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  • Is climate change affecting your seasonal allergies?

    For several years, the media has been buzzing about how climate change could affect everything from the size of glaciers to the frequency of natural disasters. However, some scientists say they now have reason to believe climate change could impact individuals' seasonal allergies.

    According to ABC News, the warmer temperatures and rising carbon dioxide levels associated with climate change mean certain plants - particularly those that affect people with seasonal allergies - will thrive. This news is especially important now, as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently reported that carbon dioxide levels have officially reached 400 parts per million, compared to only 280 parts per million in the 1800s.

    This increase in carbon dioxide could affect millions of Americans who already suffer from seasonal allergies. Today, an estimated 50 million people in the U.S. have nasal allergies, meaning this condition affects as many as 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children, the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology reports.

    As seasonal allergies could potentially become worse for countless Americans, these individuals may want to invest in a medical-grade air purifier like the IQAir HealthPro Plus, which captures particles such as dust, pollen and other allergens so they can breathe easier in their homes.

  • Is it allergies or a cold? How to tell the difference

    Allergy season is here for many people around the nation and even though the spike in sneezing, coughing, runny noses and other symptoms might make you feel like it's time to purchase allergy medication or install a medical-grade air purifier like the IQAir HealthPro Plus, another condition could be to blame. 

    Even though a reported one in five Americans has allergies or asthma, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, colds cause similar side effects. Knowing the difference between the two ailments might ensure people get the relief they really need. 

    The experts at Men's Health magazine recently broke down both conditions to help people figure out which issue is leaving them feeling groggy. When it comes to allergies, looking for patterns is key. For example, if you get congestion, itchy eyes and a cough at the same time each year, it's more likely that you are inflicted with seasonal allergies than a cold. However, more research has shown that even people in their 50s can suddenly develop allergies, so talking with a doctor when symptoms come on is a great idea. 

    According to the news outlet, common colds share similar symptoms with allergies, though most people tend to be sicker when they have a cold rather than allergies. Cold patients might feel more run down or achy and could have more mucus or running noses than their counterparts with environmental issues like ragweed. 

  • Drastic temperature changes tied to increase in asthma attacks

    Asthma is a common respiratory condition affecting approximately 18.9 million American adults and 7.1 million children, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. Though tools such as inhalers or medical-grade air purifiers like the IQAir HealthPro Plus in the home can curb asthma's effects, new information highlights how much of a role the weather plays in incidents. 

    WSOCTV 9 reports that the temperature swing occurring in many parts around the U.S. is leading to major issues for people with asthma. Dr. Thomas Humphries, a local Charlotte, N.C., physician, told the news station that changes in temperature, or going from hot to cold or vice versa in a short period of time, can trigger issues with the lungs. 

    According to Humphries a simple act of leaving a warm home and hitting the pavement on a jog in slightly colder weather can lead to asthma complications, while a stretch of early warm weather can spark spring allergies and pollen, thus kicking asthma issues into high gear. 

    The physician points out that people with asthma may experience early symptoms of an attack during the spring months that include day and nighttime coughing, wheezing or a heaviness in the chest. 

  • Type 2 diabetes risk tied to pollution

    There are many factors that affect the amount and type of air pollution Americans deal with every day. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, cities around the nation face six specific "criteria pollutants" that can lead to issues like asthma and allergies as well as other respiratory problems. The criteria pollutants people in the U.S. deal with include ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and lead. These pollutants can arise from car emissions, pollution from factories and even grilling. 

    A new study conducted by German scientists published in the journal Diabetologica discovered yet another medical concern air pollution could be related to. Researchers tested whether there was a link between pollution and diabetes by collecting blood samples from almost 400 10-year old children. They also reviewed how much air pollution exposure each child had by checking out car emission reports from their neighborhoods as well as how densely populated their hometowns were, among other data.

    From the collected information it was found that kids with more exposure to air pollution also had "significantly higher insulin levels" than their peers who breathed in less air pollution. Though more research needs to be conducted, scientists believe there is a real link between diabetes development and air pollution levels. 

    Parents can ensure their family breathes in only the freshest air at home by installing a professional-grade air purifier like the IQAir GC MultiGas

  • The prevalence of allergies around the nation

    Most people around the nation have felt the effects of allergies, whether they be environmental or food related. CNN Health analysts recently broke down allergies by the numbers to show just how severe this common problem is. 

    According to the news outlet, in total, one in five Americans has either allergies or asthma, although the types of allergies they have can differ. For example, approximately 7 percent of all people with allergies face skin issues, while 6 percent of people with allergies develop side effects due to consuming certain foods. The majority of allergy patients (80 percent) are inflicted with respiratory problems from asthma or environmental triggers like ragweed.

    The most common food allergies include milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts and fish, while skin issues tend to arise from certain fragrances, antibiotics, cosmetics or jewelry materials. Environmental-related allergies typically come from trees, grass and weed pollen, mold spores, dust mites and animal dander, the news outlet found. 

    Not only do these issues cause problems like runny noses, itchy eyes and trouble breathing, they also cost a lot of money to treat. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, treating allergies, including doctors visits and medications, costs Americans a total of nearly $14.5 billion a year. Families can help keep allergy triggers out of the home by investing in professional-grade air purifiers like the IQAir HealthPro Plus

  • Parents' saliva may protect babies from allergies

    Most parents will do anything to keep their children healthy, though advice from a new study might come as a bit of a shock to new moms and dads. Scientists from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden recently published work in the journal Pediatrics stating that parents might be able to help their babies avoid getting eczema and asthma by cleaning off their pacifiers with their mouths. 

