Ease Your Allergies With These Simple Tips

Ease Your Allergies With These Simple Tips

 

 

 

Here are some tools I recommend to make allergy season a little less painful.

 

More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies—and even if you aren’t one of them, you almost certainly have a friend or family member coping with allergies as pollen counts rise.

Aside from the usual over-the-counter remedies, you can take a few easy steps to remove allergens from your home. There are air filters built into vacuum cleaners that can remove and trap pollen, pet dander, dust mites and other particles. There are washers with a special allergen cycle that can kit dust mites. And a good dehumidifier can prevent mold from growing.

So whether you’re dealing with springtime allergies or year-round issues with household dust and other allergens, here some tools I recommend you use to make allergy season a little less painful.

 

 

Clean Your House With a HEPA Filter Vacuum

 

Unfortunately, not all allergens are in the air. All kinds of dust and grime can get caught in your carpet which will aggravate your allergies with every step. And while serious allergy sufferers may want to consider removing carpet from their homes entirely, most of us can manage with regular vacuuming to suck up dirt before it becomes a problem (weekly vacuuming is ideal).

 

Example: Electrolux EL4021A Silent Performer Bagless Canister Vacuum with 3-in-1 Crevice Tool and HEPA Filter

 

The Electrolux EL402A is a a true silent performer, with their Silence Pro system for minimal noise and disription.  This powerful vacuum provides deep cleaning suction on bare floors and carpets, while its HEPA filter captures 99.97% of airborne pollutants (great for allergy sufferers!).  It also comes with a 3-in-1 crevice tool, dusting brush, and upholstery nozzle.  This vacuum is bagless and easy to empty.  Read reviews.

 

 

Consider a Roomba or Robotic Mop

 

While vacuuming is a simple solution to allergy problems, it takes a time and effort to do it weekly—and to keep dirt away you may need to vacuum even more often in high-traffic areas or areas frequented by your pets. If you’re having trouble finding the time, the Roomba 980 is the answer.

 

 

 

Despite its petite size, the Roomba 980 can do the cleaning of a conventional vacuum with its AeroForce cleaning system which is more powerful than previous Roombas.

The Roomba 980 cleans an entire level of your home: With Smart Mapping and vSLAM® technology, the Roomba® 980 robot vacuum seamlessly navigates your home, keeping track of where it’s been and where it has yet to clean.  It cleans continuously for up to 120 minutes, then recharges and resumes cleaning until the job is done.

 

 

 

 

The Roomba 980 removes dirt from high traffic spots of your home using patented Dirt Detect™ Technology. Sensors recognize concentrated areas of dirt and prompt the robot to clean them more thoroughly.  At just 3.6 inches tall, the Roomba® robot vacuum is designed to clean under beds, sofas, toe kicks, and other hard-to-reach areas.  Its Cliff Detect sensors prevent the robot from falling down stairs or tumbling over drop-offs.

Its advanced Gen 3 motor gives the Roomba® robot vacuum up to 10x the air power in Performance Mode or when the robot detects it’s cleaning carpet, while its multi-surface brushes work together to pull in pet hair, dust, dirt, and large debris without getting tangled.  Its Edge-Sweeping Brush is specially designed at a 27-degree angle to sweep debris away from edges and corners and into the path of the 3-Stage Cleaning System to be suctioned off your floors.  The 980’s High-Efficiency Filter is made from a special material that captures 99% of dust, mites, and allergens as small as 10 microns.

This little unit is not only powerful, it also utilizes cutting edge technology while being so simple to use:  You can use the IRobot HOME app to set your cleaning schedule up, and its Clean Map reports show where your robot cleaned, along with details such as coverage and duration from completed jobs. Plus, receive Push Notifications when your robot completes a cleaning job – all on your smartphone. Its also compatible on devices with Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant.  All in all, the Roomba 980 is a terrific little household assistant!

 

While dust and dirt hide in the carpet, the grime on hard floors is often in plain sight. A vacuum will help pick up the dust bunnies, but damp mopping will do a better job of trapping dust and allergens instead of knocking them back in the air. Unfortunately, mopping is another one of those chores you probably don’t do as often as you should—and that won’t help the allergy-sufferers in the household.

Example: iRobot Braava 380t

 

If you can’t find time, outsource your mopping to the iRobot Braava 388t. This bot can sweep and mop using either a washable microfiber cloth or a disposable cloth (it’s compatible with Swiffer pads).

It makes neat back-and-forth passes across the room (three passes when mopping) to thoroughly clean the entire floor, covering up to 1,000 square feet (sweeping) or 350 square feet (mopping).

 

 

 

While it’s a bit less turnkey than the Roomba—you’ll have to replace its cleaning cloth, fill it with water or detergent for mopping, and manually start it each time you want it to run—it’s still a lot easier than doing your own mopping!

 

 

Use an Air Purifier

 

The air in your home could be packed with pollen, dust mites, pet dander and more potential allergy problems. An air purifier will filter the air, catching those particles before they set off your allergies.

Honeywell’s True HEPA Allergen Remover captures 99.97% of microscopic particles, including dust, pollen, tobacco smoke, cooking smoke, fireplace smoke, pet dander, mold spores and even some germs—leaving you with clean, easier to breathe air.

Example: Honeywell True HEPA Allergen Remover

 

This Honeywell uses a quiet fan to pull air into the unit and through its filters, cycling the room’s air up to five times an hour to keep it allergen-free. This model performs well in large rooms, too, cleaning rooms up to 465 square feet.

Using this purifier is simple, with a push-button panel to turn it on or off and set the cleaning level. Though you will have to change the filters—this Honeywell has two—to keep it cleaning efficiently, a light on the control panel will tell you when it needs replacing, so there’s no guesswork.  This Honeywell Air Purifier is consistently a top-seller good consumer reviews.

 

If you have specific concerns about VOCs (volatile organic compounds), mold, or other toxins, you can test your indoor air quality at home with a Home Air Check kit.  My husband and I did this test, and it was simple to do. 

Home Air Check - The advanced home air test that provides a solution to indoor air quality issues.

Home Air Check offers a variety of test kits, and they are very thorough.  If you need to get to the bottom of a suspected indoor air issue, I highly recommend doing this testing; it will provide you with actionable information and set your mind at ease.

 

Correct Your Air Humidity

 

If the air in your house is too humid (over 50% humidity), it can encourage the growth of mold and dust mites—both common causes of indoor allergies. A dehumidifier will help by removing water from the air and keeping the humidity level down.

 

Frigidaire 50-Pint Dehumidifier With Effortless Humidity Control

 

This Frigidaire will remove up to 50 pints of water from the air before its tank needs to be emptied, meaning should be able to run all day without trouble, even in large rooms.

Operation is, like the name suggests, effortless—all you need to do is press a few buttons to select your desired humidity level and it will run until the tank is almost full.

Though you do have to empty the tank and clean the filter regularly (how often depends on how humid it is), otherwise you can just ignore it—and enjoy cutting down on home allergens.  Read consumer reviews.

 

 

Though humid air can be a problem, dry air can also be a problem, irritating your nose and lungs.

In this case, you’ll want to add some moisture to the air with a humidifier. Among these, the whisper-quiet Air-Joy Premium Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier, remains my favorite.

 

Air-Joy Premium Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier

 

The  Air-Joy Premium Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier has a generous 3/4 gallon tank, and can run for 24 hours.  There are 3 timer settings and an automatic shutoff. 

The Air-Joy is whisper quiet, features 9 light settings, and comes with a tank brush and 2 ultrasonic disk cleaning brushes for hassle-free cleaning and maintenance.  User reviews are excellent for the Air-Joy Premium, with many allergy sufferers heaping on the praise.

 

 

Use Your Washing Machine (and Hot Water) to Reduce Allergens

 

Washing bedding regularly—once a week—is key to keep it free of allergy irritating dust and dust mites.

Additionally, washing clothing, especially outerwear, frequently can help prevent members of the household from tracking allergens in from the outside.

You’ll also want to keep bathmats, towels, curtains, cushion slipcovers and throw rugs as clean as possible by throwing them in the wash, if you can (be sure to check the manufacturer’s care instructions first).

A regular cycle in hot water should suffice, but if you’re in the market for a new washer, many reviewers classify the Speed Queen TR3000WN as a great machine (some saying it’s the best one they’ve ever owned!).

 

Speed Queen TR3000WN 26 Inch Top Load Washer with 3.2 cu. ft. Capacity, Stainless Steel Wash Tub, in White
Speed Queen TR3000WN

 

And while we’re talking laundry, make sure you choose hypoallergenic laundry supplies.  Some suggestions:

 

ECOS Laundry Detergent

 

ECOS is made without dyes, optical brighteners, parabens, phosphates or phthalates; it’s dermatologist-tested hypoallergenic, and pH-balanced.  It also has built-in fabric softener to add freshness and reduce static cling (and save money).

 

 

Sun & Earth Hypoallergenic Unscented Natural Fabric Softener Sheets


Sun & Earth uses 100 % plant-based ingredients, which are non-toxic, hypoallergenic, compostable and biodegradable.  These sheets are free from synthetics, scents, and UV brighteners. They are also and are vegan and cruelty-free.

 

Housoft Wool Dryer Balls

If you want to avoid fabric softeners, these Housoft Natural Fabric Softener Dryer Balls are a good alternative.  They are made with 100% organic New Zealand sheep wool, and are especially good for babies or those with sensitive skin.  These dryer balls will soften and de-wrinkle your clothes in the dryer, while also cutting down on dryer time (which saves money and lengthens the life of your clothes).

 

 

Try an Allergy App

 

An allergy app can tell you what today’s forecast means for your allergies, which can help you plan accordingly. My favorite app is WebMD Allergy (for iPhone and Android) which creates a personalized allergy forecast with doctor-approved tips for dealing with your symptoms.

You can also use the app to look up general allergy information and track your symptoms day to day—a handy way to figure out what’s working to help keep your allergies in check!

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical information on reducing allergens in your home.  By the way, if you suspect you are having allergic symptoms, but aren’t sure, Walk-In Lab offers discount allergy testing with no doctor’s order required.

 

Walk-In Lab Allergy Test

 

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Relieve Sinus Pain Without a Prescription

Signs That You Need to Test Your Indoor Air Quality

Is Your Indoor Air Making Your Allergies Worse?

Prepare Your Home and HVAC System For Warmer Days

Best Air Purifiers for COPD – Full Reviews

Natural Options For Managing Asthma

Thinking About Switching to Organic Makeup? Read This First …

Get Prepared For The Kids’ Summer Camp Season

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Detailed Review of the SoClean CPAP Cleaner

Choosing The Right Allergy Treatment (So Many Options!)

 

Is Telomere Testing Real Science?

Is Telomere Testing Real Science?

 

 

TeloYears+TeloCoach

 

… And Should You Bother With It?

 

A fast-growing body of research is finding that telomere length in leukocytes, the white blood cells of the immune system, reliably predicts age-related disease — and can be affected by genetics, chronic stress and health behaviors, such as exercise and diet.

Twenty years ago little was known about the aging process. Many ideas existed but nothing was certain. Today we know how and why we age. We cannot control it just yet, but even that may change in the near future.

The human body has 100 trillion highly-specialized cells. Each of these cells has sets of chromosomes that contain your DNA and RNA, the latter being a compound that tells each cell what its job is. At the ends of each chromosome are cap pieces called telomeres. These telomeres keep the DNA and RNA from getting damaged by all of the activity that goes on in a cell.

 

 

What Your Immortal Cells Can Tell Us

Research demonstrated that the vast majority of cells in our bodies are mortal and have a fixed lifespan. On average, they can divide only 52 times and no more. When the cell cannot divide anymore, it is said to be senescent and susceptible to disease, infection, malfunctioning, and death. The reason cells cannot divide more than 52 times is that half of the telomere goes with the newly-cloned cell and half stays with the parent. Eventually the telomere is so short it cannot divide into two.

A tiny percentage of the cells in your body are immortal and can divide again and again with no limit.

These immortal cells are largely a part of your immune system and fight off diseases and infections as well as repair injuries. Immortal cells also have telomeres that split into two, but an enzyme called telomerase restores the telomeres to their full size after cell division. For some reason the mortal cells in our bodies do not allow telomerase inside. Only the immortal cells do so.

 

While immune cells are essential for our survival, another category of immortal cells are very deadly, and these are cancer cells.

When cancer starts to grow in a person’s body, the immune cells are dispatched to the area, recognize cancer as not belonging there, and try to do away with it. The immune cells bring telomerase to the location where the cancer is growing to clone themselves onsite. However telomerase also fuels the growth of the cancer. Cancer cells need telomerase to clone themselves and cannot do so without it.

 

 

A Possible Cure for Cancer?

One really intriguing possibility presents itself: Can we cure cancer by denying telomerase to the portion of the body where the cancer is growing?

Well, such a medicine has been developed, and right now there are four clinical trials taking place with human cancer patients to test its effectiveness.

To be deemed a success, the medicine must:

(1) kill all cancer cells, not just some of them;

(2) not spread to other parts of the body and take out telomerase where it is assisting immune cells; and

(3) not cause serious side effects like heart attack or stroke.

 


TeloYears “Now and Later” 2-pack

from: Telomere Diagnostics 

 

If successful, the cancer cells would not be able to clone themselves and multiply. The existing cancer cells would become senescent and die. Since 90 percent of all cancer cells are rapidly growing and need telomerase, the medicine has potential to take out all of these cancers at once.

Time will tell if these studies are successful.

 

 

Fountain of Youth

Another intriguing possibility also exists: Can we get the mortal cells in our bodies to welcome telomerase inside, turning these mortal cells into immortal ones? If done to all of our mortal cells, we would then become immortal. Believe it or not, this has already been done, albeit on a small scale.

Researchers collected human senescent cells that are incapable of dividing. Telomerase was force-fed to the cells in a test-tube study.

What happened? The senescent cells had their biological clocks reset to zero and started dividing again, just like baby cells. In one case they divided 26 times before the experiment came to an end.

