Up to 50 million Americans, including 2 million children, have some type of allergy. For most people, allergies are just an inconvenience. According to the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease, they are a major cause of disability in the U.S. In fact, it has been estimated that allergies account for the loss of over two million school days per year.

What Are Allergies?

An allergy is an overreaction of the immune system toward a substance that is typically harmless to most people. But in someone with an allergy, the body’s immune system treats the substance, called an allergen, as an invader and reacts inappropriately resulting in harm to the person.

Who Gets Allergies?

Children inherit allergic tendencies from their parents. A few children have allergies in spite of no family member having these, but if one parent has allergies, there is a one in four chance that a child will also have allergies. The risk increases if both parents have allergies.

Do I Have an Allergy to Something?

Some allergies are fairly easy to identify because the pattern of symptoms following certain exposures can be hard to miss. But other allergies are less obvious because they can masquerade as other conditions.

How Are Allergies Treated?

There is no cure for allergies, but symptomatic relief is possible. The most effective is by reducing or eliminating exposure to allergens. If reducing exposure is not feasible or is ineffective, medications may be prescribed. In some cases, an allergist may recommend immunotherapy (allergy shots) to help desensitize you. There are also medications you might be able to give yourself, including antihistamines and inhaled or nasal spray steroids. One medical suggestion is: ZYRTEC®

Just 1 dose of ZYRTEC® (cetirizine HCl) a day can keep allergy symptoms under control, year-round. Symptoms from both indoor allergies, like pet dander and dust. And outdoor allergies, like trees and ragweed. Plus, ZYRTEC is approved to treat indoor allergies in infants 6 months and up.

Some common allergies include those to:

Grasses

Mold Spores

Marsh Elder

Ash

Pigweed

Oak

Fall Elm

Mesquito

Elm

Sage

Red Berry Juniper

Pecan

Mountain Cedar

Ragweed

Willow

Privet

Cats

Dogs

Bees

Peanuts

Dust Mites

Food

Metals/nickle:

40 percent increase in nickel allergies is blamed on the new body piercing rage. Also some ingest nickel in foods and from chewing pens and paper clips.

Cobalt and chromium can also produce allergic reactions, but to a lesser degree than nickel. once a nickel allergy develops, it lasts for a lifetime.

Animals:

All warm-blooded, furry animals, such as the average household pet, can cause allergic reactions. This is because of proteins in their saliva, dander, and urine. When the animal licks itself, the saliva gets on the fur. As the saliva dries, protein particles become airborne and work their way into fabrics in the home. Cats are the “worst offenders” because their salivary protein is extremely tiny and they tend to lick themselves more than other animals.

Pollen:

Pollen is another important cause of allergies. Pollen allergies are seasonal. Trees, weeds, and grasses release these tiny particles into the air to fertilize other plants. Most people know pollen allergy as hay fever or rose fever.

Cockroach:

Cockroach body parts and waste products are also a major household allergen, especially in inner cities. Asthma rates of inner city children are high, probably due to air pollution and also cockroach exposure in overcrowded buildings.

Mold: One of the most commen allergen.

What is Mold?

Molds are fungi that thrive both indoors and out in warm, moist environments. As with pollen, mold spores are released into the air to reproduce. Mold is produced by several varieties of fungus. These fungi are single-celled organisms that have been around since the beginning of time.

Where can molds be found?

Although molds can be seasonal, many thrive year-round, especially those indoors. Outdoor molds may be found in poor drainage areas, such as in piles of rotting leaves or compost piles. Indoor mold thrives in

dark, moist and poorly ventilated places, such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms or damp basements (especially after flooding).

How do I know if I have a mold build up?

A mold test kit can be a easy soultion but does cost money, or you can simpley check crawl spaces for standing water, look for condensation forming around windows, and dampness in or on basement walls. If you are experiencing health problems, check bathrooms, bedrooms and family rooms as well. Mold requires three things to grow and multiply. It requires dampness, warmth, and a food source. Find areas that have these three things and you will surely find mold and mildew. Also a musty odor suggests mold growth.

How does mold affect my health?

