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How to Protect Yourself Against Desert Pollens & Stay Allergy Symptom Free This Spring

Spring, that much awaited season, has arrived! Most of us look forward to the change of season with the ushering of new growth and warmer temperatures. Unfortunately, not everybody can enjoy spring to the fullest by spending time in the open, playing or working in the yard or garden. There are many people suffering from allergies in Arizona who can’t spend time outdoors without experiencing the unpleasant and frustrating allergy symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, congestion, headaches and even skin reactions.

Many people believe that by relocating to a desert state they will be less prone to spring allergies. The truth is that you can’t be sure about that. One thing is certain: there are desert pollens in Arizona that cause spring allergies.

What Are the Most Common Trees and Plants that Produce Desert Pollen?

According to the University of Arizona’s health and sciences center, allergies in Arizona and the Tucson area may be caused by many trees and plants during March, April and May, including the following:
Juniper
Cypress
Ash tree
Mulberry
Some ragweed species
Bermuda grass
Rabbit bush
Desert marigold

Common Allergies: Cedar Fever

Cedar fever is one of the most common types of allergies caused by desert pollens, specifically by cypress and juniper pollen. There are many cypresses and junipers in Arizona, so if you’re experiencing the typical spring allergy symptoms, including low-grade fever, it might be cedar fever. So, if you live closely or in the proximity of these trees, and are suffering from spring allergy, it’s best to be prepared.

Find Allergy Relief

Millions of people in the U.S., many of them in Arizona, suffer from pollen allergy symptoms, which most commonly trigger allergic rhinitis or hay fever. If you’re one of them, now there’s a way you can become allergy symptom free this spring and the springs to come. Absolute Health offers an advanced therapy that can relieve or considerably alleviate allergy symptoms. Our treatment is completely non-invasive, pain free and suitable for everyone-from children to adults and seniors.

At Absolute Health we offer an advanced therapy that can help relieve or significantly reduce the symptoms associated with desert pollen’s.  This treatment is non-invasive and does not include needles, supplements or medications.  It is completely pain-free and available to all ages, including infants.  If you suffer from ragweed allergy symptoms, please call our office today at 480-991-9945 and find out how we can help.

Is Ragweed Making You Sneeze?

10-20% of Americans suffer with a reaction to Ragweed. For the people who are reactive to pollens, 75% of them will be reactive to ragweed.

Symptoms can include runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes, nose and throat.  The unofficial kickoff of ragweed season starts August 15th.  The season can last until the frost finally kills the plant.  So the season can be longer in some areas than others.

There are 17 species of ragweed that grow in the US.  Ragweed grows in every state in the US, but the East coast and the Midwest are the hardest hit by ragweed season.  It grows in fields along roadsides, in vacant city lots, yards, etc.  Whether you are in the city or in the country, you will most likely get exposed to ragweed as it is found in abundance in every region of the US, to some degree.

Pollen released from ragweed is the most responsible substance for late summer and early fall runny nose and sneezing symptoms. Towards the end of summer, as nights grow a bit longer and the plants have matured, they are ready to release the pollens. The warmth and humidly after sunrise ensure the release of the pollen into the wind where they can travel for miles.

The pollen grains are very small and lightweight so can travel great distances. Ragweed pollen has been measured in the air 400 miles out to sea and 2 miles up in the atmosphere, but the concentrations are highest near the source of the pollen, which can grow anywhere. Most people will have some exposure to ragweed pollen, even those who do not have it growing in their immediate area.

The good news is that the plant will only live for one season. However, it must release pollen in order to live to the next season in a new plant, so will produce a very high level of pollens to ensure its survival. An average ragweed plant can produce over one million-pollen grains every day and up to one billion pollen grains in the single season of its lifetime. Ragweed seeds can live for decades in the soil and then begin to grow when conditions are right.

If you suffer from symptoms when exposed to ragweed, be prepared for the upcoming ragweed season. Peak pollen times are between 10am – 4pm so try to do any yard work outside of these times to reduce your exposure when outside. Keep your windows closed with the air conditioning on to further reduce your exposure but be aware that ragweed pollen can also get inside your house by sticking to your clothing, shoes, bags, and pets.

There are numerous websites available that will list the pollen levels for different parts of the country. If you want to see what the levels are in your immediate area, pulled up by zip code, try www.pollens.com for a complete listing of pollens and the daily level.

Ragweed season will only last for a few months and then it will be gone again, until next year.

At Absolute Health we offer an advanced therapy that can help relieve or significantly reduce the symptoms associated with ragweed allergies.  This treatment is non-invasive and does not include needles, supplements or medications.  It is completely pain-free and available to all ages, including infants.  If you suffer from ragweed allergy symptoms, please call our office today at 480-991-9945 and find out how we can help.

Corn Sensitivity?

