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Clever Blonde

A man was on a flight to New York from LA. He was sitting next to a blonde lady. He decided to have some fun, so he asked the blonde to play a game. The game went like this: he would ask a question, and if she didn't know the answer, she would pay him $10, and vis versa.
The blonde refused, and tried to take a nap, but the man, instead of giving up, said "I'll pay you $100 for every question I don't know, and you can only pay me $10. Okay?" The blonde finally accepted.
The man asked: "Who is the leader of Russia?" The blonde promptly handed him a $10 bill. Then she asked: "What is black and white and runs up hills backwards?" The man pondered on this for a while, then took out his laptop and preceeded to check all his references, email all his friends, and ask the question in chat rooms.
After an hour the man handed the blonde $100, then asked "What was it anyway?" The blonde handed him a $10 bill and chuckled.
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In these times of great concern, we continue to look for ways to protect our family, home, and business. It is comforting to know that there are products available, such as Biozone Air & Water Purifiers that can protect us from anthrax and other harmful organisms in our air & water. For more information on Biozone Air & Water Purifiers.
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Babycare 102 - Infants and children are so susceptible to bacteria and viruses, but you can lessen their chances of infection and illness by keeping their environment as hygienic as possible. BabyCare is soundless and features a frosted top lens that glows blue when in operation and makes an excellent night light.


PureHome 1000B/1000W - Ideal for apartments, small homes and offices up to 1000 sq. ft. Biozone Air purifiers are unlike any other air purifier available. They clean the air of biological contaminants like bacteria, viruses, and mold, destroy hazardous fumes, remove harmful particulates, and neutralizes all unpleasant odors. Backed by a 3 year warranty and money back guarantee. Models come in black or white. Biozone Air Purifiers are unlike any other air purifiers available. They clean the air of biological contaminants like bacteria, viruses and mold, destroy hazardous fumes, remove harmful particulates, and neutralize all unpleasant odors. Biozone's 5 ways of purifying indoor environments provide the ultimate in clean air technology.

When airborne contaminants enter the Biozone they are channeled into the Air Purification Chamber where they are immediately exposed to high intensity ultraviolet light that kills bacteria, kills viruses, kills mold and helps breakdown unhealthy gases

In the Purification Chamber the air contaminants are also exposed to chemically active oxygen atoms in the form of photolic ozone, triple oxygen atoms and single oxygen atoms, destroy bacteria, destroy viruses, destroy mold, breakdown unhealthy fumes from such things as smoke and chemicals, neutralize unpleasant odors.

PureHome 2000B/2000W - Designed for spaces up to 2000 sq. ft. Biozone air purifiers are the ultimate in clean air purification. Backed by an extensive 3 year warranty and a money back guarantee. Harmful organic contaminants are quickly oxidized inside the Biozone Purification Chamber by powerful Purifying Hydroxyls which are made of oxygen and hydrogen atoms.

Inside the Purification Chamber particles such as dust and smoke are removed from the air by electrically charging them with photoelectrons which are emitted by the photoionic accelerator.

The "ultra-pure" air is blown back into the room carrying with it chemically active oxygen atoms, purifying hydroxyls, and photoelectrons. Unlike other air purifiers, harmful contaminants do not have to be brought into the air purifier to be stopped. Biozone's powerful purifying agents circulate throughout an environment seeking out and destroying contaminants and unpleasant odors regardless of where they hide, leaving your home, business, even your car, fresh, clean, and pure.
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Oreck DutchTech Canister Vacuum DTX1300C Oreck DutchTech Canister Vacuum DTX1300C

Rated excellent on bare floors, and superb on carpets. No vacuum this quiet cleans as well as Oreck's DutchTech. It's equally extraordinary at filtration. With its advanced HEPA filter, it traps 99.9982% of all harmful allergens as small as 0.3 microns.

Oreck XL Classic 8-lb. Vacuum Cleaner Oreck XL Classic 8-lb. Vacuum Cleaner

Nothing gets by the Oreck XL vacuum. It picks up pet dander, dust mites, and dust. The airglide system "self-propels" it across the floor and from room to room. At just 8 lbs, it's the lightweight champion of heavy-duty vacuums!

