Tag Archives: springtime colds

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!

Does Changing Weather Cause Sickness?



We’ve all heard the old adage that changing weather brings on sickness, but is there truth to this age-old assertion? For some time, the science community said ‘no’, but recent thinking is leaning more towards ‘kind-of’. While there are medical professionals who maintain the rise in colds and infections during seasonal transitions is purely coincidental, there seem to be more facts supporting the idea that temperature changes can contribute to illness, especially for particular demographics. The reasoning behind this new thinking isn’t straightforward, there are many factors that work in accordance to cause sickness to rise as the seasons blend.

Coinciding Factors

Some people think they are experiencing a cold that just won’t leave, or as people dubbed it years ago “The spring flu” but they are most likely experiencing allergic rhinitis (also known as hay fever), allergies brought on by airborne particles such as pollen from plants and trees that start budding in the spring. The Weather Channel claims another factor that makes it appear as though the changing weather causes sickness is that the structure of cold viruses allows them to breed and spread easily in the cold dry air of the beginning of spring. So it may still be viruses, not the weather itself, that causes cold-like symptoms in so many people around this time of year.

Weather Can Confuse Immune Systems

While weather in itself may not cause sickness, fluctuating mercury levels certainly play a role in how the body functions. Our bodies grow accustomed to whatever the current season and temperature is, so when that changes (sometimes drastically) as winter turns into spring our bodies are forced to re-adapt to the new weather and changes in atmospheric pressure. This can cause confusion within the immune system. It has a distracting effect, so while our front line of bodily defence is busy trying to reconfigure based on weather changes, pre-existing conditions may flare up or new germs may set in as our defenses glitch-out.

Healthy Versus Vulnerable

As with many contagious illnesses, people who fall into the immunocompromised category are often the most affected demographic when winter recedes and spring shows its face. Dr Adham Alameddin, medical director of Synergy Integrated Medical Clinic in Dubai says “The community is divided into two groups – those who are vulnerable to illness and those who are healthy. For the healthy sector, as long as they continue to eat a balanced diet, take a lot of exercise and drink plenty of fluids, their body will be able to cope with the dramatic onset of heat. For those who fall into the vulnerable category – young children, pregnant women, the elderly and those suffering from chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes or cancer – the risk of feeling unwell is much higher.”

How to Prevent the Season-Based Sickies

If you fall ill every spring and suspect allergies may be at play, ask your doctor for an allergy test to see if hay fever may indeed be the culprit. Or, if you are a known hay fever sufferer or a severe asthmatic, be sure to contact your doctor or allergist to get a medication plan in place or adjust your current one if necessary, and to find out how to avoid getting hit too hard by your allergies when pollen starts up. If you are immunocompromised and contract a cold or illness, be sure to contact your doctor or one of our qualified physicians at DocChatto make sure you won’t get in over your head trying to fight off the bug. For the general non-allergenic public, be sure to get plenty of rest and quit burning the candle at both ends which will help keep your immune system strong. You should also eat well and exercise regularly, and check in with your body intermittently to make sure you are still in tip top shape.