We are a country that eats a lot of corn and corn products.    The United States grows more corn than any other country in the world.  The Corn Belt in the US is the leading corn grower and grows more than 35% of the world’s corn.  However, only a small percentage of the corn is actually eaten “off the cob” like we did when we were kids.  Times have changed and so has corn.

Corn can be used in a multitude of ways and can be found in numerous products that stock our shelves.

The obvious items that contain corn:

  • Corn alcohol, corn gluten
  • Corn extract
  • Corn flour
  • Corn oil, corn oil margarine
  • Corn starch
  • Corn sweetener, corn sugar, HFCS
  • Corn syrup, corn syrup solids
  • Corn, popcorn, cornmeal
  • Cornstarch, corn flour

If you weren’t aware, corn is a hugely subsidized crop, to the tune of 77 billion dollars from 1995-2010.  Obviously, there is a huge incentive to grow it.  Because there is an abundance of corn and it is cheap, new ways of using it are constantly being researched and discovered.   So it is no surprise that corn can be found throughout America’s diet, from packaged foods to sugary drinks/sodas to medications to personal care products to the meat that we eat.  We are constantly exposed to corn and for those who have a corn sensitivity, staying away from it can be difficult.

Many people are sensitive to corn and suffer with symptoms when they eat or are exposed to corn in other ways.  This is an issue that is on the rise and affects millions of Americans.  Corn sensitivities can present with a wide range of symptoms such as:

  • Eczema
  • Runny Nose
  • Stuffy Nose
  • Fatigue
  • Tired after eating
  • Headaches / migraines
  • Sinus Problems
  • IBS symptoms
  • Stomach aches
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Gas / Bloating
  • Diarrhea

People can take corn, and the obvious items that contain corn, out of their diet and this will reduce the symptoms associated with a corn sensitivity.  However, this does not always reduce all of the symptoms as corn is hidden in so many items that people are exposed to on a daily basis.  It is extremely difficult to remove all of the daily corn exposure as corn has permeated our diet and our lives over the past several decades.  Exposure to corn can be hidden in items that people didn’t even realize had corn in it, so total avoidance can get extremely tricky.

If you think you don’t eat corn, think again.  Did you know that corn or corn derivates can be found in these items?

  • Adhesives and gummed papers (envelopes, stamps, stickers, tapes)
  • Beef
  • Body powders
  • Breath spray and candies
  • Charcoal briquettes
  • Chicken
  • Condiments (mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup)
  • Cosmetics
  • Dairy products (cottage cheese, cheese, sour cream)
  • Deodorants
  • French Fries
  • Frozen fruit and vegetables
  • Hair products (spray, mousse and gels)
  • Liquid herbs and spices
  • Margarine
  • Meat products (hot dogs, sausage)
  • Paper containers (boxes, cups, plates)
  • Peanut butter
  • Plastic containers (food containers, cups, plates)
  • Pork
  • Salad dressings
  • Soaps and dishwashing detergents
  • Suntan lotions
  • Teas
  • Toothpaste
  • Vitamins

It is not possible to list all of the items that contain corn here, as the list would be too long.  We have only listed a very small sampling for your review.  However, there are numerous websites that contain research and complete lists of all of the items that contain corn.   If you or someone you know suffers with symptoms associated with a corn sensitivity, we urge you to please pass this information on to them as it may be beneficial to start learning about all of the places that corn can be hidden. It is surprising to see the full lists and find out everywhere that corn is now found.

The symptoms associated with corn sensitivities can be difficult to deal with, as avoidance is very tricky.  After seeing the small sampling of items that contain corn, hopefully it is easy to see why this particular sensitivity can be so challenging.

At Absolute Health, we offer an advanced therapy that can help relieve or significantly reduce the symptoms associated with corn allergies.  This treatment is non-invasive and does not include needles, supplements or medications.  It is completely pain-free and available to all ages, including infants.  If you suffer from corn allergy symptoms, please call our office today at 480-991-9945 and find out how we can help.

Dairy Sensitivity?

Dairy is delicious.  We are often encouraged to eat dairy for our health, as it is a good source of calcium.    It comes in many yummy varieties, like cheese, milk, yogurt, ice cream, plus the many foods they can be found in, such as creamy sauces and batters.  Unfortunately for many people, they cannot enjoy eating any foods containing dairy without getting symptoms.

Symptoms can vary from a variety of different digestive disturbances to skin rashes or eczema to congestion. Some people experience these symptoms every time they try to enjoy items with dairy in them.   Millions of Americans suffer with this issue every day.  Some symptoms are mild or annoying while others can be very uncomfortable or even painful.

