See How Eye Care Controls Allergies

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Good eyewear and proper eye care can minimize itchy, watery eyes associated with hay fever and allergies.

Naturally, allergy sufferers want maximum relief in minimum time; or, better still, they want to avoid allergy attacks altogether. Doctors generally advise over-the-counter anti-histamines and nasal decongestants which relieve the majority of allergy symptoms. For serious allergy attacks or asthma patients, physicians may resort to high-powered histamine blockers or cortico-steroids. However, pills, sprays, and inhalers seldom relieve eye irritation and dryness, often the most painful and annoying among allergy complaints. Therefore, as hay fever and allergy season swings into high gear, take a few precautionary measures and stock-up on the right topical solutions for fast, effective relief.

Don’t sanitize. Desensitize.
Recent research confirms most allergists’ long-standing suspicions: Americans’ passion for germ-free environments and prescription “cold” medications, ironically, is contributing to their allergies, because it limits their opportunities for developing natural immunity to many airborne irritants. Aggressive hand-washing and cough-sneeze management make perfect sense during colds-and-flu season. Antibiotics and anti-virals, however, do not substantially reduce recovery time, and they do contribute to emergence of more virulent bacteria and viruses. Meanwhile, the body forfeits chances to develop its defenses. Allergists say routine exposure to some dust, pollen and pet hair can reduce frequency and duration of allergy attacks in many patients. They call the process “desensitization,” and studies show the process helps more than 50 percent of children over-come or outgrow their allergies; similar studies suggest more than one-fourth of adult sufferers also may benefit from desensitization. Advanced immuno-therapies also show great promise. Your allergist may inject you with small quantities of common allergens, helping your body develop its natural immunity.

Allergists caution, however, all allergy patients always and everywhere should avoid exposure to mold and volatile organic compounds. Allergists also concede eye irritation almost always requires immediate, effective relief. They recommend:

• Put-up a good defense. The simplest, most obvious solution numbers among the most effective. Invest in wrap-around eyeglasses and sunglasses, minimizing your eyes’ exposure to dust and pollen. When your physician declares new glasses “medically necessary,” they become tax deductible, taking some of the sting from the price of fashion eyewear. Similarly, replace the filters in your air conditioner and treat your carpets to a good spring cleaning. If spring melt-off and rain have contributed to exceptionally heavy pollen, invest in air purifiers for your workspace and bedroom.

• Care for your contact lenses. Generally comfortable with your contacts, you may go crazy during allergy season, because allergens and enzymes in your tears may cling to your lenses, causing serious irritation and blurred vision. Consult your physician before you try over-the-counter eye drops or contact-lens cleaners, because you may be allergic to preservatives in some solutions; mother solutions may damage or discolor your contacts. You also have another alternative. Switch from long-wearing lenses to daily disposables, which will not collect irritating deposits that aggravate your allergy symptoms.

• Over-the-counter eye-washes and drops. Both dry eyes and excessive tears result from allergens’ stimulation of your tear glands. Antihistamines, decongestants and NSAIDs reduce redness, controlling the symptom without addressing the cause. Ask your doctor about products containing mast cell stabilizers, which work almost the same way antihistamines work, but they provide more long-lasting relief. Exercise caution about using eye drops too often, because your eyes may become dependent on the vaso-constrictors in the drops. After protracted use of eye drops, stopping them may trigger “rebound hyperemia,” making the blood vessels in your eyes bigger than they were when allergens irritated them.

• Prescription eye-drops. Just as cortico-steroids rapidly, powerfully reduce nasal and lung congestion, so they quickly relieve eye irritation. However, steroids can cause serious side-effects; they can increase inner-eye pressure, damaging the optic nerve, contributing to glaucoma, or clouding the eyes’ lenses and producing cataracts. Discuss the risks and benefits with your physician, and consider safer alternatives before resorting to cortico-steroids.

Of course, tough talk and sage advice sound really good until your symptoms become so miserable you just want to embubble yourself somewhere dust and pollen cannot penetrate. Allergists reluctantly agree all the prevention and medication known to humankind sometimes cannot match the relief you find staying indoors where air conditioning filters and cools the air so you can breathe and see clearly.

Guest author Sara Roberts is a content contributor for Just Eyewear, an online retailer of prescription glasses and sunglasses.

Pros and Cons of Using a Neti Pot for cleansing your sinuses

Have you used a neti pot to help with cleansing your sinuses? Many people do. I use them and have for years. However, it is not always the best way to unblock your sinuses. Here are some pros and cons for using a neti pot for cleaning out your sinuses.