Oreck XL2 8-lb. Deluxe Vacuum Cleaner Oreck XL2 8-lb. Deluxe Vacuum Cleaner

The Oreck XL2 Deluxe Model Vacuum Cleaner with hypo-allergenic top-fill design, Helping Hand Handle and Violet Blue Dirt Search. Cleans faster. Lasts longer. Still only 8 lbs. The pure genius of Oreck engineering has been to take the heavy, mundane world of vacuum cleaners and step-by-step reduce them to light, lean and remarkably powerful cleaning machines. Now the life of the Oreck hypo-allergenic motor has more than doubled through advanced, state of the art, 24-bar technology. In other words, what 24 valves have done for driving, 24 bars are doing for power cleaning. Your Oreck XL2 will run more powerfully, quieter and will keep on running long after those heavy clunker brands have been thrown out. And talk about performance - the suction velocity of the Oreck XL2 is equivalent to a category 2 hurricane, measuring 102 mph! Dust, dander, pet hair, pollen and even dust mites come up in one sweep. With Oreck's exclusive, ergonomically-designed Helping Hand Handle, you simply push and pull the vacuum - you need not grip it. Which means you can vacuum pain-free. And because dirt is everywhere, even dark, out-of-the-way places, the Oreck XL2 features wraparound, single-lens, ultra-bright, long lasting Dirt Search headlights. They illuminate dust and debris in corners, crevices and closets. Thanks to the Oreck XL2's ingenious top-fill design, its disposable, self-sealing double-walled inner bags, the Saniseal system, and our unique outer bag material, the Oreck XL2 Deluxe Model vacuum traps 99.7% of all particles as small as 1/100th the width of a single human hair. Other vacuums send a cloud of dust back into the room every time you turn them on. Not the Oreck XL2. Your whole family will breathe a lot easier with an Oreck XL2 because you'll clean the air as you clean your floors. 0% Interest Charges.

Oreck XL2 Ultra Two-Speed Deluxe Model Vacuum Cleaner Oreck XL2 Ultra Two-Speed Deluxe Model Vacuum Cleaner

We're proud to present the NEW Oreck XL2 Ultra, our Two-Speed Deluxe Model Vacuum Cleaner featuring a 7-Year Warranty and FREE Annual Tune-ups for 7 Years (a $210 value)! This incredibly light, amazingly powerful Two-Speed vacuum is our premium model, with ALL of the features of our Oreck XL2, plus even more. The two-speed power switch lets you adjust the vacuum.s motor speed for different kinds of flooring in your home. The lower speed can be used on more delicate carpets, and floors such as hardwood and linoleum, while the higher speed can be used on higher-pile carpets that need stronger suction to pick up the dirt. Of course, it also features a hypo-allergenic top-fill design that's great for allergy-sufferers and an ergonomically designed Helping Hand Handle to reduce stress and strain on wrists, forearms and elbows. In addition, the Oreck XL2 Ultra comes with a 7-year warranty . 4 years longer than our other models! Plus, the Oreck XL2 Ultra comes with FREE annual tune-ups for 7 years. Simply bring your Oreck XL2 Ultra in to the Oreck Store nearest you for your FREE tune-ups, and every year for seven years, we.ll replace the belt, seals and inner bag, clean the roller brush and outer bag, polish the armature, check all electrical connections, and clean and sanitize the interior and exterior of the vacuum. How.s that for service?! You.ll never worry about maintaining your vac again, and you.ll save money knowing that your Oreck XL2 Ultra will last and last! 0% Interest Charges.

Oreck Super Air 8 Professional Air Purifier Oreck Super Air 8 Professional Air Purifier

New from Oreck - protect your family's health with clean, fresh air. The Oreck Super AIR 8 Professional Air Purifier regenerates the air in a 30' x 30' room every hour, captures and destroys bacteria, and uses Silence Technology for quietest operation. Try it FREE for 30 days in your home.