When most people think about dairy sensitivities, they tend to only think about lactose. However, people can also react to numerous other items within dairy as well, such as casein or whey.  In addition to regular dairy items, it is also common to find some dairy within a variety of items as added flavor, emulsifications or proteins, such as:

Potato chips

Cereals

Breads

Bread Crumbs

Crackers

Mayonnaise

Protein bars and shakes

Deli Meats

Granola

Salad dressings

Sauces

Baby Formulas

Dessert toppings

Vegetarian cheeses and meat substitutes

Dairy by products can also be found in vitamins, supplements, lotions, soaps and cosmetics.

The most common form of treatment for dairy sensitivities is total avoidance.  However, that can be a difficult option for most people, as many people do not want to avoid dairy products.  If an avoidance diet is tried, remember to give it at least a few weeks to see if the symptoms are better off of dairy.  Many people will only do the avoidance diet for a few days and then not see a change in their symptoms so they return to eating dairy.  Also, don’t try other new foods while on an avoidance diet. Focus on one item at a time or it will be difficult to determine what items are causing what symptoms.

At Absolute Health, we offer an advanced therapy that can help relieve or significantly reduce the symptoms associated with dairy allergies.  This treatment is non-invasive and does not include needles, supplements or medications.  It is completely pain-free and available to all ages, including infants.  If you suffer from dairy allergy symptoms, please call our office today at 480-991-9945 and find out how we can help.

Get Outside This Spring

Spring is finally here!  The weather is warming up, which means it’s time to begin planting flowers in the garden, doing lawn preparation or just spending time outside enjoying the warm weather.  It is lovely to be surrounded by all of the plants and trees that are in full bloom at this time of the year.  However, if you are like the millions of people in the US who suffer with seasonal allergy symptoms, the downside of spending time outside can be the itchy eyes, running nose and sneezing that can take out the fun out of enjoying this time of year.

Tree pollens are already in the air.  Grass pollens and then weed pollens will follow them.  Windy, sunny or clear days will often be worse for people with seasonal allergy symptoms than wet, cloudy or windless days because pollens travel more easily when there is no dampness in the air.  Keep this in mind as you prepare for outdoor yard work or play.

The good news is that most garden-variety flowers and brightly colored, fragrant flowering trees don’t cause very many symptoms.  Their pollen is heavier and is dependent upon insects to carry the pollen from plant to plant.  Heavier, visible pollen is usually not the culprit for the typical springtime allergic reactions.  The plants and trees that cause the bulk of the allergy symptoms are from those whose pollen is windborne and have more non-descript looking flowers.  The pollens that are carried by the wind are usually very lightweight and almost invisible to the eye but can pack a serious punch on the sinuses.

A major issue with pollens these days is that the majority of plants, trees and shrubs planted in urban areas are male.  Male plants produce the pollen grains that cause the majority of seasonal allergy symptoms.  Homeowners and developers select the male plants because they are low maintenance and do not produce seedpods or fruits that leave such a mess in yards and surrounding areas.   The most intensely pollen producing plants are being planted simply because they don’t make a mess.  They are being planted around most business developments, schools and hospitals as well as suburban housing developments.   With more urban development occurring and more male pollen producing plants being planted, allergy symptoms will continue to rise.

Compounding the pollen issue in the spring is the fact that greenhouse gases are having a big impact on increasing pollen production, contributing to the global increase in allergy symptoms.  As things heat up, pollen production increases as well.

Plant pollens are not the only trigger for gardeners as they prepare their lawns.  Mold and mildew play a big role in seasonal symptoms because their spores affect people in the springtime as well as year round.  Mold can be found in the new soil that is brought in for yard plantings or in the mulch that is used in garden beds.   Also please remember, if you are composting, molds are in the compost pile as well.

Springtime is a great time of year and should be enjoyed by everyone, even people who suffer with symptoms associated with allergies and sensitivities. At Absolute Health, LLC we offer an advanced therapy that can help relieve or significantly reduce the symptoms associated with the springtime pollen season.  This treatment is non-invasive and does not include needles, supplements or medications.  It is completely pain-free and available to all ages, including infants.  If you suffer from springtime allergy symptoms, please call our office today at 480-991-9945 and find out how we can help.

Are You Ready For Spring Allergy Season?

Springtime is just around the corner and that means that seasonal allergies will be in full swing very soon.   Spring is such a beautiful time of year and it can be a great time to be outside.  However, thousands of people dread springtime because for them it can be debilitating.  Some people are forced to stay inside just so they can breathe.  Many experience non-stop symptoms of sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, congestion, and runny nose with a foggy head or headache when they simply walk outdoors.    Others may be luckier and only experience some of the symptoms associated with springtime allergies.
The most common triggers of springtime allergy symptoms are pollens, grasses, and trees.  Tree pollens are what often affect the early springtime sufferers. The time and duration of springtime allergy symptoms are determined by the species of tree causing the reaction.  Trees are the earliest pollen producers of the year, releasing their pollen as early as March and as late as June.  Trees can aggravate allergy symptoms, even if they are not on your property, since trees release large amounts of pollen that can travel miles away from the original source.
When springtime allergy symptoms are high, other common, year-round triggers such as mold, dust and dust mites, animal dander and cockroaches can affect some people even more than they do during other times of year.  That happens because more of a burden is placed on an already stressed immune system during this time of the year.

