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Dust Allergy Symptoms and Prevention

Posted on Wed, May 18, 2016

Dust Allergy Symptoms and PreventionDid you know that indoor air can contain more dust, lint, smoke and pollen than outdoor air? Dust allergens are all around us, everywhere we go. And because of that, many patients with asthma or allergic rhinitis can suffer greatly from dust allergy symptoms. Thankfully, a good thorough cleaning can make a huge difference and you don’t really have to strip down your house to the bare bones to make it allergy proof. Find some relief by taking these simple measures:

Dust Allergy Symptoms

Although you can’t even see them with the naked eye, dust mites can sure stir up a lot of trouble. About 20 million Americans experience allergic symptoms to these little bugs that are similar to an endless cold or even asthma. Common dust allergy symptoms include:

Sneezing • Runny or stuffy nose • Red, itchy or teary eyes • Wheezing, coughing, tightness in the chest and shortness of breath • Itching

Dust Allergy Prevention: Allergy-Proof Your Home

Allergy treatment begins at home. With these few tips, you can learn what triggers to avoid so you can prevent (or at least, ease) attacks. The best preventive measure is to get away from the cause of the problem. We’re not talking about moving to a new climate, such as the beach to “get away” from allergens… we’re speaking about practicing environmental control (without packing your bags). And it starts with cleaning up your home.

Common Dust Allergy Triggers

A house doesn't need to be visibly dirty to trigger a dust mite allergy reaction. Some common dust allergy triggers include:

Dust mites - this is the most common cause of house dust allergies. Dust mites live and multiply in warm, humid places and usually found in pillows, mattresses, carpeting and furniture. • Cockroaches and Mold - Small mold or cockroach particles and spores are a common component of house dust and may actually be the true cause of a dust allergy. • Pollen - From trees, grass, flowers and weeks, pollen is a common culprit of allergies. • Animal dander - Animal dander (skin flakes), saliva and urine can cause allergic reactions, especially if combined with dust.

Prevent House Dust Triggers

Dust Allergy Symptoms and Prevention• Dust rooms with a damp cloth weekly. Never use a dry cloth, since it stirs up mite allergens. • Use a vacuum cleaner with either a double-layered microfilter bag or a HEPA (high-efficiency particle arrestor) filter. • Wear protective gloves as well a dust mask while dusting to reduce exposure irritants. • Reduce the number of stuffed animals, wicker baskets, dried flowers and other infamous dust collectors around the home. • If possible, replace carpets with bare floors (linoleum, tile or wood) and use washable scatter rugs. • Cover windows with shades made of plastic or another material that you can wipe clean or remove fabric curtains to wash monthly. • Cover your mattress and pillows in dustproof or allergen-impermeable covers. Dust mites are one of the most common allergens found in homes, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. • Wash all bedding and blankets at least once a week in hot water (at least 130° to 140°F) to kill dust mites. • Replace traditional stuffed animals with washable ones.

In addition to the above, keep your home cool (between 68 and 72 degrees F), maintain a low humidity (between 40 and 50%), and make certain there is good ventilation.

When Should I See A Doctor?

If dust allergy symptoms interfere with normal day-to-day activities, or if there is a sudden onset of symptoms, you should see a doctor. This is especially important if a child under your care is experiencing severe or sudden symptoms.

Allergy treatment is available now at eMedical Urgent Care.

Learn more about our services and how we can treat you by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707. We welcome you to walk in, get your exam and be on your way.

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What Causes Allergies? And Other Answers to Common Allergy Questions

Posted on Tue, Apr 12, 2016

Recent studies show that the number of people suffering with seasonal allergies has been skyrocketing and is expected to continue increasing into the foreseeable future. In the United States alone, 65 million people suffer with seasonal allergies on a regular basis. What causes allergies and how does your body respond to them?

What Are Allergies?

Allergies are abnormal reactions to ordinarily harmless substance. The sensitizing substances, called allergens, may be inhaled, swallowed, or come into contact with the skin. Despite the fact that allergies are so common, the actual cause of them is still rather “mysterious” and vague for many sufferers.

What Causes Allergies?What Causes Allergies?

The most common allergens include pollen, mold spores, house dust mites, animal dander, foods, insect bites or stings, plants, insect spores, latex rubber, viruses, bacteria, medications and environmental conditions such as cold, heat or humidity. While it’s easy to blame your sister’s cat, most allergens are actually harmless. What really causes the allergic reactions is our own immune system that mistakes these allergens for a serious threat and starts attacking them.

How Does the Body Respond to Allergens?

