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For Oxygen, Asthma & Sleep Therapy users allergies can be especially debilitating, forcing sufferers to hide indoors to avoid flareups, reducing the benefits and effectiveness of treatment, and generally lowering overall quality of life.
With a bit of planning and awareness, you can minimize symptoms and live life to the fullest all year round. Review DirectHomeMedical's Allergy Tips for Sleep, Asthma & Oxygen Therapy Users below and you'll be ready to take back the season!
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KNOW YOUR PERSONAL ALLERGY SEASON
Many people DO experience heightened allergic symptoms in the spring and fall; but different plants release pollens at different times of year and indoor allergies can occur at any time due to dust mites, molds or pet dander. The first step in combating your allergy symptoms is to know when your personal "allergy season" is so you can prepare for it before the allergies hit!
KNOW WHAT CAUSES YOUR ALLERGIES
In order to predict when you'll get allergies you need to know what is causing them. Allergies can be caused by a variety of indoor and outdoor pollutants.
Common Indoor Pollutants Include: dust, dirty carpets and floors, pet dander, mold (for instance from leaking faucets, shower heads, roof spaces, roof spaces or basements), fumes from household cleaners and sprays, fireplace fumes and smoke, perfumes from scented soaps or air fresheners, and of course smoking!
Common Outdoor Pollutants Include: pollen, dirt, newly mown grass, molds, smoke and smog in cities, car exhaust, outdoor smoking, and other industrial air pollutants, chemicals and fumes.
KNOW THE SYMPTOMS
By recognizing the symptoms of allergies you can take action quickly when they hit. All of the following can indicate an allergic reaction: stuffy or runny nose, ear congestion, sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, fatigue, excess mucus, sore throats, wheezing or coughing, and shortness of breath. More serious reactions such as rashes and swelling can also occur.
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WHEN ALLERGIES HIT TAKE ACTION FAST!
CLEANING WORKS, NO MATTER THE SEASON!
For added protection wear a dust mask when you clean to keep exposure to a minimum; and only use mild soaps and detergents as required.
IS THE AIR TOO FRESH?
Enjoying fresh air and the great outdoors is one of life's great pleasures; but sometimes we can have too much of a good thing. Visit the National Allergy Bureau Website and check the pollen count in your area. If the pollen count or humidity is high where you live try to stay indoors during the morning, when pollen counts are usually the highest, and on windy days, when dust and pollen are blown about Keeping windows closed at night, and using air conditioning instead, can also help keep pollens and molds from drifting into your home; and air conditioning can also clean and dry the air.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!
Shower and wash your hair daily -- every night if possible to help clean off any allergens that have gathered on your body during the day. If you've been prescribed allergy medications or treatments make sure to take them regularly as prescribed. If allergy symptoms get bad, or your medications don't appear to be working, DO NOT take more than your doctor recommends. Instead get in touch with your doctor, allergist or immunologist immediately and discuss your symptoms and treatment to find the best solution for your needs. Don't mow lawns or rake leaves as this can stir up pollens and dust; and instead of hanging clothing outside to dry, dry it inside to keep it away from airborne pollens and molds.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR SLEEP, ASTHMA & OXYGEN EQUIPMENT! Dust, pollen, molds and allergens don't react well inside your lungs and sinuses and they're no good for sleep, oxygen and asthma therapy equipment either:
CPAP Machine Care & Maintenance - Most CPAP machines have filters that need to be cleaned or replaced on a regular basis. Some machines have both reusable (foam) filters and fine (disposable) filters. If your machine has the option of two filters, USE THEM as the extra filtration can help rid the air you breathe of even the finest particles. In addition CPAP masks and tubing should be cleaned and replaced regularly to ensure molds and bacteria don't build up.
Oxygen Concentrator Care & Maintenance - Many oxygen concentrators have filters that need to be changed or replaced on a regular basis. Air inlet filters are often external to the machine and should be washed and thoroughly dried on a regular basis. Internal filters usually only need to be replaced every few years. In addition oxygen cannulas and tubing should be replaced regularly to ensure that molds and bacteria don't build up.
Aerosol Compressor Nebulizer Machine Care & Maintenance - Many compressor nebulizer machines have filters that need to be changed or replaced on a regular basis. In addition nebulizers and masks should be cleaned and replaced regularly to ensure they are working properly and not contaminated with pollens, dust or medications.
FINALLY... YOU'VE GOT AN EXCUSE, SO TAKE A VACATION!
This may be the ultimate vacation excuse so why not take a vacation during the height of your "allergy season." Go to the beach or any clean, pollen-free area and enjoy an allergen free vacation.