Sanitaire Upright 4570 Vacuum CleanerpadSanitaire upright 4570 TrueHepa Vacuum Cleaner

Sanitaire Upright 4570 Vacuum Cleaner. Free Shipping.
  • Only Sanitaire gives you true HEPA filtration in a sealed system, making it the best filtering commercial upright in the business.
  • Sanitaire captures 100 percent of dust mites, grass and ragweed pollen, including particles 75 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair.
  • Filtration is just one way Sanitaire is superior to other commercial vacs.
  • True ball-bearing motor design is another.
  • The Sanitaire's long-life motor is completely sealed and uses double ball-bearings for long-life.
  • All Metal Ball bearing Vibra-Groomer I Brush.
  • For durable performance, the Sanitaire is built tough, too.
  • Heavy duty polycarbonate construction means the Sanitaire can take the bumps without the bruises.
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allergy relief products

Germ-Free Warm Mist Humidifier (3˝ gallon capacity) Germ-Free Warm Mist Humidifier (3˝ gallon capacity)

World's only humidifier proven to destroy virtually 100% of germs - uses hospital sterilization!

Other humidifiers are breeding grounds for bacteria. The Slant Fin is the only one proven in independent laboratory tests to kill 99.999% of infectious bacteria, molds, and spores. It uses a patented dual germicidal process of vaporization (boiling) and ultra-violet light—the same process used to sterilize hospital instruments. The comforting warm mist is free of allergy, asthma, and sickness aggravating germs.

Water Test: Health Guard 1
DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DRINKING? HealthGuard 1 tests for coliform bacteria, nitrate, nitrite, chloride, fluoride and sulfate. (includes overnight express return shipping)

E-WATERTEST provides professional water testing services using only USEPA approved testing methods. We specialize in the PRIORITY 100 WATER TEST, which analyzes for the 100+ most commonly requested parameters including Bacteria, Lead, Mercury, Arsenic, Volatile Organics (like Benzene, MTBE, Carbon Tetrachloride, etc.), PCB's and Pesticides

Make an Allergy friendly bedroom

Your bedroom is a great place to start the process of making your home more allergy reaction free.

  1. Use mite-proof encasings on all bedding, including pillows, mattress, box springs, and comforters. 

  2. Wash all bedding that cannot be encased in hot water (140°F) every 10 to 14 days. This rinses away allergens and the hot water kills mites or consider using special laundry detergent , which kills mites in all temperatures.

  3. Use filters over incoming vents in the bedroom or consider a whole house furnace filter to reduce dust throughout your home or apartment. 

  4. Use throw rugs instead of wall-to-wall carpeting or treat carpeting with an anti-dust mite spray or powder. You may want to consider using high efficiency vacuum bags or purchasing a True HEPA Vacuum Cleaner to greatly reduce emissions. 

  5. Wood, leather, vinyl or rattan furniture is best because dust mites can't live on the surface and cleaning is easy. 

  6. Keep humidity levels at 50% or less by using a room air conditioner or dehumidifier . 

  7. Check humidity often and monitor levels as dust mites and mold spore thrive in a humid environment.

  8. Avoid cloth drapes as these can collect allergens - use shades or blinds and dust often. Also, remove other dust catchers like books and stuffed animals.

  9. Remove airborne allergens with a high-powered True HEPA Room Air Cleaner. Be sure to get a unit powerful enough to handle your room size.

This article, along with many other allergy information articles can be found at:
Allergy Products and Remedies

Triggers of an Asthmatic Reaction

Exactly what triggers asthma varies from person to person, but the most common triggers include:

1)  Cold air or sudden changes in the weather can trigger asthma symptoms.  If you're affected by the cold, the following tips can help:

  • Try breathing through your nose. This helps warm the air before it reaches your lungs.

  • If you have to breathe through your mouth, wear a scarf or a special cold-weather mask to help humidify and warm the air you breathe, making it easier on your lungs.

  • If you usually exercise outdoors, try exercising inside on cold days.

2) Exercise (especially in cold air) is a frequent asthma trigger. A form of asthma called exercise-induced asthma is triggered by physical activity. Symptoms of this kind of asthma may not appear until after several minutes of sustained exercise. (When symptoms appear sooner than this, it usually means that the person needs to adjust his or her treatment.) The kind of physical activities that can bring on asthma symptoms include not only exercise, but also laughing, crying, holding one's breath, and hyperventilating (rapid, shallow breathing). 

3) Air Pollution & Outdoor Triggers:
When you're outdoors, you have less control over the triggers you encounter. You can't, for example, vacuum the lawn if pollen is bothering you, and there's no air cleaner large enough to clean a city's air pollution.  Still, there are things you can do to help keep your asthma symptoms to a minimum. By making a few simple adjustments, and by taking your medication as directed, you can breathe easier when you're outside.

