|The CRYPT Mag|
"How to Manage Your Allergies,"
It's not those beautiful roses that make us scratch and sniff and wheeze. It's the pollen from trees, grasses and low-growing things like ragweed (ah choo!).
1. Keep windows and doors closed.
2. When you come in from outside, if you've been exposed to allergens, take a shower and shampoo your hair. Same for the kids.
3. When allergens are at their peak, stay inside.
This site ( http://www.pollen.com ) will tell you how your city is doing, and, generally speaking, allergens are worse in the mornings.
4. Avoid fans because they circulate the air, especially that ceiling fan over your bed.
5. Get your bedrooms more friendly.
Remove anything that collects dust - curtains, drapes, stuffed toys, rugs, books, and, alas, Fido needs to sleep elsewhere. Use blinds and linoleum or tile for flooring.
And while we're on the subject of Fido, most allergy- friendly breeds are Maltese, bichon frise and poodle. For cats, sphins or rex. (Source: Dr. Kross, DVM, http://familyfun.go.com/raisingkids/learn/activities/ expert/petvetbestbreeds/petvetbestbreeds.html )
6. Avoid places where molds are.
Basement, lawn mowing and raking leaves, humidifiers, and leaving clothes in the washing machine. Don't let wet towels lie or hang around. Take care of plumbing and roof leaks immediately.
Also beware of mold in refrigerated jams and jelly, and on cured, salty meats like ham, bacon and salami, certain cheeses. Don't sniff it, just throw it out. For more on mold and food, go here: http://food.oregonstate.edu/misc/mold.html .
7. Wash bedding frequently at a temperature of at least 130 degrees F. and use hypoallergenic covers for mattress, pillows and box springs. (Your bed is full of dust mites).
8. Keep your house and lawn as uninviting to cockroaches and bug as possible.
Keep food sanitary and in the garbage, not lying around. Avoid lots of ground cover near the swimming pool.
9. Avoid irritants such as scented candles, eucalyptus, perfume, potpourri, chalk dust, newspaper print, tobacco smoke, and markers. Use hypoallergenic makeup, hair and cleaning products.
10. If you're allergic to a food, avoid it.
Also certain foods cross-react with certain pollens to give a double wallop. For example, elm is pollinating in January and February, and milk products should be reduced or eliminated. Check out the list here: http://www.wfaa.com/weather/allergy/allergy7.html .
For more resources, go here: http://www.aaaai.org/patients/topicofthemonth /0201/default.stm .
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