Importantly, none of the cells in the experiment showed any cancer or tumor growth. This is great news, as scientists had previously speculated that the reason the body does not allow telomerase inside 99 percent of its cells — with the exception of immune cells and some cells that develop during pregnancy — is to prevent healthy cells from becoming cancerous.

Researchers are working on methods to introduce telomerase into mortal cells. It is one thing to do research with just 100 cells in a test tube and another to do it with 100 trillion cells in the entire human body. However, we know exactly what needs to be done to make the Fountain of Youth a reality.

 

The Telomere Effect

The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer
Molecular biologist Elizabeth Blackburn shared a Nobel Prize for her research on telomeres—structures at the tips of chromosomes that play a key role in cellular aging. 

The main message of her breakthrough book, “The Telomere Effect,” is that you have more control over your own aging than you may imagine. You can actually lengthen your telomeres—and perhaps your life—by following sound health advice, the authors argue, based on a review of thousands of studies.

“Telomeres listen to you, they listen to your behaviors, they listen to your state of mind,” said Blackburn, president of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif.

Telomeres sit at the end of strands of DNA, like the protective caps on shoelaces. Stress from a rough lifestyle will shorten those caps, making it more likely that cells will stop dividing and essentially die.

Too many of these senescent cells accelerates human aging, the pair say. This doesn’t cause any particular disease, but research suggests that it hastens the time when whatever your genes have in store will occur—so if you’re vulnerable to heart disease, you’re more likely to get it younger if your telomeres are shorter, said Epel, director of the University of California, San Francisco’s Aging, Metabolism and Emotions Center.

“We can provide a new level of specificity and tell people more precisely with clues emerging from telomere science, what exactly about exercise is related to long telomeres, what exact foods are related to long telomeres, what aspects of sleep are more related to long telomeres,” Epel added.

 

 

Final Thoughts

Should we all just sit around and wait for more scientific telomere discoveries to happen?

That would be a great mistake, because we already know of four sets of factors that each correlate with longevity, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and dementia (as well as many other deadly conditions).

 

These four factors are:

  • aerobic exercise,
  • cognitive enrichment,
  • psychological states of mind
  • nutrition

Discover how well you are agingThere is a proven correlation between telomere length and these four factors. For example, one study found that runners have been found to have longer telomeres than sedentary people.

The bottom line is that if you take great care of your body,  cell division is postponed, just as  research also shows that if you take lousy care of your body and the cells are under stress, they will divide more quickly, shortening your telomeres.

Doing the right things with these four factors will not make you immortal, but it may be the difference between dying in your 90s and dying in your 60s.

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided some practical, empowering information. 

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

WalkInLab.com

 

 

You May Also Be Interested In:

 

Are Genetic Testing Services Worthwhile?

Today’s Best Retinol Creams

Midlife Health Screening Women NEED in Their 50’s

How to Choose the Right Diet Plan

Complete Guide to Medical Alert Bracelets

The Secret to Protecting Your Eyesight

Is the MyPurMist Inhaler Worth Buying?

Red Palm Oil Lowers Cholesterol

How to Find the Right Pair of Reading Glasses

Does Biosil Actually Do Anything?

Detailed Review of the SoClean CPAP Cleaner

Best Air Purifiers for COPD

Fatty Liver – What I Wish I Had Known

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

 

 

Midlife Health Screening Women Need

Health Screenings Women Need in Their 50’s

 

 

Checkups and a few special tests can be one of the greatest gifts you give yourself.

 

 

What’s Different Now?

 

You’ll need to see your health care professional more frequently now that you are in your 50s, plus you’ll have to have some new preventive tests and screenings to keep your health in check.

If you are at high risk or have a family history of medical problems, or you have serious medical conditions, you’ll need specialized care and additional tests beyond the basic recommendations.

Checkups and a few special tests can be one of the greatest gifts you give yourself. Your doctor can tell a great deal about your health by talking to you, looking at you, and examining certain areas of your body.

Whether you are seeing a gynecologist and/or a family doctor for your routine check-ups it is important that you know exactly what you need — and what to expect. Young women tend to see a gynecologist for their regular check-ups as they have been “programmed” to get an annual Pap test and breast exam.

After childbearing, many women stop going to a gynecologist (too many women think that after childbearing they no longer need a Pap test or gynecologic exam) and rely on their family doctor to do all the routine exams — both general and gynecologic. Yet too many family doctors are already overwhelmed with “too much to do and too little time” that many important tests can get missed or fall under the radar screen.

Some women, on the other hand, see both a gynecologist for their gynecological exams and a family doctor or Internist for their general check up and screening for chronic conditions such as heart disease and cancer. So for many women, no one doctor takes care of it all — so it is up to you to see that you get all the tests you need — at the right time and on time.

Add to that the fact that no one doctor today can keep up with all the latest information about everything — the importance of the new HPV test along with the Pap test is a case in point.

 

 

Have a Complete Physical

 

It can take a physician at least an hour or more to provide a thorough evaluation to a woman who needs both a comprehensive history and physical evaluation including a pelvic exam. When was the last time a doctor spent an hour or more with you?

Make sure that you tell the receptionist that you are coming for a complete physical so that they schedule enough time and come as prepared as possible so that you get all care and attention you need.

 

 

Guidelines For Preventive Health Screenings and Immunizations in Your 50’s

 

Here are guidelines for preventive health screenings and immunizations generally recommended for healthy women in their 50s:

 

General Physical Exam

This includes taking a detailed history to learn all about you and your family history and a head-to-toe physical exam including an exam of your skin, eye, ears, nose throat, lymph nodes, chest, breast, abdomen, rectum and extremities.  Make sure you get a breast exam and rectal exam and stool check for blood by your family doctor if you are not examined yearly by a gynecologist as well.

 

Weight

Obesity screening is now considered a preventive checkup. Ask your health care professional for more information on healthy weight guidelines or weight-management strategies.

 

Waist circumference (WC)

Women with increased WC are at increased risk of metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease and cancer of breast and uterus.

BMI (measure of height and weight): much less reliable estimate of future health risk than WC and body shape.

 

Blood Pressure

Test for hypertension: Have your blood pressure taken at least every two years if normal; more often if it is at or above 120/80.

 

Bone Mineral Density Exam/Bone Mass Measurement:

This is recommended for women who have sustained a fracture, are at increased risk due to certain medications or have diseases or conditions that are known to be associated with bone loss.

This test is an x-ray, also called the DXA scan, which measures your bone density. The lower your bone density, the greater your risk for bone fractures. (There is also a much less accurate heel ultrasound test that does NOT diagnose osteoporosis but merely tells your doctor whether you are at risk and should have the more complete x-ray DXA scan test.)

The DXA scan is considered the gold standard for the diagnosis of osteoporosis. The most important score or result to check is your T-score. The T-score tells you how your bones compare to that of a healthy 35 year old woman. If your T-score falls between -1 and -2.5 then you have mild bone loss called osteopenia. If your T score is -2.5 or lower, than you have osteoporosis and a significant increased risk of fractures.

 

Recommended: Younger: A Breakthrough Program to Reset Your Genes and Reverse Aging by Sara Gottfried, M.D.

 

Breast Self-Exam

Some health care professionals suggest doing a breast self-examination each month. However, research has shown that BSE plays a small role in finding breast cancer compared with finding a breast lump by chance or simply knowing what is normal. If you choose to perform a monthly BSE, ask your health care professional to show you how to perform one.

 

Clinical Breast Exam

You should talk with your health care professional about getting this exam. Screening recommendations vary on whether this is beneficial in combination with a mammogram, so talk with your health care provider about whether it’s right for you. If so, your doctor or other health care professional will examine your breasts for any abnormalities, often as part of the annual gynecologic examination.

 

Colorectal Cancer Screening

Women 50 years and older should be screened for colorectal cancer using any of several screening methods. There are a number of tests that screen for colorectal cancer, and they are divided into two groups: tests that find both colorectal cancer and polyps, and those that mainly find cancer.

The American Cancer Society recommends that women at average risk of colorectal cancer have one of the following screening tests beginning at age 50:

 

Tests that find polyps and cancer:

  • Colonoscopy every 10 years
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years
  • CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every five years
  • Double contrast barium enema every five years

(If any of the above tests are positive, a colonoscopy should be done.)

 

Tests that mainly find cancer:

  • Fecal occult blood test (FOBT) every year
  • Fecal immunochemical test (FIT) every year
  • Stool DNA (sDNA), interval uncertain

 

Discuss options and procedures with your health care professional to determine the best screening method for you.

 

WalkInLab.com

 

 

EKG 

A baseline EKG to assess your heart’s electrical activity should be done by age 50.  IF you are at increased risk for heart disease, ask for a special CT scan, stress test using a heart ultrasound or special dye to get more accurate pictures of your heart.

Tip: Ask your doctor to reduce the size of your printout on a copy machine. Then carry it with you in your wallet along with your emergency health card. Also keep a copy in your binder or folder for future reference. If you need emergency care, a copy of your old EKG compared to a new one will help your doctors decide how best to treat you.

Make sure you understand the purpose of every exam or test your doctor orders for you. Because everyone is different you must be sure to talk with your doctor about your specific treatment goals.

In addition, keeping an ongoing log of any tests or procedures you’ve had and recording the information in your calendar will help remind you to schedule regular checkups such as mammograms and a cholesterol check.

 

Dental Exam

Visit the dentist regularly. Check-ups can detect early signs of oral health problems and bone loss. Professional tooth cleaning is also important for preventing oral problems and should be done every six to 12 months.

 

Diabetes Screening

You should be screened every three years; more often or earlier if you’re overweight or have other risks for diabetes.

 

Eye exam

The American Academy of Ophthalmology now recommends that starting at age 40, adults with no risk factors or signs of eye disease get a baseline screening. Then based on the results of that initial screening, an ophthalmologist will prescribe the necessary follow-up exams.

For people of any age with symptoms of eye disease or risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or family history of eye problems, the academy recommends they see an ophthalmologist to determine how often they should have their eyes examined.

 

Mammography

Beginning at age 40, you may be offered an annual mammography to screen for breast cancer . Guidelines on breast cancer screening vary, so talk to your health care professional about what’s right for you. Some doctors prefer to begin screening at age 50 or only offer it every two years.

A mammogram is an x-ray that can detect breast cancer early; often before a lump can be felt. It is best to schedule this test a week after your period, a time when your breasts will be least tender and glandular.

If you are taking Hormone therapy after menopause your breasts may appear more glandular or dense from the hormones. Ask your doctor about stopping the hormones a few weeks before the scheduled test. Women over 50 should have this test yearly. Women at high risk for breast cancer should ask about a digital mammogram and an MRI.

 

Pap Test and Pelvic Exam:

Get a Pap test every three years or both a Pap test and an HPV test every five years. The Pap test screens for abnormalities that could indicate pre- or early cervical cancer.

If you have risk factors such as previous abnormal screening results, multiple sex partners, a weakened immune system, DES exposure in utero or HIV infection, you should have a Pap test every year. Talk to your health care professional about what’s right for you.

If you have had a total hysterectomy (removal of both your uterus and cervix), you may stop having cervical cancer screenings, unless the surgery was done as a treatment for cervical cancer or precancer. If you had a hysterectomy without removal of your cervix, you should continue to follow the guidelines above.

Remember: Don’t confuse your annual or semiannual Pap test with a gynecologic examination. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that all women your age have a gynecologic examination, including a pelvic exam, annually.

 

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

If you have a history of chlamydia or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), or you or your partner have had multiple sex partners, ask your health care professional about whether you need to be screened for STDs, including gonorrhea and HIV.

 

Skin Exam for Skin Cancer

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that you have your skin examined by a dermatologist every year. Recommendations include doing a monthly mole self-exam and practicing sun safety to reduce your risk of damaging your skin and developing skin cancer. If you have had skin cancer or have a relative with a history of melanoma, ask your health care professional for guidance.

Melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, is reaching epidemic levels thanks to excessive sun exposure and loss of the protective ozone layer. It is important that you get a head-to-toe check of your skin on an annual basis.

 

Recommended: Menopause Confidential: A Doctor Reveals the Secrets to Thriving Through Midlife by Tara Allmen, MD

 

Blood Work 

 

An overnight fast or fasting sample is critical. Your blood contains a great deal of information about your health.  When your doctor orders the lab to run a complete series of tests, you can find out about the status of your liver, your thyroid, your blood cholesterol, your blood sugar and much more.

 

A Complete blood count (this is optional)

This is the most common blood test. Your doctor may order it as part of a complete physical examination. He’ll also order it before you have surgery and if you have unexplained and continuing symptoms. The complete blood count (CBC) measures the number, size and shape of the different types of cells in your blood.

Women at increased risk for metabolic syndrome and heart disease (women with waist circumference over 35 inches) should ask for a C-reactive protein test – and important test of blood inflammation and marker of future heart disease risk.

 

Blood Chemistry Tests

A single sample of your blood serum can be used to run a series of tests quickly and inexpensively.

The following explains the most commonly requested tests:

Glucose can indicate diabetes if your level is high or hypoglycemia if it’s low. A fasting glucose of less than 100 is normal, a level of 100 to 125 is abnormal and called “impaired glucose tolerance” and a level of 126 or greater means diabetes.

Blood Urea Nitrogen and Creatinine are tests of your kidney function.

Sodium, Potassium and Chloride are blood salts or electrolytes. These tests are especially important if you are on diuretics (“water pills”) for hypertension or heart disease.

Uric Acid is a waste product of all cells. An elevated level may mean kidney disease or gout.

Albumin is a blood protein produced by your liver. A low albumin count can be a sign of liver or kidney disease.

Globulin is a blood protein produced by your immune system. A high count can point to chronic inflammation, infection or blood disorders such as multiple myeloma.

Calcium is a component of your blood that helps all the cells in your body function normally. Your blood calcium level has nothing to do with how much calcium is in your bones. A high count can point to a disorder called hyperparathyroidism, which predisposes you to kidney stones and low bone density.