  1. Molds
    Molds are asthma triggers for many people. A type of fungus, their spores float in the air where they're easily inhaled and can lead to coughing, sneezing, wheezing and chest tightness. 
    You'll find molds wherever it's damp. This includes piles of vegetation, stagnant water, garbage containers, damp basements and more.  If you're sensitive to mold spores, try the following:

  • Have piles of grass removed from your lawn immediately after it is mowed

  • If leaves accumulate on your lawn, have them raked frequently and removed immediately afterwards

  • Have outdoor garbage cans or composters cleaned regularly

  • Have outdoor containers that hold stagnant water removed

  • Have your basement dried out

  1. Pollens
    Pollens are a very common trigger for asthma symptoms. Generated by trees, grasses and weeds, airborne pollens are easily inhaled, especially during warm-weather months. 
    If you're allergic to pollen, there are a number of things you can do to stay healthy:

  • Use a HEPA-filtered air cleaner .

  • On days when the pollen count is high, use an air conditioner in your home and car, and also try to keep your windows closed as much as possible.

  • If you usually exercise outdoors, consider exercising inside on days when the pollen count is high.

  • Check the pollen count to see whether you should reduce the amount of time you spend outdoors.

  • Shower and change your clothing if you've been outdoors on a high-pollen-count day.

  • If there are plants in your yard that trigger symptoms, have someone remove them.

  • Use a good furnace filter.

  • Don't place trees or plants near windows, or near the air-intake of your furnace or air conditioner.

  • Don't hang your laundry out to dry – use a clothes dryer instead.

  • Don't touch plants that you think might be triggers – and if you do, wash your hands immediately afterwards.

4)  Indoor Triggers at Home & Work:
With mold, pollen and air pollution, you might think that you're more likely to encounter triggers outdoors than indoors. In fact, the opposite is true. Because houses built since the '70s are more "airtight" than older ones (as a consequence of the 1970s oil crisis and the need to conserve energy), indoor triggers can build up more than they used to. As a result, people with asthma are exposed to more indoor triggers than was the case several decades ago.  Fortunately, a great deal has been learned about asthma triggers that exist inside.  By educating yourself about indoor hazards, you'll discover simple ways to reduce their levels. Overall, you should: 

  • keep the air quality in your environment as free of allergens as possible by using an air conditioner and/or air purifier with allergen filtering features

  • shampoo your pets with an "allergen-formula" pet shampoo that neutralizes pet dander, ticks, etc.

  1. Dust Mites
    Dust mite allergy is a common problem for people with asthma. The excretions and body parts of these tiny, spider-like creatures can be a powerful trigger of asthma symptoms.  Dust mites congregate in soft-surfaced places where there is an abundant food supply. Dust mites feed off shed human skin and are thus found in bedding, mattresses, pillows, sofas and carpets.  Effective strategies for minimizing dust mites are:

  • Encase your pillow, mattress and boxspring in mite-allergen impermeable encasings

  • Use a dehumidifier in damp area. Try to keep the humidity level below the 50 per cent mark, since dust mites can't survive in dry environments.

  • Remove or frequently clean carpets, especially in the bedroom.

  • Launder bed linens in very hot water (55 degrees Celsius).

  1. Cockroaches
    Cockroaches are one of most hated household pests, and for good reason. Not only are they a terrible nuisance, their feces have been shown to trigger symptoms in individuals with asthma.  If your home has cockroaches, make sure that food and water are never left where they can get at them. To ensure they leave and never come back, call a professional exterminator.

  1. Indoor Molds
    Molds are fungus that can be found just about anywhere it's damp and where air flow is minimal, like basements and bathrooms. Their airborne spores can trigger asthma symptoms, but there are many ways to avoid them:

  • Clean moldy areas, especially in bathrooms, with an anti-mold cleaner; use "allergen-formula" cleaning and personal care supplies available at Allergy Savers , specifically designed to be easier on your skin like

  • Ensure that you have proper drainage around your house.

  • Use a dehumidifier to keep humidity below 55 degrees Celsius.

  • Use fans that are vented to the outside in bathrooms and the kitchen.

  • Reduce the number of your house plants. Silk plants may be an alternative.

