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Allergens

  • Allergy season predicted to be longer, worse for people

    Environmental allergies like ragweed, pollen and grass can leave people with nasty symptoms ranging from runny noses and itchy eyes to soar throats and hives. While none of these side effects are ideal, most people understand that with the help of OTC medication and a medical-grade air purifier like the IQAir HealthPro Plus, the frustrating symptoms will be gone before they know it.

    However, what was once a quick allergy season is now growing into a much longer period of time. CBS Chicago reports a slew of different factors have made allergy seasons last longer, and made them worse for those affected.

    "The carbon dioxide makes the greens grow bigger and, the same thing with the weeds," Dr. Joseph Leija, an allergist, told the news outlet. "We can reasonably anticipate that in the future there is going to be a lot more exposure to pollen and that will precipitate more symptoms."

    While this news may be hard to hear, there are plenty of ways those with environmental allergies can survive the season. Staying away from trees, bushes and other shrubs that produce pollen is a must, as is keeping windows closed in the home and investing in nasal sprays or eye drops to curb symptoms.

  • Cure for cat allergies could be on the horizon

    People often become quite attached to their pets, but if a loved one is allergic, going near a cat can lead to issues like sneezing, coughing and itchy eyes. Approximately 10 percent of the U.S. population is allergic to animals, while between 20 and 30 percent of people with asthma deal with allergic reactions to pets, the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology reports.

    While investing in medical-grade air purifiers like the IQAir HealthPro Plus can reduce symptoms, a more permanent solution could be on the horizon. Researchers from the University of Cambridge recently discovered a single protein, Fel d 1, in cat hair that they believe is responsible for triggering allergic reactions. 

    Fel d 1 is a tiny piece of skin typically found along with dried saliva from when a cat grooms itself, for example. This finding could lead the way for a cure for cat and other animal allergies in the future. Until a cure is found, researchers recommend cat lovers try allergy shots to limit the side effects of allergies. On the same note, cleaning the home regularly and keeping felines out of certain rooms like the bedroom can go a long way in curbing symptoms. 

  • Cutting smoking from casinos could save lives

    Casinos are among the last private-run businesses that allow guests to smoke indoors. While smoking bans have been implemented around the nation in other facilities to help curb secondhand smoke, a new study might entice casinos to follow suit. Scientists from the University of California, San Francisco, recently found that casinos that banned smoking indoors saw fewer medical emergencies than their counterparts that still allow people to puff inside.

    The findings, published in the journal Circulation, show that smoke-free facilities could lead to a decrease in a wide variety of heart-related issues such as stroke and heart attack. During trials, scientists reviewed information on Gilpin County, a small city about an hour outside of Denver, Colo. The area is home to more than two dozen casinos and it's reported that these facilities bring in about 40,000 people annually.  

    From January 2000 through December 2012, more than 16,600 ambulance calls were reported around town. However, following an indoor smoking ban at casinos put into place in 2008, ambulance calls to these facilities dropped by close to 20 percent. This shows just how serious secondhand smoke is and ways in which people can limit others' exposure.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, secondhand smoke has been found to cause an estimated 46,000 premature deaths from heart disease each year among nonsmokers. Casinos can cut back on secondhand smoke by banning smoking indoors and by installing professional-grade air purifiers like the IQAir HealthPro Plus

  • Wet summer means ragweeds bloom

    Ragweed is one environmental allergy that wreaks havoc on people's immune systems around the nation. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, people affected by ragweed or hay fever tend to experience a wide array of symptoms ranging from sneezing and stuffy noses to itchy throats, swollen eyelids and even hives. 

    Unfortunately for many around the U.S., ragweed season is fast approaching, and this year, the pollen is taking names. The Plain Dealer reports ragweed pollen tends to spike in mid-August, and due to the heavy rains that hit much of the country this summer, it's expected that the ragweed count will be higher than it has in a long time. 

    While some might breathe easy at home thanks to a medical-grade air purifier like the IQAir HealthPro Plus, others might be interested in learning other ways to curb allergies' effects. The news outlet suggests people with known ragweed allergies take precautions - using eye drops and antihistamines - before the season spikes. This way, individuals can stop symptoms in their tracks. 

  • Wet summer means ragweeds bloom

    Ragweed is one environmental allergy that wreaks havoc on people's immune systems around the nation. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, people affected by ragweed or hay fever tend to experience a wide array of symptoms ranging from sneezing and stuffy noses to itchy throats, swollen eyelids and even hives. 

    Unfortunately for many around the U.S., ragweed season is fast approaching, and this year, the pollen is taking names. The Plain Dealer reports ragweed pollen tends to spike in mid-August, and due to the heavy rains that hit much of the country this summer, it's expected that the ragweed count will be higher than it has in a long time. 

    While some might breathe easy at home thanks to a medical-grade air purifier like the IQAir HealthPro Plus, others might be interested in learning other ways to curb allergies' effects. The news outlet suggests people with known ragweed allergies take precautions - using eye drops and antihistamines - before the season spikes. This way, individuals can stop symptoms in their tracks. 

  • Be proactive: Tips for helping your pet deal with allergies

    Allergies are a common problem for many Americans. Whether families deal with environmental allergies such as grass or ragweed, or food allergies with peanut butter or milk, the majority of people understand the annoying symptoms of this problem. Unfortunately, the same side effects that plague kids and adults can also pop up in pets, making it more important than ever to learn the signs of pet allergies and ways to stave them off. 