Serum Glutamine Pyruvic Transaminase (SGPT) and Serum Glutamate Oxaloacetate Transaminase (SGOT) are enzymes (proteins) produced primarily by the liver. SGOT is also produced by red blood cells.

Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH) is an enzyme produced by many cells of the body. If this test is extremely high, your doctor will want to do additional tests, depending on your specific complaints to rule out a malignancy.

Bilirubin is the chemical in bile that gives it the yellow color. If the bile passages from the liver to the intestine are blocked, your bilirubin level will be high. Possible causes include gallstones and liver disease.

Gamma Glutamyl Transpeptidase (GGT) is an enzyme produced by the liver. Obesity and excessive alcohol use are the most common reasons it can be mildly increased. It will also be elevated when there is blockage of bile and with liver disease.

Alkaline Phosphatase is an enzyme produced by the liver and bones. If it is abnormal (elevated), looking at the GGT (see above) will help determine the source. If the GGT is elevated as well, the liver is the culprit.

Blood fats or blood lipidsAlso called lipids, these are often listed together in a separate “panel” on your blood chemistry report. Sometimes only the total cholesterol and perhaps the triglyceride level will be listed if your doctor didn’t specifically request results for the lipid panel. However, you need all your numbers in order to make the best evaluation for heart disease.

Total cholesterol is the sum of your LDL and HDL (see below). High total cholesterol levels are linked to heart disease. The lower your total cholesterol the better. A total below 200 is desirable.

High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) is your “good cholesterol”. Remember, “high density should be high.” The more of this type, the better. Ideally, your HDL cholesterol should be at least 30% of your total amount. In men, an HDL greater than 40 is normal; in women, an HDL greater than 50 is normal.

Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) is your “bad cholesterol”. Remember, “low density should be low”. A high LDL puts you at risk for heart disease; your doctor will suggest diet and often medication to get your LDL cholesterol below 130. If you have diabetes or heart disease already, your treatment goal for LDL cholesterol should be below 100.

Triglycerides are the other form of fat in your blood. The level will be much higher after a meal. If your level is out of range it should be repeated after an overnight fast. Elevated levels increase your risk of heart disease and could be a sign of early diabetes. Ideally they should be under 150.

 

Thyroid Test

Recommendations vary. The American Thyroid Association recommends having a TSH screening test at age 35 and then once every five years.

Note that mood changes (anxiety or depression) can indicate that your thyroid is out of whack.  Also, according to the Mayo Clinic,  an elevated blood cholesterol level can be a symptom of hypothyroidism. The American Thyroid Association explains that “When thyroid hormone levels are low and TSH levels are increased (hypothyroidism), cholesterol levels are increased.”  So treatment for hypothyroidism may also help to lower cholesterol levels.

 

Ask your health care professional for guidance.

 

WalkInLab.com

 

 

Immunizations:

 

Hepatitis A

This vaccine is recommended for adults who live, work or travel in areas where hepatitis A is endemic and periodic outbreaks occur, or users of injection or street drugs, military personnel, institutionalized persons and those working in those institutions.

 

Hepatitis B

The Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for all adults at high risk for infection; high-risk individuals include injection drug users and their sexual partners; anyone with a history of multiple sexual partners in the previous six months or who has recently acquired a sexually transmitted disease; recipients of certain drug products; individuals with a health-related job with frequent exposure to blood or blood products; and travelers to countries where hepatitis B virus (HBV) is of high concern.

 

Influenza

Have a yearly influenza vaccination.

 

Pneumococcal

You need one to two doses if you smoke or if you have certain chronic medical conditions.

 

Tetanus

You should have tetanus-diphtheria booster shots every 10 years.

 

Shingles

An advisory panel of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendes  that all adults 50 and older receive the new two-shot vaccine, Shingrix, which is 97 percent effective in preventing shingles in people 50 to 69 years old, and 91 percent effective in those 70 and older.  Check with your doctor to see if this vaccine is recommended for you.

 

New – The HPV Test Now For Women Over 30

Women over thirty and that means women 50 and over too, should ask for the human papilloma virus (HPV) test along with the Pap test, also called the DNAwithPap™ test or the HPV test with Pap test.

This combination of tests is now recommended for women over the age of thirty because a positive HPV test could mean you are a chronic carrier of the virus that is the sole cause of cervical cancer and therefore at increased risk of cervical cancer — and may require additional tests and treatment of any abnormal cells caused by the virus.  Women in their twenties commonly acquire the virus but it doesn’t persist because their immune system fights it off. 

Since cervical cancer is caused by the human papilloma virus, having a negative HPV test and a Pap test is very reassuring and virtually guarantees that you are not at risk for cervical cancer over the next few years. 

If both tests are negative which will be the case for 95% of women over 30, then you can safely get the HPV and Pap test every three years instead of annually.

 

 

Links of Interest:

 

  • Arrange your own discount medical lab tests (without a doctor’s order) at Walk-In-Lab.
  • Discover what your DNA says about how well you’re aging with TELOYEARS.
  • Get your appetite under control and lose weight comfortably with Phen375.

 

 

Final Thoughts

Women over 50 should maintain good relationships with their doctors and keep regular medical appointments. Early detection is key for the successful treatment and management of health concerns, so get screened and be proactive.

 

Recommended: DrFormulas Menopause Support: Supports Hormonal Balance With Black Cohosh, Red Clover, Flavonoids & Isoflavones

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some helpful information.  I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

 

You May Also Be Interested In:

 

Is Telomere Testing Real Science?

Criteria For Choosing Your Best Weight Loss Plan

Science Proves Coffee Slows Down Aging

Get Gardening to Lose Weight and Gain Health!

How to Find The Right Pair of Reading Glasses

Are Genetic Testing Services Worth It?

An Overview of Popular Diet Plans – Which One is Best?

Is Your Indoor Air Making Your Allergies Worse?

Should You Be Taking Daily Probiotics?

Anytime Gifts That Seniors Will Actually Use

Best Air Purifiers for COPD – Full Reviews

Detailed Review of the SoClean CPAP Cleaner

Choosing The Right Allergy Treatment (So Many Options!)

Oxygen Therapy for COPD – Pros and Cons

The Most Effective Stop Smoking Aids Reviewed

Best Treadmills for Seniors Home Fitness

Should You Buy an Electric Bike?

The Best Elliptical Machines Reviewed

Find The Best Bathroom Scale for You

The Fix for Cracked Heels

The Best Foot Bath Massagers – Full Reviews

Top 10 Massage Chairs – Full Reviews

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

 

 

Is Your Indoor Air Making Your Allergies Worse?

Is Your Indoor Air Making Your Allergies Worse?

 

 

Your indoor air quality may be having as big of an effect on your runny nose as your outdoor environment.

 

Your indoor air quality is effected by factors both inside and outside of your home or business. Inside your home, indoor air quality culprits, like chemicals, volatile organic compounds, or molds can be fixed or controlled, but outdoor causes of poor indoor air quality – such as allergens – are something we’re often at the mercy of.

As we pass the first day of spring, indoor air quality is not something typically on our minds. The birds are chirping, trees are budding, and flowers are pushing up through the melting snow. It seems simple enough to open a window to freshen your home and improve your indoor air quality, but you might actually be inviting pollen and other allergens in as well.

If you’re one of the millions who suffers from seasonal allergies, your indoor air quality may be having as big of an effect on your runny nose as your outdoor environment. Seasonal allergies are your immune system’s response to an allergen – like a pollen particle drifting through the air – which often manifests as itchy, watery eyes, a runny nose, or sneezing. If you’re trying to escape the cornucopia of pollen outdoors and find relief this spring, your indoor air quality can have a big effect on these escape plans.

 

Walk-In Lab Allergy Test

 

 

Check Your Air Ducts and Filters

 

To help keep your indoor air quality free of seasonal allergens, the first step is to have your ducts inspected and filters checked and replaced. Your indoor air quality is bound to be poor if this key part of your HVAC system is dirty or in need of repairs.

Allergens like pollen or dust can collect in your ducts or filters. Your system, doing its best to move air around your home, will actually help perpetuate poor indoor air quality by spreading that pollen to all rooms.

Inspecting your air filters, and replacing them if necessary, is also a key part of promoting good indoor air quality. Beyond providing a quick route to better indoor air quality, it also keeps your HVAC system running effectively which can prevent long-term problems from arising.

In regards to the HVAC, the low quality filters are porous and dion’t trap fine particulates of dust mites and pet dander, so using a high quality HVAC filters for allergies should be a priority.

The Micropartical Performance Rating or MPR is a rating scale created by Filtrete under the 3M company and it rates the filter’s ability to capture the smallest of airborne particles from the air (different companies use different scales).  These particles captured are microscopic, ranging in size from .3-1 micron in size.

The rating helps customers properly evaluate the ability of the Filtrete filtration.  The higher the MPR rating, the better the filter is at capturing the smallest particulates. The most common ratings for Filtrete filters are 300-2800 MPR.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has a slightly different scale for filters called the MERV rating.  This rating goes from 1-16, the higher the rating, the more effective the filter for .3-10 micrometers.

MERV 7 to 13 are almost as effective as true HEPA filters at removing allergens, with much lower associated system and operating costs.  This means that using high quality filters can actually help your HVAC system perform with more efficiency and keep the inside of equipment from accumulating dust.

If you are suffering with allergies, I recommend the Filtrete MPR 2800 Ultrafine Particle Reduction HVAC Filter.  It captures micro-particles  including: PM 2.5 air pollution, exhaust, soot, smoke, cough/sneeze debris, bacteria, viruses, and lint, dust, and pollen, and its electrostatic air filter has a Microparticle Performance Rating of 2800 (7 times better than non-electrostatic pleated filters).  It captures 0.3 to 1.0 micron particles, and will last for up to 3 months.

Filtrete MPR 2800 Ultrafine Particle Reduction HVAC Filter

 

 

Cleaning to Improve Indoor Air Quality

 

Vacuum With a HEPA Filter

Cleaning is an obvious choice for improving your indoor air quality. Vacuuming hard surfaces that pollens may collect on can help reduce the buildup of allergens, and using a vacuum with a High Efficiency Particulate Air (or HEPA) filter can also help improve your indoor air quality.

Consumer Reports recommends the Kenmore Elite Pet Friendly 31150 as the best vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.  Strong airflow for tools and superb pet-hair pickup are top attractions of this Kenmore bagged upright. While you can get a fine performer for less, its price includes helpful features such as a brush on/off switch, which safeguards a bare floor’s finish and prevents scattering of debris; suction control (protects drapes); and manual carpet pile-height adjustment.

 

 

 

 

Use a HEPA Filter Air Purifier

HEPA filter air purifiers, either stand-alone units or professionally installed systems, can have a huge effect on your indoor air quality by offering a high grade of filtration and purification from more than just pollen.

Particle allergens such as mold, dander, and pollen are just a few of the antagonists found in the common household. Some of the best air purifiers will remove virtually all these airborne particles in a few hours or even less, ensuring you breathe pure air. While there may be some health benefits, these machines can be particularly life changing for people who suffer from allergies.

One of the most popular air purifiers currently is GermGuardian’s air cleaning system.  The GermGuardian AC4825 is a 22 inch tall, 3 speed tower with UV-C light and Titanium Dioxide technology. This will purge the air in rooms up to 400 square feet quite efficiently.  Judging by the rave reviews and some old fashioned comparison shopping, this unit is truly a great value.

 

 

It’s quiet, very lightweight and easy to move from room-to-room if you do so choose. The one two combo punch of a charcoal and HEPA filter kicks nasty particles to the curb. The Germguardian AC4825 also has its Energy Start qualification, meaning you are doing right by the environment and not sucking up an excessive amount of electrical energy to power it.

 

 

EnviroKlenz Natural Cleaning Products

 

 

Your Air Conditioner Can Help

Your air conditioner can actually be a key part of keeping pollen out and having good indoor air quality. Pollen is water soluble; since your air conditioner was made to remove water from the air, a well-functioning unit can improve your indoor air quality just by doing what it does best.

While you may not associate snow with mold, your indoor air quality can be affected by molds released from its winter cover as the snow melts. Mold spores are released into the air as rotting leaves and autumn’s debris are uncovered and heated up by warmer temperature. This can have a great effect on your indoor air quality, especially if your air intake is near to the ground or has been covered by organic matter.

 

Consider a portable air conditioner (even if you have central air).   Just because you have central air conditioning doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from a portable air conditioner. One of the leading causes of allergies is dust mites and mold spores. Sometimes central air conditioners can house these on their filters. Filters can be changed, but why not have back up.

Portable air conditioners offer removable and washable filters for easy cleaning. And this filter collects the allergens your central air conditioning unit doesn’t. In some cases – living in an apartment or dorm – you don’t maintenance the air conditioning system. If that’s the case, then having a portable air conditioner as back up is vital.

Portable air conditioners comfortably cool areas of your home that your central system doesn’t reach. Not only that but if you plan on entertaining and you need a little extra cooling, portable air conditioners are great options. They can pick up the slack when your system is not running. Your central air system can use all the help it can get.

A portable air conditioner doesn’t cost a lot to run; it can help cut your energy costs. You can use it to cool exclusive areas without running your central unit.

 

 

This bestselling BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT Portable Air Conditioner With Remote Control has excellent reviews on Amazon.

 

 


 

 

 

 

Testing Your Indoor Air Quality

 

You can test your home’s indoor air quality quite easily on your own with a testing kit.  If a specific problem is found, you can then assess whether you can handle the issue or need to call the appropriate professional to take care of it.

My husband and I did this testing in our home, and it was a simple process, which saved us from paying a professional for a service call to do the testing for us (using a similar testing device).

There is a good variety of indoor air testing kits available to consumers these days, so there is really no reason to feel you have to call someone if you suspect your home’s air is causing health problems.