Neti pots are inexpensive and a great way to get a large amount of water and saline or other medicine into your sinuses without the hassles of Q-tips, kleenex, or other methods.

Neti pots are proven to be an effective method for clearing out your sinuses.

Neti pots are pretty simple to use


They can harbor unsafe bacteria if you are not careful. For example back in December two ladies died from improper use of a neti pot.

They can be a pain to use without a large sink to catch the water, you can end up with a big mess. Without the proper solution, they can cause more damage than they help.

So how do you avoid the cons and make a neti pot work for you?

I recommend:

using distilled water or filtered water rather than tap water
adding a few drops of peppermint, melaleuca, or another essential oil to to the neti pot solution
using only a high quality of saline solution that is designed for neti pots instead of just plain salt or anything else
making sure that you keep your neti pot cleaned out rather than letting it sit and collect bacteria in it.

Food Intolerance or Food Allergy?

food allergy vs food intolerance

Do you have a food intolerance or a food allergy?

This can be difficult to figure out for many people since the symptoms of a food allergy and a food intolerance can seem like they are more or less the same. However, they are different and here are some things to consider when determining whether or not you have a food intolerance or a food allergy.

1. What happens when you eat a small amount of the food? For example one piece of bread for wheat.
If you have a severe reaction then you have an allergy, but if you can eat some of the food from time to time without any significant health problem, or other allergic reaction but you do have problems when you eat a large amount of that food then you have a food intolerance. For example, I have a food intolerance to wheat but I am not allergic to wheat. So I can have some wheat from time to time and I am fine but if I eat sandwiches, cookies or other wheat products for more than one meal within a short time frame or during allergy season, then I have a reaction to it.

2. Have you been formally tested for food allergies? You can go to an allergy specialist or a naturopath and get tested and then you will know which foods cause allergic reactions and which ones cause a food intolerance.

3. Do your pollen allergies, sinus allergies, or other allergies get worse when you eat a certain food? If so, chances are good that you have an allergy to that food. Many people don’t realize it but the same allergens that exist in many foods, also exist in pollen and other outdoor elements.

In short, the main reason why you want to know if you have a food intolerance or a food allergy is so that you can be aware and know whether or not you can sometimes eat a certain food, or, if you must avoid it all of the time.

How to Tell the Difference Between a Cold and Allergies

Is it a cold or allergies? This is a common question that people ask and for many reasons. For those of us who are unfortunate enough to struggle with frequent allergies this can be even more difficult. That said, there are a few basic questions that you can ask yourself, which can help to determine- is it a cold or allergies?

1. What is the weather like outside? If it’s foggy or there is bad air, then chances are good that you have allergies.

2. What season is it? If it’s allergy season which goes from about September-November and again from March-May then there is an increased chance that you have allergies.

3. Do you have a sore throat? If so, you probably have a cold since generally allergies do not cause sore throats.

4. Do you have a fever or are you dizzy? Fevers and dizziness are usually signs of a severe cold or flu rather than allergies.

5. Are your sinuses bothering you? This is the number one cause of allergies and so while a cold can cause this too, if your sinuses are really bad, then you probably have allergies.

5 Great Mobile Applications for Allergies

mobile applications for allergies

There are lots of great mobile applications that you can use for allergies. However, it can be difficult to know which ones are really useful and which ones you could do without. Also not all apps are the same for iphone users and for android users. Here are 5 useful mobile applications for allergies and what they do.

Zyrtec Allergy Cast

Available for both iphone and android

Enter in location

Predominant Pollen Scale

Hourly and 10 day weather forecast

Allergy forecast for tomorrow

% of humidity

Allergy Alert

Available for both iphone and android

Today’s and 4 day allergy forecast includes not only pollen but also Allergy, Asthma, Cold/Cough and Ultra Violet scales

Allergy Guard App

Available only for iphone

Lists common allergens found in foods and explains how they are typically eaten and prepared and what to look out for.

Your Food Intolerance App

Available only for iphone

Use this app to help you determine which foods cause allergic reactions for you

Additives App

Available for both iphone and android

Learn about various additives commonly used in foods and other products. Discover the problems that they can cause, how to avoid them and more

What other mobile apps have you used to help manage and control allergies?

Allergic Girl: Adventures in Living Well with Food Allergies

What is it like to live with severe food allergies? In “Allergic Girl” Sloane Miller shares her experiences as someone who is allergic to tree nuts, salmon, egg plant and many types of fruit. As a toddler she was also allergic to milk.

