Monday, July 20, 2009

Health Tips for July 20

Health Tip: Breathe Fresh Air at Home

If the air inside your home is dirty, you and your housemates can have symptoms including headache, dizziness, asthma and allergy symptoms, and fatigue.

The National Women's Health Information Center offers these suggestions to keep the air in your home clean:

  • When using chemicals such as paint or paint thinner, open the windows and keep the area well-ventilated.
  • Use a humidifier or dehumidifier to keep humidity levels between 30 percent and 50 percent.
  • If you use a humidifier, clean it and replace the water daily to prevent the growth of mold and mildew in the appliance.
  • Use an exhaust fan in the kitchen and bathroom, and vent clothes dryers outside.
  • If rugs or carpets get wet, quickly have them cleaned to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria.
  • Clean your home regularly, being careful to remove dust and any other allergens.

Health Tip: Understanding Hay Fever

Hay fever -- an allergic reaction to pollen -- is what causes the runny eyes, sneezing, swelling and itching that makes you miserable when you head outside.

Hay fever worsens when outdoor trees, shrubs and other plants are pollinating, says the American Lung Association.

While anyone can have hay fever, it does tend to run in families, the association says. People who have been exposed to the pollens that trigger hay fever may quickly become more sensitive to these allergens.

The best thing you can do to prevent hay fever is to avoid the pollens that trigger it. Try to stay inside with an air conditioner and an air purifier running, and take an antihistamine to help manage symptoms. People with severe hay fever, if they need to be outdoors for long periods, should consider wearing a dust mask, the association says.

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