We used the Home Air Check, and were very satisfied with it.  Their testing device  provides a comprehensive picture of chemical levels that you are breathing when in the home. It also indicates a level of actively growing mold present in the home. Since these chemicals are tested simultaneously, this sophisticated analysis becomes less expensive than arranging for a professional to come out charge you for their time and several separate tests.

Also, the samples are collected without the use of toxic chemicals, so there are no health risks using Home Air Check. We were happy with the level of completeness, sophistication, prediction, and value of Home Air Check.

The Home Air Check Indoor Air Test measures VOC’s, formaldehyde and mold.

 

 

This is how the testing process works:

You use a small sampling device to collect an air sample in your home. The sampling time takes about 2 hours.  Full instructions are included in the kit (and it is very straightforward).

After the sample is collected,  you return the complete kit to the Home Air Check laboratory, where they analyze the air sample using sophisticated state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation for hundreds of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that can be found in home air. In addition, they look for 21 specific mold compounds that can be generated when mold is actively growing in a home.

A detailed report is then generated. In this report will be a Total VOC concentration level – a total of all the VOCs found in your home. The US Green Building Council recommends a TVOC level of less than 500 ng/L to be considered a healthy environment. (The median US home is about 1,200 ng/L.) A total concentration of Mold VOCs is also listed. Generally, this number should be less than 8 ng/L or you have active mold growth you need to find.

The report also includes a Contamination Index, which gives you a prediction of which sources or materials in your home may be responsible for these contaminating chemicals, such as gasoline, paint, adhesives, odorants, personal care products, etc. Home Air Check emails you the report within 5 business days of receipt of your air sample. You can then use their phone or chat line support to answer any questions you have and to help you improve your air quality.

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical information. 

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Relieve Sinus Pain Without a Prescription

Simple Steps to Ease Your Allergies at Home

Prepare Your Home and HVAC System For Warmer Days

Best Air Purifiers for COPD – Full Reviews

Signs That You Need to Test Your Indoor Air Quality

Natural Options For Managing Asthma

Thinking About Switching to Organic Makeup? Read This First …

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Detailed Review of the SoClean CPAP Cleaner

Choosing The Right Allergy Treatment (So Many Options!)

Oxygen Therapy for COPD – Pros and Cons

The Most Effective Stop Smoking Aids Reviewed

Best Treadmills for Seniors Home Fitness

Should You Buy an Electric Bike?

The Best Elliptical Machines Reviewed

Find The Best Bathroom Scale for You

The Fix for Cracked Heels

The Best Foot Bath Massagers – Full Reviews

Top 10 Massage Chairs – Full Reviews’

 

 

Signs You Need to Test Your Indoor Air Quality

Signs That You Need to Test Your Indoor Air Quality

(And How to Do It)

 

 

 

 

Physical symptoms caused by poor indoor air quality could be ambiguous and wide ranging, including everything from allergies, to sinus conditions, to headaches, to respiratory irritation. But when symptoms do persist, checking a home’s air quality and air circulation might have great benefit.

 

The indoor air quality of your home is a key part of you and your family’s overall health, because indoor air quality health effects can be wide ranging and have a long-term cumulative effect.

Indoor air quality isn’t always easy to spot the way that a burst pipe or a broken refrigerator is – unlike those household appliances, there’s no switch you flip only to find out your indoor air quality is broken. In the busyness of modern life, it’s often easier to think that smell is coming from the neighbors or the headaches you experience are from your stressful job. But indoor air quality plays a key role in our long-term health, and as we spend up to 90% of our lives indoors, having good indoor air quality is important.

 

Related image

 

 

Know What Your Indoor Air Quality Is

 

In most homes, both urban and rural, people have become much more environmentally conscious than ever before. And while much is made of the air quality outdoors and around the world, we often overlook the air quality inside our living space. It really shouldn’t be that way, especially since we spend so much of our waking hours indoors. The bigger question is how to ensure that indoor air quality is at an acceptable standard. The best way to start is with an air quality test.

Most every home could use an air quality test, including those that seem to be just fine. The truth is, a homeowner doesn’t have to wait for physical symptoms to arise before exploring the indoor air environment. For that matter, symptoms could be ambiguous and wide ranging, including everything from allergies, to sinus conditions, to headaches, to respiratory irritation. But when symptoms do persist, checking a home’s air quality and air circulation might have great benefit.

In the majority of homes, dust and debris is commonplace. And this could be anything from plain dirt, to plant materials, to skin particles, to home cleaning off-gases. For those with respiratory issues, polluted indoor air may be playing a part, especially when irritation is exacerbated. Even furnace filters have their limits – and poor maintenance can easily contribute to poor air quality. In cases where furnace filters clog up quite quickly, an air quality test might diagnose a problem.

Knowing what your indoor air quality is and why it’s important is the first step to having a healthier, safer home. Indoor air quality refers to the condition of the air inside of and around the building, especially as it relates to the comfort and health of the occupants within. Indoor air quality health effects appear when parts of the systems that support a high level of indoor air quality are faulty or broken. Some of these systems include your Heating, Ventilation and Cooling systems (HVAC), fans, HEPA filters, windows, doors, and moisture barriers.

Indoor air quality is more than just clean smelling air, it’s also about keeping allergens and pollutants out, while constantly refreshing and renewing the air within. When indoor air quality health effects appear, it can be the first symptom of a larger problem within your home.

 

 

 

High Off-Gas Levels in Your Home Can Make You Sick

 

Off-gassing is the release of chemicals from the things we bring into our homes, or that our homes are actually made of. In drafty old houses with lots of air changes it wasn’t much of a problem, but as we build our houses tighter for energy efficiency, these chemicals can build up inside. The craziest part of it all is that we go out and buy them without knowing what’s in them, and often stockpile them in the bathroom, the tiniest room of the house with the worst ventilation.

Poor indoor air quality can affect your health in a number of ways, and research has shown that certain toxins or chemicals can build up in people’s systems and cause trouble years down the road. Children, elders, or people who suffer from chronic illness or weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to poor indoor air quality which can worsen symptoms or complicate existing illnesses.

While the symptoms of poor indoor air quality health effects are broad, there are a number of them that can be mistaken for other illnesses such as colds, influenza, or allergies. They are:

  • coughing
  • sneezing
  • itchy, watery eyes
  • tiredness
  • headaches
  • dizziness

 

The key sign that your trouble may be with indoor air quality health effects is that they often completely disappear as soon as you leave the room or building.Indoor air quality health effects can be experienced at any time, by any person. But when indoor air quality is a problem in your own home, these effects can become serious. Air pollution can affect asthma, COPD, or allergies, but also heart conditions like angina; it can even be a contributing factor to heart attacks or strokes. Air pollution from some pollutants like asbestos or bacteria like legionella (which causes Legionnaires’ disease) can be fatal.

Some indoor air quality health effects may show up after one exposure, while others take repeated exposure to cause symptoms, which often makes it difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of the problem.

 

Walk-In Lab Allergy Test

 

These small chemical compounds are common in many household items like wood, perfumes, paint, cleaners, glues, and solvents. They may be stable as a liquid or solid, but when exposed to air, they rapidly become gaseous and can become problematic for your indoor air quality.

 

 

Here are some of the worst offenders of off-gas and volatile organic compounds in the home:

 

Particle Board and Plywood

Judging by words of the American Chemistry Council, Formaldehyde is positively benign, a natural part of our world. And it is, in small doses. Unfortunately, it is part of the glue that holds particle board together, the stuff our houses and furniture is made of. It is a recognized carcinogen and causes eye and nose irritation. But hey, it’s a natural part of our world.

The best way to avoid formaldehyde is to buy used, whether it is an older home where it has had the time to off-gas, or furniture that has stood the test of time. Or, buy solid wood furniture instead of particle board.

 

 

Dryer Sheets

Here is a completely useless product that does nothing but add VOCs to your clothing. Chemicals include chloroform and pentanes, which the Material Safety Data Sheet suggests can cause eye and skin irritation. Ultimately, anything that is designed to make your clothes smell nice is releasing compounds you don’t want in your house.  To reduce wrinkles, static and drying time, use dryer balls instead.

Example: These Handy Laundry Sheep Wool Dryer Balls are a great alternative to liquid fabric softeners and dryer sheets.

 

 

Air Fresheners

There really are few products stupider than air fresheners, which are actually designed to pump chemicals into your home. The NRDC notes that 75% of houses now use them. Most of them are pumping out phthalates, the gender bender hormone disruptor that is the main villain in vinyl. The NRDC says:

Phthalates are hormone-disrupting chemicals that can be particularly dangerous for young children and unborn babies. Exposure to phthalates can affect testosterone levels and lead to reproductive abnormalities, including abnormal genitalia and reduced sperm production. The State of California notes that five types of phthalates—including one that we found in air freshener products—are “known to cause birth defects or reproductive harm.” Young children and pregnant women should be especially careful to avoid contact with these chemicals.

 To enhance the scent in your home, you can use essential oils and a diffuser instead of chemical sprays.  They’re safe and natural, and smell much better, anyways.

Example: These Lagunamoon Essential Oils are premium grade, natural and 100% pure. The set includes lemongrass, peppermint, orange, lavender, eucalyptus, and tea tree.

 

 

URPOWER Real Bamboo Essential Oil Diffuser Ultrasonic Aromotherapy Diffusers Cool Mist Aroma Diffuser with Adjustable Mist Modes, Waterless Auto Shut-off, 7 Color LED Lights for Home Office
Example: This Urpower Real Bamboo Essential Oil Diffuser has adjustable mist modes, 7 colored LED lights for ambience, and auto shut-off.

 

 

Nail Polish Remover With Acetone

Breathing moderate-to-high levels of acetone for short periods of time can cause nose, throat, lung, and eye irritation.  It can also cause intoxication, light-headedness, dizziness, confusion increased pulse rate, nausea, vomiting, and shortening of the menstrual cycle in women.

Use an acetone free nail polish remover instead.  A good quality remover without acetone can get the job done!

 

Example: I use this Pure Vitality Beauty polish remover, and it has never let me down. It’s free from acetone, acetate, ethyl lactate & petroleum chemicals (and it’s cruelty free).

 

 

Electronics

Many products have the flame retardant triphenyl phosphate in the insulation on their wiring; it is an endocrine disruptor that off-gases when the device heats up.

 

Non-Stick Pans

It is suspected that overheating a teflon pan can lead to the release of Perfluorinated chemicals that cause “teflon flu.”

 

Laser Printers and Copiers

The printing process releases ozone, which causes irritation to nose, throat and lungs.

Individuals who have preexisting lung problems, such as emphysema, bronchitis, or asthma, are even more at risk for the effects of ozone (O3). Children are also more susceptible to the effects of ozone (O3) and can increase their sensitivity to allergens.

 

 

Example: Aunt Fannie’s Cleaning Vinegar is an effective natural cleaner, with a pleasant fresh lime mint scent.

Household Cleaners

It is hard to know where to start with this one, so many of them are full of VOCs. That’s why people get “spring cleaning headache” from inhaling them all.

The US Department of Health and Human Services maintains a household products database where you can look up the ingredients of almost every product sold in the country. It is disturbing reading.

The EPA has noted that levels of organic pollutants can be 2 to 5 times higher inside homes rather than outside. Most of the cleaners we use are not needed;  vinegar and baking sodas are good substitutes.

If, like me, you can’t stand the smell of vinegar, try one of the many natural cleaners on the market.  They are pleasant to use, and most are very effective. 

I have used several of Aunt Fannie’s products, as well as Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day products, and have been satisfied with all of them so far.  There are many options, so get rid of your toxic cleaners and replace them with natural choices – it’s an easy change.

 

Getting Rid of VOCs

There really are two ways to deal with the buildup of VOCs:

* Don’t use products that have them in the first place, and

* Provide lots of fresh air to get rid of them.

That’s why every new house should have a heat recovery ventilator, every stove should have a real exhaust fan that vents to the exterior (not those silly recirculating noisemakers) and every bathroom should have a high quality exhaust fan that actually gets used, (not the ten buck noisy ones that most builders put in and people hate using).

 

EnviroKlenz Mobile HEPA Air Purifier

 

 

Moisture Build-up and Mold

 

Sometimes you see it, but sometimes you don’t: mold is often not visible to the naked eye, but it has a recognizably musty smell and it’s important to have it promptly -and professionally- removed.

 

Interestingly, most homeowners aren’t aware enough of the negative effects of moisture build up in various parts of the house. Moisture is simply a stepping-stone for mold or mildew to develop, even in a small sized washroom space. And while mold may look unsightly, an infiltration could be the first sign of a health risk. In any home, it’s wise to watch for the beginnings of mold, but for extra measure a high quality air test will be able to pinpoint the exact source and extent.

Found worldwide, mold is an important type of fungus. But when it grows indoors, toxic strains can proliferate and cause serious indoor air quality health effects that can make people seriously ill. Mold is often found after a water leak or flood, and can destroy construction materials and objects as well as cause health trouble.

Mold is often not visible to the naked eye, but it has a recognizably musty smell and it’s important to have it promptly -and professionally- removed. 

If you suspect that your home has a mold problem, you can pick up a mold testing kit to see if you need to  call a professional for mold removal.  Keep in mind that a mold testing kit is for mold only, and does not test for any other volatile organic compounds or off-gas.  For that, you will need a comprehensive test.

 

Example: This DIY Mold Test tests for mold and pollen.

 

 

 

 

 

Example: First Alert Carbon Monoxide Alarm

 

 

Carbon Monoxide

This odorless, invisible gas is produced by appliances that use fossil fuels, such as your furnace or gas stove. Carbon monoxide can build up in your home and it prevents your body from using oxygen efficiently – resulting in tiredness, dizziness and headaches. If the concentration is high enough, you can die. While plug-in and battery powered testers are available, have your heating and cooling systems checked by a professional yearly, and ensure appliances are correctly vented.

Every home should have a carbon monoxide detection device on every level of the home. If the home has an attached garage a CO detector should be installed in the room that shares a door with the garage. In the case of CO, monitoring is better than testing.