Allergic reactions occurs after the immune system mistakenly learns to recognize innocent foreign substances or allergens as potentially harmful. Most people who suffer from allergies have to deal with these aggravating conditions that can interrupt their lifestyle. Common symptoms of a typical allergic reaction include breathing congestion, inflammation, scratchy or watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, itching, puffy face, flushing of the cheeks, vomiting, stomachache and intestinal irritation. But what is happening inside your body when you’re exposed to allergens? The AAAAI (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology) explains:

“Your immune system controls how your body defends itself. For instance, if you have an allergy to pollen, your immune system identifies pollen as an invader or allergen. Your immune system overreacts by producing antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies travel to cells that release chemicals, causing an allergic reaction. This reaction usually causes symptoms in the nose, lungs, throat, sinuses, ears, lining of the stomach or on the skin.

Each type of IgE has specific "radar" for each type of allergen. That's why some people are only allergic to cat dander (they only have the IgE antibodies specific to cat dander), while others have allergic reactions to multiple allergens because they have many more types of IgE antibodies.

It's not yet fully understood why some substances trigger allergies and others do not, or why some people have allergic reactions while others do not. A family history of allergies is the single most important factor that puts you at risk of developing allergic disease.”

What’s Triggering Your Allergic Response?

Different allergens will produce different reactions in those who suffer from allergies. If you think that you may have allergies, it is wise to pay close attention to how your body reacts to these different allergens, and take notes on the severity of the symptoms to share with a medical care professional. This will give you a good indication of what environmental irritants may be triggering your allergic responses and to what degree.

eMedical Urgent Care Walk-In Medical Clinic

If symptoms interfere with normal day-to-day activities or if there is a sudden onset of symptoms, you should see a doctor. This is especially important if a child under your care is experiencing severe or sudden symptoms. eMedical Urgent Care physicians provide urgent medical care and allergy treatment to both adults and children with convenient hours designed to fit your busy schedule. Learn more about our services and how we can treat you and your family by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707.

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What Are the Worst Months for Allergies in NJ? Your Guide To Finding Relief

Posted on Thu, Apr 07, 2016

Allergy Season MonthsThe flowering trees are gorgeous but the tree pollen counts combined with windy days makes for some seriously miserable allergy symptoms. Pass the tissue, please! Here in New Jersey, we’ve already started into the allergy season month and many residents have been feeling the effects for weeks…and it’s more than just a sneeze and itchy eyes. In fact, 55 percent of employees report calling in sick to work because of their allergies.

Understand the Difference: Spring Allergies or Common Cold

Understanding the differences between a common cold and environmental allergies will help you choose the best treatment. Unlike allergies, the common cold is caused by a virus, while allergy symptoms are a result of immune system responses to allergens like pollen, dust, or even pet dander. With more than 50 million Americans suffering from allergies and more than 1 billion colds every year, how do you tell the difference between the two? It can be tough to spot. But the best way to make a distinction between the two is the duration of the symptoms. A cold will typically last no more than 10 days, while allergies can affect people for months on end. If you experience persistent mild, cold-like symptoms that are unaccompanied by a fever, it might be allergies. And colds may cause aches and pains, symptoms usually not associated with allergies. Many patients dealing with allergies also suffer from asthma, as these two conditions commonly occur together. But thankfully, you can find a little relief during the allergy season months with a few simple tips.

Spring Cleaning Goes a Long Way

Cleaning everything in your home, including your washing machine, can help to manage allergies but don’t use a feather duster. While you should be dusting every week, a dry rag…or worse, a feather duster, is worse than not dusting at all. Use a wet cloth to trap the dust instead of sending it into the air.

Go Green

We’re talking about green plants here. NASA research has suggested that some houseplants, like the corn plant (also known as the mass cane), may help to clean the air of contaminants such as formaldehyde—an irritant that can make you more sensitive to allergens. Plants may even help to remove particles from the air: One study showed that in a small office, they reduced dust by up to 20 percent! But keep an eye out for rotten leaves that can be a sign of overwatering to keep mold away.

Stay Indoors

Try to stay indoors when the pollen counts are high and keep your windows closed at night and if possible, use air conditioning, which cleans, cools and dries the air. Also, when you’re in the car, keep your windows closed to prevent pollen from coming in. This doesn’t mean you have to live in a plastic bubble, but if you limit the time you’re around your triggers, it should help lighten your symptoms.

Use a Pillow Cover

Dust mites are one of the most common causes of year-round allergies, and given that their favorite food is human and pet skin cells, it's no surprise that they thrive in beds. To fight these little critters, get an allergen-proof encasing for your pillows, comforters, mattresses and box springs.

eMedical Urgent Care Walk-In Clinic

eMedical Urgent Care can help you differentiate the cause of your symptoms if you are unsure or have never experienced allergy symptoms before. Our emergency medicine physicians provide urgent medical care to both adults and children with convenient hours designed to fit your busy schedule. Learn more about our services and how we can treat you and your family by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707.

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