Dust Mites Allergy – Hard to Avoid

vacuuming dustMany types of allergies are easy to manage because the key to that is basically avoiding the allergen.  If you have a peanut allergy your plan is to avoid peanuts.  If you react to latex avoid latex.  Dust is not that easy to avoid and a dust mites allergy can make for a lot of regular discomfort.

Dust mites feed off of the dead organic material that is shed by humans like dead skin cells.  These can be found in the particles that accumulate to form dust.  A dust mites allergy is actually caused by an allergy to the feces of the dust mite not the dust mite itself.  A dust mite falls into the arachnid category like spiders versus an insect since it has eight legs.  They are so small they really are not seen.  They can reproduce at a great rate so in order to manage a dust mites allergy you need a regular cleaning routine.

Since organic matter like dead skin cells and sweat can be found on our beds this is usually a spot where many dust mites and their feces can be found.  Hypoallergenic sheets, mattress liners and pillow cases can be used.  They basically hold the dust mite and their deposits on the mattresses and pillows so you don’t breath them in.  Allergy symptoms that you experience at night like congestion and sneezing could very well be a dust mites allergy caused by bedding that is full of the waste from the dust mites.

A dust mites allergy can be further managed by air cleaner and purifiers.  Using special filters in your cooling and heating systems will also help.  Dusting often is advised with a face mask.  Please note though that if your duster is not a good one you basically are just moving the dust from the object you are dusting to the floor and the air.  Following up with vacuuming with an allergy friendly vacuum cleaner is a must.  Dust mites like mattresses, couches and carpets so a good vacuum is a good weapon to have in your allergy fighting arsenal.  One with a good set of attachments to reach areas like blinds and corners is a plus.

Though a dust mites allergy is hard to avoid managing it is doable if you are willing to put in the work.  Many times if will depend on how bad your allergy symptoms are.  Since dust mites also affect asthma the stakes can be higher.  I know that since I have kids with asthma I take dust very seriously.

Cat Allergies – Avoiding the Dander

Cute Furry Cat - allergiesCat allergies are not that bad for those without many cat owners in their lives.  Those people can avoid the dander that causes their allergic reactions.  Sadly some cat allergy sufferers are also cat owners and lovers.  Cat allergies don’t always manifest themselves right away so a recent cat owner may not know they are allergic to cats until they have fallen in love with theirs.

The culprit is the cat dander that builds up around the house or apartment over time.  Dander as defined by the dictionary is:  Small scales from animal skin or hair or even bird feathers that can cause an allergic reaction is some people.  The allergic reactions to the dander can cause itchy skin, red eyes, nasal congestion, sneezing and trouble even breathing.  Would these cat allergy symptoms be enough to want to give the cat away?  Some people may have become too attached so they want to explore if they can manage their symptoms enough so that they don’t have to give away their beloved cat.

The best way to decrease your cat allergy symptoms is to control the levels of dander in your environment.  This includes both cleaning parts of your home regularly as well as keeping your cat out of certain areas of your house.  Some people go all out and only keep their cat in one room while others just keep them out of their bedroom and bed.  Letting your cat sleep in your bed when you have cat allergies will undoubtedly make for many miserable nights sleep.  Showering before you go to sleep is also advised since you will clean off the dander before slipping into clean pajamas.

It is always recommended to wash your hands after touching any pet. It is even more important if you have allergies. Your day can be changed for the worst by simply touching your cat and then your face.  Some advise using a micro fiber cloth to stroke your cat. This will eliminate more dander than a bath, and it is easier.

A regular cleaning routine should include changing your bedding weekly, washing your curtains monthly and even vacuuming daily whenever possible.  Your vacuum should be one that has HEPA filters that are best for allergy sufferers.

Drastic measures like “quarantining” your cat may be necessary if you try all the above and still find that you are extremely uncomfortable because of your cat allergies.  Keeping yourself healthy is the most important thing, but you can try hanging on to your cat by managing the levels of dander you get exposed to.  Totally avoiding dander when you have a cat is impossible but managing the levels isn’t.

Consulting with your doctor about your cat allergy is also advised.  They may prescribe an allergy medicine to get you to the point that you can keep your cat.  If you find you can’t keep that particular cat you may want to investigate cat breeds that are better for allergy sufferers.  You would be surprised what a difference that could make and it could help you find the right balance between your cat allergies and your love of cats.

