Are You Driving Everyone Crazy at Work?

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Constant sneezing and throat-clearing, both symptoms of allergies, can irritate co-workers. There is a solution that will make everyone happy — immunotherapy.

Is there someone in your office who always sneezes, coughs and/or continuously clears their throat? That person may be suffering from allergy symptoms that include post-nasal drip. Co-workers offer a “bless you” once or twice, but the well wishes gradually taper off as thoroughly annoyed office mates secretly wish that person would get their allergies under control and put everyone out of their misery. It’s certainly not your fault but if you’ve been noticing dirty looks, you might be that person.

Similarly, is there a student at your child’s school who just looks miserable — suffering daily with watery eyes, runny nose, lack of energy and fleeting attention? The teacher and fellow students undoubtedly feel bad for that child — at least at first. But when symptoms continue day after day, sympathy turns to frustration and friends find excuses to slink away. That child’s grades are likely to suffer as a result of inattention and/or missed days. For this great, smart kid who isn’t achieving their deserved social or intellectual status, top notch performance seems an impossible dream. Is that your child?

Whether it’s you, your child, or someone who shares your air, there IS a solution that can clear symptoms and restore good relations — immunotherapy. Here are three need-to-know points about it … First, it can resolve reactions to multiple allergens like ragweed, mold and cat dander. Second, it lasts for years. Third, it’s entirely natural — it’s not medication. Immunotherapy exposes your immune system to very small quantities of the allergens, effectively teaching it “see, they’re really not so bad.” Since your system stops trying to fight off these harmless particles, your symptoms subside greatly or disappear altogether.

Allergy drops and shots are both forms of immunotherapy and they’re both effective. One of the major benefits of drops is you can take them at home — or on the road — so there’s no need to miss work or school for weekly doctor appointments, which are required with shots. (Missing work or school may be another strain on relationships with co-workers, friends and teachers.) Drops are affordable and are ideal for everyone from children to seniors. The upside of shots is that, currently, more insurance companies pay for them (co-pay and deductible may apply.)  In the long run, both shots and drops will likely be less expensive than medications — and will almost certainly be more effective.

If you or your child are the ones getting on everyone’s nerves, through no fault of your own, it’s time to put your allergies behind you and patch up those strained relationships. Talk to your doctor about immunotherapy. If it’s someone else, don’t bludgeon them to death — point them to

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Got Allergies for the First Time? Here’s Who to Blame and What to Do About It

pollutionYour entire childhood you were allergy free — rolling in the grass and running through parks without so much as a sniffle. Suddenly, as an adult, you find it difficult to walk outside during spring or fall without sneezing, enduring unrelenting sinus pain, or just plain feeling miserable. What gives?

Pollution and climate change — which of course are closely related — are almost certainly to blame. Despite new air quality regulations and advances, the truth is that factories, cars and trucks — especially ones with diesel engines — pump a lot of particulates into the air. Constant exposure to those particles exacerbates allergy and asthma tendencies in young and old alike. Even rural areas with a lot of agricultural activity (that have historically bred allergy-free children) have problems, as particulates from manure and dairy waste, among other sources, can go airborne and affect lungs and sinuses.

In the American Lung Association’s list of Most Polluted Cities/short term particle pollution, farming communities in California — Fresno, Bakersfield and Modesto — top the list, though metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Pittsburgh and others are not far behind. Unfortunately, pollution is a fact of our modern lives that we simply can’t avoid.

Global climate change is another problem. With rising temperatures, trees and plants release pollen over a longer season. For this reason, allergy specialists have proclaimed each year “the worst pollen year on record.” And each year IS worse than the one before, with billions of pollen grains filling the air.

Taken together, the particulates from pollution and pollen play havoc on your immune system, which is trying to protect you from this huge invasion. It releases histamine into your bloodstream and, with it, allergy symptoms. Even robust adult immune systems often can’t hold out forever.

So what can you do about it? There’s only one allergy treatment that teaches your immune system that the particles are not enemies: immunotherapy. Available in drops and shots, it helps your body adjust to our dirty environment — and it works for many years. In contrast, medications simply cover up symptoms temporarily. Since pollution and global warming are long-term problems, you should probably consider this long-term solution.

