Best Dust And Pollen Masks For Allergies
Year-round, particles are in the air we breathe. During the spring, trees, flowers, and weeds bloom, Cooler weather brings ragweeds, goldenrods, and molds. If you are planning on going outside, you will be exposed to them. Fortunately, the ragweeds and goldenrods will be gone with the first few touches of frost. Mold can linger all winter.
Regardless of the season, if you have seasonal allergies you can reduce exposure throughout the year by wearing one of these face masks while working, exercising, or just enjoying the outdoors.
Allergy Skin Prick Test
This test is performed in your doctors office so they can observe any reactions.
Using a clean needle, your doctor will prick your skins surface , and deposit a tiny amount of the allergen. Youll likely be tested for several allergens at the same time. Youll also be skin pricked with a control solution that has no allergens. Your doctor may number each prick to identify the allergen.
In about 15 to 20 minutes, the skin prick site may become red or swollen. This reaction confirms an allergy to that substance. A positive cat allergy will usually cause a red, itchy bump to the cat allergen. These unpleasant effects generally go away 30 minutes after the test.
Dissolvable Tablets Dont Work For People With Severe Allergies To Grass Pollen
- By Beverly Merz, Executive Editor, Harvard Women’s Health Watch
Its summertime andif youre in Eugene, Oregonthe livin is sneezy. Eugene is the nations top spot for allergies this week according to IMS Health, a health information company that provides allergy alerts for cities across the nation. Eugene residents can blame their runny noses and itchy eyes on the citys abundant grasses, which are currently spewing high levels of pollen into the air.
Eugene is just the tip of the allergy iceberg. If you live near a patch of green, you routinely inhale pollen. Youre in good company if your body reacts to it. More than 50 million Americans have pollen allergies or hay fever.
If you have a troublesome allergy to grass pollen but have resisted getting allergy shots, you might have cheered last year when the FDA approved a no-needles alternative a daily tablet you let dissolve under your tongue.
Unfortunately, an analysis of 13 controlled clinical trials indicates that dissolvable tablets are only slightly more effective than placebos in curtailing classic symptoms of grass pollen allergyrunny nose, itchy eyes, and tickly throat. To make matters worse, more than 60% of people who used the tablets experienced irritating side effects.
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Susceptibility To A Pollen Allergy
Many people wonder if pollen allergies are genetic. Researchers are still studying this question, but studies suggest that yes, a hereditary component is involved. Having a blood relative with allergies or asthma increases your risk of having one or more allergies though the specific type is not passed down, just the increased odds. To complicate the matter more, prolonged exposure to the allergen also plays a role in whether or not you develop allergies. Even if you have a genetic susceptibility, you may not develop a problem if you mostly avoid the allergen. Having asthma, atopic dermatitis, and/or allergies to other triggers can also increase your risk.9
If youve made it into your 20s, 30s, or 40s without allergies, you may wonder if youre home free. Not necessarily. It is possible for adults to develop allergies to pollen and other triggers even into middle age. In general, the number of individuals suffering from hay fever is increasing in both the United States and around the world.10
Once you reach middle age, however, your chance of developing allergies to pollen decreases. The immune system weakens as you grow older, so its less likely for it to experience a hyper-allergic reaction.12
Plan Your Time Outdoors
One of the best ways to manage a pollen allergy is to avoid exposure to pollen as much as possible and go outside when pollen counts are lowest.
All allergy sufferers know the amount of pollen falling varies by the season. However, the weather can also affect it. Dry, windy, and hot days can result in pollen being carried over long distances. On the other hand, you may find relief when the weather is humid and rainy because pollen is more likely to stay on the ground when its damp. Days without wind can be better too since pollen is not as easily spread when the air is still.13
Even the time of day can affect the amount of pollen in the air typically pollen counts are lowest before dawn, rise throughout the morning, and peak around the middle of the day. By late afternoon and early evening, the numbers decline again. City dwellers should note that pollen count arcs often go up and down later in urban areas than in the suburbs as it takes time for the wind to transport the airborne particles from more rural places.14 15
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What Is Pet Dander Exactly
Pet dander is composed of tiny particles of skin that is shed from animals with fur or feathers. This dander is mostly attached to the pet hair at the bottom.
Hence in case of non-shedding breeds, the hair does not fall and the dander is not released into the environment These non-shedding dog breeds do not release dander into the air and it is not inhaled by the allergic person.
But the lack of loss of hair cannot qualify the pet as completely non-allergic. Different dogs have differences in protein production and cause a different degree of reaction in people, this is true even though the dog belongs to the same breeds. Thus even dogs of the same breed can cause a different degree of allergic reactions in an allergic person for reasons unknown.
Hence no dog is completely hypoallergenic. The fact is that some dogs that dont shed, which are considered to be hypoallergenic, go well with people who are allergic to the pet dander. Here, in this case, the hair does not fall and the allergic reaction does not occur.
