Posted by Ivey on February 20th, 2014
As a native southerner, I often say I’m allergic to the cold. Until recently, I had no idea this was not only an actual condition, but one with life-threatening consequences. After learning about Cara Yacino’s journey to a cold urticaria diagnosis and the precautions she takes to control her risk of an allergic reaction, I’ll think twice before carelessly claiming a cold allergy.
According to the Weather Channel’s video that chronicles her allergy (below), Yacino began experiencing hives that she originally thought were due to a food allergy. The initial outbreak occurred while she was drinking a cold coffee drink. However, the hives manifested once more when Yacino put her hand in a cold shark and ray petting tank. Watch the video and learn more about cold urticaria
Posted by Ivey on October 11th, 2013
Cool, pleasant autumn weather prompted my husband to suggest we get our yard and garden ready for fall. Later on, he complained of itchy eyes and a stuffy nose. “It feels like my allergies are acting up,” he said. “Do fall allergies exist?”
The short answer: Absolutely. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, of the people allergic to pollen-producing plants, about 75% have sensitivity to ragweed—one of the primary fall allergy culprits. In fact, the AAFA estimates that 10-20% of Americans suffer from itchy eyes, irritated skin, runny noses, and even interrupted sleep as result of ragweed pollen.
In addition to wind-borne pollen, mold also presents a significant source of aggravation for fall allergy-sufferers. The combination of rain and fallen leaves creates a breeding ground for mold.
Despite these seemingly grim odds, it’s still possible to enjoy fall weather in your garden! Check out these tips.
- Consult your allergist. From the first itch or sneeze, talk to your doctor and devise a plan for keeping your fall allergies under control. If this fall marks your first experience with pollen and mold irritations, a visit with the allergist is essential for finding your allergy triggers.
- Dress appropriately. Wear long sleeves and pants to keep pollen and mold spores away from your skin. Gardening gloves not only help you avoid unsightly cuts and blisters but offer a great line of defense against allergens. Sunglasses and a hat are also ideal for keeping airborne irritants away from eyes and hair, respectively. Read more fall gardening tips
Posted by Tony on October 3rd, 2013
In school, I was the only kid who dreaded having class outside on a nice day. I don’t hate nature, but this usually meant sitting in the grass for at least an hour…and unfortunately, I’m allergic to both pollen and grass. It isn’t that I can’t go in my yard (although it’s a good excuse to get out of yardwork), but if I sit in the grass for long periods of time my eyes itch, get red, and have even swollen shut. It’s very glamorous.
Who knew reading Men’s Health magazine could have potentially saved me a lot of trouble? They recently published an article offering one of the coolest ways to fight allergy symptoms: wearing sunglasses. That’s right, rocking sunglasses (the larger the better!) can help ward off allergy symptoms.
As strange as it may sound, wearing shades physically blocks out pollen, UV rays (which can stimulate symptoms), and other allergens. And it turns out this is pretty well known.
Participants in the study mentioned in Men’s Health wore large, wrap-around sunglasses, but doctors and other experts seem to agree that any type of sunglasses may help—if only slightly.
Sunglasses help by decreasing the amount of air that circulates over your eyes—which helps keep allergens from directly touching them. Since light exposure can increase allergy symptoms in your eyes, standard UV-blocking shades may even help control symptoms. Your eyes and nose are directly connected, so blocking your eyes will help keep your nose clear as well.
It makes sense if you think about it: The less allergens that touch your eyes, the better. So wear those big aviators all the time—they’re more than just a fashion statement. And if you’re an allergy-sufferer like me, you’ll take any bit of help you can get.
Have you noticed sunglasses providing any other useful purpose? Know another strange way to help fight off allergy symptoms? Tell us in the comments below or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.
Posted by Ivey on September 24th, 2013
While a lot of attention is given to solutions and proactive steps for dealing with allergies, asthma, and other problems related to environmental issues, we often neglect the social aspects of living with these health issues. For children with allergies, asthma, or similar symptoms, these daily struggles can be even more frustrating. On top of avoiding environmental triggers and keeping an epi pen or inhaler handy, many young allergy- and asthma-sufferers are also tasked with explaining these flare-ups to friends, teachers, and even other parents.
Luckily, there are resources to help you talk to your children about allergies and asthma in fun, creative ways, as well as how to be considerate of those dealing with these issues. For example, Taking Asthma to School by Kim Gosselin is actually written for children without asthma to help them understand asthmatic students and what happens when they get occasional shortness of breath. This illustrated book also contains “Ten Tips for Teachers” and a fun quiz.
Find more resources
Posted by Ashley on September 6th, 2013
Oransi Erik Ultra Plus Air Purifier
What do Oransi’s newest line of air purifiers and a classy BMW have in common? They’re simply the ultimate in what they do.
Oransi, maker of the wildly popular v-hepa Finn and v-hepa Max air purifiers, knows just what it takes to build a quality air purifier that offers fast relief from your allergies and a great long-term value. Now, Oransi is shaking up the market once again with the introduction of its first line of premium-grade air purifiers. Take a moment and feast your eyes (or rather, your lungs) on the “ultimate cleaning machines,” Oransi Erik Air Purifiers!