    "Seasonal allergies are just as frustrating for pets as they are for humans," said veterinarians from Wadsworth Animal Hospital in Lakewood, Colo. "Since many skin conditions have similar symptoms, pet dermatology is essential to identifying the precise trigger for a pet's skin problem... "

    There are many ways to evaluate if a pet has allergies, starting with monitoring the animal to check for any differences in its behavior. For example, a dog that is suddenly scratching or biting its skin more, sneezing or experiencing more build-up in its eyes could be living with allergies. CNN reports pet owners can help their allergic dogs and cats feel better by making sure the house is clean and free of dust mites and pollen. Vacuuming regularly, keeping the windows shut during peak allergy season and even investing in a medical-grade air purifier like the IQAir HealthPro Plus, can all help a dog or cat and the family feel better. 

  • Maternal smoking could be tied to asthma in third generation

    Asthma is one of the most common conditions in the U.S., affecting close to 19 million people. With such a presence, many wonder what causes the condition and if there are ways to prevent or curb its symptoms. According to a new study conducted by scientists from the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and published in the American Journal of Physiology, asthma could be tied to individuals' maternal grandmother. 

    Researchers discovered that "maternal nicotine exposure" during pregnancy may be a cause of asthma in the third generation of a family. This leap, known as transgenerational linkage, is unique because it shows how a child who was never personally exposed to nicotine or smoking can still develop asthma as a result of his or her grandmother's habit. 

    "Even though there are multiple causes for childhood asthma, research linking this serious chronic condition to maternal nicotine exposure during pregnancy for up to three generations should give mothers-to-be even more reasons to reconsider smoking," said Dr. Virender K. Rehan, lead author of the study.

    While it may be hard to change history after a child is born, parents can help ease the asthma symptoms their children are experiencing by investing in an air purifier such as the IQAir HealthPro Plus

  • Children should be included in discussions about their asthma

    It's true in most cases that parents know what's best for their children. However, when it comes to figuring out how able a child is based on his or her asthma symptoms, sometimes it's the kids who know best. A new study conducted by scientists from UT Kids San Antonio and the Center for Airway Inflammation Research discovered it's important to include children in check-ups with physicians.

    The findings, published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, were discovered after reviewing quality-of-life questionnaire answers from parents and 79 children with asthma. The survey asked the children to rate their own limitations due to asthma and their parents were asked to rate how the child's asthma affected or limited family activities.

    From the results, researchers noticed caregivers were more likely to rate a youngster's asthma as more limiting to the family, but the kids usually viewed themselves as less impaired. While a parent might only be looking out for his or her child, the takeaway of the study is that children with asthma might be a better indicator of what they can and cannot do. 

    More than 7 million children in the U.S. are living with asthma, according to the American Lung Association. Even though kids might think they're immune to the side effects of the lung problem, it's important that parents help their kids breathe easy at home. Investing in an air purifier like the IQAir HealthPro Plus will ensure a child with asthma breathes fresh air at all times in the house.

  • Smartphone app could help people with food allergies eat safer

    In today's society, up to 15 million Americans are living with food allergies, while this allergy affects one in every 13 children under the age of 18, according to Food Allergy Research and Education. While these and other allergies can be regulated with EpiPens or by avoiding certain foods altogether, it can be hard for people with food allergies to go to eat out. 

    However, the worry of eating something with a trigger food in it may soon be avoidable thanks to a smartphone app and specialized cradle that is able to look for specific ingredients. Fox News reports researchers from the University of Illinois, Urban-Champaign, created the handheld biosensor that uses a series of lenses and filters to detect toxins, bacteria and even allergens in food by simply holding it over the item in question. 

    While the project is still in the experimental phase, it could be a valuable tool for people in the coming years. This is just the latest in tools to track allergies, as the MyAllergyTest, an at-home screening system that can test for up to 10 common allergies, was FDA approved in June. 

    The test checks for things like Bermuda grass, cat, cedar, house dust mites, ragweed and other allergens. While food allergies can be harder to track, those with environmental or pet allergies can breathe easier at home by investing in an air purifier like the IQAir HealthPro Plus

  • Smartphone app could help people with food allergies eat safer

    In today's society, up to 15 million Americans are living with food allergies, while this allergy affects one in every 13 children under the age of 18, according to Food Allergy Research and Education. While these and other allergies can be regulated with EpiPens or by avoiding certain foods altogether, it can be hard for people with food allergies to go to eat out. 

    However, the worry of eating something with a trigger food in it may soon be avoidable thanks to a smartphone app and specialized cradle that is able to look for specific ingredients. Fox News reports researchers from the University of Illinois, Urban-Champaign, created the handheld biosensor that uses a series of lenses and filters to detect toxins, bacteria and even allergens in food by simply holding it over the item in question. 

    While the project is still in the experimental phase, it could be a valuable tool for people in the coming years. This is just the latest in tools to track allergies, as the MyAllergyTest, an at-home screening system that can test for up to 10 common allergies, was FDA approved in June. 

    The test checks for things like Bermuda grass, cat, cedar, house dust mites, ragweed and other allergens. While food allergies can be harder to track, those with environmental or pet allergies can breathe easier at home by investing in an air purifier like the IQAir HealthPro Plus

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