Avoiding and Managing Flea Allergy Dermatitis

protecting your pet from flea allergiesPet allergies can make humans miserable but did you realize that the very dogs and cats we love can be suffering from allergies too.  Flea allergy dermatitis is an allergy to the saliva of fleas that affects both cats and dogs.  Of course not all cats and dogs are allergic to fleas since flea infestations can be common especially in more humid settings.  If you suspect your pet is suffering from flea allergy dermatitis here is some information to help you manage it and help you to avoid it in the future.

Though dogs also are victims of FAD in this article we will focus on cats since it appears a more common allergy for them.  Fleas in and of themselves are a nuisance and uncomfortable but when a cat develops flea allergy dermatitis it can get to the point where the poor cat is practically scratching its skin raw and making itself almost bald.

A cat is well known for its grooming and self cleaning routine.  This sometimes impedes your ability to confirm that he indeed has fleas since the cat can wipe away the signs.  Also of note is that one flea bite may be enough to trigger a full blown case of flea allergy dermatitis.  This disease can spread well beyond the site of the flea bite.

Signs of flea allergy dermatitis in your cat include aggressive scratching and chewing of it tail and legs.  At a certain point ulcers can be visible on the cat’s skin.  Patches covered in rash may also be seen.  All of these things will be looked for when you take your cat to the vet.

Though the discomfort of your cat is an obvious concern the more important problem will be infections that can develop from all of the scratching and chewing.  Fungal infections may also arise from a case of flea allergy dermatitis.  The vet usually treats those infections with antibiotics.  Steroidal medicines may also be prescribed to stop the flea biting and scratching cycle that is torturing your pet.

The vet will definitely give you the tools to manage your pets case of flea allergy dermatitis but it really is up to you to make sure you avoid another case once this one is gone.  Flea powder is the obvious but controlling your pet’s exposure to fleas is key avoiding flea allergy dermatitis.  The Frontline brand of flea and tick control products used regularly are also recommended online.  These products are supposed to kill the fleas before they even have a chance to bite your pet.

Eye Allergies – More Than Irritating

eye allergies can be painfulEye allergies can sometimes seem to take a back seat to many of the nasal and seasonal allergy symptoms that are complained about today.  Television commercials tend to focus on the sneezing and the congestion but many seasonal allergy sufferers also suffer from irritating eye allergies.  Some may debate whether eye allergies are really an allergy all to their own since many times they are basically a symptom of another type of allergy like nasal allergies.  What elevates it to it’s own category is how irritating and debilitating it can be to have your eyes affected by allergens.

Our eyes are such an important part of our everyday functioning that eye allergy symptoms can really make some of us dysfunctional.  Eye allergy symptoms include swollen, red and irritated eyes.  In more severe cases they can cause blurriness too.  Many times sufferers make their symptoms worse by rubbing their eyes.  Our eyes are particularly vulnerable since they are exposed to the elements so to speak.

The most common type of allergen to cause eyes to have an allergic reaction is pollen but any airborne type of particle can irritate the eye, especially those who have a history of allergies.  Dust can also be a culprit.  This can be blown into your environment by forced hot air systems or just blown around in the act of every day cleaning.

Can eye allergies be treated?  It of course depends on the cause of the allergic reaction itself.  The best approach to eye allergy treatment is really the old school method of identifying what your eyes are reacting to and doing your best to avoid those allergens.  In the case of dust and pollen, air cleaners also called air purifiers can decrease the level of those particles in the air.  Dry air also can irritate the eyes so humidifiers can also be useful.

The next phase of eye allergy treatment would be to look at both over the counter and prescription eye allergy medicines.  You do need to note that many allergy medicines for seasonal allergies do not directly address eye allergy symptoms.  Since eye allergies tend to be associated with nasal allergies many people think their nasal symptom medicine will help their eye allergy symptoms.  In general antihistamine type medicines may help but you may have to get dedicated prescription eye drops.  We have actually used Visine allergy drops for short eye allergy flare ups in our house but if these over the counter drops don’t work you really should consult with your doctor.  Prescription allergy eye drops are not that hard to use since you typically use them once or twice a day and can just be implemented in your normal morning and night routines.

It is important to note that eye allergies can be confused with actual eye infections caused by viruses and bacteria.  What most people think of as conjunctivitis can be broken down into viral, bacterial and allergic conjunctivitis so it is important to pay attention to your eye allergy symptoms and to see your doctor when they don’t get better.  Different medicines will be prescribed if it is not allergic conjunctivitis – eye allergies.  Either way managing and treating your eye allergies will improve your daily quality of life.

