Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The things we love may cause allergy and asthma symptoms

Scented candles introduce
VOCs into the air.
We may love our furry pets, our “linen-fresh” scented rooms or the occasional glass of wine, but all of those things could be at fault for the rising allergy and asthma rates across the continent, experts say.

Up to 50 million American suffer from asthma or allergic diseases, allergists say, and the numbers keep rising.

Many reasons are suspected, among them
  • Exposure to air pollution
  • Dietary changes
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Genetics

But while these may be factors, people should be more aware of other allergic triggers, the allergists say.

Scented products and air fresheners

Air fresheners do much more than make that room smell a certain way. They also emit volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, that have been linked to eye and respiratory irritation and other health problems.

Doctors have been seeing people complaining of sneezing, congestion, headaches, coughing, fatigue and asthma because of these chemical substances.

Air freshening products are also known to simply cover up a problem without solving it.

If odors, gases and chemicals are an issue, an air purifier with activated carbon and HEPA is the best way to go, along with source control and adequate ventilation, of course.

Keep the bottles corked

Wine and alcohol-containing drinks can cause rare but severe reactions and asthma attacks, allergists say.

Allergens such as hops, barley, ethanol, grapes, preservatives and more are often to blame.

Blame your best friend

Dog and cat allergens are present in most homes. Animal dander is light and can stay airborne for a long time, and it is easily spread from one home to the next.
Pet dander is a cause of allergic reactions.

The love for their pets will prevent most people from finding another home for them, so allergists recommend allergy shots and regular cleaning routines to keep the count as low as possible.

Source: USA Today

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