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Allergens

  • Ragweed season expected to be longer in 2011

    This year, seasonal allergy sufferers were caught by surprise when rising temperatures resulted in a significant extension to the ragweed season. So far, 2011 has seen "one of the worst, and longest, allergy seasons yet," reports ABC News.

    Why this allergy season is expected to be more severe than usual
    According to Reuters, the culprit is climate change. This year's higher-than-average temperatures have caused the regular ragweed season to become extended by as much as three weeks, and perhaps more. In addition to the added heat, the added dampness from the extra showers - not to mention Hurricane Irene - on the East Coast has produced a climate that's perfect for ragweed growth.

    Sunny days and damp conditions caused by excessive rainfall create the perfect climate for Ambrosia artemisiifolia, also known as common ragweed. There are 41 known species of ragweed found in the world today and 17 of these occur in North America, however Ambrosia artemisiifolia is the most prevalent and the most likely to cause distress in the fall allergy season. The plant is leafy green and usually blossoms with tiny, golden flowers in late summer and early fall. It can grow up to three feet tall.

    A word about ragweed allergies and symptoms
    Those who suffer from seasonal allergies know that ragweed is no laughing matter. Between 10 and 20 percent of Americans suffer from ragweed allergies, a condition also known as "hay fever," and those who suffer from other pollen allergies are 75 percent more likely to have a reaction to ragweed pollen as well, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

    Symptoms of hay fever range from itchy eyes, nose and throat, sneezing, stuffy or runny nose and trouble sleeping. Those who are also afflicted with asthma may find that exposure to ragweed pollen exacerbates their symptoms.

    If you haven't been officially diagnosed with a ragweed allergy, but you feel yourself responding to the added amount of pollen in the air this season, you should make an appointment with your doctor to be tested for allergies. Allergies can develop at any time in a person's life, so just because you haven't experienced symptoms previously doesn't mean you're not allergic.

    What you can do to find relief
    When braving the great outdoors, those with allergies should be sure to take their daily allergy medication. If antihistamines aren't effective in combating symptoms, another option is immunotherapy. Talk to your doctor to ascertain the best solution for you. Avoiding exposure is the best way to reduce symptoms.

    Inside your home, you should make efforts to ensure that every room is as hypoallergenic as possible. This includes frequent cleaning and maintenance, such as sweeping and vacuuming floors and upholstered furniture, and other fabrics like curtains and table cloths. You may also want to consider purchasing hypoallergenic mattress covers and furniture cases, especially if you find that your allergies are usually more severe when you get up in the morning. Fabrics can trap these pollens, increasing your chances of being exposed to their effects. For those who suffer from advanced allergies, it's a good idea to use hypoallergenic furniture covers for sofas and upholstered chairs.

    Of course, within the home, most experts would agree that the number one thing you can do to protect yourself from airborne allergens and other irritants is to invest in a professional-quality home air purifier such as the IQAir HealthPro Plus. This HealthPro Plus is a medical-grade home air purifier equipped with a top-of-the-line HyperHEPA filter that has been clinically proven to remove 99.5 percent of common household irritants such as airborne bacteria and viruses, pet dander, mold spores and, of course, pollens such as ragweed. If you're serious about protecting your family from this year's extended ragweed season, consider investing in the IQAir HealthPro Plus or another medical-grade air purifier today.

  • Pet allergies don't necessarily mean you have to get rid of your cat

    Pet lovers everywhere know that their furry loved ones are more than just pets - they're family. That's why so many people grieve when they find out that they've developed a pet allergy. However, some pet owners may rejoice to know that a new pet allergy doesn't automatically mean they have to kiss their labradoodles goodbye. Unless your allergies are severe, there are a few ways you can optimize your home for a peaceful pet-owner relationship.

    In many cases, making the extra effort to keep your home clean can dramatically reduce symptoms. Trade your carpeting for tiles and hardwood floors to prevent pet dander from becoming matted into the material. Make sure you sweep and vacuum on a regular basis in order to prevent allergen buildup. You should also vacuum your upholstered furniture, especially if it's a place your pet frequents. Of course, if your allergies are really bothering you, you might want to consider implementing a strict no-pets-on-the-furniture policy.

    Perhaps the most effective thing you can do to protect your home from this common allergen is to invest in a home air purifier. Medical-grade air purifiers can help remove irritants such as pet dander from your home so that you and your beloved pet can live in harmony.