Allergy Medicines Can Do The Trick

happy woman outdoorsAllergy medicines are so prevalent nowadays one has to wonder what we would do without them.  Sadly whatever factors are contributing to the rise in allergies they don’t seem to be changing for the better.  Allergy medicines are advertised heavily during pollen season because so many of us suffer from seasonal allergies but they can be helpful at many other times as well.  I will confess my go to nasal allergy medicine is Benadryl.  Even though I have been prescribed and use Astelin for my nasal allergy symptoms sometimes I get caught unawares even after all these years.

Being outdoors tends to be a great enjoyment for most people particularly in the nicer weather associated with the spring and summer.  Even after a rain storm you may encounter enough pollen to cause problems and that is when you need to use allergy medicines.  If you are a gardener with allergies you also know that with all of the planting activity in the spring comes the risk of an allergy induced migraine or an unbelievable stuffy head.  By this time you should be in the routine of taking a daily medicine like Claritin to manage your seasonal allergies.

The timing of your use of allergy medicines in the spring usually works out well since spring cleaning tends to be an annual tradition in most houses.  Dust allergies can be triggered by all the cleaning done in the spring.  We also tend to open our windows to air out the house which of course lets the pollen in.  For cleaning in general though even outside the spring it might be wise to use allergy medicines like Benadryl to head it off at the pass since you are not using your seasonal allergy medicines at that point.

The trick to get the most out of the allergy medicines you use is to follow the dosing carefully especially for prescription medications.  You may not be on your allergy prevention regimen and that tends to cause problems with the effectiveness of your allergy medicines.  In my case if you do not take it once at night and once in the morning for a couple of days the effects are not as good so looking forward in terms of the pollen and your activities is key to making sure you are prepared.

Allergies can effect your quality of life so badly that not using your allergy medicines can make the difference between a great day and a bad day.  This also applies for your friends and family too who may be depending on your presence or participation in something important, believe me I know.

Dog Allergies – Man’s Worst Enemy

Dog is SadDog allergies can change the wonderful bond shared over the centuries.  Dogs may be man’s best friend but dog allergies are man’s worst enemy.  Dog allergy symptoms can be miserable if they are severe.  Mild symptoms can include watery eyes, itchy skin and even a dry mouth.  The more severe symptoms can include hives, difficulty breathing due to congestions and even asthma attacks.

You may not even know you have dog allergies until after you get a dog and even then the allergic reactions may not start until weeks or even months after you have been living with a dog.  If you know you suffer from allergies in general odds are you may end up being allergic to dogs.  Dog allergies can also run in families so that may be a clue too.  This doesn’t necessarily mean you can never own a dog but you will have to do more homework before you buy one.

Certain dog breeds are better for those allergic to pet dander.  Dander is basically the particles of skin that are shed by pets like dogs and cats.  There are some dogs that shed their skin more slowly than others, they include poodles and schnauzers.  Because of the rise in dog allergies there actually has been a lot of research and cross-breeding to develop dogs that cause less dog allergies.  Those of note to avoid are cocker spaniels and basset hounds that are said to shed their skin faster which leaves more dander all over.

Indoor dogs of course will cause more problems for dog allergy sufferers but if you don’t want an outdoor dog you can try to manage the amount of dander you get exposed to.  You can do this by cleaning your house regularly.  Particularly areas like the bedding in your bedroom, the carpets and even curtains.  An air purifier with a HEPA filter may also help as it removes particles in the air including dander.

Contrary to popular belief you should not wash your dog frequently.  This actually cause more dander as the skin is dried out and then sheds more.  Dog allergy sufferers should be washing their dogs monthly.  Feeding your dog quality dog food can also reduce dander particles because it keeps their coat shiny and healthy.

Depending on the severity of your dog allergies you may be able to manage them with allergy medicines.  Consulting with a doctor to confirm your suspicions and to get advice on whether over the counter medicines will do the trick is highly advised if you want to keep your pet.

If you decide that you have to give away your dog you need to know that you may continue to suffer from your allergies for months.  You need to thoroughly clean and vacuum your house and if you have carpets odds are you need to have them shampooed.  Sadly you will have to get rid of their toys as well.

Being allergic to dogs can by a nuisance but for some it can be more than that.  Whether you get exposed to dogs of your own or through your family and friends getting the help you need can help you manage man’s worst enemy – dog allergies.