  • Use electric or hot-water radiant sources to heat your home. Forced-air systems can blow mold spores around.

  • Have your ducts cleaned every five years.

5) Tobacco smoke
Today most people are aware that smoking can lead to cancer and heart disease. What you may not be aware of, though, is that smoking is also a risk factor for asthma in children, and a common trigger of asthma symptoms for all ages.  It may seem obvious that people with asthma should not smoke, but they should also avoid the smoke from others' cigarettes. This "secondhand" smoke, or "passive smoking," can trigger asthma symptoms in people with the disease. Studies have shown a clear link between secondhand smoke and asthma, especially in young people. Passive smoking worsens asthma in children and teens and may cause up to 26,000 new cases of asthma each year.   Medications like aspirin can also be related to episodes in adults who are sensitive to aspirin. Irritants in the environment can also bring on an asthma episode. These irritants may include paint fumes, smog, aerosol sprays and even perfume.  People with asthma react in various ways to these factors. Some react to only a few, others to many. Some people get asthma symptoms only when they are exposed to more than one factor or trigger at the same time. Others have more severe episodes in response to multiple factors or triggers. In addition, asthma episodes do not always occur right after a person is exposed to a trigger. Depending on the type of trigger and how sensitive a person is to it, asthma episodes may be delayed.

This article, along with many other allergy information articles can be found at:
Allergy Products and Remedies

Avoiding Exercise Induced Asthma

Induced Asthma
For people with exercise-induced asthma (EIA), their favorite physical activities can trigger asthma symptoms.  We have assembled some procedures to help you avoid setting off your asthma during exercise.

How to Avoid Induced Asthma
Symptoms of EIA are coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, or shortness of breath. People with EIA may experience difficulty breathing after brief exercise begins.  Airways are overly sensitive to sudden changes in temperature and humidity.  During strenuous activity, people tend to breathe through their mouths, thereby allowing colder, drier air to reach the lower airways without passing through the warming, humidifying effect of the nose. In addition to mouth breathing, air pollutants and high pollen counts may also contribute to exercise-induced asthma.

Some activities are better for those with EIA. Sports or activities with periods of rest are least likely to cause asthma symptoms. Activities followed by brief rest periods can allow the person to gain control of their breathing. Sports such as baseball, softball, volleyball, tennis, golf and some track and field events all have brief rest periods.

Exercise-induced asthma can be prevented most of the time. An effective way of treating EIA is to use a prescribed treatment prior to exercise with appropriate medications. Inhaled medications taken prior to exercise can prevent exercise from triggering asthma symptoms.

It is important to warm-up before you start any type of exercise. Your warm-up may include, 3-5 minutes of light jogging 10-15 minutes of light stretching of all major muscle groups.

Once your work out is over it important to properly cool down. Your cool down period should be a few minutes longer and may include, 5-10 minutes of easy walking and/or 15-20 minutes of light stretching.

Other Suggestions:
1) On cold days or in the mornings when temperatures are cooler, wear a light scarf or wrap to protect and warm your neck.
2) Try not to exercise during high pollen count days. Be aware of pollen levels in your area.
3) Pace yourself and only exercise within your capabilities.  Give yourself breaks in between your exercise routine. 
4) Drink plenty of fluids. 
5) Make sure to have your medicine or inhaler with you.
6) If you are in a group setting, make sure to let some else know that you have asthma.

  This article, along with many other allergy information articles can be found at:

Allergy Products and Remedies

Overview of Dust Mite Allergies

Household dust is not a single substance but rather a mixture of many materials. Dust may contain tiny fibers shed from different kinds of fabric, as well as tiny particles of feathers, dander from pet dogs or cats, bacteria, food, plant and insect parts, and mold and fungus spores. It also contains many microscopic mites and their waste products.  These waste products, not the mites themselves, are what cause allergic reactions. Dust mite waste contains a protein that is an allergen—a substance that provokes an allergic immune reaction—for many people. Throughout its life, a single dust mite may produce as much as 200 times its body weight in waste!  Dust mites can be controlled with air purifiers and specialized vacuum cleaners that remove them from your environment.    

