Tag Archives: pollen

Tips For Allergy-Proofing Your Home

The beginning of Spring is a great time to do some allergy-proofing as it can go hand in hand with Spring cleaning. It can also better prepare any hay fever sufferers in your household for the season by providing a safe place for them to catch a break from allergy and asthma triggers.

Allergy-Friendly Bedding

Those with asthma and allergies should use hypoallergenic dust-mite-free bed and pillow covers. You can purchase dust mite sprays for added nightly protection from triggers. You should also wash your sheets at least once a week at a temperature of 130 F (54 C) or hotter. If you have a lot of allergies or moderate asthma refrain from using unbreathable bedding materials, or down feather pillows as there is a higher likelihood that you may be allergic or bothered by down feathers.

Tackle Dust And Dander

Avoid using dry dusters or dry clothes for the task, as they just spread dust around. Use wet clothes or damp dusting tools. Frequent dusting is the best way to keep allergy sufferers safe in the house (this is especially important during pollen season as pollen allergy sufferers may spend copious amounts of time inside). It is best to do the dusting while the sufferer is out of the house or at least in another part of the house so they aren’t affected. They should refrain from entering the freshly dusted rooms for at least a couple hours. If you have pets, keep them out of the bedrooms and other highly occupied rooms so family members who are sensitive to dander can have safe places to spend time in the house.

Prep Your House For Pollen

There are some general precautions you can take to provide a safe haven for yourself or a member of your family who has hay fever or pollen allergies. Invest in a good air conditioning unit so you can keep the windows shut and sealed all season. Avoid hanging clothes out to dry, as they will become covered in pollen. Avoid upholstered furniture, carpet or fluffy mats where allergens such as pollen can be trapped and not as easily wiped away as from hard surfaces. Clean regularly, and implement a no-shoe policy in your home so people won’t trek pollen through the house. The last, and one of the most important precautions you can take to de-pollen your home is to buy a particulate filtration system such as a HEPA filter.

Eradicate mold

Mold can be tricky, and can be a big trigger for asthmatics especially. It is important to routinely wipe down damp areas such as refrigerators or window panes. Humid environments encourage breeding of dust and mold, so the Mayo Clinic suggests, “Maintain temperature between 68 F (20 C) and 72 F (22 C) and keep relative humidity no higher than 50 percent. Clean or replace small-particle filters in central heating and cooling systems and in room air conditioners at least once a month.” Dehumidifiers are also good devices to have around, especially in damp basements that can be mold free-for-alls.

Other tips

It should go without saying that if someone in your family has asthma or an abundance of allergies, you should make sure no one smokes in your home. You can also avoid wood-burning stoves, as those can really aggravate asthma and some allergies. You should also avoid using scented products or scented candles in your home if you have sensitive family members. You may not realize it, but scented products can be having detrimental daily effects on asthmatics or allergy sufferers in your household. There are also several hypoallergenic cleaners and laundry detergents available!

We hope you found a few of our allergy-proofing tips helpful! Thanks for visiting DocChat, we hope you’ll return soon!

How To Prepare For The Season Of Sneezes

Spring is undoubtedly the worst season for grass and pollen allergy sufferers. Pollen allergies (commonly known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis) can range from a few sniffles to rare cases of dangerous facial and tracheal swelling, with a million degrees of severity in between. So what can be done if you’re hypersensitive to pollen? It may seem impossible to protect yourself against gazillions of tiny particles closing in around you, but there are measures you can take to minimize your springtime discomfort.

Advice For Mild Sufferers

For those who mainly get stuffy noses and itchy eyes, allergy season can still be unpleasant. Going through boxes of tissues and rubbing your eyes raw can be quite frustrating. Here are some tips for mild sufferers:

  • You can talk to your eye doctor about allergy drops if your eyes are frequently bothering you. Be careful when choosing over-the-counter (OTC) eye drops, some contain ingredients that may make the eye even more dry and uncomfortable.
  • Try topical anti-itch cream if your skin bothers you a little from the pollen.
  • There are many OTC antihistamines you can try before going to the doctor. You may only have to take antihistamines as needed instead of daily depending on your symptoms. Allergy tablets with a decongestant can be helpful as well for your stuff nose, but only if you’re not asthmatic (dextromethorphan can be a harmful ingredient for asthmatics).

