Allergies and Depression – Beyond Sneezes and Runny Noses

If you suffer from allergies, then you know that allergy symptoms go beyond the sneezes and sniffles. Allergies zap your energy and make you feel bad. They can even lead to clinical depression.

HEPA vacuumIn the past, I’ve had to move because of my cat allergies. I had an air purifier, allergy bedding, and HEPA vacuum – all the essentials of environmental control. But my roommate refused to keep her long-haired cats confined to one area of the apartment, so cat dander was everywhere – on the furniture, on my clothing, etc. I finally had to move, not necessarily because of the standard allergy symptoms like runny nose and itchy eyes, but because I simply felt so run-down all the time. My allergies were affecting my energy and my mood. After I moved, I felt much better in a matter of days.

People who don’t have allergies often don’t seem to understand their devastating effects on day-to-day life. In the past couple of years, however, researchers have found evidence that allergies do indeed affect brain chemistry. Continue reading…

Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Naturally

I recently moved out of metro Atlanta to a cabin in a rural, wooded area. Since my move, I’ve been spending a lot more time outdoors, and with increased exposure to sunlight, my mood has improved.

I’ve always been interested in seasonal affective disorder because I’ve certainly felt the “winter blues” a few times. After spending most of the cold months indoors, I’ve often felt like I have less energy and get tired more easily. This is actually fairly common; with less sunlight and heartier meals, most people naturally slow down a bit during the winter.

But the lack of sunlight during winter affects some people more drastically, leading to clinical depression. This is known as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. Continue reading…

Full Spectrum Lighting for the Office Environment

Full Spectrum LightingI’m very lucky. I love my job. I love writing about healthy indoor matters and helping people to make healthy choices.

But I haven’t always been so lucky. At some previous jobs, I’ve had to work in cave-like environments, totally cut off from natural sunlight. By the end of the day, after working under eye-straining fluorescent lighting for eight-plus hours, I always had worn-out eyes and a throbbing headache.

I no longer suffer from eye strain or tension headaches, thanks to full spectrum lighting. Continue reading…