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Get Outside on a Beautiful Spring Day Even If…

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The sun is shining, the birds are twittering and everyone’s headed outdoors. And, even though you deserve to bask in the great weather as well, you hesitate — there’s a lot of pollen out there, and you know it’ll cause problems for you or your child. Enough punishing yourself — get immunotherapy, get out there and enjoy!

Immunotherapy is a process that trains your immune system to ignore pollen and/or other allergens that cause allergy symptoms; it’s the closest thing there is to an allergy cure. Unlike medications that simply hide symptoms temporarily, immunotherapy is a long term solution. You can start treatment now, and every year when spring rolls around, you’ll be first out the door on those bright, beautiful days — even if pollen is flying everywhere.

To find an AllerVision-affiliated provider who can test you for allergies and tailor immunotherapy — such as easy, super-convenient allergy drops — to your specific triggers, click here. Then look out the window; you’ll be able to savor the the great outdoors soon.

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Spring – A Time for Love … and Pollen


A pine tree releases up to five lbs. of pollen, which will be distributed for miles by the wind. February is the start of pollen season. (Image source:Wikipedia)

Whether you’re eagerly anticipating the end of the freeze and the arrival of spring, or dreading it, depends almost entirely on whether you have allergies. If you’re an allergy sufferer, you may already be experiencing those dreaded symptoms; February is the official kickoff of pollen season for trees in many parts of the country.

So what is pollen anyway, and why does it make you feel so miserable? If it didn’t make you feel like sticking your head in the sand until the scorching summer months, the answer would be, if not romantic then at least a little racy. Pollen is a collection of powdery grains made up of microscopic proteins that male tree parts release into their air with the hope of pollinating female tree parts … ideally of a different tree. The wind carries these grains for miles, dispersing them over the terrain to find the perfect mate(s) and increase the chance of successful reproduction. Since this is a very hit or miss delivery technique (slightly more so than an internet dating service), trees — and other plants — release millions of grains of pollen. Put enough pollen out there and, like with internet dating, eventually something good will happen.

With all that pollen circulating in the air looking for companionship, it’s inevitable that sooner or later some will come in contact with your respiratory system. Since the pollen is a normal part of the environment, your body should just be able to ignore it and carry on with little more than an occasional sneeze. However, a pollen-allergic immune system mistakes pollen as a serious invader and immediately summons defenses to fight it off. The result is a wall of mucous and swelling designed to keep the invaders out and a barrage of symptoms that may include runny nose, congestion, sinus headaches, conjunctivitis, skin rashes, coughing, and asthma flare ups; they’re often worse than the symptoms of an internet match gone wrong!

There are a variety of treatment options to quell these symptoms. You can find more details about them in our Which Allergy Treatment is Right For You post. But seeing as it is virtually impossible to avoid these mate-seeking airborne grains, allergic patients should strongly consider the only solution that is actually a “cure” because it teaches your body to ignore pollen season after season: immunotherapy. That’s important considering that at this very moment, pollen from Ash, Alder and Juniper trees, among others, may be swirling around your home. Too bad we can’t offer immunity to bad matches on the internet scene. Welcome to spring!

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Make “Get Rid of My Allergies” Your New Year’s Resolution

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Don’t let pollen keep you from enjoying the great outdoors. You can overcome your tree, grass and weed allergies with immunotherapy.

Some people resolve to diet. Others commit to exercise more. Whatever you promised yourself for this year, we suggest the additional new year’s resolution (it’s not too late to make one!) of improving your health and wellness by overcoming your allergies. It’s possible, and we’ll tell you how below. But first, in case you need a little extra motivation, here are a few activities that you should be able to enjoy, but which often provoke allergy symptoms: strolling in the park; playing soccer; watching a little league game; exploring a forest; hugging your dog; rolling in the grass; visiting friends; petting a cat; walking outside in spring; cleaning your home; sleeping; breathing.

When we say “get rid of allergies” we’re not talking about covering up your symptoms with medications or temporary treatments. We’re talking about using immunotherapy to teach your immune system not to react to the harmless allergens that it mistakes for enemies. When you do this with allergy drops or shots, your body stops creating allergy symptoms each time it encounters the allergens; in other words, you become healthier!

The first step is visiting your healthcare provider for a pain-free allergy skin test to determine what allergen(s) causes your symptoms. If your doctor doesn’t offer the skin tests, click here to find one who does. Then talk to your provider about whether immunotherapy is right for you. If you are a good candidate for the treatment, your doctor will recommend either drops or shots. Within two months of starting immunotherapy, you may leave your allergies in the dust – not just for this year, but for many years to come! And next year, your resolution can be based on using your good health to reach new goals!