 

 

Here’s How You Can Be Proactive About Your Indoor Air

 

You can test your home’s indoor air quality quite easily on your own with a testing kit.  If a specific problem is found, you can then assess whether you can handle the issue or need to call the appropriate professional to take care of it.

My husband and I did this testing in our home, and it was a simple process, which saved us from paying a professional for a service call to do the testing for us (using a similar testing device).

There is a good variety of indoor air testing kits available to consumers these days, so there is really no reason to feel you have to call someone if you suspect your home’s air is causing health problems.

We used the Home Air Check, and were very satisfied with it.  Their testing device  provides a comprehensive picture of chemical levels that you are breathing when in the home. It also indicates a level of actively growing mold present in the home. Since these chemicals are tested simultaneously, this sophisticated analysis becomes less expensive than arranging for a professional to come out charge you for their time and several separate tests.

Also, the samples are collected without the use of toxic chemicals, so there are no health risks using Home Air Check. We were happy with the level of completeness, sophistication, prediction, and value of Home Air Check.

The Home Air Check Indoor Air Test measures VOC’s, formaldehyde and mold.

 

This is how the testing process works:

You use a small sampling device to collect an air sample in your home. The sampling time takes about 2 hours.  Full instructions are included in the kit (and it is very straightforward).

After the sample is collected,  you return the complete kit to the Home Air Check laboratory, where they analyze the air sample using sophisticated state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation for hundreds of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that can be found in home air. In addition, they look for 21 specific mold compounds that can be generated when mold is actively growing in a home.

A detailed report is then generated. In this report will be a Total VOC concentration level – a total of all the VOCs found in your home. The US Green Building Council recommends a TVOC level of less than 500 ng/L to be considered a healthy environment. (The median US home is about 1,200 ng/L.) A total concentration of Mold VOCs is also listed. Generally, this number should be less than 8 ng/L or you have active mold growth you need to find.

The report also includes a Contamination Index, which gives you a prediction of which sources or materials in your home may be responsible for these contaminating chemicals, such as gasoline, paint, adhesives, odorants, personal care products, etc. Home Air Check emails you the report within 5 business days of receipt of your air sample. You can then use their phone or chat line support to answer any questions you have and to help you improve your air quality.

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical information. 

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Is Your Indoor Air Making Your Allergies Worse?

Simple Steps to Ease Your Allergies at Home

Prepare Your Home and HVAC System For Warmer Days

Natural Options For Managing Asthma

Thinking About Switching to Organic Makeup? Read This First …

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Best Air Purifiers for COPD – Full Reviews

Detailed Review of the SoClean CPAP Cleaner

Choosing The Right Allergy Treatment (So Many Options!)

Oxygen Therapy for COPD – Pros and Cons

The Most Effective Stop Smoking Aids Reviewed

Best Treadmills for Seniors Home Fitness

Should You Buy an Electric Bike?

The Best Elliptical Machines Reviewed

Find The Best Bathroom Scale for You

The Fix for Cracked Heels

The Best Foot Bath Massagers – Full Reviews

Top 10 Massage Chairs – Full Reviews

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

 

Are Genetic Testing Services Worth It?

Are Genetic Testing Services Worth It?

 

 

Thinking about using a DNA sample to look at your heritage

—and predict your future?

 

 

Only a few short years ago, services like Ancestry.com and 23andMe that allow you to submit a saliva or tissue sample to find out where your ancestors came from was the stuff of science fiction.  The thought of sending a genetic simple to a company like Ancestry.com and receiving a detailed report on your genetic background—including a very detailed discussion of what part of the globe your forebears hailed from.

Yet today, Ancestry DNA and 23andMe have advanced these concepts to a point where they are both scientifically possible and economically feasible. Depending on what you are trying to do, and depending on the service you choose, it is possible to begin delving into your genetic background for as little as a few hundred dollars. Those wishing for a much more detailed look at their genes can anticipate paying upwards of $2,000; however, most people do not need the level of detail that such a and analysis would bring, and are able to achieve their goals for less than $200.

This is the world of genetic mapping: the practice of using a DNA sample to look at your heritage—and predict your future. If you are considering using a genetic mapping service, here is some more information that you may find to be useful.

 

How Does Genetic Mapping Work?

 

Of course, the number of laboratories and companies offering genetic mapping services is almost limitless and growing by the day. As technology continues to advance, making genetic mapping more feasible, more and more companies are offering this service—in one form or another—available to the public.

Ancestry.com, just as other services do, will request that you provide a sample of your DNA. This is usually done by placing saliva in a tube, then sealing it and mailing it to the lab. Other DNA samples that are commonly requested include a cotton swab of the cheek and gums or a small blood sample. Regardless of the specific type of sample, the process is essentially the same: a home collection kit is mailed to the consumer, who then collects the sample and returns it through the mail. This process is convenient, fast, and simple.

Once the genetic mapping company obtains the sample, it runs one or more of a number of tests on it. The results of the tests are then compiled into a report and sent back to the consumer. Reports can be as specific as testing for a few identified conditions, or as general as a lengthy list of various conditions and diseases, along with the consumer’s propensity for developing each.

In the case of genetic mapping that is used for other purposes—such as discovering one’s ethnic background—the reports may contain information setting out the consumer’s genetic makeup and ethnic background by percentage (for example, 62% Eastern European, 17% Southeast Asian, and 11% Northern African).

 

 

 

Why Would You Want to Map Your Genes?

 

Family Tree Testing Kit

 

Of course, there can be any number of reasons for using such a service, depending on what it is that the consumer is interested in. These services can be a valuable part of one’s preventive healthcare strategy, or can simply be an interesting source of information.

 

WalkInLab.com

 

In the case of genetic mapping reports that pertain to medical conditions or disease susceptibility, many people find them to be helpful in order to alert them to specific areas of concern. By identifying those diseases or conditions to which they are more likely to be susceptible, the genetic mapping process allows them to take preventive steps and enact rigorous monitoring procedures in order to minimize the likelihood that they will actually develop the conditions or diseases.

In the case of genetic mapping that is used to uncover one’s heritage, consumers who are seeking to find their roots may find the tests to be a valuable part of their efforts. Additionally, they can be used to assist in narrowing down a search for relatives, particularly in cases where someone was adopted at birth and is seeking to reconnect to his or her blood relations.

Sometimes, using a genetic mapping service is simply a way to help build a connection with someone else. For example, if you spend a lot of time with an elderly friend or relative, you may find that obtaining a genetic map of each person’s background gives you both something to talk about and explore together.

Other people simply want to be alerted as to any potential anomalies in their genetic makeup. For example, they may want to know if they have a certain gene mutation that would cause them to be more likely to fall prey to a certain fate—even if they have no blood relatives with a similar condition.

Whatever the specific reason for using a genetic mapping service, given the ease with which a genetic report may be obtained, along with the relatively lower cost of doing so, many people choose to obtain at least a cursory report on their overall genetic picture. Sometimes they do it for no other reason than because it is interesting and fun to do so.

A simple Internet search of genetic mapping services will return pages of results. With so many companies offering genetic mapping, it can be challenging to determine which one best suits your needs. As with so many other things, the answer is that it depends on what you are looking for.

 

 

Ancestry DNA

Many have used Ancestry.com to trace their ancestors and to utilize the rich hints that can make building a family tree much easier. But now, AncestryDNA also offers genetic tracking by using a “microarray-based autosomal DNA testing” matching a person’s entire genome from over 700,000 locations.  

The result will include information about your ethnicity across 26 regions/ethnicities and will identify potential relatives through DNA matching to others who have taken the AncestryDNA test.  It will disclose if you are partially Native American but the results cannot be used as a substitute for legal documentation.

 

 

 

23andMe

 

A company similar to Ancestry.com that combines both the ancestry and health concern tests is 23andMe. This business offers a basic test and a test with a more detailed report.

Similar to many of the other tests, it starts with a saliva sample.

Using the 23andme test provides consumers with a detailed report that provides a breakdown of their ethnicity by percentage, and can help them to determine their lineage going back as far as 1000 years. Those who opt-in are afforded the opportunity to connect with other people who share their DNA, making it possible to find blood relatives. This last option can be particularly useful to people who have been adopted and who are searching to discover their roots.

On the health risks screening front, 23andMe offers a test that screens consumers for a genetic propensity towards a number of potential conditions. These may be conditions that the consumers are more susceptible to, or it may be conditions for which consumers are carriers—meaning that they themselves don’t suffer from the condition, but they have the potential to produce offspring who would, under certain circumstances.

Other tests offered by this company include health and well-being issues (such as lactose intolerance—something that is not dangerous in and of itself, but can impact one’s well-being), genetic traits (such as the likelihood of developing male pattern baldness), and more.

 

Other Genetic Mapping Services

 

MyHeritageDNA

 

 

MyHeritageDNA provides two fascinating types of results:

Ethnicity Estimate: A percentage breakdown of your ancestral background, showing your ancestors’ origins from among 42 ethnicities, including Irish, Italian, North African, Japanese, East Asian, and many others. MyHeritage has the largest pool of supported ethnicities in the industry.

DNA Matching: This powerful feature uses your DNA to help you find new relatives from all around the world. Your matches, from both your mother’s and father’s side, will include information about your shared genetic sequences, and identify your estimated relationship.

 

 

 

 

GPS Origins

 

 

GPS Origins boasts the most complete DNA Ancestry results, with a new ancestral tracking technique that can pinpoint your ancestry down to the nearest town or village!  GPS Origins analyzes 800,000 genetic markers, 862 reference populations and 36 gene pools.

 

 

 

Colors BRCA Test

 

 

The Colors BRCA Test allows women to test their genetic risk for breast and ovarian cancer, by testing the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.

These tests are physician ordered, and Colors will connect you with an independent physician who can order the testing on your behalf, if appropriate.

Your test result includes access to professional genetic counselors can help explain how your results may impact you. 

You can then take your clinical grade report to your healthcare provide, who can help you make a plan that reduces your risk of breast and ovarian cancer.  I noticed that the Colors BRCA Test has particularly positive reviews from nearly every user.

While this test is probably of more interest to women, the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations can impact certain male cancer risks as well:

Things You Should Consider About Genetic Testing

 

Of course, as with any new technology, there are considerations with genetic mapping that many people may not have encountered before. By being aware of these issues, you can go into your genetic mapping with your eyes open.

First, genetic mapping is not always 100% accurate. There exists the potential that a certain test will return a false positive—or a false negative—for a given condition. As such, you should not panic if your genetic mapping report suggests a high likelihood of developing a certain condition or contracting a certain disease. Instead, you should take it with a grain of salt and use the genetic mapping report as a basis from which to investigate further.

Another thing of which you should be aware is that some experts have criticized the validity of many of the genetic mapping tests in use today. While it is certainly possible to evaluate a given individual’s genes and use them to form a relatively accurate picture of his or her potential for developing certain conditions, the fact of the matter is that some of the tests in use simply do not have the accuracy and reliability of other, more expensive, tests.

Another thing to consider is the potential for the information gained from these tests to fall into the wrong hands. Given the current political climate in our country, it is impossible to determine if genetic mapping test results might one day be used by insurance companies to deny coverage—or charge higher premiums—to people who have been determined to be more likely to develop certain conditions. While some naysayers may say that this is an invasion of privacy and illegal, the unfortunate reality of our country is that laws frequently change to make the once-unthinkable a reality.

For this reason, if you are considering a genetic mapping test in order to discover whether you may be likely to develop certain conditions or diseases, you may wish to do it anonymously or pay attention to the privacy policies of the company selected. Ancestry.com devotes a significant amount of website space to discussing privacy.  Some genetic mapping companies will allow you to purchase the kit and submit it under a random number instead of using your name. By taking steps to prevent your identity from being associated with any one genetic mapping report, you can help protect against the eventuality that the information in the report might one day be used against you.

Finally, one last consideration is that genetic mapping tests—at least insofar as they are used to provide health condition information—frequently lacked any actionable information. For example, they may tell you that you’re more likely to develop a certain condition, but they may not be able to give you any advice as to what you could do about the situation.

While some conditions, such as adult-onset diabetes, can be proactively addressed through things such as a good diet and plenty of exercise, other conditions are simply out of your control. As such, discovering that you have a tendency to develop a certain condition could end up bringing an increased level of stress in your life as you grapple to deal with something over which you have absolutely no control.

Because of this, some people have opted to engage in all the preventive actions they can—such as eating well and exercising regularly—and forgo taking any genetic mapping test. Ultimately, whether knowing that one has a likelihood of developing a certain condition about which there is nothing he or she can do is something that would cause him or her undue duress or not is a choice that every person must make for himself or herself.

This is an interesting, but really complicated, look at the differences (and similarities!) between the Autosomal DNA Testing services.  The largest variation seems to be in the SNPs (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms) which are the places in the genome where people differ.  For 1 out of every 1000, there is no difference.  Most of these SNPs don’t do very much, but some of them confer a risk of disease which can be very important.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

Although there are some very significant considerations to keep in mind, most people find that genetic mapping tests are something that they feel are worthwhile. They can be fun and a great conversation started and a hobby of sorts especially if it is followed with building a family tree such as you can do through Ancestry.  Having the knowledge that you are or are not likely to develop certain conditions can help you in a number of ways, from making smart food choices to engaging in proactive estate planning.  But those considerations can be secondary when considering how much fun it is to know where your ancestors came from and whether it matches up with what you have been told your whole life. Understanding your ethnic and genetic background, and knowing where your ancestors come from is something that many people find both fascinating and worthwhile.

Overall, genetic mapping is a wonderful way to quickly and easily find out more about yourself, your loved ones, and the world in which you live.

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided some practical, empowering information. 

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

WalkInLab.com

 

 

 

You May Also Be Interested In:

 

Is Telomere Testing Real Science?

