Posts Tagged ‘allergies’

Asthma is a lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe. If left uncontrolled, it may have serious consequences. No one likes wheezing, coughing, or feeling short of breath.  Taking control of your asthma can lead to an active healthy life. Create an action plan to live your best life.  Start today by:

  • Identifying your asthma triggers. Work with your healthcare provider to identify and minimize exposure to these triggers. Triggers include allergens, irritants or conditions that cause symptoms to worsen.  Being able to identify and avoid your triggers is important.
  • Learning to use your inhaler properly.  Follow the directions.  Shake the inhaler well. Check with your health care provider if you have any questions. 
  • Go smoke free.  If you smoke, quit.  Ask your doctor for ways to help you quit.  Ask family members to quit smoking, too.  Do not allow smoking in your home or car.
  • Enjoying a physically active lifestyle.  Work with your health care provider to develop an exercise plan. This plan will help you manage your symptoms so you can stay safe while exercising.
  • Taking medication as prescribed.  Medication is an effective way to control asthma symptoms.  Remember to take your medications as prescribed and carry your inhaler with you every day.
  • Eating healthy.  A well-balanced diet helps keep the mind and body strong.  Choosing the right foods supports your immune system and overall health, including your lung health.
  • Communicating with your healthcare team.  Learn as much as you can about your asthma.  If you experience short- or long-term side effects, let them know.  Do not suffer in silence.
  • Managing your stress. Stress can be an asthma trigger.  Implement stress-reduction strategies such as breathing exercise and mediation.
  • Monitoring your emotional health.  People with asthma are more likely to develop anxiety and depression.  If you begin to feel sad, anxious or depressed, talk with your doctor.

Written by Beth Stefura, OSU Extension Educator, Mahoning County stefura.2@osu.edu

Reviewed by:  Jenny Lobb, OSU Extension Educator, Franklin County  lobb.3@osu.edu


American Lung Association (2020). What is Asthma? https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/asthma/learn-about-asthma/what-is-asthma

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020). Asthma. https://www.cdc.gov/asthma/default.html

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7066102771_036ffa76ba_nWe’ve all heard that “April Showers bring May Flowers” but those same showers are ushering in allergy season. Some experts are saying that this might be an especially bad season for those of us who suffer from seasonal allergies. We had a long, cold winter and suddenly warm weather has arrived and many trees, shrubs and grasses are blooming at the same time increasing the pollen in the air. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that at least 17.6 million people suffer from hay fever – so you are not alone!

So what can you do to minimize the sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, nose and throat? Several useful tips are provided below.

It’s important to keep pollen out of your personal environment.

• Leave your shoes at the door. Pollen coming into the house on shoes, clothing and even your pets can worsen your symptoms.

• Wash your hair and change your clothes before going to bed. If you sleep in the same shirt you wore outside, all of the pollen that has attached to the shirt will surround you all night!

• Control the air inside your home. Close windows and doors on high pollen days. Utilize your air conditioner or furnace and remember to change the air filters!

• When you are in your car, use the recirculate option with the air conditioner. Keep windows and overhead vents closed.

• Dry your clothes in a dryer – don’t hang them outside.

See your doctor. Many people are helped by over the counter medicines but others may benefit from visiting an allergist for testing and treatment.

You can be proactive with your allergies – check the daily pollen count and then plan your activities. Pollen counts are usually lower in the evening so that might be a good time for outdoor exercises such as walking. If grass pollen is especially bothersome to you it might be worth it to hire someone else to mow the lawn for you!

Written by: Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, rabe.9@osu.edu
Reviewed by: Kathy Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Clark County, green.1405@osu.edu

Spring Allergy Season Could be a Bloomin’ Nightmare

Allergy Relief Tips Wherever You Go.

Allergies and Hay Fever.

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Indoor Allergies

As fall arrives, many of us are thankful that our summer time allergies are going away. We can say good-bye to the sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, etc. for a few months. There are others though who may find that their allergy symptoms are not relieved.sneeze
Current research has shown that people spend almost 90% of their time indoors. Many people have allergic reactions to indoor triggers with dust, mold, and animals being the top three.
• Dust. Allergic reactions to dust are actually caused by our reaction to dust mites. Their droppings and remains become airborne and cause allergy symptoms in people who are sensitive to them.
• Mold. Molds thrive in damp, humid areas such as basements and bathrooms. Once the mold spores begin to bloom and grow and get into the air, they can trigger allergic reactions.
• Pets. Many people believe that they are allergic to the pet’s hair when it is actually it is a substance in the dead skin flakes (dander) that causes the allergic reaction

It is not realistic to think that we can totally eliminate these indoor triggers but there are actions we can take to control the amounts that are present in our homes. Here are a few suggestions:
• Dust. The best way to deal with dust allergies is to simply reduce exposure to dust. If you have dust allergies, you will want to wear a mask when you are cleaning or have someone else do the cleaning for you! A couple of easy ways to reduce dust in your home: wash bedding in hot water once a week, use plastic dust-proof covers on your mattress, box springs, and pillows. If you have carpeting in your home, vacuum once or twice a week and vacuum upholstered furniture often. Remove stuffed animals and drapes. Wash throw rugs in hot water. When it is time to replace flooring – look at cork, hardwood, bamboo, or tile which tend to be more allergy friendly.
• Mold. The most efficient preventative for mold growth is to control moisture. Watch out for wet spots and condensation. Fix leaky plumbing as soon as it is discovered. Increase ventilation and air circulation in your home. Use a dehumidifier if necessary. Indoor humidity should be below 60%. There are inexpensive humidity detectors that you can purchase and use year round to keep an eye on the humidity levels in your home.
• Pets. Some might say that the only way to control this trigger is to remove the pet from the home. However, more realistic steps to take include not allowing the pet in the bedroom. Bedding can become a trap for allergens that are difficult to dislodge. Use a HEPA air filter in your home at all times. Give your pet a weekly bath to reduce the allergen count. While dander and saliva are the source of cat and dog allergens, urine is the source of allergens from rabbits, hamsters, mice and guinea pigs – so ask a non-allergic family member to clean the animal’s cage.A Tabby Cat with Green Eyes
If these suggestions do not help control your allergies, you may choose to visit an allergist. An allergist can help discover what indoor allergens are causing your symptoms and educate you to make changes to avoid them. The right care can help you manage your allergies and feel better year round.

Author: Marilyn Rabe, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension Franklin County
Reviewed by Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross & Vinton Counties

Indoor Air Quality: Dust and Molds http://ohioline.osu.edu/cd-fact/pdf/0191.pdf
Tips to control Pet Allergies http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/tips-to-control-pet-allergies
Winter Allergies http://www.webmd.com/allergies/winter-allergies
Indoor Allergens: Tips to Remember http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/at-a-glance/indoor-allergens.aspx

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