Tips for Moderate Sufferers

For allergy or allergic asthma sufferers who experience more extreme symptoms such as urticaria (hives), itchy eyes and face, wheezing or other similarly unpleasant symptoms from exposure to pollen, you may need to take more extreme measures to stay safer and comfier during the Spring:

  • OTC antihistamines can help for some. You may even be permitted to take some anti-histamines at higher doses than listed, however, only when guided by a doctor or allergist. Do not increase the dosage without first discussing it with a professional as each case is different and it could be dangerous.
  • Benadryl cream can be good for itchy skin and urticaria
  • If you are very wheezy, you should ask your doctor to evaluate your lungs to make sure you don’t have an underlying lung condition such as asthma. Even if you don’t have asthma, he or she may prescribe a puffer for you to take temporarily until the pollen (and your symptoms) have calmed down.
  • For your stuffiness and other nasal symptoms, your doctor may prescribe a nasal corticosteroid which can help by reducing inflammation of your nasal canals
  • You should pay attention to the weather and pollen count, and avoid going outside during peak pollen hours of the day

What About The Severely Allergic?

A small percentage of the population suffers from extreme allergies to certain pollen. They may experience extreme urticaria, moderate or extreme swelling of the face, body or even tongue and throat (if you experience mouth or throat swelling, call an ambulance or go directly to the ER). Spring can be torturous and frightening for these unfortunate rare sufferers, so more extreme precautions may be in order such as:

  • OTC antihistamines may not effectively take care of extreme reactions, so often doctors will prescribe a series of medications including strong corticosteroids such as prednisone to help those extreme pollen allergies get through the season.
  • Severe sufferers should take all precautions possible to avoid highly pollenated areas, they should avoid traveling to rural areas with more trees, and as often as possible try to stay indoors until the evening when the pollen count is much lower.
  • There are many particulate filter masks available now that can keep pollen out of the mouth and airways in extreme cases. Some of them are designed to look fashionable.
  • Keep windows closed all the time and avoid putting clothing out on the line to dry as it will become infused with pollen.
  • A good tip would be for family or spouses of the extreme sufferer to change clothing when they come inside to avoid getting pollen on the person.
  • Another tip for a moderate or severe allergy sufferer would be to invest in a good air filtration system to help filter most of the pollen out.

If you have any concerns about allergies, symptoms or medication, feel free to contact one of our highly qualified DocChat physicians. Keep an eye out for our tips to help allergy-proof your house!





Why Allergies Should Not Be Neglected

Young woman blowing her nose while being in the nature

Exposure to common allergens like pollen, animal dander, weed, and even some foods makes your immune system vulnerable, thereby causing allergic reactions. You are likely to be at more risk to develop allergy when your body is weak and healing after suffering through a fever or viral infection. Even though it is the allergens that trigger allergic reaction in your body, in reality it is when you neglect them that they worsen.

Although there is no cure for allergies, you can however treat them in order to control them and not let it worsen. Since allergy is a form of chronic illness, if you do not treat it in due time, it will aggravate.

Here are some problems that you could face if you neglect your allergies.

· You are likely to develop additional allergies

Common symptoms of allergy are cough, watery eyes, sore throat, runny nose, and itchiness. With time, people who already have some sort of an untreated allergy notice that their symptoms have become much more severe and unbearable. This might mean that you have developed additional allergies. For instance if people suffer from pollen allergy, they may also suffer allergy triggered by foods that contain similar elements.

