Allergy Asthma Technology Home Page

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Child-Friendly Treatments Ease Medication Process

It’s that time of the year again—time for the kids to head back to school for another year of growing and learning. Most parents would be relieved to have their children back in school, but if you are a parent of a child with a health condition, it can be a frightening thought. You might stress about them forgetting to take their medications or not taking the recommended doses. For a child, taking medication can be overwhelming, especially if a parent or regular guardian isn’t there to comfort and guide the child. Yes, there are school nurses, but if a child does not feel comfortable around them, it may be difficult for them to get the proper treatment.

However, if your child has allergies, sinus problems or asthma, there are certain treatments that will ease your child into taking their required medications, even when you yourself are not there to sooth them and guide them through it.

Allergies and Sinuses

The fall is a peak time for allergies and sinus infections. Some sinus complications may occur as a result of fall allergies, but can also develop due to bacterial or fungal infections.

Fall allergies, or hay fever, are a result of the pollens of weeds and molds. Ragweed, the main fall allergy culprit, typically begins pollenating mid-August; however, this year came early in the Midwest region due to a wet and cooler than usual summer. If your child shows the same symptoms during this time of the year, they are most likely allergic to ragweed pollens. Symptoms are similar to spring and summer allergies and include nasal congestion, sneezing, runny and/or itchy nose, post nasal drip, itchy, watery eyes, headaches and fatigue. Ragweed season is unpredictable and usually concludes after the second frost.   

Another symptom of fall allergies is susceptibility to sinus infections. A sinus infection occurs when sinus cavities become clogged due to swelling. Allergies can cause this to happen, resulting in symptoms similar to a cold or the flu, but usually includes sinus pressure. Sinus pressure and/or pain take place in the forehead behind the eyes, above the cheekbones, toothaches or in the jaw, and behind the head where the neck begins. It can also cause ears to feel pressurized, similar to when you are in an airplane. Other symptoms of a sinus infection include a low grade fever, fatigue and feeling weak, a thick yellow-green discharge from the nose, bad breath, loss of smell and/or taste, swollen or puffy eyelids and underneath the eye, and congestion.

If your child has fall allergies and obtains a sinus infection as a result, they are going to need kid-approved treatment in order to relieve symptoms. Over-the-counter treatments will help relieve symptoms, such as nasal rinses, vaporizers, steam inhalers, or warm, moist cloths. Allergy Asthma Technology’s Margo Moo Steam Inhaler is extremely effective in relieving symptoms from allergies, sinusitis, and even works for colds and the flu. It delivers steam through a kid-friendly device that features a cow face that will break up congestion, allowing children to breathe. Once sinus cavities are clear, sinus headaches and other pressure will stop, as well.


Asthma can be induced by allergies or sinusitis, or the child could have the condition separately. Having asthma as a child can be a very overwhelming situation. They are not able to participate in the activities that other students may participate in during school, or if they are able to, they need special medications. Taking the medication can be terrifying in itself. Allergy Asthma Technology provides nebulizers in the shapes of animals that will deliver the child’s medication in a manner that will ease the child. The fun animal shapes and faces are designed to distract the child while they take their asthma medication to make taking their medication a less scary experience.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Japanese Volcano Created Blanket of Ash in Nearby City

A volcano in Japan erupted yesterday, spewing smoke and ashes at record high altitudes, which resulted in a blanket of debris over the nearby town of Kagoshima. Sakurajima is a very active volcano that erupts many times a year, but the eruptions are small and harmless to surrounding towns. However, this particular eruption sent smoke three miles into the air, allowing it to affect the residents of Kagoshima. People protected themselves with masks, raincoats and umbrellas while trying to carry out their day as normal as possible.

Incidents like this are quite common. There are still many active volcanoes around the world that affect nearby towns. Usually the impact is minimal, but can still affect the everyday lives of those living within a certain radius of the mountain. Some active volcanoes near populated cities include Mt. Vesuvius in Italy, Popocatepetl in Mexico, Galeras in Columbia, and Mauna Loa in Hawaii.