  • Making your bedroom an allergy-free zone

    Spring and fall can be a terrible time for allergy-sufferers everywhere, but there's nothing worse than being forced to feel the effects of the seasons inside your own home. For many people, the bedroom is the most offending area in the house, as all of the fabrics and upholstery make it a prime place for allergens to settle in.

    If you're tired of waking up each morning with itchy, watery eyes and a stuffy nose, it may be time to invest in the right materials to make your bedroom an allergy-free arena.

    Dust and other allergens become trapped within the pillows and mattress that you rest on each night. Keep these areas clean by using hypoallergenic pillowcases and mattress covers, which will prevent these allergens from settling in to stay.

    Hardwood floors are the best flooring for allergy sufferers, however if you have a carpet you'd rather not part with, consider getting a HEPA vacuum cleaner. This will help remove dust and other allergens that can become matted deep within the rug, causing a flareup of your symptoms.

    Finally, the best thing you can do to protect your home from airborne allergens and other irritants is to invest in a home air purifier. Medical-grade purifiers can help remove over 99 percent of indoor air pollution, which will help relieve your allergy symptoms and allow you to get a full night's rest.

  • Halloween brings unexpected complications for asthma and allergy sufferers

    When most people conjure up images of Halloween, they think of fun costumes, spooky decor and, of course, the candy. However, asthma and allergy sufferers may have other things on their mind on this festive holiday, including the sometimes unexpected triggers that are found lurking in their Halloween costumes, reports HealthDay News. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), dusty costumes, moldy pumpkins and fog machines can cause big problems for unsuspecting trick-or-treaters.

    "When people think of Halloween-associated allergies, they focus on candy and often overlook many other potential triggers," Dr. Myron Zitt, former ACAAI president, told the news source. "By planning ahead, you can ensure not only safe treats, but also safe costumes, makeup, accessories and decorations."

    In order to assure that you and your family are ready for Halloween, unpack all of your holiday decorations and costume materials early and ensure that they get a thorough cleaning before use. When storing items, try to seal cloth items like costumes in vacuum-sealed plastic so that the dust won't have a chance to settle in. Stow your items in a well-ventilated storage space to reduce your chances of unpleasant complications by next year. Using a home air purifier will also reduce the chances of allergens and asthma triggers becoming ensconced in your holiday decorations.

  • Fall allergies may be easily triggered this year

    Those who suffer from seasonal allergies may be ready to welcome the colder months, however it may be too early to start celebrating. With the elevated levels of pollen and mold in the air this year, people can still expect to have their allergies triggered from such simple activities as raking leaves, reports the Courier Journal.

    "Fall weed pollens usually persist until the first good freeze, and...there is always some mold in the air unless there is a coat of snow on the ground," Dr. Derek Damin, an allergist with Kentuckiana Allergy, told the news source. "So we are not out of the woods yet."

    Because the air outdoors is still packed with allergens like pollen and mold, it's doubly important for allergy sufferers to protect the air inside their homes. Airborne allergens can easily travel inside the home and cause irritation and other symptoms.

    The best way to protect a home from these and other types of common allergens is by investing in a home air purifier like the IQAir HealthPro Plus. The medical-grade filter can help remove more than 99 percent of airborne irritants and ensure that the family is breathing easy all year long.

  • Fall allergies are slated to be more powerful than ever this year

    One of the worst things about seasonal allergies due to airborne substances like pollen and mold spores is that they can follow you right into your home, where they will linger and exacerbate allergy symptoms. Therefore, it's important for allergy sufferers to be more proactive about protecting their living space.

    This year, climate changes are producing higher-than-average pollen counts that are sure to mean trouble for those prone to allergy symptoms, reports ABC News.

    "As we're seeing warmer and warmer weather, the fall gets warmer and longer and the effect is that there's no frost to kill the ragweed and end the allergy season," Estelle Levetin, chairwoman of the aerobiology committee for the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, told the news source.

    If you're looking for ways to protect yourself from airborne allergens, consider taking the following steps to safeguard your living environment:

    1. Remove shoes and outerwear and keep them stored in a separate area away from your living space, or else wipe them off with a bristle brush before entering your home or office.

    2. Keep up with your regular cleaning by dusting and polishing furniture and appliances on a daily or weekly basis, depending on the severity of the problem.

    3. Invest in medical-grade air purifiers for your home and office to take care of those particles that, despite your best efforts, manage to make it inside.