    Researchers tested this idea by recruiting 184 Swedish parents and their babies. During trials, half of the group cleaned their infants' pacifiers off with their mouths, while the second group washed them off with water. From the data, scientists found babies in the saliva group were "significantly less likely" to develop either eczema or asthma than their peers whose pacifiers were cleaned with water.

    Bill Hesselmar, lead author of the study, told NPR the benefits may lie in the microbiome, or bacteria that live in the parents' bodies, since their bacteria may be able to change that of their babies.

    "We think that these bacteria ... stimulate the immune system," Hesselmar told the radio station.

    According to the American Lung Association, more than 7 million kids under the age of 18 are already afflicted with asthma. Even though parents might not be able to help them avoid the issue now, they can help them cope better with the condition by investing in a medical-grade air purifier like the IQAir HealthPro Plus for the home.

  • Oral drops curb allergy, asthma effects in children

    It's no secret that allergies and asthma are two of the most common conditions people of all ages face.  However, helping youngsters find relief is growing even more important since in 2010, approximately 10 percent of all children under the age of 17 experienced some allergy symptoms. 

    Allergy shots have become more popular in recent years to help curb the side effects of seasonal allergies and asthma. Despite the benefits, a new review in the journal Pediatrics, found allergy-relief oral drops could be just as effective, without the pain.

    Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center discovered the results after reviewing a total of 13 studies involving more than 900 children who all had either the allergy shot, standard allergy medication or a placebo. They then cross-referenced these results with another 18 trials involving more than 1,500 kids who had either oral drops, a placebo or standard asthma medication. Overall, the scientists found the shots worked better than the other methods in relieving allergy symptoms, while the oral drops helped provide more relief from allergies and asthma in comparison to placebos or standard medication. 

    Though more trials need to be conducted to verify these results, parents might want to discuss oral drops with their child's doctor if he or she is dealing with allergies or asthma. Parents could also install a professional-grade air purifier like the IQAir HealthPro Plus to ensure kids breathe easy at home. 

  • Foods that fight allergy symptoms

    Allergy season is in full swing around most of the nation and for the more than 50 million Americas who suffer from some form of allergy, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, it might be time to consider new ways to beat the symptoms. NBC affiliate WRCB recently spoke with Pamela Kelle, a food coach and registered dietitian, to discuss how food can play a role in keeping allergy side effects at bay. 

    According to Kelle, consuming ample amounts of fresh produce is key in preventing inflammation and other issues caused by allergies. Berries and apples as well as leafy vegetables are the best options overall. 

    "The property in the skin of the apple helps the body stop the histamines from causing inflammation factors," Kelle told the news outlet, adding fruits high in vitamin C are also beneficial. "That's going to be a lot of our fruit, blueberries, strawberries, things that have a lot of color, the brightest ones to help."

    When it comes to allergy triggers, Kelle reports bananas and red peppers are among the biggest culprits, so those already starting to sneeze or cough due to allergies might want to stop eating these foods until the season has passed.

    Even though eating certain foods could help curb allergy side effects, installing a medical-grade air purifier like the IQAir HealthPro Plus could help even more. 

  • Using grocery delivery services is better for the environment

    Though grocery delivery services like Peapod by Stop & Shop have been around for years, some people might assume it's a waste of money and time to use such options. However, a new study conducted by scientists from the University of Washington found that using such services might be more eco-friendly. 

    To test this theory, researchers looked at delivery services versus traditional shopping in the Seattle area. From the collected data they discovered that, on average, delivery trucks produce 20 to 75 percent less carbon dioxide than what drivers would emit going shopping on their own. Erica Wygonik, co-author of the study, believes the pros far outweigh the cons when it comes to the environmental benefits delivery services provide. 

    "What's good for the bottom line of the delivery service provider is generally going to be good for the environment, because fuel is such a big contributor to operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions," said Wygonik. "Saving fuel saves money, which also saves on emissions."

    Air pollution is a serious problem around the nation. The Environmental Protection Agency reports prolonged exposure to such toxins can cause people to develop serious medical conditions such as cancer, respiratory problems or even fertility issues.  

    Switching to a grocery delivery service might be one way to cut your family's emissions rate, while installing a medical-grade air purifier like the IQAir GC MultiGas can also ensure everyone breathes clean air at home. 

  • Air Pollution: Not just an urban problem

    Most Americans have heard of air pollution, but might not think the issue affects them, especially if they live in quiet, suburban areas. Despite this feeling of safety, a new study conducting by members of the California Environmental Protection Agency found air pollution can strike anywhere, according to the Los Angeles Times.

    According to the report, scientists used an environmental health screen tool called CalEnviroScreen to evaluate how polluted certain areas of Southern California were. The collected data found the three highest air polluted town were all in the San Joaquin Valley, specifically, Fresno, Bakersfield and Stockton.

    "Some people expected most of these ZIP codes to be in industrial, urban areas," Sam Delson, a spokesman for California's Environmental Protection Agency, told the news outlet. "It was surprising to some that while many were in urban areas, a lot of them were in agricultural areas."

    The Clean Air Act reports the U.S. deals with six major air pollutants: carbon monoxide, ground-level ozone, lead, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter and sulfur dioxide, though there are many secondary issues as well. 

    Families interested in keeping air pollution out of their homes can invest in medical-grade air purifiers like the IQAir GC MultiGas to breathe easy indoors. 

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