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Crush Your Allergy Culprits

  • March 13, 2011
  • 4:01 pm

Before you move into the basement, check the forecast. Find your area’s pollen, mold spore, and ozone levels at the sites of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (aaaai.org/nab/index.cfm) or the public-service organization AirNow (airnow.gov). On days when the Air Quality Index is above 150 (100 if you know you’re allergy- or asthma-prone), stay behind closed doors as much as you can.

The nose knows: Here’s why you have allergies.

Another reason allergies are so rampant? Allergens are invading your body more aggressively. Pollution and smog add ozone and billions of diesel particles to the air, and pollen and pollution are not a good combination. “Pollen grains hitch a ride on these particles, which carry them deeper into your lungs, where they can get lodged inside,” Epstein says.

So keep windows shut on bad air-quality days. If things get stuffy, “consider running an air conditioner with a good filter, which traps allergens from outside air,” says Jeffrey Siegel, Ph.D., associate professor in the department of civil, architectural, and environmental engineering at the University of Texas. “Just change the filter often, and avoid devices that emit ozone, like ion-generating air purifiers.”

How to improve your indoor air quality.

Make a costume change when you come inside. That way you won’t trek pollen and dust all over your house after gardening or hiking. On laundry day, wash your grubbiest duds in hot water (140°F) to kill 100 percent of allergy-causing dust mites and most pollen. (Run regular loads on warm then rinse in cold water twice to kill at least 65 percent of dust mites.)

Don’t forget to slip on some shades, too. Do you spend the spring months looking like an extra in Harold and Kumar’s last adventure? Sunglasses can clear things up by keeping pollen off your lashes and lids.

Last but not least, don’t be so rough on yourself. A 2007 study published in Trends in Immunology found that scrubbing with harsh, abrasive soaps and other products can strip away a layer of protective cells on your skin and actually allow allergens to penetrate.

Read more: Allergies, Alternative Therapies, Conditions, General Health, Health, Natural Remedies, Nature, , , , , , , , , , ,

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Rodale

Rodale.com is a new original source for daily news, information, and advice on personal and environmental health. Rodale.com focuses on “Where Health Meets Green” topics, providing daily news stories and breaking news along with easy-to-follow, high-impact tips and advice.

99 comments

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8:44PM PDT on Mar 14, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

4:45PM PDT on Aug 1, 2012

Thanks.

8:21AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Interesting but I did promise my sixteen year old blind cat that I will not be crushing her any time soon as she needs my constant action at her food dish.
Just have a regular a/c, not all of us can afford buying expensive filters and hepa vacuum cleaners. Living near a lot of fields, grass, trees and Nature in general it will be difficult to escape the wrath of the pollens!

2:59PM PST on Mar 6, 2012

I'll try the local honey idea hoping that it will allow me to stop taking anti histamine tablets.

12:16AM PST on Mar 5, 2012

Thanks for the article.

9:41PM PDT on Jun 4, 2011

thanks

10:18PM PDT on May 14, 2011

Noted.
Thanks for sharing!

6:27AM PDT on Apr 11, 2011

I have witnessed people to recover from allergies using homeopathy. The problem with allergy is that the immune system read the harmful substance as a threat and start cleaning from it with tears, running nose.
With homeopathy, however it will take time, the immune system can actually unlearn this wrong reaction.

9:42AM PDT on Apr 9, 2011

trying to remember to eat local honey.

7:49AM PDT on Mar 24, 2011

I have horrible seasonal pollen allergies. Thanks for some extra simple tips I have not used.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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