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Act Now to Banish Spring and Fall Pollen Allergies

girl in flower field

Spring usually brings beautiful weather and lots of allergies. But if you prepare now, you can skip the allergies in 2016 and beyond.

Remember how miserable your allergies made you feel this past year? Next year can be significantly better if you prepare now. Immunotherapy is an allergy treatment that teaches your immune system to accept allergens rather than try to fight them off. As a result, your allergy symptoms naturally disappear or fade into a minor irritation. But it takes a few months for the acceptance to kick in. Since tree, grass and weed pollen seasons typically don’t begin until February or later, now is the perfect time to start immunotherapy. Starting now could launch you into a virtually symptom-free Spring, Summer and Fall in 2016 — and beyond!

Allergies are caused by the immune system over-reacting to a particle (also known as an allergen) in the environment and summoning defenses to fight it off. Immunotherapy, either under the tongue (drops) or by injection, is a process that desensitizes your immune system. Once desensitized, your system no longer reacts to the allergen. Immunotherapy begins by exposing you to very small amounts of the allergen. As this ramp-up process begins, symptoms start to fade and allergy sufferers can wean themselves off of medications. Within two months, most people are virtually clear of symptoms. As the treatment progresses, the amount of allergens in the serum increases until reaching a steady maintenance dose. If you were to start treatment in mid-December, the pollen that will begin flying next February or March shouldn’t bother you!

Another benefit of allergy drops and shots is that they can be formulated to address more than one allergy. So, for instance, if you’re allergic to pet dander, cedar pollen (the source of “cedar fever”) and ragweed pollen (the major cause of hay fever), one prescription can resolve all your allergy problems.

Heading into winter, you may feel grateful that you’re leaving your pollen allergies behind for a while. If you start immunotherapy now, you could be leaving them behind for good! To find a provider who can determine your exact allergy triggers and offer immunotherapy for you or someone you love, click here.

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Say Goodbye to Hay Fever, Hello to Winter Allergies

Although allergies to pets, mold and dust last all year, they may be more pronounced in the winter when people spend more time indoors.

Although allergies to pets, mold and dust last all year, they may be more pronounced in the winter when people spend more time indoors.

Depending on where you live, hay fever season might be coming to a close in a few weeks. That’s the good news, and it isn’t coming a moment too soon for the millions of people who suffer from weed pollen allergies. The bad news: with the approach of cold, wet weather, you’ll likely be spending more time indoors where a new set of allergens will step into the spotlight.

Mold, pet dander and dust mites can cause problems year round but when you’re cooped up with them, their effect becomes more pronounced. That head cold or “sinusitis” that just seems to hang around all winter … maybe it’s not a cold after all — it could be an allergic reactions to one of these common triggers. And those recurring ear infections your child gets — they, too, could be caused by allergies.

On the positive side, there are simple ways to fight at least two of these allergens. You can combat mold by keeping your kitchen and bathrooms dry. Be especially diligent about drying showers, where mold likes to grow in corners, and tile countertops where grout can soak up moisture.

Similarly, you can keep dust at bay by cleaning regularly and washing your bedsheets and pillow cases in HOT water weekly. Specialized covers over your mattress and pillows can help control dust mite migration. Dust mites also live in carpets, so vacuum constantly. In addition, dust clings to drapes, stuffed animals and other soft fabrics so make sure you wash them frequently in hot water if you plan to keep them around.

Pet dander can be harder to control if you have a pet, or visit homes with pets. Vacuuming helps if you do it often, but pet hair also sticks onto furniture, clothing and more. And if you let your pet lick you, you’re getting a full dose of allergen right to the face. But who wants to turn away their lovable friend when it’s showing affection? If you can’t keep up the rigid cleaning regiment, and/or don’t want to snub your pet, your best bet might be immunotherapy (allergy drops or shots).

Immunotherapy teaches your body to ignore allergens so allergy symptoms don’t develop in the first place. And both allergy shots, and allergy drops can help you overcome multiple allergies at once — for instance, pet dander, tree pollen and ragweed pollen — so you can resolve all of your allergy triggers with one form of treatment and enjoy the entire year allergy-free. To learn more about immunotherapy, click here.

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