How to Choose the Right Diet Plan

Thinking About Switching to Organic Makeup? Read This First …

Simple Steps to Younger Looking Skin

How to Get Rid of Stubborn Adult Acne

Which Scar Treatment Works Best?

How to Keep Your Cuticles Looking Good (And Products You Need)

Complete Guide to Medical Alert Bracelets

The Secret to Protecting Your Eyesight

Is the MyPurMist Inhaler Worth Buying?

Red Palm Oil Lowers Cholesterol

How to Find the Right Pair of Reading Glasses

Does Biosil Actually Do Anything?

Detailed Review of the SoClean CPAP Cleaner

Best Air Purifiers for COPD

Fatty Liver – What I Wish I Had Known

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

Cure Toenail Fungus Naturally in 4 Weeks

 

Cure Toenail Fungus Naturally in 4 Weeks

 

 

 

Nail fungus is a common condition that begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail. As the fungal infection goes deeper, nail fungus may cause your nail to discolor, thicken and crumble at the edge. It can affect several nails but usually not all of them.

 
If your condition is mild and not bothering you, you may not need treatment. If your nail fungus is painful and has caused thickened nails, self-care steps and medications can help (see below for my recommendation of a natural product which works for most people).

Nail fungus is also called onychomycosis (on-ih-koh-my-KOH-sis) and tinea unguium. When fungus infects the areas between your toes and the skin of your feet, it’s called athlete’s foot (tinea pedis).

 

 

Symptoms of Toenail Fungus

 

You may have nail fungus if one or more of your nails are:

 

  • Thickened
  • Brittle, crumbly or ragged
  • Distorted in shape
  • Dull, with no shine
  • A dark color, caused by debris building up under your nail

 

Image result for yuck!

 

 

Infected nails also may separate from the nail bed, a condition called onycholysis (on-ih-KOL-ih-sis). You may feel pain in your toes or fingertips and detect a slightly foul odor.

 

 

Why Did You Get Toenail Fungus?

 

Nail fungal infections are typically caused by a dermatophyte fungus. Yeasts and molds also can be responsible for nail fungal infections.

Fungi are microscopic organisms that don’t need sunlight to survive. Some fungi have beneficial uses. Others cause illness and infection.

 
  • Fungi live in warm, moist environments, including swimming pools and showers
  • They can invade your skin through cuts so tiny you can’t even see them or through a small separation between your nail and nail bed
  • Nails can be especially prone to fungi problems if they are often exposed to warm and moist conditions

 

 

Toenails vs. fingernails

Nail fungus occurs more often in toenails than in fingernails, partly because:

  • Toenails often are confined in a dark, warm, moist environment — inside your shoes — where fungi can thrive
  • Toes usually have less blood flow than do fingers, making it harder for your body’s immune system to detect and stop infection

 

 

Factors that can increase your risk of developing nail fungus include:

 

  • Being older, owing to reduced blood flow, more years of exposure to fungi and slower growing nails
  • Perspiring heavily
  • Being male, especially if you have a family history of nail fungal infections
  • Working in a humid or moist environment or in a job where your hands are often wet, such as bar-tending or housekeeping
  • Wearing socks and shoes that hinder ventilation and don’t absorb perspiration
  • Living with someone who has nail fungus
  • Walking barefoot in damp communal areas, such as swimming pools, gyms and shower rooms
  • Having athlete’s foot
  • Having a minor skin or nail injury or a skin condition, such as psoriasis
  • Having diabetes, circulation problems, a weakened immune system or, in children, Down syndrome

 

 

What Can You Do to GET RID OF IT?!

 

 

Doctors will often recommend Oral antifungal drugs. 

Studies show the most effective treatments are terbinafine (Lamisil) and itraconazole (Sporanox). These drugs help a new nail grow free of infection, slowly replacing the infected part.

You typically take this type of drug for six to 12 weeks. But you won’t see the end result of treatment until the nail grows back completely. It may take four months or longer to eliminate an infection.

Treatment success rates with these drugs appear to be lower in adults over age 65. And treatment success seems to improve when you combine oral and topical antifungal therapies.

Oral antifungal drugs may cause side effects ranging from skin rash to liver damage. You may need occasional blood tests to check on how you’re doing with these types of drugs. Doctors may not recommend them for people with liver disease or congestive heart failure or those taking certain medications.

 

For more severe cases, there are surgical and other treatments such as:

Nail removal. If your nail infection is severe or extremely painful, your doctor may suggest removing your nail. A new nail will usually grow in its place. But it will come in slowly and may take as long as a year to grow back completely. Sometimes surgery is used in combination with ciclopirox to treat the nail bed.

Laser and light-based therapies. More study is needed, but these methods — alone or with medications — may help your nails improve. One study tested the effectiveness of carbon-dioxide laser therapy combined with antifungal nail cream. Most of the 24 people in the study benefited from the treatment.

Laser and light-based therapies are not available everywhere, are expensive, and often are not covered by insurance.

 

In my research for a better option, I came across a natural product called Fungus Stop Anti fungal Nail Solution, which really stood out among the many remedies marketed to toenail fungus sufferers. 

Fungus Stop is made in Greece by a company called Zane Hellas, and is the #1 bestseller in Nail Fungus Treatments on Amazon, with numerous positive testimonials and photos included in its over 1,000 customer reviews.

 

The main active ingredient in Fungus Stop is Carvacrol. Carvacrol is an ingredient found in the highest content in Oregano Oil and is completely natural.

Carvacrol  has very strong antifungal properties and can completely eradicate toenail fungus.

Used since ancient times and there are many published scientific medical studies on the properties and effectiveness of Carvacrol Oregano Oil.

  • Fungus Stop also contains Vitamin E and Vitamin C to nourish the skin and nails.
  • Fungus Stop produces fast results in the appearance and color of the nails.
  • Treatment can be completed only in 4 Weeks with this highly effective maximum strength solution.
  • Fungus Stop is Clinically Proven and formulated at Therapeutic Grade strength.
  • Fungus Stop kills 99.9% of Nail Fungus.
  • 100% Natural Herb Ingredients

 

 

Who Should Use Fungus Stop?

 

Fungus Stop is an Antifungal, suitable for Toenail Fungus, Athletes Foot, Bacterial Infections and Parasites Problems.  If you are diabetic and think you may be developing toenail fungus, see your doctor first, as diabetic foot problems may be more serious.

 

 

What’s In Fungus Stop?

 

  • Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Wild Essential Oregano Oil ( non GMO- 100% Organic & Wild)
  • Organic Almond Oil (From Real Almond Seeds)
  •  Organic Essentila Tea Tree Oil
  • Organic Calentula Oil,Organic Avocado Oil
  • Made in Greece

 

 

How Do I use Fungus Stop?

 

Brush Fungus Stop on to your nail (around and under nails), once a day for 4 weeks . Heat sensation is normal.

Wait 5-7 minutes until absorbed. Do not wash your feet or hands for 5-7 minutes.

During this time avoid the hand contact with eyes.

If the fungal infection it is on your toenails put clean socks.

Stop use if irritation occurs or there is no improvement within 4 weeks. Do not use on broken skin or any other foot conditions.

 

 

When to See a Doctor

 

You may want to see a physician if Fungus Stop hasn’t helped. Also, as previously mentioned, be sure to see a doctor if you have diabetes and think you’re developing nail fungus.

 

 

 

How Do I keep Toenail Fungus From Coming Back?

 

  • Wash your hands and feet regularly and keep your nails short and dry. Wash your hands and feet with soap and water, rinse, and dry thoroughly, including between the toes. Trim nails straight across and file down thickened areas.
  • Wear anti-fungal socks that absorb sweat. Fabrics effective at wicking away moisture include wool, nylon and polypropylene. Change your socks often, especially if you have sweaty feet.
  • Choose shoes that reduce humidity. It also helps to occasionally take off your shoes or wear open-toe footwear.
  • Discard old shoes. If possible, avoid wearing old shoes, which can harbor fungi and cause a reinfection. Or treat them with disinfectants or antifungal powders.
  • Wear rubber gloves. This protects your hands from overexposure to water. Between uses, turn the gloves inside out to dry.
  • Don’t trim or pick at the skin around your nails. This may give germs access to your skin and nails.
  • Don’t go barefoot in public places. Wear sandals or shoes around pools, showers, and locker rooms.
  • Choose a reputable nail salon. Make sure the place you go for a manicure or pedicure sterilizes its instruments. Better yet, bring your own and disinfect them after use.
  • Give up nail polish and artificial nails while you are treating nail fungus. Although it may be tempting to hide nail fungal infections under a coat of pretty pink polish, this can trap unwanted moisture and worsen the infection.
  • Wash your hands after touching an infected nail. Nail fungus can spread from nail to nail.

 

Toenail Fungal infections of the nails can be a persistent and sometimes embarrassing problem, and occasionally can become painful. 

If you suspect you are developing toenail fungus, I recommend that you begin a treatment with Fungus Stop right away, and give it a good 4 weeks.

See your doctor if you are diabetic, or if you don’t see any improvement within a few weeks of using the product. 

With time and consistency, you will very likely be able to cure your toenail fungus yourself, so be patient and apply the treatment daily.

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided some practical information. 

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Science Proves Coffee Slows Down Aging

Find The Best Bathroom Scale for You

How to Choose the Right Diet Plan

Should You Be Taking Probiotics?

Natural, Effective Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction

Studies Show Blackcurrant Seed Oil Helps Arthritis

The Secret to Protecting Your Eyesight

Natural Remedies For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The Healthiest Supplement Drinks for Seniors and Diabetics

Does Biosil Actually Do Anything?

Does Prevagen Actually Help Your Memory?

Get Gardening to Lose Weight and Improve Health!

The Fix for Cracked Heels

Red Palm Oil Lowers Cholesterol

The Best Foot Bath Massagers – Full Reviews

Top 10 Massage Chairs – Full Reviews

Anytime Gifts That Seniors Will Actually Use

Midlife Medical Screening Tests That Women Over 50 Need

Detailed Review of the SoClean CPAP Cleaner

Best Treadmills for Seniors Home Fitness

Should You Buy an Electric Bike?

The Best Elliptical Machines Reviewed

Your Guide to Type 2 Diabetes

Caring for Diabetic Feet

Best Foot Bath Massagers – Full Reviews

The Fix for Cracked Heels

Important Seniors’ Nutritional Supplements Reviewed

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

Stasis Dermatitis Leg and Foot Condition

Stasis Dermatitis Leg and Foot Condition

 

 

Stasis dermatitis is a skin condition that develops in people with poor circulation. It typically occurs in the lower legs. In serious cases, stasis dermatitis can progress into ulcers.

Stasis dermatitis is skin inflammation that develops in people with poor circulation. It most often occurs in the lower legs because that’s where blood typically collects.

People over the age of 50 are most at risk for developing stasis dermatitis, especially if they have heart disease, are very overweight, or frequently sit for long periods of time.

Preventing swelling in your lower legs, or peripheral edema, is the best way to avoid getting stasis dermatitis.

When blood collects or pools in the veins of your lower legs, the pressure on the veins increases. The increased pressure damages your capillaries, which are very small blood vessels. This allows proteins to leak into your tissues. This leakage leads to a buildup of blood cells, fluid, and proteins, which causes your legs to swell. This swelling is called peripheral edema.

People with stasis dermatitis usually experience swollen legs and feet, open sores, or itchy and reddish skin.

 

A protein called fibrinogen may be responsible for the changes you see in your skin. When fibrinogen leaks into your tissues, your body converts it to the active form of the protein, which is called fibrin. As it leaks out, the fibrin surrounds your capillaries, forming what are known as fibrin cuffs. According to the Cleveland Clinic, these fibrin cuffs may prevent oxygen from entering your tissues. When your cells don’t receive enough oxygen, they can become damaged and die.

 

 

Risk Factors for Stasis Dermatitis

 

Stasis dermatitis affects people with poor circulation. It’s common among adults over the age of 50. Women are more likely to get it than men.

A number of diseases and conditions can increase your risk for developing stasis dermatitis, including:

 

  • venous insufficiency, which occurs when your veins have difficulty sending blood from your legs to your heart
  • varicose veins, which are swollen and enlarged veins that are visible under your skin
  • congestive heart failure, which occurs when your heart doesn’t pump blood efficiently
  • kidney failure, which occurs when your kidneys can’t remove toxins from your blood
  • obesity
  • injury to your lower legs
  • numerous pregnancies
  • a deep vein thrombosis in your leg, which is a blood clot in your leg vein

 

Your lifestyle can also affect your risk. You may be at a higher risk of getting stasis dermatitis if you’re very overweight, don’t get enough exercise, or if you sit or stand without moving for long periods of time.

 

 

Common Causes of Stasis Dermatitis

 

Poor circulation causes stasis dermatitis. Typically, poor circulation is the result of a chronic, or long-term, condition called venous insufficiency. Venous insufficiency occurs when your veins have trouble sending blood to your heart. There are one-way valves inside your leg veins that keep your blood flowing in the right direction, which is toward your heart. In people with venous insufficiency, these valves become weak. This allows blood to flow back toward the feet and pool in your legs instead of continuing to flow toward your heart. This pooling of blood is what causes stasis dermatitis.

 

 

Varicose veins and congestive heart failure are also known causes of leg swelling and stasis dermatitis.

Most of the conditions that cause stasis dermatitis usually develop in people as they get older. However, there are also several causes that are unrelated to age, including:

  • surgery, such as using a leg vein for bypass surgery
  • deep vein thrombosis in your leg
  • traumatic injury to your lower legs

 

 

Symptoms of Stasis Dermatitis

 

The symptoms of stasis dermatitis include:

  • skin discoloration
  • itching
  • scaling
  • ulcers

 

You may also experience symptoms of venous insufficiency, including:

  • leg swelling
  • calf pain
  • calf tenderness
  • a dull ache or heaviness in your legs that gets worse when you stand

 

In the early stages of stasis dermatitis, the skin on your legs may look thin. Your skin may also itch, but try not to scratch it. Scratching can cause the skin to crack and fluid to seep out.

