Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Springtime allergies: Nip them in the bud
Relieve springtime allergies with these tried-and-true techniques.
Spring means flower buds and blooming trees — and if you're one of the millions of people who have springtime allergies, it also means sneezing, congestion, runny nose and other bothersome symptoms. Springtime allergies — also called hay fever and allergic rhinitis — can make you miserable. But before you settle for plastic flowers and artificial turf, try these simple strategies to keep springtime allergies under control.
Reduce your exposure to allergy triggers
There are a number of things that you can do to reduce your exposure to the things that trigger your allergy signs and symptoms (allergens):
· Stay indoors on dry, windy days — the best time to go outside is after a good rain, which helps clear pollen from the air.
· Delegate lawn mowing, weed pulling and other gardening chores that stir up allergens.
· Remove clothes you've worn outside; you may also want to shower to rinse pollen from your skin and hair.
· Don't hang laundry outside — pollen can stick to sheets and towels.
· Wear a dust mask if you do outside chores.
Take extra steps when pollen counts are high
Seasonal allergy signs and symptoms can flare up when there's a lot of pollen in the air. These steps can help you reduce your exposure:
· Check your local TV or radio station, your local newspaper, or the Internet for pollen forecasts and current pollen levels.
· If high pollen counts are forecasted, start taking allergy medications before your symptoms start.
· Close doors and windows at night or any other time when pollen counts are high.
· Avoid outdoor activity in the early morning when pollen counts are highest.
Keep indoor air clean
There's no miracle product that can eliminate all allergens from the air in your home, but these suggestions may help:
· Use the air conditioning in your house and car.
· If you have forced air heating or air conditioning in your house, use high-efficiency filters and follow regular maintenance schedules.
· Keep indoor air dry with a dehumidifier.
· Use a portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter in your bedroom.
· Clean floors often with a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter.
For many people, avoiding allergens and taking over-the-counter medications is enough to ease symptoms. But if your seasonal allergies are still bothersome, don't give up. A number of other treatments are available.
If you have bad seasonal allergies, your doctor may recommend that you have skin tests or blood tests to find out exactly what allergens trigger your symptoms. Testing can help determine what steps you need to take to avoid your specific triggers and identify which treatments are likely to work best for you.
Saturday, March 10, 2012
A mini Interview with Victor about how he deals daily with EPP. Victor has made so many changes in his life he also serves as an administrator for the APF Facebook. His wife Sue also shares her views on this disease and how the two of them find comfort and joy despite having Porphyria. Enjoy reading all.
I was diagnosed with EPP when I was 6 I am now 43. My childhood was very tough. I had no one to talk to about my problem and I didn't understand it myself. People always looked at me funny and made fun of me because I couldn't play with them. I was very depressed as a child not knowing how I would survive and grow up to have a productive life. Now I have 3 kids and a new wife. They all try to understand but only "WE" with EPP truly understand each others pain. Life is not easy hiding in the shadows. There are many things I cant do because of my disorder. I missed most of my kids sports, parades and family events. Today was the first day I felt the burn of the sun on the drive into work. I suffer at work day to day as it is very hot and uncomfortable in the shop. When I get home I try to cool off and relax. My wife and kids are very patient as I can be very moody when I have reactions. My Passion is fishing. This is very difficult to do when you cant be out in the sun. The best time for me is early morning or late evening. I am always covered up. When they find a cure I plan on fulfilling my dream and become a professional fisherman.
Victor A. Mejias
It is very hard to watch the person I love, my husband have to hide from the sunlight. The sunlight that brightens my spirits, the sunlight that warms my body, the sunlight that I enjoy so much. It makes me very sad to know that my husband is held back from doing things that he loves because of this condition. It also breaks my heart that there are things that he will never experience because the pain he would suffer as a result would be too great. It hurts me to see him hurt when he is “bothered” by the sun. The physical and mental anguish he goes through because he pushed to do something we, people without EPP most likely take for granted. It is difficult to think about my husband as a child, not knowing why he is in pain, not being able to explain what he is feeling and everyone around him unable to see any kind of evidence of why he is in pain.
One of the positives I have seen is my husband’s display of patience, kindness and compassion for others with EPP. He has listened to others’ stories and he has given very helpful advice/suggestions to mothers of children with EPP. That was truly beautiful!
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