Fresh Air News

  • Kids with asthma, allergies could be more likely to develop ADHD

    Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common problem among adolescents. Approximately 9.5 percent of all children between the ages of 4 and 17 have been diagnosed with the condition, and it's likely this number will grow in the coming years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While there are various predictions about what causes a youngster to develop ADHD, a new study found that it could be tied to allergies and asthma.

    Researchers from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology tested this notion by studying a group of boys with and without ADHD. Scientists reviewed the overall health of 884 young men with ADHD and more than 3,500 boys who did not have the disorder. From the data it was discovered that approximately 34 percent of kids with ADHD had asthma, while 35 percent had an allergy - both higher rates than their peers without the condition. 

    The findings, published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, suggest that medication used to curb allergy and asthma side effects could play a role in the development of ADHD, but more research needs to be conducted to verify this assumption. For now, parents can help youngsters with allergies breathe better at home by investing in a professional-grade air purifier like the IQAir HealthPro Plus

  • Fresh baby foods could reduce allergy risks in kids

    It's estimated that more than 15 million Americans have food allergies, while approximately one in 13 children under the age of 18 have been diagnosed with at least one food intolerance, Food Allergy Research & Education reports. While these types of allergies can't be fixed by installing a medical-grade air purifier like the IQAir HealthPro Plus, a new study finds that starting kids off on the right foot when it comes to nutrition could reduce the high number of food allergy cases.

    Scientists from the University of Southampton in the U.K. reviewed the dietary habits of 1,140 babies during their first year of life. Parents were asked to fill out a diet log for 12 months, detailing everything their infants consumed each day. Food allergy diagnoses were also disclosed to researchers over the course of the trials.

    The findings, published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, discovered that babies who ate a diet full of healthy, often homemade, vegetables, fruits and more were less likely to develop food allergies than their peers who consumed more processed, or pre-made baby food.

    While more research needs to be conducted to verify these results, new parents might want to try going organic or all-natural with their infants' food to keep allergies at bay.

  • 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. 

  • Incense smoke has similar side effects as smoking

    Burning incense has been a popular method of freshening up a room for centuries. While the technique is somewhat popular in the U.S., it's more widely used in Arabian Gulf countries, where two main varieties - Oudh and Bakhoor- are more commonly known. Scientists from the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill recently tested the health risks of these types of incense to see if using them indoors poses any threats.

    During their trials, researchers "identified and measured" the particles and gases emitted from these types of incense and reviewed how the emissions affected lung cells taken from participants from the United Arab Emirates. Lung cells were exposed to one of the two popular varieties of incense for three hours and were then left in the rooms for a total of 24 hours to check for any damage or concerns.

    From the data, scientists found both types of incense spread "significant amounts" of various particles, including carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and oxides of nitrogen, which can lead to inflammation in the lungs. Other side effects include eye, nose, throat and skin irritation as well as respiratory issues similar to those faced by smokers. 

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that smoking causes more than 440,000 deaths in the U.S. annually. Since incense use could hold similar threats, it might be smart for users to burn the products outside or invest in a professional-grade air purifier like the IQAir GC MultiGas to breathe easier in the home.

  • Know the signs of smog to breathe better in summer

    Once the weather warms up, most people head outdoors to spend time enjoying the wonders of nature. Even though traveling to the park to play games or trekking to campgrounds to set up tents for the weekend can be fun, if the air quality is poor, these outings can spell trouble. According to the Washington State Department of Health, a combination of hot, humid air, car exhaust and camp fire smoke can raise the levels of air pollution, making it harder for people to breathe.

    "We want people to be aware of the risks and know how to protect themselves from health problems related to poor air quality," said Maryanne Guichard, the assistant secretary of environmental public health.

    Symptoms of smog or unhealthy levels of population in the air include coughing or wheezing, watery or irritated eyes and runny noses. These conditions can be even worse for people with asthma, making it harder for these individuals to enjoy being outside.

    Since more than 18 million Americans are already living with asthma, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it could be smart for these people to take certain precautions to protect their health in summer. Avoiding outdoor activities on high smog days is one way to curb asthma side effects, as is installing a medical-grade air purifier like the IQAir GC MultiGas to breathe clean air at home.

  • Know the signs of smog to breathe better in summer

    Once the weather warms up, most people head outdoors to spend time enjoying the wonders of nature. Even though traveling to the park to play games or trekking to campgrounds to set up tents for the weekend can be fun, if the air quality is poor, these outings can spell trouble. According to the Washington State Department of Health, a combination of hot, humid air, car exhaust and camp fire smoke can raise the levels of air pollution, making it harder for people to breathe.

    "We want people to be aware of the risks and know how to protect themselves from health problems related to poor air quality," said Maryanne Guichard, the assistant secretary of environmental public health.

    Symptoms of smog or unhealthy levels of population in the air include coughing or wheezing, watery or irritated eyes and runny noses. These conditions can be even worse for people with asthma, making it harder for these individuals to enjoy being outside.

    Since more than 18 million Americans are already living with asthma, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it could be smart for these people to take certain precautions to protect their health in summer. Avoiding outdoor activities on high smog days is one way to curb asthma side effects, as is installing a medical-grade air purifier like the IQAir GC MultiGas to breathe clean air at home.

  • Air pollution could be tied to appendicitis

    In most cases, appendicitis is caused by a blockage, including a stool, foreign body or in some incidents, cancer, of the appendix, according to WebMD. Blockages can also be cause by infection. While these issues are well known, a new study indicates that air pollution could also be to blame for the common condition.

    Scientists from the University of Calgary published their recent findings in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. During trials, researchers analyzed the medical records of more than 35,000 patients who were hospitalized for appendicitis in one of 12 Canadian cities between 2004 and 2008. Scientists compared the medical records to air pollution data from each city to calculate how much pollution each person was exposed to near the time of their medical emergency. 

    From the data, it was discovered that the number of people who had appendicitis increased when ozone levels were higher than normal. In fact, for each 16 parts per billion increase in air pollution, the number of ruptured appendix cases increased by between 11 and 22 percent. 

    Even though there is no way to prevent appendicitis, families can limit air pollution exposure at home by investing in a professional-grade air purifier like the IQAir GC MultiGas

  • 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. 

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