  • How to safely remove mold from your home

    Mold can make you very sick, and once something in your home gets damp, you have about 24 hours to deal with it before mold can set in and cause irreparable damage. If you have flooding or a leak in your home, you must deal with it right away.

    If anything in your home has been wet for two days or more, it has mold growing on it, even if you can't see it. Remove everything from your home that's been wet for two days. Anything made of plush materials must be removed, and all hard surfaces need to be scrubbed with bleach.

    While cleaning, wear protective gear like boots, a mask, gloves and goggles, and never mix the bleach with any other cleansers. Rinse the item that you cleaned and leave it out to dry thoroughly.

    If you suspect you have mold in your home and it's making you sick, you should invest in an air purifier like those we sell at FreshAirPro. The IQAir HealthPro Plus is one of the best models for removing mold spores from your household air, as it filters tiny particles at only .003 microns in size - that's 100 times smaller than other air purifiers are capable of filtering. Don't let all your cleaning go to waste. Keep your air clean with FreshAirPro.

  • What are mold allergies?

    If you have allergies that you suspected were seasonal but never seem to go away, you may actually be allergic to mold. Mold allergies are difficult to deal with, as mold can grow anywhere and is often found in homes. Trying to clean up the mold can actually make the problem worse by spreading it through the air. That's why professional help is needed for mold removal.

    Though mold and other fungal allergies are generally more common in the summer months, they can affect allergy sufferers year-round if the the mold is found in the home. Mold allergies don't end with the first frost, as other fall allergies do. It does, however, stay dormant in the winter.

    Antihistamines and other drug therapies may help, but there are other things you can do to reduce mold spores in your home. Keep humidity low and the air cool with dehumidifiers and central air. The best thing you can do to start clearing your air of mold spores, however, is install a Hyper-HEPA-grade air purification system.

    If you're looking for a professional-grade air purifier, try one of the top-of-the-line models we carry at FreshAirPro. The IQAir HealthPro Plus is one of the best purifiers on the market today. While other purifiers of its kind can only filter particles .3 microns in size, the HealthPro Plus can clear the air of particles as small as .003 microns. Freshen up your air with FreshAirPro.

  • Charlotte, North Carolina, high on the list for cities with the worst fall allergies

    Fall allergies are bad, but some have it worse than others. Residents of Charlotte, North Carolina, are itching and sneezing up a storm. Fox News in Charlotte recently reported that the city was ranked in the top 20 in a survey of the country's worst cities for fall allergy sufferers.

    According to the news source, results were based on medicine sales and pollen counts. One of the biggest culprits is ragweed, but since it's been such a rainy fall, mold is becoming increasingly problematic. Last week, between 5 and 8 inches of rain fell in Charlotte, and although the rain provided temporary relief from ragweed pollen, it has some suffering worse than ever from mold spores.

    Although there are over-the-counter medications for allergy symptoms, many have negative side effects like drowsiness. If you think you have mold in your house, one of the best things you can do is purchase a professional-grade air purifier, like those available through us at FreshAirPro.

    One of our top-selling filtration systems is the HealthPro Plus by IQAir. While most air purifiers can only remove particles larger than .3 microns, IQAir's HealthPro Plus features a HyperHEPA filtration system, which can actually filter particles as small as .003 microns in size. Find relief from allergies, at least at home, with the HealthPro Plus.

  • Why are allergy sufferers facing such a difficult fall?

    Many allergy sufferers have been reporting symptoms that are worse than ever this fall. Unfortunately, not only were these results predicted, but a further premonition is that those bad allergies will last at least a few weeks longer than usual due to global warming.

    In addition to pesky ragweed allergies, mushroom and mold spores are abundant because the warm, wet summer stirred up excellent conditions for their growth. Luckily, mold usually stays dormant in the winter. For those who seem to still be suffering from mold allergies well into winter, it may be time to invest in a medical-grade air purifier for your home.

    We at FreshAirPro offer top-of-the-line air purifiers like the AllerAir 5000 Vocarb Air Purifier. This popular model provides protection from Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), allergens, odors and other particulate matter. It can offer relief from mold spores, dust mites, pet dander and pollen, just to name a few.

    As for those suffering from ragweed allergies this fall, they are likely to simmer a bit as the days grow shorter, however, they won't completely go away until after the first frost. For now and for the future, protect yourself with air purifiers from FreshAirPro.

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