During times of volcanic eruptions, air pollution masks are a necessary item to have. Air pollution masks use a filtration system that allows individuals to breathe in fresh air without the harmful pollutant particles. Most of them contain a carbon-activated filter that will detect levels of carbon in the air and filter out accordingly. An air pollution mask will operate in the same manner during a volcanic eruption by filtering out dust and ash particles. Any type of mask is better than none; however pollution masks allow individuals to breathe easier. 

Residents of towns surrounding volcanic activity should also place air purifiers within their homes during or immediately after eruptions to ensure the interior atmosphere is clean and healthy, as well. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Pet Owners, Beware of Excess Dander during Fall

If you are a pet owner, you may notice that every year around spring your pet sheds excessively, more so than any other time of the year. This is because they are getting rid of their thick, winter coats in order to prepare for a thinner coat for summer. However, pets shed their fur coats during the fall season, as well. In fact, it is the opposite of what happens in the spring--the thinner, summer fur coat is shed to make room for the thicker, winter coat. While the fall shedding is minor in extent to the spring shedding, fur is still being shed, which means your home is covered in fur and pet dander. This poses a problem for members of the household that are allergic to pet dander, as well as visitors.

Pet allergies occur in individuals with a hypersensitive immune system that reacts negatively to certain proteins found in the dander of animal hair or fur. It is the dander—tiny, microscopic flakes of dead skin--that clings to the hair that causes allergic reactions, rather than the hair itself. Minor symptoms include itching of the eyes and nose, watering of the eyes, a stuffed or runny nose, sneezing and facial swelling. More severe symptoms may develop, such as coughing and wheezing that ultimately leads to an asthma attack.

There are many things pet owners can do to reduce pet dander throughout the home. First, during “shedding season,” adopt a regular and more frequent grooming schedule. Brush out your pet’s fur outdoors to reduce the amount of shedding indoors. How often you brush your pet should depend on the breed, so be sure to talk with your veterinarian.

Pet owners should also wash their pets’ fur once a month with Allersearch Pet Shampoo. This fragrance-free shampoo is specifically made to remove pet dander from fur and continues to neutralize the allergens in pet dander that does appear for the next 30 days. Although the shampoo is fragrance-free, it works to remove odors that may build up in the animal’s fur. The shampoo is pH balanced, and does not contain any dyes, ammonites, or other potentially harmful chemicals. Instead, it is formed from plant and root extracts, for a more natural solution.  

When having guests over, pet owners should thoroughly clean the home and finish up by using an anti-allergen spray on furniture, countertops, carpets, etc. Anti-allergen sprays destroy allergens on the spot to prevent them from causing allergic reactions in individuals prone to certain allergens. Other than pet allergens, the anti-allergen spray also works on pollens, mold and mildew and dust mites. Furthermore, when guests are spending the night, it helps to place a small air purifier in the bedroom they will be occupying to ensure the elimination of pet allergens. Air purifiers capture airborne allergens and immediately destroy them.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Take Cover, Fall Allergy Season has Arrived

Fall allergy sufferers, beware, fall allergy season has already begun. In some areas, the season arrived nearly two weeks ago, two weeks earlier than usual. The season typically begins around mid-August, but because the spring season arrived so late, and due to the amount of precipitation we have experienced this summer, ragweed began pollinating early. Ragweed is the plant that pollinates during the end of summer, early fall season and is what allergy sufferers receive symptoms from at this time of the year.

If you receive cold-like symptoms every early fall, you most likely are allergic to ragweed pollens. Allergy symptoms include sneezing, itchy eyes and nose, post nasal drip, scratchy throat, coughing and/or wheezing, fatigue, and sinus headaches. If you have minor symptoms, some over-the-counter medications should relieve them. You can also use vaporizers and nose sprays to alleviate symptoms. Vaporizers release vapors of menthol and eucalyptus the will clear out sinuses so you are able to breathe. You can use them for more than allergy symptoms, including colds, the flu and bronchitis.
Another remedy you can use is a nose spray or sinus rinse. The spray goes into your nose and clears out the passageways, allowing you to breathe, while also preventing congestion from occurring again. For sinus headaches, you can take over-the-counter medications or place a warm, moist towel on your face to break up congestion and relieve pressure.