In this book, Sloane offers her story along with some practicial information that anyone who struggles with food allergies can use.

Some of the main topics she covers includes:

1. How to find the right allergy doctor and questions to ask when looking for an allergist.

2. How to talk with your allergy doctor

3. How to overcome the anxiety and trauma that can come with getting a diagnosis of food allergies

4. How to get family support for your food allergies

5. How to deal with food allergy emergencies such as what to do when you accidently eat something you have an allergy for

6. How to eat at restaurants and away from home with food allergies

7. How to plan for travel and emergencies.

In short, Allergic girl offers from great and important information for anyone who has food allergies, whether they are severe or not.

Buy Allergic Girl: Adventures in Living Well with Food Allergies

How to Live with a Dairy Allergy Without Being Miserable

dairy allergy

Having a dairy allergy can be a real pain. It can seem like everything you like or want to eat has milk in it in some form. So what can you do if you have a dairy allergy that will make it so that you can still enjoy good food? I thought for a few years that I had a dairy allergy but have since realized that I actually have gluten intolerance instead. That said, for about three years I didn’t eat or drink any dairy and so I do know quite a bit about how to live without it.

Here are some tips for you: (please note that some of these tips may not work for you if you are also allergic to soy or other ingredients)

1. Use almond or rice milk in place of regular milk. You can not only drink it, but you can make shakes with it, use it in cooking and pretty much in any place of regular milk. You can also use soy milk but I personally recommend that you avoid it because of some of the side effects that too much soy has for many people.

2. Use soy cheese in place of regular cheese. This is cheese made from soy milk. It tastes quite good.

3. Learn how to cook with spices, oils, herbs, and other sauces that are dairy free. Examples include: olive oil, soy sauce, and other similar things. You can use these to flavor your food without dairy and they taste quite good and are lower fat which is always a plus.

4. Experiment with tofu, and other vegetable based products that are often used in place of cheese or butter.

5. Enjoy sorbet and other non-dairy deserts in place of ice cream. There are quite a few of them available today.

Thoughts? Other ideas?

Say No to the Hair Loss Problems caused by Allergies

hair loss

Have you ever said a “bye” to the bunch of lost hairs? In such circumstances, besides being broken-hearted, have you thought of the reason for what you lost hair? Do you know that allergies can cause hair loss too?

Yes, before you go for hair loss treatment, you should identify the problem that causing hair loss.
Well, when you hear the term “allergies”, most of the time you draw a picture of sneezing and coughing, right? But, it is not the same for all; rather allergies can bring greater problems like hair falls. There are different types of allergies available, which can cause hair loss problems. Ok, let me help you with this.

Pollen and dander allergies

Blooming flowers lose their pollens and dander in the air, which can cause allergies if inhaled. Its aftereffects can be: stuffy nose, watery eyes, rashes on the body skin and head skin, etc. If scratched, hair fall problems start because the hair around the rashes starts dropping.

Remedy: This kind of hair loss problems disappear with the disappearing of the rashes. Yes, you don’t need to go through massive hair loss treatment, because the lost hair grows again when you get recovered from the rashes.

Food allergies
Human beings can have allergies due to the ingestion of some food items, which in the long run causes hair fall problems.

Remedy: You should contact your doctor for treating these kinds of hair loss problems. Generally, they advise you to stop consuming food items, which can cause allergies, such as: eggs, prawns, etc.

Cosmetic allergies
People who use lots of hair sprays, hair care products, and hair colors, sometimes these items cause allergies on the head skin. It reduces the amount of hairs by reducing the size of the hair follicles.

Remedy: Hair treatment products can be very useful in such circumstances. It helps supplying adequate amount of oxygen and protein to the hair follicles, which helps in growing hairs.

Well, allergies can come from others also. So, you must stay careful whenever you start going through the hair loss problems. Don’t forget to go for hair loss treatments to escape the bite of allergies on your special hairs. Since, you are the king or queen of your own world, lead your life as you want because you worth it.

Grogan Smith is an eminent hair loss expert who has managed to cure many people through his superb methods for the hair loss problem.

Healthy Food Alternatives for the Fish Allergic


Fish allergy suffers are not doomed to suffer from lack of omega-3 fatty
acids or be deprived of any other nutrient for that matter. Any food
allergy is serious. We need food. It’s not like being allergic to a cat or
a dog.

Fish oil is the main source of beneficial omega-3 in both consumed food
and supplements. This is not an option for humans with allergies to fish
and/or seafood.