On the outside, the Erik is a slim and sleek monochromatic unit that resembles a piece of modern art much more than your run-of-the-mill air purifier. On the inside—well, that’s where there’s a little bit of filtration magic.
Read more about Oransi Erik Air Purifiers
Posted by Tony on August 26th, 2013
Labor Day is an interesting time of year—in some areas it still feels like summer, while in others fall and even winter is clearly on the horizon. At Sylvane, we’re here to make sure your indoor air feels fresh regardless of the weather in your area.
To celebrate Labor Day and the end of our rainy summer here at Sylvane HQ, we’re having a huge Labor Day sale from August 27-Sepemteber 2. The sale offers 20% off select brands of dehumidifiers, air conditioners, and swamp coolers, and also features deals on some of our most popular products like Alen air purifiers and Dyson fans and vacuums.
With deals on so many top products and brands, now may be the best time to buy. Keep reading to see some of our featured products: Continue reading
Posted by Ivey on August 12th, 2013
It’s time to head back to school. While this is an exciting time for returning students to catch up with old friends, meet new ones, and embark on new experiences, students with asthma and fall allergies often struggle to keep symptoms under control. Here are a few tips for student’s of all ages to stay healthy:
Visit your child’s allergist: Before returning to school, make an appointment with your child’s doctor to for a health check-up. This is a great opportunity to discuss any new issues, as well as to develop a plan to keep your child healthy throughout the year.
Meet with teachers and school health professionals: Teachers are often a first line of defense for helping control allergy and asthma symptoms away from home. Discussing your child’s symptoms will help teachers respond quickly and appropriately in critical situations. Teachers and school health professionals should also have copies or access to information about your child’s wellness plan, including medications like inhalers and epinephrine kits.
Read more tips
Posted by Tony on June 19th, 2013
Miele vacuums took home the JD Power and Associates top prize for “Highest Customer Satisfaction” for both upright and canister vacuum categories. In the annual survey, consumers ranked Miele vacuums highest in performance, styling and features. It’s the second win in a row for Miele’s upright vacuums, so to thank their customers, Miele is offering a free HEPA filter with every vacuum they sell through July 31.
HEPA filters are a big part of why customers, particularly allergy-sufferers, appreciate Miele vacuums. Their HEPA filters capture up to 99.99% of airborne particles down to .3 microns and are part of Miele’s sealed 12-step air filtration system.
HEPA filters need to be replaced once every 50 hours (around every 12 months), depending on how often they’re used—so getting a free filter will save you $50. Read More on Miele Uprights and Canister Vacuums and How to Get Your Free HEPA Filter
Posted by Ivey on May 14th, 2013
With the average American working at least eight hours a day, your office may seem like a second home. That’s why for those of us with allergies and asthma, it’s just as important to keep our offices clean and allergen-free as it is our own homes. In honor of May being Allergy and Asthma Awareness Month, here are some tips to help employees and employers maintain a comfortable working environment for everyone, ensuring the best productivity possible.
- Clear the clutter: While stacks of paper may seem like the mark of a busy employee, they’re also a great way to collect dust and other particle irritants on your desk. Take some time each week to tidy up your desk area by removing or recycling unnecessary paperwork. Also, view and save documents on your computer and/or company’s shared space to reduce waste.
- Wash your dishes: Busy days are just a part of work life. Regardless of the length of your to-do list, remove dishes and food containers from your desk and wash them as soon as possible. Dirty dishes (especially your coffee cup!) and used food wrappers can be a breeding ground for mold and other allergens.
- Encourage a fragrance-free work environment: Fragrances from perfumes, hand lotions, cleaning products, and more can cause reactions like headaches, nausea, or even asthma attacks.
Find out more ways to allergy-proof your office
Posted by Ivey on April 25th, 2013
Spring is finally here, and I’m ready to enjoy the nice weather with a run or bike ride outside. There’s only one problem—or maybe millions of tiny ones—pollen! If you have pollen allergies like I do, I’m sure you know how quickly a workout can be ruined by allergy symptoms like sneezing, itchy eyes, or even shortness of breath.
You can do more than enjoy the view from inside the gym though, so lace up your running shoes and get outside! These tips can help you keep pollen allergy symptoms at bay while exercising outdoors:
- Know your triggers. Most runners and cyclists take regular routes. If you notice your symptoms flaring up at certain points on your route, there may be a large concentration of trees or other plants producing pollens that aggravate your allergies. Take notice of the plants and trees around you, and discuss them with your doctor. An allergy test can also be helpful at determining precise triggers. You may even consider altering your route. Read more tips
Posted by Ivey on April 16th, 2013
With the spring travel season in full swing, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has released its annual “2013 Spring Allergy Capitals” list. For the past 10 years, the AAFA has ranked the worst 100 continental U.S. cities for people with allergies. This year, Jackson, MS, takes top honors on the list. However, several popular vacation destinations made their way into the top 25, including Louisville, New Orleans, Virginia Beach, Chattanooga, Memphis, Oklahoma City, and Knoxville. Furthermore, a Discovery Fit & Health article points out that the Eastern, Southern, and Midwestern states are generally worse in the springtime for those with allergy sensitivities.