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Natural Remedies For Seasonal Allergies
At this time of year, many people are suffering from seasonal allergies. The symptoms can include itching, sneezing, congestion and runny nose, headaches, red or watery eyes, and so on. They can vary from mild to severe, acute to chronic.
Seasonal allergies, sometimes referred to as hay fever, result from exposure to spores or pollen released into the atmosphere by fungi, grasses, trees, and other plants. That plant material is mistaken for an invasive protein by your bodys immune system, leading to the production of chemicals like histamine. Histamine attempts to attack or expel the invader, resulting in the bothersome symptoms described above. Those who experience seasonal allergies are also intolerant to certain foods which they cannot easily digest. The poorly digested food is often regurgitated back into the respiratory tract leading to many of the allergy symptoms noted above. The big food culprit is dairy products followed by eggs, poultry, red meat, bread/wheat, certain nuts, and alcohol. With the immune system becoming increasing compromised with continued consumption of the biggest food culprits, the person become more sensitized to other food triggers and environmental triggers.
1) Hydration through Water
When the respiratory and digestive systems are dehydrated, the immune system will cause a rebound effect leading to nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, and/or coughing. Do the following in order to optimize your hydration:
2) Saline nasal rinses
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Choose Your Outdoor Greenery Wisely
While you can’t control the world, you can decide what trees and plants populate your yard. Trees produce pollen earliest in the season, and poplar, willow, and cottonwood trees are some common culprits.19 Try to identify which trees trigger symptoms and consider replacing them with a different type. Similarly, populate your garden with trees and plants fertilized by insects, such as pear and cherry trees and roses, in order to reduce pollen-heavy vegetation.20
Weed pollen can also be problematic for allergy sufferers, especially in the late summer to early fall. Pollen can come from a variety of weeds with ragweed, the worst offender, generating 1 million grains each day from just one plant. Sagebrush, tumbleweed, pigweed, and more can also cause plenty of misery. To reduce the pollen count in your yard, try to keep up with weeding and brush removal and use rocks or plastic gravel to prevent weeds from growing.21 22
What Causes Allergic Rhinitis
When your body comes into contact with an allergen, it releases histamine, which is a natural chemical that defends your body from the allergen. This chemical can cause allergic rhinitis and its symptoms, including a runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes.
In addition to tree pollen, other common allergens include:
- grass pollen
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Dont Just Tough It Out If You Cant Find Relief From Your Allergy Symptoms
No one wants to be miserable. Bad allergies can ruin your quality of life and affect your overall health if symptoms turn into a sinus or upper respiratory infection. The good thing is you have options.
If youve never talked with a doctor about your allergies before, start by making a primary care appointment. Whether you choose a video visit or in-person appointment, your primary care doctor will listen to your symptoms, answer any questions you have and work with you to create a tailored treatment plan including connecting you with specialists like an allergist or an otolaryngologist if needed.
Your doctor can also help make sure if symptoms are related to allergies or COVID-19, a cold or something else.
Have you already been diagnosed with seasonal allergies? Make an appointment with an allergist. If youre struggling to get relief this season or your allergy symptoms feel like theyre getting worse, you can see an allergist without a referral. Allergists specialize in treating severe allergies.
Treating Both The Cause And Symptoms
Each of these medications has a different mechanism of action. Some may be used to treat acute symptoms while others aim to achieve longer-lasting relief. The choice depends largely on the types of symptoms you have as well as their severity.
Does This Mean I Cant Have A Lab
Not necessarily, but if you are someone who is very sensitive to allergens then a Labrador may not be the best dog for you. However, if you dont have severe dog allergies, then owning a Labrador could be quite manageable for you. Some tests have shown that Labs may have fewer allergens than some of the other large breeds.
Owning a Lab would be dependent on several factors. How much work are you willing to do to lower the number of allergens in your home? How often are you willing to brush and bathe your pet? What changes are you willing to make around your house so the hair doesnt collect? Are you willing to take allergy medications on a regular basis? There are several things you can do to lower the allergens in your home but you have to decide if owning a Lab is worth it.
There are a number of breeds that may be easier on allergies that you could bring into your home. The American Kennel Club suggests these breeds for people who have dog allergies:
- Afghan Hound
You may not be able to own a Lab, but you still might be able to own a dog!
Avoid This One Drink To Help Overcome Your Ragweed Allergy Symptoms
Living with a ragweed allergy can make life absolutely miserable for a good chunk of the year. The worst part? The most intense ragweed allergy symptoms seem to hit right when you should be enjoying the best of what the warmer months have to offer. When youre dealing with ragweed allergies, poolside relaxation, vacationing by the ocean, hiking by a meadow or mountain and long hours in the garden are often accompanied by seasonal allergy symptoms like a scratchy throat, an itchy feeling on the inside of your ears, itchy, watery, swollen eyes, a runny nose .