Over time, these changes can become permanent. Your skin may eventually thicken, harden, or turn dark brown. This is called lipodermatosclerosis. It may also look lumpy. In the final stages of stasis dermatitis, your skin breaks down and an ulcer, or sore, forms. Ulcers from stasis dermatitis usually form on the inside of your ankle.

 

 

 

 

Seeing Your Doctor About Stasis Dermatitis

 

You should see your doctor if you notice leg swelling or any symptoms of stasis dermatitis, especially if the symptoms include:

  • pain
  • redness
  • open wounds or ulcers
  • pus-like drainage

 

 

Diagnosis of Stasis Dermatitis

 

A diagnosis of stasis dermatitis is made based on the patient’s medical history, investigating any conditions that may cause the swelling, as well as observation of the skin rash. Testing for other skin conditions as well as circulation patterns of the body may include:

  • Blood tests
  • Blood flow to the legs is evaluated a by Doppler ultrasound: This is a noninvasive test that uses sound waves to check the blood flow in your legs.
  • Patch testing to determine contact allergies and/or other skin sensitivities
  • Biopsy of infected skin

 

 

Treatment of Stasis Dermatitis

 

There are several things you can do at home to treat stasis dermatitis. You should:

  • avoid standing and sitting for long periods of time
  • prop up your feet when sitting

 

 

  • wear loose-fitting clothing to avoid irritating your skin

 

Ask your doctor about the types of skin creams and ointments you can use.

Your doctor might tell you to put wet bandages on your skin and might prescribe topical steroid creams and ointments. Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics if your skin becomes infected. Surgery may be recommended to correct varicose veins if they become painful.

Treating conditions that cause venous insufficiency, such as high blood pressure and congestive heart failure, can also help control your stasis dermatitis.

 

 

 

Boiron First Aid Calendula Ointment, 1 oz.
Boiron Calendula Ointment
Herbal Treatments

 

In some cases, all-natural herbal methods can be used to help soothe the pain and itching associated with milder forms of stasis dermatitis. For best results, however, they should always be used under the guidance of a qualified herbalist or licensed naturopathic healthcare provider.

These herbs have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, which may help to relieve the symptoms:

  • Calendula (flower heads), licorice root, and ginkgo all have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. They can be used topically, in lotions, oils or ointment form, on the affected area to reduce itching and inflammation.
  • Aloe vera gel and the juice from common plantain leaves (Plantago major) can be applied topically to the affected areas to help soothe skin irritations associated with dermatitis.

 

 

Herbal pastes can also be prepared to help relieve the itching associated with dermatitis:

  • Green clay and goldenseal root in equal parts
  • Equal parts salt, water, clay, and peppermint oil

 

 

 

Noble Formula Hydrocortisone Cream with Pyrithione Zinc (Znp) .25% Enhanced By Hydrocortisone 1%, 4oz (120 Ml)
Noble Formula HC Cream with Pyrithione Zinc
Zinc treatment

Pyrithione zinc has been recognized for centuries for its unique healing properties. Included in those healing properties are alleviation of itching and burning associated with dermatitis symptoms. Pyrithione zinc also has antifungal and antibacterial properties, which may help reduce skin inflammation associated with dermatitis.

Topical zinc pyrithione is generally recognized as a safe and effective treatment for reduction in the symptoms associated with certain forms of dermatitis.

 

 

 

Unna Boot Treatment

 

In the case of stasis dermatitis, zinc is often used in connection with an Unna’s paste boot, a moist, zinc-impregnated paste bandage that provides both compression and topical treatment.

DYNAREX Unna Boot Bandage with Zinc
DYNAREX Unna Boot Bandage with Zinc
The classic Unna boot entails a stretched wrap filled with calamine, zinc oxide, glycerine, sorbitol, gelatin and magnesium aluminum silicate, to be applied to the affected area. Once applied, the boot will harden to a level that is slightly less than that of a cast.

The compressive, supportive nature of the boot helps to reduce the swelling, and the gelatin/zinc mixture protects the skin from irritation and hastens the healing process. In the beginning the boot needs to be changed every two to three days; however after the initial healing it can be left on for a week at a time.

One drawback of the Unna boot is that it does not accommodate changes in leg swelling particularly well. Many comparative studies of different management techniques, including compression with Unna boot, traditional paraffin gauze dressings, and other occlusive dressings, have been made.

In some cases, studies report better patient comfort and compliance when treated with a combination of compression and a moist, occlusive dressing, such as a hydrocolloid dressing, to heal venous stasis ulceration.

 

 

Possible Complications of Stasis Dermatitis

 

If it’s left untreated, stasis dermatitis can result in:

  • chronic leg ulcers
  • osteomyelitis, which is a bone infection
  • a bacterial skin infection, such as abscesses or cellulitis
  • permanent scarring

 

 

Preventing Stasis Dermatitis

 

Stasis dermatitis is usually the result of a chronic illness, such as congestive heart failure, so it’s difficult to prevent if you’re already ill. However, you can reduce your risk by preventing the swelling in your legs, or peripheral edema, that causes it. You can also lower your risk by exercising. Exercise is a great way to improve your circulation and reduce your body fat. Limiting the amount of sodium you consume can also help.

 

In summary, the condition of stasis dermatitis can be quite serious and chronic, with numerous complicating factors and sequelae. However, with careful evaluation, follow-up, and a maintenance program tailored to an individual’s needs, along with education and counseling to improve understanding of the condition, most stasis dermatitis patients can be kept comfortable and free of ulceration.

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical information. 

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Guide to Foot Circulation Booster Machines

How to Find the Right Power Lift Recliner Chair

Top 10 Massage Chairs – Full Reviews

Shoes and Slippers For Swollen Feet

Practical Shoes for the Elderly

Guide to Compression Therapy

High Blood Pressure – Take Control

Best Blood Pressure Monitors Under $50

Get Gardening to Lose Weight and Gain Health

Cure Toenail Fungus Naturally in 4 Weeks

Caring for Diabetic Feet

The Fat Loss Diet I Recommend

Caregivers and Morbid Obesity Issues

Stroke – What You Need to Know

Practical Shoes for the Elderly

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

 

Air Purifiers for COPD

Best Air Purifiers for COPD

 

 

Full Reviews of High Quality Air Purifiers for Your Indoor Air

 

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD, is the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease and cancer.

The most common forms of the disease are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. About 12 million Americans have been diagnosed with COPD, and experts estimate another 12 million remain undiagnosed.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says exposure to air pollution particles may aggravate COPD and be responsible for COPD-related hospitalization and premature deaths.  Recent research suggests air pollution may play a role in the onset of COPD as well.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends reducing exposure to air pollutants at home and work to prevent early development of COPD.

The right air cleaning system can effectively remove a large percentage of the particles associated with COPD problems indoors. But the wrong air cleaner can be ineffective or, even worse, dangerous.

 

 

Important Considerations for a COPD Air Purifier:

 

 

Choose “mechanical filtration” air cleaning technology.

 

This is the air purification technology recommended by the American Lung Association, and includes HEPA-filtration systems. HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air. Mechanical filtration systems remove particles from the air by capturing them on filter materials. The particles then remain in the filter until it is replaced.

In order to make a HEPA filter, glass fibers are used, arranged in a unique configuration so that air is able to pass through the filter while large contaminants such as allergens, mold or dust are captured.

The pollutant particles are captured using several different principles. For the most part particles come into contact with the filter, and are then trapped based on the principle of adhesion while clean air is free to circulate.

Other cases include contaminants being trapped after achieving partial contact with the glass fibers, or being pressed up against the filter because of the strong air flow inside the purifier.Furthermore, airborne particles are attracted by other particles which are already trapped by the HEPA filter.

Thanks to these various ways of stopping contaminant particles before they are able to pass through, HEPA filters can collect 99.9% of airborne impurities as long as they’re larger than 0.3 microns in diameter.

Since most contaminants fall into that category, just imagine how much of an impact these filters have on the quality of air you breathe.

 

Dust, allergens, pollen, dust mites, pet dander, mildew and mildew spores are all eliminated with the use of a HEPA filter (especially useful for people who suffer with COPD, asthma or hay fever).

 

 

Don’t buy air cleaners that produce ozone. Ozone is a lung irritant that can damage the lungs, and is especially dangerous for those with COPD or other respiratory conditions. That’s why the American Lung Association and others warn consumers to avoid these devices.

 

 

Avoid air purifiers that use ionization to clean the air.

Ionizers generate ions that attach to airborne pollution particles, giving them a charge so that they then attach to nearby surfaces such as walls or furniture. Even air purifiers that combine ionizers with filters or air-cleaning “plates” can release thousands of charged particles into a room. The EPA says air cleaners that generate ions can increase the particles being deposited into your lungs and absorbed into your bloodstream.

 

Choose an air purifier that is proven to protect against ultrafine particles.

Ultrafine particles represent 90 percent of all the particles in the air you breathe, and are considered by scientists to be the most dangerous of all. Yet they are so small many air purifiers can’t stop them.

 

 

 

Ultrafine particles pass rapidly into the human circulatory system and reach internal organs. Individuals with COPD may be at greater risk than healthy individuals when exposed to ultrafine particles. See my list below of the the very best air purifiers for COPD, which will clear your inside air or ultrafine particles.

 

 

Do not rely only on CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) ratings.

 

This rating system was designed and is promoted by a trade association of appliance manufacturers, and while CADR ratings are useful, it’s their limitations that can mislead people shopping for effective purifiers:

 

  • Small Particle Filtration Effectiveness Not Shown – CADR numbers do not adequately inform customers of a purifier’s ability to filter out very small particles. Yet these are the most numerous, and often the most dangerous, pollutants. Looking at an air cleaner’s Clean Air Delivery Rate, you cannot tell how effective it is in dealing specifically with these tiniest bits of matter. Many air purifiers eliminate larger particles very well but are almost completely incapable of removing smaller ones from circulation.

 

  • Gas Filtration Not Measured – The test does absolutely nothing to measure a purifier’s ability to rid the air of gaseous pollutants, such as dangerous Volatile Organic Compounds. The three CADR numbers all refer to particulate pollution only, which is very different from gaseous pollution. Air purifiers vary wildly in their ability to deal with the latter. Because cleaning gas pollution requires different mechanisms from cleaning solid particle pollution, a purifier’s effectiveness at reducing gas is completely unrelated to its effectiveness at reducing particles.

 

  • Doesn’t Show Decline in Effectiveness Over Time – Because the test is so short, it does not account for the fact that some purifiers will decline in effectiveness over time.

 

  • Purifiers Run At Their Highest Settings – Fourth, in the ANSI/AHAM AC-1 test, purifiers are always run on their highest setting. But users will often use lower settings to reduce noise, and this can drastically reduce the efficiency of an air cleaner.

 

CADR Conclusion

 

  • CADR is one tool to measure the effectiveness of air purifiers. It should neither be ignored, nor considered the only important factor in determining the value of an air cleaner. Instead, potential customers should check for CADR numbers as one of a number of things to keep in mind, along with other factors such as long-term durability and the ability to filter out gasses and odors.

 

  • CADR only measures tobacco smoke, dust, and pollen

 

  • CADR formulas only measure the ability to remove 80% of tobacco smoke assuming one air exchange per hour

 

  • CADR does not measure the effectiveness of filtering the size of particles

 

5 Top Air Purifiers for COPD


 

Best Overall: BluAir 503 Hepa-Silent Air Purification System

 

Pros
  • Exceptionally quiet at low speed
  • Ability to clean air in large areas
  • Captures particles down to 0.1 micron
  • Energy Star-qualified
Cons
  • Noisy at high speed
  • Filters must be changed every six months

 

 

If you want an air cleaner that excels at both particle removal and odor suppression, the Blueair 503 is a top choice. It’s got the capacity to handle large rooms and clear them of allergens and other particles quickly.

You’ll want to spring for the optional SmokeStop filters if odor suppression is at the top of your list; they are judged to be highly effective. The Blueair 503 is also a quiet worker at all but the top speed. Despite the presence of an ion generator, no ozone is produced — another plus.

 

The Blueair 503 is a solid performer capable of cleaning moderately large rooms, such as a living room. Though not inexpensive — especially if you opt for the SmokeStop filters for better odor suppression — both the purchase price and ongoing operating costs are lower than some other well-regarded air cleaners. The Blueair is both fast and effective, tests say.

The five year warranty is another plus — but you’ll need to register (free) to get that and remember to change the filters as recommended.

 

 

Breaking it down

 

Performance

Noticeable improvement in air quality. The Blueair 503 is capable of filtering air from medium to large rooms, up to 580 square feet according to its AHAM rating, though some experts say that 400 square feet — or the size of a typical living room is more realistic.

Testing at TheSweetHome.com revealed that the 503 was the fastest of any air purifier tested, making it an especially good choice for busy spots. According to testers at one professional consumer organization, the Blueair 503 does an excellent job at removing dust, pollen and cigarette smoke at its highest setting, and a good job at the low setting.

The best results in removing odors requires use of the optional SmokeStop filters (Est. $150 per set), but with those in place, the 503 is competitive with the best air purifiers in that regard.

More than 70 percent of owners posting reviews to Amazon.com give this unit a perfect 5-star rating, and it earns an overall grade of 4.5-stars after 80 reviews.

Several owners point out that they notice a difference in allergy symptoms within hours of turning the unit on. The Blueair 503’s filter is capable of removing 99.7 percent of particles down to 0.1 microns in size.

Ease of use

Easy to use, simple filter changes. TEditors of AllergyBuyersClub.com give the Blueair 503 a perfect 5-star rating for ease of operation and filter changing.

The filters do require replacing every six months, although a filter-change indicator lets owners know when it’s time for a replacement and the task is said to be easy.

This air purifier weighs about 35 pounds, but caster wheels make the Blueair 503 easier to move from room to room.

Noise

Low noise in most regards. In one professional test, the Blueair 503 gets only a fair rating for noise level at the highest speed setting, but an excellent score for noise at the low setting.