Aggravating an allergy to seafood can even be fatal. A complete lack of
omega-3 fatty acids is highly undesirable. High levels of omega-6 and low
levels of omega-3 may tend to increase a broad range of health risks. Some

A one to one ( 1:1 ) ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is optimum. Western diets
can cause undesirable ratios as high as 15:1 or more. Obviously the fish
allergic person on a typical urban western diet could benefit from
bringing this ratio down without eating seafood.

It makes sense to approach the issue from multiple angles. Decreasing
omega-6 intake will improve that ratio without increasing omega-3. The
terse and brief instruction is to stop eating heavily processed food and
avoid as much as possible mass produced agricultural products buying local
and fresh whenever possible.

Organically raised meat, eggs, poultry are potentially less taxing
regarding raising omega-6 levels. Also, wild game. Venison is widely
available in many places.

Omega-3 enhanced eggs are available at most grocery stores. Free range
fresh eggs are also good.

Switching from mass produced corn fed heavily medicated animals to grass
fed for beef alone can be significant. Especially if liver or other organ
meats are consumed.

For those who don’t eat meat, flax seed and other sources contain high
levels of ALA omega-3, a small amount of which will be converted to the
critical form of omega-3. There are also aglae sourced vegan omega-3
supplements that might benefit all fish allergic people regardless of

Whole foods over processed food and eliminating grains might help. The
technical reasons for this are beyond the scope of this article, basically
even though grains offer nutrients they also have phytates and gluten
neither of which are beneficial to allergy sufferers.

Fish and seafood allergy sufferers need not be deprived. Supplements,
fresh over packaged, local organic over mass produced, avoid grains as
much as possible, if not sensitive to eggs buy omega-3 enhanced or free
range organic.

About the Author: E. Fortie writes for the Mediterranean diet plan blog to help people learn how to eat healthy
to lose weight and prevent diseass.

How to Avoid Winter Allergies

winter allergies

When you think about allergies, you may mistakenly believe that seasonal allergies only occur in the spring and fall. In fact, allergies can occur at any time of the year, and there are some types of allergies that will occur more frequently during the winter months.

Types of Winter Allergies
As the weather turns colder, you begin to rely on your furnace to heat your home. When your furnace begins working, it sends mold spores, dust, and particles from dead insects into the air you breathe. Since you spend more time indoors in the winter, if you are allergic to any of these things, you may notice allergy symptoms such as a runny nose, watery eyes, and coughing. Many people mistakenly believe they have a cold, when in reality they are having an allergic reaction.

If you have indoor pets, you may also have allergic reactions to the protein that is found in the animal’s skin and saliva. Often, pet allergies are worse during the winter months due to the amount of time both you and your pet spend indoors. They are also more difficult to detect if allergies are a common occurrence for you.

Some individuals may also discover that they suffer from cold urticaria during the colder months. Urticaria is also known as hives. The rash is usually red, bumpy, and itchy and can also cause swelling. Cold urticaria is the development of these hives upon exposure to the cold.

How to Avoid These Allergies
If you suffer from allergies, there are some steps you can take to avoid living with a runny nose and watery eyes.

1. Regularly inspect your home. Check your shower and shower curtain, sinks, carpeting, and wallpaper for signs of mold. Anything in your home with mold on it should be replaced or thoroughly cleaned with a bleach solution.

2. Wash your bedding at least once a week to remove allergens from your bed.

3. Do not allow your pet to sleep in your bedroom, and give it baths regularly to wash away the protein found in the dead skin.

4. Invest in a dehumidifier to reduce the humidity in your home. This will help control dust mites and mold spores.

Allergy Treatment
Although there are steps you can take to avoid allergy attacks, sometimes you can’t avoid the cause of the allergy. However, there are some treatment options that are available to you.

For airborne allergens that cannot be avoided, many people turn to antihistamines to offer some relief. Antihistamines are available as a nasal spray or an oral medication. There are many different types available, and finding one that will work for you may require trying a few different medications.

If medications are not effective for keeping allergy symptoms under control, you may also consider allergy shots. These consist of a series of injection where you are injected with a small amount of the substance you are allergic to. Approximately 80 to 90 percent of individuals find some relief through allergy shots.

Although winter allergies can be just as problematic as allergies that occur in the spring and fall, you don’t have to suffer in silence. Once you know what you are allergic to, you have several different methods of avoidance and treatment that may be beneficial to you.
Cynthia Johnson is a lab assistant and online contributor for, an online lab testing provider offering prescribed or self-ordered tests for cholesterol, thyroid function, liver function, etc. Check here for testing locations as well as home test kits.