Understanding of allergies and clean air guide, Hay Fever pollen and other allergens tips, Online home cooling advice

Understanding of Allergies and How Clean Air Helps

14 August 2023

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A Quick Understanding of Allergies and How Clean Air Helps

Did you know that over 80 million Americans suffered from so-called “Hay Fever,” or seasonal allergies in 2021? Pollen and other allergens can cause a lot of discomfort and could even lower someone’s quality of life. Fortunately, it’s now possible to treat and mitigate allergies by using medications, an electric air cleaner, and other methods.

In order to understand how to reduce the discomfort caused by allergies, it helps to understand when and why allergies occur. There are many different types of allergies, including food and skin allergies. The focus here is on airborne allergies, but keep in mind that many of the processes are similar, no matter the type of allergies you have.

What Are Allergies and Why Do They Occur?

Allergies occur when the body’s immune system overreacts to substances, like pollen, that are pretty harmless. Essentially, the body sees the substances as foreign invaders, like viruses and bacteria, and thus the immune system responds. However, the immune system often over responds, resulting in the symptoms associated with allergies. In most cases, the substances don’t pose a threat to the body outside of the allergic reaction.

The substances that cause an allergic reaction are called “allergens.” Common airborne allergens include pollen, mold, dust mites, and pet dander. Some people suffer from so-called seasonal allergies, which are typically caused by pollen and mold, which tend to proliferate during certain months. Meanwhile, pet dander and dust mites, among other allergens, also spread through the air but folks may suffer from these allergies year-round.

Symptoms of airborne allergies include itchy eyes, a runny nose, frequent sneezing, and potentially difficulty breathing. Most people suffer only mild allergic reactions, meaning that they experience discomfort, but their life typically isn’t at risk. However, some people suffer from severe allergies and could die due to an allergic reaction.

Even in a best-case scenario, mild allergies can make it difficult to sleep, focus, and otherwise live life to its fullest. In a worst-case scenario, exposure to allergens could result in severe medical complications. Fortunately, it’s possible to treat and mitigate allergies.

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Here’s How You Can Prevent Allergies

The two primary ways to mitigate allergies including using medication and preventing exposure.  When it comes to healthcare, they say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you can prevent an allergic reaction from occurring, you can reduce the risk of medical complications and prevent discomfort.

So how could someone prevent exposure to airborne allergens? First, if allergies are seasonal, it’s wise to keep an eye on the so-called “pollen count.” The pollen count operates sort of like a weather forecast, and many weather websites and TV programs will offer updates on the count. Instead of predicting the temperature or rain, however, the pollen count attempts to pin down how much pollen will be in the air. If the pollen count is high on a certain day, you may want to skip going to the park, and it’d be a smart idea to wear a respiratory mask.

If your allergies are caused instead by pet dander, it’s wise to look for hypoallergenic pets. Some pets are less likely to produce high quantities of dander. If mold is the root cause of your allergies, you may need to have your HVAC system cleaned. It’s also possible to set up filtration systems that will clean out the air inside the home and other buildings. These filters can protect folks from mold, pet dander, and pollen, among other contaminants. Ultimately, clean air arguably offers the best way to prevent allergies.

Treating Allergies After Exposure

Unfortunately, even with lifestyle changes and air filters, some folks will still end up exposed to allergens. There are a variety of medications that can help. Folks who suffer from severe allergies may need to carry something like an EpiPen, which contains powerful medication that can control severe reactions. Over-the-counter medications, like antihistamines, may provide relief for mild allergies.

It’s smart to talk with a doctor about managing allergies. Often, they’ll recommend prevention, like air filters and lifestyle changes, as a first line of defense. A medical practitioner can also help you select medications that will relieve symptoms when prevention fails.

Comments on this Understanding of allergies and clean air advice article are welcome.

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