However, Ed Sherbenou at Air-Purifier-Power.com says that at speeds where the 503 will most often be used by most owners, the noise level is actually relatively good compared to similar devices.

Most owners posting reviews to Amazon.com say the Blueair 503 is so quiet that it can be used in bedrooms at the lower speed settings without disturbing sleep. There are a few detractors who complain that it’s too loud, however.

Cost of ownership

Filter changes every six months add up. The Blueair 503 is one of the more expensive room air purifiers available, although it costs less than some other premium models, such as the IQAir New Edition HealthPro Plus.

Its filters (Est. $80 per set) must be changed every six months, which contributes to the overall cost of ownership — and that goes up even more if you opt for the SmokeStop filters instead.

The Blueair 503 is backed by a five-year warranty in case of defects or malfunctions, but you must register the air cleaner to qualify (free), and be able to prove that you’ve kept up with the filter replacement schedule, so hang on to your receipts.

 

 

 

Best Premium Air Purifier

 

The IQAir New Edition HealthPro Plus earns some mixed reviews, but it’s highly prized by experts and owners who are the most troubled by chemical sensitivities and odors.

 

 

Pluses include superior filtration that removes particles down to 0.003 microns in size – better than a HEPA filter. It can handle rooms up to 900 square feet.

 

Pros

  • Superior odor and chemical removal
  • Effectively removes allergens
  • Does not emit ozone

 

Cons

  • High operating costs
  • Not as effective in removing particles

Bottom line

The IQAir New Edition HealthPro Plus gets rave reviews from many experts and owners for its superior allergen-removal capabilities, though a lukewarm reception from some for its particle removal effectiveness and its cost. The latest version of this air cleaner is rated to remove particles even smaller in size than standard HEPA filters can handle, though that performance is not always borne out in testing.

 

The Plus portion of this unit is the addition of a V5 filter for odor and chemical removal, and the HealthPro Plus is a top choice in that regard. Though this New Edition is quieter than previous models, some reviewers say it still gets pretty loud on the highest setting.

 

Breaking it down

Performance

Great for odors, so-so on particles. Multiple reviews, both professional and owner-written, say the IQAir New Edition HealthPro Plus is a terrific choice for those suffering from chemical sensitivities.

It’s been revamped with a HyperHEPA filter to capture particles tinier than a normal HEPA filter can — down to 0.003 microns in size, but well-documented testing by The SweetHome.com reveals only okay results when it comes to removing particles from the air.

IQAir is the educational partner for the American Lung Association and was used by the Hong Kong Hospital Authority during the 2003 SARS outbreak.

Ease of use

Advanced controls with presetting features. The IQAir New Edition HealthPro Plus comes in sturdy packaging and is easy to set up. The package includes optional casters for moving the unit from place to place easily if needed. The IQAir New Edition HealthPro Plus offers advanced controls that are intuitive to use, navigating the unit’s six speed settings and other features.

Editors at AllergyBuyersClub.com say, “While we did not see the need for the remote control, we were impressed with the ability to set the machine to go on and off at certain pre-designated times and fan speeds. The four key touch pad displays the programming timer status, filter life and status, and fan speed.”

Noise

New Edition is quieter, thanks to upgrades. A few owners and experts say this air purifier can be loud when run on its highest setting. Upgrades over the previous IQAir HealthPro Plus reportedly made the current version 32 percent quieter.

Cost of Ownership

Multiple filters to replace. The IQAir New Edition HealthPro Plus is expensive, and it has several filters that need to be replaced periodically: the prefilter (Est. $80) every six to 18 months, gas and odor filter (Est. $90) every one to two years and the HyperHEPA filter (Est. $200) every two to four years.

 

 

A few reviews point out that, because the filters are all on different replacement schedules, it does offset the cost of having to replace multiple filters simultaneously. In one test, energy consumption was a serious concern as it used considerably more power than competing models.

 

 

Best Cheap Air Purifier

 

The Whirlpool AP51030K Whispure air purifier is one of the quietest air purifiers available — it’s even tolerable for nighttime use at its lower speed setting.

 

 

Despite its low price, The Whispure is very effective at removing dust and allergens from the air. It uses both HEPA and carbon filters for removing light odors and chemicals.

 

Pros
  • Great pollen/dust/smoke clearing
  • Includes HEPA and carbon filters
  • Quiet
Cons
  • Costly replacement filters
  • Carbon prefilter works for light odors only
  • Air output can feel drafty

 

Bottom line

 

The Whirlpool AP51030K Whispure air purifier is a solid performer that costs less up front than some premium air cleaners, although it’s less effective than some in clearing odors or chemicals from the air.

But when it comes to particle removal, the Whispure is top-rated in professional reviews and gets excellent ratings from owners, who say there’s a noticeable difference in air quality and a reduction in allergy symptoms. Another plus is that the electronic controls make it a cinch to use.

 

Breaking it Down

Performance

Noticeable improvement in air quality. The Whirlpool AP51030K Whispure air purifier gets top marks in one major test, where it exceeds expectations for filtering dust, pollen and cigarette smoke out of the air on high and low fan speeds.

Ed Sherbenou of Air-Purifier-Power.com isn’t impressed by its effectiveness at getting rid of odors or chemicals, but does say that it is “a good choice for seasonal pollen, housedust, or mold allergy sufferers.”

Editors at AllergyBuyersClub.com say the Whispure “significantly reduced the particle count in the room” and note its “impressive” ability to clean large rooms considering the size of the unit.

Hundreds of owners contributing to sites like Amazon.com concur, noting that the Whirlpool AP51030K Whispure noticeably reduces dust particles in rooms and eliminates allergy and asthma symptoms.

Ease of use

Intuitive electronic controls. The Whirlpool Whispure is easy to use, with electronic controls and a “nicely-labeled” dashboard, according to editors at AllergyBuyersClub.com. Editors also point out the convenience of the five-stage filter status indicator, noting that it lets you know when the filter is reaching the end of its life in ample time to order or purchase a replacement. Owners posting feedback at user review sites say the controls are simple to use and appreciate the various options for fan speed, which aids in noise control.

Noise

Quieter than most, even on highest setting. This Whirlpool air purifier is quieter than other air cleaners on both its high and low settings; it was the quietest portable air conditioner tested in one expert test and receives praise from editors at AllergyBuyersClub.com for its quiet operation. Most user reviews concur, though some dissenting voices can be seen at Amazon.com

Cost of ownership

Expensive replacement filters. The initial cost of this air purifier is less than that of premium air cleaners. However, replacement filters are expensive and can wind up costing as much as half of the original purchase price per year, Sherbenou says. The Whispure’s five-year warranty is good, and should offer some peace of mind for owners.

 

 

Best Air Purifier for Small Rooms

 

The Honeywell 50250-S is an effective option that’s rated for small spaces up to about 390 feet.

 

 

It offers excellent performance at removing dust, pollen and smoke at its high speed and still performs well at its lower speeds.

This Honeywell is one of the least expensive air purifiers available, and its HEPA filter is long lasting and inexpensive to replace.

Pros
  • Low purchase price
  • Good dust/pollen/smoke removal
  • Long lasting, cheap filters
Cons
  • Small coverage area
  • Noisy on high speed
  • Not Energy Star-qualified

Bottom line

The Honeywell 50250-S is best used in small spaces, and does a good job of removing dust and other allergens from the air.

The biggest complaint surrounding this unit is that it’s noisy, noticeable even at low speeds.

A near identical version, the Honeywell 50250-N, is said to have permanent filters, but that’s more marketing than reality as its filters, too, need to be replaced. That matters little as the filters in both models last a long time and are relatively cheap.

 

 

Breaking it down

Performance

Good for small rooms. The Honeywell 50250-S is best used in small rooms as it’s not powerful enough to clean rooms with larger capacity.

The Honeywell air purifier takes in air from all sides of its cylindrical design, expelling clean air out the top, but it doesn’t pull as much air through its HEPA filter as more expensive models, such as the Blueair 503, experts say.

Still, notes Ed Sherbenou of Air-Purifier-Power.com, this air cleaner offers “a lot of power for the money.” Testers from one professional consumer testing organization say the Honeywell 50250 is excellent at removing dust, pollen and cigarette smoke at its high setting, and also does a good job at the low setting.

Ease of use

Easy use with filter indicator lights. Filter indicator lights let users know when it’s time to change out — or at least vacuum — the filter for maximum performance.

The unit itself is fairly large, according to Sherbenou, and it needs to sit a minimum of three feet away from a wall. Therefore, it will take up some available space in the room.

It’s lightweight (just 20 pounds) and has a carrying handle at the top for easy transfer from room to room. Replacement filters are easy to find online or in stores.

Noise

Noticeable noise on low, quite loud on high. Sherbenou praises the Honeywell’s cleaning power, but says he rarely will use it in his bedroom because of the noise.

One professional testing organization gives the Honeywell 50250 a rating of Poor for its noise level at the highest fan speed setting, and a slightly better rating of Good for noise at the lower speed settings.

Cost of Ownership

Affordable filters, low up-front cost. The Honeywell’s long-lasting HEPA filter should be vacuumed twice a year, but Sherbenou says it will eventually have to be replaced.

The Honeywell also uses an odor-reducing carbon prefilter (Est. $15) that should be replaced every three months. It’s not Energy Star qualified, but power draw isn’t terrible — about as much as two standard light bulbs, Sherbenou says.

 

 

 

Best Furnace Filter

 

Furnace filters such as the Filtrete Ultimate Allergen 1900 cost significantly less than air purifiers, and experts say they can be just as effective for many users.

The Ultimate Allergen 1900 is part of a series of Filtrete filters that are designed to remove coarse to fine particles from the air distributed by a hot air heating system and/or central air conditioning.

Owners say they notice a difference in allergy symptoms, and these filters add zero noise to the home.

 

Pros
  • Treats whole house
  • Excellent at capturing dust and pollen
  • Good at removing cigarette smoke
  • Maintains good airflow
Cons
  • Pro-installed filters trap smoke better
  • Can’t be used with hot-water heating systems
 

Bottom line

Slipping a filter into your home’s forced-air heating/cooling system is one of the most effective and least expensive ways to clean the air, experts say — sometimes eliminating the need for a stand-alone air purifier.

The Filtrete Ultimate Allergen 1900 gets excellent reviews from both professional review sources and users, with many noting a significant reduction in allergy symptoms.

 

 

Breaking it down

Performance

Excellent at removing allergens and smoke. Filtrete filters, including the Ultimate Allergen 1900, do an excellent job of trapping dust and pollen in one expert comparison test and a good job at cigarette smoke removal, too.

The 1900 in the model number is its microparticle rating, with higher numbers indicating a finer microparticle removal capability.

Filtrete filters are available with ratings as low as 600 MPR all the way to 2,400 MPR (microparticle rating). All rate well in user reviews, and several, including the Ultimate Allergen 1900, score well with the pros as well. Anecdotally, users report that they dust less, sneeze less and need less allergy medicine after they installed a Filtrete filter in their home heating/cooling systems.

Ease of use

No stand-alone air purifier unit required. Filtrete filters (made of pleated electrostatically charged fiber) are inexpensive, disposable and easy to find at discount and home improvement stores. They work in an existing furnace to replace standard furnace filters for a higher level of filtration.

All of the Filtrete filters allow very good airflow to the furnace, according to one expert test, but you should change the filter every three months to keep it from clogging up.

The most common issue cited by owners posting feedback to Amazon.com, however, is that these filters may cause some furnaces to overheat.

Noise

Zero additions to home noise levels. One major benefit of Filtrete filters, which work with an existing furnace, is that they don’t add any additional noise to the home. This is true of all furnace filters. In fact, one professional testing organization doesn’t even offer ratings for noise levels on do-it-yourself furnace filters, whereas room air purifiers are rated for noise levels at both low and high settings in the same review.

Cost of Ownership

Costly among furnace filters, but worth it. Filtrete filters vary in cost depending on their size and MPR rating, and some cheaper still options are available, but the majority of owners posting feedback to Amazon.com are more than happy to pay the additional cost for the allergy relief these provide. One professional review notes that while the filter price is relatively high, overall operating costs are relatively low.

The manufacturer rates the filters as having a three-month life span. Compared to a stand-alone air purifier, which can cost several hundred to well over one thousand dollars and still require periodic filter replacements, Filtrete filters seem reasonably priced, many say.

 

 

 
 
Remember that doctors often advise you to limit your exposure to pollutants in the air that can aggravate COPD. From dust and pollen to paint fumes and chemical vapors, a wide variety of particulate can inflame airways and worsen breathing conditions.
 
HEPA air purifiers help to reduce these things by filtering out these pollutants, both particulate and chemical vapors. Keeping your house clean and reducing dust are also basic but helpful measures that can help anyone coping with COPD.

Using a HEPA filter in your home can remove most airborne particles that might make COPD worse. But the particles suspended in air are not the only ones in your home.

There are far more in your rugs, bedding, and drapes, and resting on countertops and tabletops, so it’s important to keep these areas clean. It’s also important, when possible, to get rid of the source of irritants. For example, the only effective way to keep tobacco smoke out of your home is to not smoke.

Walk-In Lab Allergy Test

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

Air purifiers can be an important part of a plan to remove irritating particles from your home.

Removing irritating particles from your home should also include:

  • Vacuuming frequently
  • Replacing carpets with wood, tile, or vinyl flooring
  • Keeping pets outdoors if you are allergic to pet dander or at least away from your sleeping area
  • Changing bedding frequently and washing sheets in hot water
  • Replacing draperies and curtains with roll up shades
  • Using plastic covers over mattresses and pillows

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas.  I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Simple Steps to Ease Your Allergies at Home

Physical Signs That You Need to Test Your Indoor Air Quality

Natural Options For Managing Asthma

Oxygen Therapy for COPD

Portable Air Conditioners – What to Consider

The Most Effective Stop Smoking Aids