Posts Tagged ‘health’

The little sleep disruptor

Many parents are now trying to get their kids back onto the regular “school sleeping schedule.” After a summer of late nights and lax schedules, this transition time is important so a child gets a good night’s sleep.

We know sleep is essential for good performance a.k.a. “doing well in school.” But did you know that one source of anti-sleep could be residing in your child’s bed?

allergy triggers, dust mites, asthma, indoor allergens

Dust mite allergens are the most common cause of allergy and asthma triggers.

Dust mites are miniscule insects that leave droppings to which many people are allergic.  They enjoy warm temperatures, eat dead skin from pets and humans, and burrow in sofas, beds and even stuffed animals. Believe it or not but we shed enough skin daily to feed a million dust mites.

Dust mite allergy sufferers can experience congestion, sneezing and for people with asthma, wheezing and difficulty breathing. These symptoms can make it difficult to get sleep soundly.

The best way to prevent dust mite allergy symptoms is to avoid exposure:

  • Put airtight, plastic dust-mite covers on pillows, mattresses and box springs.
  • Use pillows filled with polyester instead of feathers.
  • Wash bedding once a week in hot water and dry it in the dryer.
  • Vacuum carpets weekly and wipe up bare floors to get rid of dust.

There are some over the counter medications that help diminish the symptoms but do not treat the problem. Evaluation by your medical provider may help guide you in choosing the right medications and, in some cases, referral to a specialist who is trained in evaluating and treating allergies may be needed.

Allergy testing is used to help identify if an allergy exist and immunotherapy may be used to help stimulate your body’s immune system in developing anti-bodies to help protect against the allergy may be necessary.

One promising bit of news is that researchers are on the cusp of developing a vaccine that can combat dust-mite allergies. The University of Iowa scientists have had good success with this immunity-approach in lab animals. Here’s hoping tests on the new vaccine continue to go well for human consumption.

Mother Nature Wreaks Havoc on Sinuses

Much of the nation’s attention has been focused on two-weather related events. Tropical storm Debby has soaked a good portion of the Southeast, especially Florida, and residents of some western states are experiencing raging.

The potential for harm and destruction from both situations weighs on tens of thousands of people who may be personally impacted by both disasters. However, others can experience the effects of the rain and/or smoke from a health perspective.

smoke inhalation, sinusitis, sinus irritation, Dr. Neuzil's Irrigator, saline rinseFirst, the smoke that is blowing through much of the western states can cause sinus irritation and make it difficult to breathe. This is especially dangerous for people who suffer from asthma. The smoke can trigger symptoms and could lead to people seeking medical attention.

The aftermath of Debby is cause for concern as mold thrives in warm, damp locations. For people who are in homes or offices that had leaks, the potential for mold growth is high.

People who suffer from sinusitis can have a flare up from mold spores which can lead to sinus headaches, runny noses and possibly infection.

Until you can get rid of the smoke and the mold spores, here are some precautions to take:

  1.  Avoid inhaling the smoke or airborne mold spores whenever possible.sinus irritation, asthma, sinus rinse, mold spores, saline rinse, sinusitis
  2. Wear a mask to protect yourself.
  3. If you do inhale any irritants, rinse your sinus passages immediately to help get rid of the pollutants. You might even try an herbal-enhanced saline spray or rinse which can moisturize and soothe irritated nasal passages.
  4. Protect your eyes with goggles as both smoke and mold spores can cause irritation.
  5. If you experience trouble breathing, see a medical practitioner immediately.