Allergies 2017-02-04T20:36:00+00:00

What are allergies?

(1)Allergies are one of the most common chronic diseases. A chronic disease lasts a long time or occurs often. An allergy occurs when the body’s immune system sees a substance as harmful and overreacts to it. The substances that cause allergic reactions are allergens. When someone has allergies, their immune system makes an antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies respond to allergens. The symptoms that result are an allergic reaction.


What are the top 7 allergens?

  1. Drug (medicine)
  2. Food
  3. Insects that sting (bee, wasp, fire ant); bite (mosquito, tick); or are household pests (cockroach and dust mite)
  4. Latex
  5. Mold
  6. Pets
  7. Pollen   (2)

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Pet allergies?

Pet allergies are a huge problem for people, especially asthmatics. These pet proteins (cat & dog urine, saliva and dander) are sticky. They can easily transfer from someone clothes or items into your house. They can become airborne from you or you pet moving around, and stay in the air for a long period of time.

How to reduce pet allergies: No, you don’t have to say goodbye to your best friend. But, you should probably stop letting them sleep in your bed.

  1. Keep pets out of your bedroom
  2. Get a HEPA air filter
  3. Always wash your hands after coming in contact with your pet
  4. Use a mask when vacuuming or have a loved one vacuum instead, while you leave the house
  5. Spray an allergen spray in your house a minimum of once a week (paying special attention to the air and any hard and soft surfaces)
  6. Clean your house often
  7. Brush your pet outside whenever possible (or better yet, have someone do that for you)
  8. Carpet? Spray that down with an allergen spray often
  9. Change your HVAC air filter every 30-45 days

Pro tip from Savanna Elliott: I love pets. I am also incredibly allergic to them. When I am around pets and my allergies start to act up, I instantly want to rub my eyes or touch my face. STOP. Do not do that. It will just make your symptoms worse. After petting the cat or dog, immediately go wash your hands (twice) and splash cold water on your face.


Indoor allergies?

Your house could be your allergy source. Do you have a pet? You could be allergic. Dust mites? They can cause problems. What about fragrances? Yes, fragrances can cause allergic reactions. Your house is filled with items that could cause allergies. 

Remember to remove:

  • Candles
  • Air fresheners
  • Bleach
  • Nail polishes 
  • Cleaning products that contain fragrances 
  • Fragrances based makeup and bathroom products
  • Items that contain VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) 

Pro tip: I know we all want our hair to look gorgeous, but most of our hair care products contain heavy fragrances. Try ditching the products and if you aren’t allergic to it, try putting a little bit of coconut oil on your hair to reduce the frizz. DON’T USE COCONUT OIL IF YOU ARE ALLERGIC!

Dust mites?

(3)This may be the most common cause of year-round allergy and asthma. Unlike a cockroach, a dust mite is too small to see with the naked eye. The dust mite’s feces and body parts cause allergic reactions. 

How to tell if you or your loved ones are allergic to dust mites: 

  • Asthma, difficulty in breathing
  • Sneezing
  • Infantile Eczema
  • Itchy, red or watery eyes
  • Nasal congestion
  • Itchy nose, roof of mouth or throat
  • Postnasal drip
  • Cough
  • Watery eyes

Pro tip: Clean your bedding at least once a week in hot water to drown dust mites


(1)Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors. VOCs are emitted by a wide array of products numbering in the thousands.

Household products, including:

  • paints, paint strippers and other solvents
  • wood preservatives
  • aerosol sprays
  • cleansers and disinfectants
  • moth repellents and air fresheners
  • stored fuels and automotive products
  • dry-cleaned clothing
  • pesticide