· Your symptoms are likely to worsen

Allergies are chronic and they don’t go away on their own. If you don’t undergo a proper treatment plan in order to control the allergic reaction, it is likely to lead to much more severe symptoms like sinus infection, ear infection and advanced asthma.

· You may suffer from life threatening asthma

Basic symptoms of asthma are similar to most of the allergies, except that they are on a much more severe scale. Almost all sorts of allergies result in the allergic person suffering from cough. If you neglect it and leave it untreated, your allergy is likely to turn into a much more serious problem including asthma. Symptoms like severe coughing, shortness in breath and chest tightening are common in asthma. Delayed treatment of preexisting allergies like food allergy may cause chronic asthma.

Whether, you are an adolescent or an adult, neglecting allergies can cause severe problems and diseases in the future. One should avoid exposure to allergens, and in case it worsens, you ought to have a doctor’s advice and treat it with medicine such as nasal sprays and allergy shots.

Five Most Common Allergy Triggers


Knowing your allergies is extremely important. But, knowing what caused those allergies is even more important. Being exposed to a pollution-congested environment can make the body more prone to infections. Around 50 million people in the United States are estimated to have some kind of allergy, and this figure continues to escalate.

Listed below are five of the most common allergy triggers.

· Pollen

Many people suffer from allergies caused by pollen which is widely known as ‘hay fever’. Various plants, trees, flowers, and grass produce pollen which ultimately causes an allergic reaction in your body. Among many others, these trees are known to cause allergies: cedar, oak, juniper, birch, and olive.

It is advisable that you avoid being around these trees by staying indoors or closing windows, especially during the season when the pollen count is high. Possible symptoms of pollen allergy are sneezing, nasal congestion and watery eyes. Steroid sprays and allergy tablets should be included in the treatment course.

· Mold

Molds are tiny fungi plants with spores. They tend to float in the air and flourish in areas which are damp, warm, and dark like bathrooms, basements and around heaps of leaves. Thus, mold can trigger your allergies all year-round.

Allergies triggered by mold have almost the same kind of symptoms as pollen allergy – itching, sneezing and congestion. Thus, you should follow the same treatment as well.

In order to avoid allergic reaction from molds, it is necessary to take proper action that prevents its growth. Replacing rugs frequently in your bathroom and laundry room, while emptying and cleaning the trash can regularly will help. If you are clearing leaves or mowing the grass, then wear a mask as a precaution.

· Dust Mites

These are microscopic spiders which contribute to the major part of allergic reactions among people. Allergies from dust mites are usually caused during warm weather, specifically August.
The symptoms are much severe as it can cause shortness in breath apart from sneezing, coughing, runny nose and itchiness. People who suffer from dust allergy tend to feel asthma-like symptoms. If you are going through a serious allergic reaction, then it is important that you take steroid nasal sprays and allergy shots.
Similar to the rest of the allergies, you should limit your exposure to dust mites. This can be done by covering your pillows and beds with dust proof covers. Since they are frequently found in carpets and stuffed toys, you should keep them away from your home.

· Animal Dander

Your pets contain fluids in their saliva and other allergens in their fur and skin that may cause instant allergic reaction. Having a dog and cat is very common among American households.
You are likely to experience stuffy nose, swelling of membranes, and red blotches on your skin. Avoiding any sort of contact from your pets is the best course of action if you wish to avoid allergy. However, if you still prefer to keep pets in your home, it is important that you clean them regularly and remove the dander outside of your home.

· Weeds

Ragweed carries, quite possibly, the most allergens, which is then followed by others such as sagebrush and pigweed.

Sneezing, nasal congestion, problems in sleeping, and puffy eyes are the most common symptoms of ragweed allergy. To avoid allergies from weed, you should stay indoors when the pollen count of weeds is high, especially during ragweed season. Washing your hands often when you touch weeds or come from outdoors can also help.

Now that you know the most common allergens we’re hopeful you will find it easier to stay healthy. However, if you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, please get in touch with us as help is here.