How do you get rid of dust mites?  Most dust mites die when exposed to low humidity levels or extreme temperatures. But they leave their waste behind, which continues to cause allergic reactions. In a warm, humid house, dust mites can easily survive year round.  Having dust mites doesn't mean that your house isn't clean. In most areas of the world, these creatures are in every house, no matter how immaculate. But it is true that keeping your home as free of dust as possible can lessen dust mite allergy.  Again, there are a number of air purifiers , vacuum cleaners and air conditioners that are specifically designed to help in removing these allergens.

This article, along with many other allergy information articles can be found at:
Allergy Products and Remedies

What Causes Allergies?

There are many types of allergies, all of which are triggered by allergens.  The materials that cause allergic disease in susceptible people are known as allergens. They enter our bodies in a variety of ways:  

  • Inhaled into the nose and the lungs from sources such as airborne pollens of certain trees, grasses and weeds, house dust that include dust mite particles, mold spores, and cat and dog dander; these can be reduced or eliminated through disinfectant sprays ;

  • Ingested by mouth from sources such as shrimp, peanuts and other nuts;

  • Injected from sources such as reactions to penicillin, several other injected drugs, and stinging insect venom;

  • Absorbed through the skin from exposure to poison ivy, sumac and oak.

Allergies seem to have some link to heredity. (If both your parents have them, it's more likely you'll develop them). There is some belief that babies, who are not breastfed, are more predisposed to developing allergies.  A depressed immune system can encourage the development of allergies.

Hay fever (allergic rhinitis) results from the presence of pollen, affecting mucous membranes of the nose, eyes and airways. There are three hay-fever seasons: February to May, late spring and summer, and fall (or ragweed pollen season).  The presence of pollen can be greatly reduced by air purifiers .

Allergies to molds are brought on when cutting grass, harvesting crops, walking through fields/meadows or raking up leaves. Molds grow wherever it is damp and dark such as bathrooms, kitchens, garages and trash cans.  These areas should be cleaned with an allergen formula cleaning solution.

The most common foods that people become allergic to are: chocolate, shellfish, wheat, dairy products, strawberries, eggs and sulfites.

This article, along with many other allergy information articles can be found at:

Allergy Products and Remedies

What are the Early Warning Signs of Allergy?

There are a wide range of potential signs and symptoms of allergies depending on the route of the exposure (air, mouth, skin), the type of allergy and the level of exposure.  The main symptoms of allergies and early warning signs may include:

  • asthma

  • itchy, watery eyes

  • itchy, runny nose

  • the "allergic salute:" pushing up on the nose, causing a white crease to appear across the bridge of the nose

  • itching

  • eczema

  • hives

  • dark circles under and around the eyes

  • recurring headache

  • shortness of breath

  • wheeze

  • cough

  • diarrhea

  • stomach cramps

Because these signs and symptoms may indicate the presence of another disease rather than an allergy, they should be investigated by your physician.  If you do suspect allergies, there are a number of preventative measures you can take to reduce the exposure, such as cleaning your house thoroughly using allergen-formula cleaners, specialized vacuum cleaners and removing allergens from the air with an air purifier .

  This article, along with many other allergy information articles can be found at:

Allergy Products and Remedies

ALLERGIES - Questions & Answers

Q. What are allergies and who suffers from them?

A. Allergies involve an immune response in the body to things such as plant pollen, other grasses and weeds, certain foods, rubber latex, insect bites, or certain drugs. Estimates suggest that allergies affect more than 50 million people in the United States. Nearly 10% of American women have pollen allergies. Allergic drug reactions, commonly caused by antibiotics such as penicillin, occur in 2%-3% of hospitalized patients. Severe allergic reaction to insect stings occurs in up to 5% of the population. Although most people have experienced a reaction to something they have eaten, only 1% of the adult population suffers from true immune reactions to food.

Q. What is an allergic reaction?

A. Normally, the immune system is the body's defense against invading agents such as bacteria and viruses. In most allergic reactions, however, the immune system is responding to a false alarm. When an allergic person first comes into contact with an allergen, the immune system treats the allergen as an invader and mobilizes to attack. The immune system does this by generating large amounts of one type of antibody. When the allergen and the antibody connect, it signals the release of powerful inflammatory chemicals. These chemicals, like histamines, cytokines, and leukotrienes, act on the tissues of various parts of the body, such as the respiratory system. The result is the symptoms commonly associated with allergies.

