflammation in the infected or affected tissues.

Doctors advise that the best treatment would be prevention, but if you happen to already have it, several medications may be of help.

Antihistamines are usually over-the-counter or do not require prescriptions when you buy them in drugstores. Such medicines, however, are only recommended to relieve mild symptoms or moderate symptoms. Take note that antihistamines may cause drowsiness and should not be taken when driving.

There are antihistamines that are specifically described longer-acting. Included in this category are cetirizine and fexofenadine. These types of antihistamines will unlikely cause drowsiness.

Nasal sprays are the most common form of medications taken for allergic rhinitis. They are safe and effective especially for patients whose symptoms are not reduced by antihistamines.

Decongestants are not exclusive for cough. They can also be used to treat allergic rhinitis.

In taking medications, it is important to first seek a doctor’s recommendation and prescription even if some medicines are non-prescription to ensure health and safety. Proper administration and timing is also important. No one wants to get an overdose right?

Preventing allergic rhinitis

Prevention is better than treatment, as always. To prevent the onset of allergic rhinitis, people with history should try to remain indoors or inside air-conditioned rooms especially during the pollination or hay season.

Remember that most pollinating trees produce and air-spread pollens during spring.

In the case of flowers and grasses, they pollinate during summer and ragweeds produce pollen in early autumn.

Bear in mind these trivial but interesting facts so you would know how to prevent getting another allergic rhinitis episode. It could not be that deadly, but it would really feel uncomfortable. One more thing, who says complications do not kill?

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