There are also precautions you can take in order to prevent allergy symptoms from occurring or worsening. Check local pollen levels when you know you are going to be outdoors for longer than five minutes at a time. When coming in from outside, immediately wash your hands—or if you have spent an extended period of time outdoors, immediately take a shower and wash your hair to remove pollens. Wear sunglasses, especially on windy days, to keep pollens out of the eyes. You can also wear an allergy mask that allows you to breathe in fresh air without breathing in harmful pollens. And, lastly, keep your home allergy-free with air purifiers and by changing out your furnace filters once every season.

However, if you are experiencing more severe symptoms, it is important to meet with an allergist to receive prescription medications. It is difficult to predict when fall allergy season ends—the pollens are typically removed by the second frost.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

What You Should Know About Bed Bugs Before Traveling

The spring and summer seasons are peak seasons for traveling and vacationing. For some individuals, traveling brings on a sense of fear and paranoia. This is because in the last several years, there have been many stories circulating in the news and media about bed bugs in hotels, condos, etc. While bed bugs have been around for centuries, people are becoming more aware of the little pests, which then cause a wave of paranoia. Those that have encountered bed bugs before have a reason to be paranoid, and will tell you that dealing and getting rid of them is the worst experience you could possibly imagine. However, you shouldn’t let the fear of them ruin what is supposed to be a fun and relaxing vacation. If you have never before encountered bed bugs, here are a few things you should know:

What exactly are bed bugs?

Bed bugs are parasitic insects that feed on human blood. They are often confused with dust mites, microscopic insects that live within bedding, furniture and carpeting and feed off of the dead skin cells from humans and animals. Dust mites do not directly affect humans; however, it is common for individuals to be allergic to their waste, causing cold-like symptoms. Bed bugs, on the other hand, are much larger (four to five millimeters) and directly feed off humans, often causing itchy, burning bite marks, similar to mosquito bites. They also tend to make their nests several feet away from bedding, such as behind head boards, underneath beds, in crevices and corners, etc. Like ants, they tend to travel in large quantities, and you rarely ever find a singular bed bug, which is why people suffer many bites at one time.

Where do they come from?

Hotels are not the only places that can become infested with bed bugs. They can live in offices, movie theaters, other people’s homes, anywhere, really. They are typically transferred from location to location through clothing, blankets, or other fabric materials. The eggs are adhesive and stick to clothing and their white, translucent color make them difficult to spot. The eggs can withstand a wide range of environments, and once they hatch, they find places to nest and proceed to lay eggs of their own.  

What you should do when traveling:

Upon arriving to a hotel, immediately check for bed bugs. Pull the covers on the bed back to look for reddish, brown spots on the sheets. These spots are the bed bugs’ fecal matter. When wet, they can look like dry blood stains. Also check behind headboards, in corners, nightstands, anywhere else near the bed for nests and eggs. If there are signs of bedbugs in the hotel room, inform the hotel employees. Just because there are bed bugs in one room does not mean they are in all of the rooms, so you can simply switch to another room in the hotel, rather than leaving.

If there are no signs of bed bugs apparent, there are steps you can take to be cautious. Do not put your luggage or clothing on the bed or floor. Immediately place luggage on the luggage stands provided, away from walls, and hang up the clothing in the closet(s) provided. If there is no luggage stand available, keep your luggage in the bathroom.

When returning from a trip, immediately put all clothes in the dryer or wash them with hot water. This will kill any eggs, or bed bugs that have potentially clung to clothing.

Bed bug prevention:

There are products available that will get rid of bed bugs or prevent an infestation from occurring. Individuals can place bed bug covers on mattresses, box springs and pillows in order to keep bed bugs from getting into them. To get rid of bed bugs and their eggs, individuals can use UV sanitizing wands. The wands use UV light in order to kill the insects, as well as their larvae. A UV wand might be a great item to bring with on a trip or vacation for anyone that is afraid their hotel may be infested with bed bugs. The wand is simply waved over the bedding, or any other surfaces, for ten seconds at a time, and will kill not just bed bugs, but dust mites, germs and bacteria, as well.

If a home does become infested with bed bugs, professional help is needed.