Q. What symptoms are associated with allergies?

A. Common symptoms for allergies include:
  • Sneezing, often accompanied by a runny or clogged nose
  • Coughing and postnasal drip
  • Itching eyes, nose, and throat
  • Watering eyes
  • Allergic dermatitis: an itchy rash. (The most common skin condition in children ages 11- 14.)
  • Allergic shiners: dark circles under the eyes caused by increased blood flow near the sinuses
  • Allergic salute: persistent upward rubbing of the nose that causes a crease mark on the nose
  • Conjunctivitis: an inflammation of the membrane that lines the eyelids, causing red-rimmed, swollen eyes, and crusting of the eyelids. Commonly known as pink eye.
Some people with allergies develop asthma. The symptoms of asthma include coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath due to a narrowing of the bronchial passages (airways) in the lungs, and to excess mucus production and inflammation. Asthma can be disabling and sometimes can be fatal. If wheezing and shortness of breath accompany allergy symptoms, it is a signal that the bronchial tubes also have become involved, indicating the need for medical attention. Some people may have severe food allergies which left undiagnosed can result in illness or in rare cases, may even be fatal.

Q. Does asthma affect women differently than men?

A. From the ages of 20 to 50, women outnumber men 3 to 1 in asthma-related hospital admissions. There is some evidence that asthma may be related to hormonal changes in combination with an allergic setting. The severity of asthma may change for women during pregnancy. In general, symptoms in pregnant women with asthma seem to improve in one-third of cases, stay the same in one-third, and worsen in one-third of cases.

Most women who have asthma are able to have safe and normal pregnancies as long as their asthma is effectively under control. It is extremely important for women to control their asthma while pregnant because asthma causes a decrease in the oxygen in the blood and can affect the amount of oxygen the fetus receives.

Q. What are the most common allergies?

A. The most common allergies can be either food allergies or airborne allergies. Airborne allergies include reaction due to pollen, mold, dust mites, animals, and chemicals. The most common foods causing allergic reactions in adults are: shellfish (such as shrimp, crayfish, lobster, and crab); peanuts, which are one of the chief foods to cause severe anaphylactic reactions; tree nuts (such as walnuts); fish; and eggs. In children, the most common food allergies are associated with eggs, milk, and peanuts. Adults generally don't lose food allergies, but children may outgrow them.

Q. What are hives?

A. Each year about 15% of all Americans experience hives on the skin or angioedema (swelling of the throat tissues) due to allergic reactions. Hives are an allergic reaction often due to food or plants. The reaction is characterized by a raised, itchy area of skin. It can be rounded or flat-topped, but it is always elevated above the surrounding skin. Treatment for hives usually involves identifying and avoiding the allergic catalyst. Anti-histamine over-the-counter medications can help temporarily relieve the itch. Hives can disappear as quickly as it appears.

Q. How are allergies diagnosed?

A. Allergy symptoms often resemble a cold, however the cold seems to linger. Symptoms include a runny nose, itchy eyes, headaches, and sinus pain. Usually there is no fever. It is important to see a doctor about any respiratory symptoms that last longer than a week or two. Properly trained physicians can recognize patterns of potential allergens. Often skin tests or blood tests are used to determine specific antibody levels reacting to a certain allergen. If there are unusually high levels of an antibody known as IgE, it is a good indication of an allergic reaction.

Q. How can allergies be treated? What are the possible side effects from treatment?

A. Allergies are usually treated in three possible ways. Some of these methods can be used alone or in combination.
  • Avoidance: This is most effective for food allergies. Once the allergen is identified, it can be avoided simply by removing it from the diet. Avoidance is more difficult for airborne allergens, however, which are often associated with a particular climate and environment.
  • Medications: Several oral antihistamine medications are available over-the-counter or by a doctor's prescription. A combination of antihistamines and nasal steroids can effectively treat allergic symptoms, especially in people with moderate or severe allergic symptoms. Oral and nasal decongestants reduce congestion sometimes caused by the allergic reaction. However, most medications are for short-term relief only. Nose drops and sprays should not be used for more than a few days at a time because they can lead to even more congestion and swelling of the nasal passages. If you find you "can’t get through the day" without regular use of nasal sprays - see your doctor, and if you can, an allergy specialist. (For example, an ear, nose, and throat doctor.)
  • Immunotherapy: This is series of allergy shots, and is the only available treatment that has a chance of reducing allergy symptoms over the long term. About 80 percent of people with hay fever will have a significant reduction in their symptoms and in their need for medication within 12 months of starting allergy shots.