Only in recent years have medical authorities realized what a health risk the kind of mold that grows in wet basements can be. According to the New York City Department of Health, in people who are allergic to it, mold can cause:

respiratory and eye irritation

flu-like symptoms

fatigue

trouble breathing

coughing

sinus congestions

nausea

chronic headache

loss of memory

other symptoms

Also when mold starts to reproduce inside a home, it can eat away at the structure, causing thousands of dollars in damage

How can I prevent mold build up and how can I keep allergy symptoms down?

Mold requires three things to grow and multiply. It requires dampness, warmth, and a food source. Simpley make sure you dont allow all three things to take place in your house. Mold is everywhere, and you wont completly rid yourself of ever having any contact with mold, but you can surley battle it.

Mold and mildew release mold spores in the air that can float throughout the house. There are several mold cleaning, prevention, and mold removal methods to deal with this problem. 2 suggestions are: Bio-Kleen and Sure Cote Mildew Resistant Coating.

Bio-Kleen can be used in any application in which you want to inhibit colonies of mold, mildew, alga, bacteria and other odor causing organisms. Easy to apply by spraying, wiping or soaking. Allow to air dry.

Sure Cote is a clear non-yellowing , non-toxic, odorless, interior/exterior, mildew resistant coating. It is designed to protect any surface exposed to moisture, high humidity or weather. Will not discolor, stain, stiffen or harm any surface which it recommended for use and gives year round protection.

It is important to try and prevent mold and mildew growth, but if it’s too late, try mold remediation and mold removal.

Allergic reactions can manifest themselves in many different physical ways, most of them extremely unpleasant. In the case of environmental allergens such as hay fever or pet dander, it is possible to limit allergic reaction severity by focusing on a diet that boosts the body?s ability to fight off reaction effects. Many of the materials that are found in medicinal allergy relief are extracted from naturally occurring ingredients in certain foods and drinks, and including these in your diet will help to alleviate your allergic symptoms. It is important to remember that these foods are for fighting environmentally triggered allergies only, and the only way to avoid food allergy symptoms is to avoid the food that cause it.

Green tea is quickly making a name for itself as a general purpose, natural cure-all. Recent studies have shown that green tea may help to combat environmental allergies as one of its many treatment applications. In an article published in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Japanese scientists claim to have isolated a compound found in green tea that blocks one of the cell receptors that is key in triggering the allergic response. Because green tea is less processed than any other kind of tea, its natural composition remains unaltered and thus the compounds within it are more concentrated and better able to produce results than those found in different varieties of tea.

The acids found in Omega-3 fatty acids also are beneficial in fighting allergies, as the acid acts as a natural anti-inflammatory

by countering the formation of inflammatory chemicals. There are several foods which are very high in Omega-3 fatty acids, including several kinds of seafood and fish; salmon, haddock, herring, trout, mackerel, and sardines are all full of these acids. Other sources of Omega-3 fatty acids are soybeans, flaxseed, walnuts, and canola, and the fatty acids are also available in a more concentrated version through the oils derived from these foods. These oils can easily be included in your daily meals by adding them to the ingredients for your cooking.

Foods that have a high level of Vitamin E are also excellent in combating allergic reactions. Some of these foods include greens, which are also very strong-tasting. Spinach greens, mustard greens, chard and mustard greens are all very high in Vitamin E. The highest Vitamin E food is far and away dried sunflower seeds, which contain almost 91% of the recommended daily intake of the vitamin. Almonds are also high in Vitamin E, as are olives, papaya, and fresh blueberries. Any of these foods are an easy addition to a regular diet.

One last food to consider when thinking about intakes that will limit your allergic reactions are juices. Natural fruit juices are high in antioxidants, which help to fight the inflammatory effects that allergies produce. Make sure when you buy juice, though, that it is indeed natural. Many juices on the market do not contain a lot of natural juice, and it is the natural juice that is essential when it comes to containing antioxidants.

Article Source: http://www.findmysearch.com/allergies-resources/

Joel Santoso 2007. For answers to All your frequently asked questions about allergy information resorces, please go to: http://www.findmysearch.com/allergies-resources/

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