Youre not alone in this warm-season malady, though. A ragweed allergy, also commonly referred to as hay fever, affects about 10 to 20 percent of the American population. And get this: 75 percent of people dealing with seasonal allergies are allergic to ragweed, making it a most dreaded plant in yards and gardens across the country.
Back to ragweed: With a capability to grow in all sorts of conditions, ragweed inflicts its allergy agenda in all 50 states. Just one plant is capable of producing about one billion grains of pollen in single season. Research shows just 5 to 20 pollen grains per cubic meter can trigger ragweed allergy symptoms. To put that into perspective, ragweed pollen grain concentrations readily hit 200 during prime allergy season in the midwestern U.S.
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Ragweed Pollen & Climate Change
Its important to understand that ragweed allergy season isnt the same as it was several decades ago, though. In fact, they are becoming more ubiquitous just check out this image from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:
Science shows us that climate change is one of the reasons were seeing extended allergy seasons and higher pollen counts. With changing climates and temperatures shifts, allergens are able to creep into areas they didnt previously occupy. As a result, people living in areas where ragweed pollen wasnt much of a problem before are now finding themselves fighting allergies.
Additionally, because more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere actually nourishes plants, ragweed plants are now growing bigger and producing more pollen than ever before .
And if you think allergies are mainly in rural areas, think again. Ragweed actually thrives in urban and suburban environments. Temperatures tend to be higher in these places because buildings and pavement heat and then re-radiate it more slowly back than open spaces.
Living with a ragweed allergy, also commonly known as hay fever, can be miserable. Often beginning in mid-July and lasting into November in the U.S., ragweed allergy season is actually becoming more intense and longer due to climate change. Symptoms include running nose, itchy, watery, swollen eyes, sneezing, and even allergy-induced asthma.
What Is An Allergy Mask
An allergy mask serves as an effective personal protective equipment designed to protect you from the possible allergens and contaminants found in the air. You can think of it as a wearable air purifier. What is great about this mask is that you can wear it everywhere, even if you are traveling.
It is even possible to find stylish and fashionable ones. What the allergy mask does is it covers your airways, particularly your mouth and nose. By wearing one, you can breathe in unpolluted and allergen-free air via your lungs and sinuses. It also promotes ease in exhaling similar air via a valve or a filter.
The mask is usually designed in a way that you can attach it to your face. All you have to do is to hook it behind your ears or strap it behind your neck or head. Different materials are used in constructing it, including but not limited to, microfiber, finely woven cloth, paper or plastic material, and cotton.
With a good high-quality allergy mask, you can have a tool designed to filter the air you are breathing in, thereby lessening symptoms of asthma and other types of allergy.
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M Aura Particulate Respirator
Another amazing breathing mask for allergies is the 3M Particulate Respirator. It is actually a breakthrough product from 3M, which prioritizes the comfort and convenience of its wearers. This is the primary reason why a lot of users view it as one of the most comfortable masks currently offered in the market.
I notice how suitable it is to use on dusty and hot work settings and environments requiring extended periods of wear. One thing that struck my interest is the 3-panel, flat-fold disposable respirator that this mask features. It is made of a soft interior material while also making use of the brands unique Cool Flow Valve technology.
This technology works in providing workers with a dependable and strong yet comfortable respiratory protection. It is lightweight, too, which can help ensure that you will not feel extremely uncomfortable wearing it.
I can also vouch for its ability to let you breathe with ease, thanks to its proprietary filter media that is effective in filtering dust and other harmful particles. It is also equipped with an adjustable nose clip and soft nose foam both of which offer comfort and promote a more customized seal and fit.
The braided headbands included in the purchase also make this mask even more comfortable and lower its risk of pulling your hair. Moreover, it takes pride in its sculpted nose panel, which works by following your noses natural contours, giving more than enough room for your eyewear.
Watch Out For Natural Allergy Remedies
Neti pots and nasal rinse squeeze bottles can provide relief if youre looking for medicine-free ways to treat your allergies. However, Dr. Eidelman says its important to use distilled water with them to avoid getting infections and dont use ice-cold water unless you enjoy brain freeze. Most of these methods just involve flushing out the nasal cavity with salt water and theyre fairly safe when used correctly.
If you have tree pollen or plant allergies, he recommends steering clear of herbal remedies.
If you have pollen allergies, I dont recommend anything herbal. For example, people who are allergic to ragweed sometimes have serious allergic reactions to echinacea. Echinacea is a commonly used immune stimulant. Its an herbal product, derived from the purple coneflower, which is a close relative of ragweed. So, dont take echinacea if youre allergic to ragweed. With herbal products, keep in mind that just because somethings natural, it doesnt mean that youre not going to be allergic to it.