Q. Does breastfeeding effect a baby’s allergic responses?
A. Exclusive breast-feeding (excluding all other foods) of infants for the first 6 to 12 months of life is often suggested to avoid milk or soy allergies from developing within that time frame. Such breast feeding often allows parents to avoid infant-feeding problems, especially if the parents are allergic (and the infant therefore is likely to be allergic). There are some children, who are so sensitive to a certain food, however, that if the food is eaten by the mother, sufficient quantities enter the breast milk to cause a food reaction in the child. Mothers must themselves sometimes avoid eating those foods. However, there is no conclusive evidence that breast-feeding prevents the development of allergies later in life.

ASTHMA - Questions & Answers

Q. What is asthma?
A. Asthma is a disease of the lungs. You can have a mild or serious form of asthma. It cannot be cured, but people with asthma live healthy lives using medication to control their asthma. People with asthma may have a bad cough, wheezing, and trouble breathing. In an asthma attack, the airways in your lungs close up because the muscles tighten around the airways. Your closed airway makes thick mucus that makes it harder to breathe and may cause the airways to become swollen. About 5% of people (children and adults) in the U.S. have asthma.

Q. What can cause (trigger) an asthma attack?
A. There are many things that can cause (trigger) an asthma attack.
- Animal dander (from the skin, hair, or feathers of animals)
- Dust mites
- Pollen from trees and grass
- Mold (indoor and outdoor)
- Cigarette smoke
- Air pollution
- Infections such as colds and the flu
- Exercise
- Strong feelings or stress
- Changes in weather
- Strong odors from painting or cooking
- Scented products
This is not a complete list of all the things that trigger asthma. People may have trouble with one or more of these triggers. Everyone is different.

Q. Are women affected by asthma differently than men?
A. Yes. Women aged 20 to 50 years are hospitalized for asthma more than men of the same age. However, boys are hospitalized more than girls. Research shows that asthma may be linked to women’s hormonal changes. Asthma attacks may take place just before or during a woman’s period.

Q. How can I find out if I have asthma?
A. If you are coughing, wheezing, having trouble breathing, or your chest feels tight, see your doctor. The doctor will do tests to see if you have asthma.

Q. What can I do to take care of myself if I have asthma?
A. See your doctor and work out a plan to take care of your asthma. The plan should tell you:
- What medicines to take to treat early signs of asthma (medicines that can help open your airways and make the swelling go down);
- What to do if you have any change in your asthma;
- How to avoid certain things that trigger your asthma attacks; and
- When to call and go see your doctor.
- An asthma plan will help you control and take care of your asthma.

Q. What can I do to lower my chances of having an asthma attack?
A. Here are some ways you can lower your chances of having an asthma attack. Remember, everyone is different. Some people have trouble with pollen, others have trouble with tobacco smoke, and others may have trouble with animal dander.
Follow the steps that make sense for you.
- Wash your pet once a week
- Do not smoke
- Do not allow smoking in your home
- Stay indoors with the air conditioner on when the pollen count is high
- Wash your bedding, clothes, and stuffed toys once a week in hot water
- Wash your hands on a regular basis
- Get a flu shot
- Wear a scarf over your mouth and nose in the winter
- Be aware of what makes you have asthma attacks and try to stay away from those triggers
- Follow your asthma plan

Q. How does asthma affect a pregnant woman?
A. Most women with asthma have safe and normal pregnancies. It is very important for women to control their asthma when they are pregnant. This means a woman needs to stick to her asthma treatment plan that she has worked out with her doctor.
For some women, their asthma may get better during pregnancy, for others it gets worse, and for still others, their asthma stays the same.

Q. Are my asthma medications safe to take during pregnancy
A. Many asthma medications are safe for use during pregnancy. Talk with your asthma doctor and your baby doctor to make sure that your medicines are safe to take during pregnancy. It is very important to control your asthma when you are pregnant. Taking your asthma medication helps make sure that your baby gets enough oxygen.

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