While these areas may be the worst offenders, no vacation destination can truly be allergy-free. Why? Well, just like many of us, pollen is pretty good at traveling. These tiny airborne particles can travel by wind, as well as by settling on the bodies of insects and other animals. Pollen can even be an unwelcome travel companion by settling on your clothes, in your hair, and even on your skin. Plus, regardless of your travel plans, there’s always the possibility of encountering mold and other allergens.
Fortunately, these simple tips can help you reduce pollen exposure and allergy symptoms so you can enjoy your vacation from beginning to end:
- Plan to vacation at a beach or on a cruise, if possible. These getaways tend to be easier on allergy sufferers.
- Monitor the pollen counts of your intended destination before and during your vacation. Read more tips to keep your vacation allergy-free.
Posted by Tony on March 12th, 2013
A cleaning revolution may sound a bit dramatic, but it’s exactly what Miele has created. Their new S8 line of canister vacuums are packed with extras and leading the charge in changing how we clean our homes.
I was lucky enough to chat with a Miele rep about these “next generation” vacuums. I really only had 2 questions: What makes one S8 model different from the others? And who should buy each one? I’ll share what I learned, but let’s run through the premium features they all share first. These vacuums filter air better than most canister vacuums, and they’re the lightest and quietest vacuums Miele has ever created. All Miele S8 vacuums include:
- Parquet Twister Floor Tool: All S8 models come with this floor tool, which is air-driven and perfect for smooth floors.
- AirClean Sealed System: It’s one thing to vacuum up dust, allergens, and other particles, but this sealed system ensures it stays in the vacuum’s bag and out of your indoor environment.
- One-Touch Controls: No wrapping a cord, holding down a button, or even bending over. Simply touch a button with your foot to rewind the cord automatically or turn the vacuum on and off.
- 6 Suction Settings: Different surfaces have various heights and textures; these settings let you control how much suction you use. For example, you’d use much more suction on high-pile carpet than when cleaning upholstery.
- Onboard Accessories: Easy to find and store, use these for cleaning furniture, upholstery, and various other areas of your home. See which Miele S8 vacuum is best for you!
Posted by Tony on March 7th, 2013
February may be a short month, but there was no shortage of intriguing air quality posts! A wide-range of articles from around the world made this month’s Air Quality Evangelists list—and they’re some of our most diverse choices ever. Check out our favorite blog posts and learn a few tips to keep you healthy indoors and out: Meet our Air Quality Evangelists for February!
Posted by Tony on February 13th, 2013
The end of February is a mixed bag of weather across the US—some people see record-breaking snow or horrible thunderstorms, while others (including myself) are preparing for an early spring allergy season. Presidents Day happens to fall around this time every year, and at Sylvane we’ll be celebrating with a major sale on products you can use in any weather.
Until February 19, we’re offering discounts on everything from heaters and humidifiers to vacuums and steam cleaners. Read on to learn more about our deals and who should consider taking advantage of them. See Our Presidents Day Sale Information!
Posted by Kylie on December 12th, 2012
Although it took a while to feel like winter in many parts of the country, there’s no doubt that cold weather has arrived. As we start turning on our furnaces and space heaters, there are a few things to keep in mind. An overload of dust can be dispersed by running your furnace, especially for the first time. Help keep your air clean and fresh (and lower your risk of feeling bad around the holidays) by completing a few small tasks around your house.
When you turn on your furnace for the first time each year, you might notice a “burnt dust” smell in the air—I know I did! During warmer months, your heating ducts accumulate a lot of dust and other allergens. When it’s time to turn it back on, your home is flooded with all that has accumulated over the last year, which can lead to allergies and other respiratory issues.
It may not seem like a huge deal, but the dust and other particles floating around can also compromise your immune system. If your body is busy fighting off the impurities in your air, you’re more vulnerable to other infections like the common cold or flu.
Fortunately there are a couple of ways you can diminish this problem:
- Use air filters to catch the dust and debris. Clean permanent filters and use HEPA filters to catch as many unwanted allergens as possible.
- Install eco friendly heaters that don’t spread as much dust and allergens into the air.
- Have your heating ducts cleaned regularly, especially just before you fire them up for the year.
- Use a humidifier if your air is dry. Dry air can irritate your sinuses and cause sore throats, so make sure your humidity is between 35% and 50%.
The best way to improve your indoor air while running your furnace or heater is to use all of these strategies. The bottom line is that it’s not the air that’s bad for you; it’s the dust and allergens that accumulate when your heater’s not in use. Be sure to have adequate filtration and cleaning processes, so you can enjoy a warm home without some of these nasty side effects.
I’ve been running my heat for more than two months now (I live in North Dakota)! When did you decide it was time to kick on the furnace?
Photo Credit: Fireplace by Travis Wiens on Flickr.