Common springtime allergy symptoms include:
Sneezing
Itchy, red or watery eyes
Runny nose
Congestion
Fatigue
Headaches
Skin reactions

If you suffer from any of the above symptoms, you are not alone.   Pollen allergies affect nearly 19 million people in the US alone with one of the main symptoms being allergic rhinitis, affecting between 10% and 30% of all adults and as many as 40% of all children.

Spring allergy season hit us extremely hard last year because the amount of pollen floating around was four times greater than usual.  Pollen is measured in grains per cubic meter.  For trees, 1,500 grains of pollen per cubic meter is considered high. Last spring, areas along the East Coast measured 6,000 grains per cubic meter.  There is no way to predict if pollen counts this year will be as high as they were last spring since daily and seasonal weather conditions affect the pollen counts and make it difficult to make precise predictions more than a few days in advance. 

If you have ever experienced springtime allergy symptoms, then you should prepare for allergy season and consider addressing your symptoms early.  Why suffer through another spring season? At Absolute Health we offer an advanced therapy that can help relieve or significantly reduce the symptoms associated with pollen season.  This treatment is non-invasive and does not include needles, supplements or medications.  It is completely pain-free and available to all ages, including infants.  If you suffer from springtime allergy symptoms, please call our office today at 480-991-9945 and find out how we can help.

Dust and Dust Mites

Dust and dust mites are very common triggers for a variety of respiratory symptoms. People with reactions to house dust usually also have reactions to house dust mites and dust mite excrement as well.  

Some commonly found items in house dust are: ash, animal and human dander, animal and human hair, cotton fibers, fingernail filings, food crumbs, fungal and mold spores, glass particles, glue, graphite, insect fragments and excrement, soot, paint chips, paper fibers, parts of plants, pollens, polymer foam particles, salt and sugar crystals, silk fibers, stone particles, tobacco, wood shavings and wool fibers.   

According to Darryl C. Zeldin, acting director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Services, 18% to 30% of Americans are allergic or sensitive to the waste products of dust mites, and almost 50% of American homes have allergen levels that are high enough to cause sensitivity in people who were not previously allergic to dust mites. In other words, high levels of dust mites and their excrement can cause previously non-allergic people to develop an allergy or sensitivity. 

 According to the American College of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology, approximately 10 percent of Americans exhibit allergic sensitivity to dust mites.

Dust and Dust Mite are present all year so their associated symptoms can be present year round as well.  The symptoms can become worse during times of the year when the house is closed.  The dust mite excrement can become airborne when someone walks over the carpet, sits in a favorite chair or shakes out blankets, making symptoms worse in people who are reactive.   Closing the house during cold weather can cause a larger concentration of dust mites and dust mite excrement to accumulate inside, increasing symptoms for people during cooler seasons of the year.  Symptoms can also be made worse in the spring when pollens can further aggravate respiratory reactions.

House dust mites are too small to be visible to the naked eye.  They live on dead skin cells, commonly called dander, that are shed from humans and their pets.  Very high concentrations of dust mites are most often in mattresses, pillows, frequently used furniture and carpeted areas.  The average person sloughs off 1/3 of an ounce of dead skin every week, which can give the mites a nice meal on a regular basis.

If you have a sensitivity to dust mites, change your pillow at least once a year.  Research has shown that a two-year-old pillow can contain 10% of its weight from dead mites, their excrement as well as fungi.    In 2005, The University of Manchester did a study on pillows and found 16 different species of fungi in a single pillow.  They tested feather and synthetic pillows of various ages, finding thousands of spores of fungus per gram of pillow.    

According to the Mayo Clinic, the following symptoms are common in people who are reactive to dust and dust mites:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy, red or watery eyes
  • Nasal congestion
  • Itchy nose, roof of mouth or throat
  • Postnasal drip
  • Cough
  • Facial pressure and pain
  • Frequent awakening
  • Swollen, blue-colored skin under the eyes
  • In a child, frequent upward rubbing of the nose

Here are some things you can do to decrease your overall exposure to dust mites in the bedroom, as that is where over 1/3 of the dust mite exposure happens.  Remember, a typical used mattress may have anywhere from 100,000 to 10 million dust mites inside it.

  1. Try vacuuming the mattress or using dust mite covers for your beds and pillows.  
  2. Wash your sheets, pillows and blankets in very hot water. Cold and warm water won’t kill mites.  For fabric that can’t be washed in hot water; just pop it into the freezer for 24 to 48 hours to kill dust mites.
  3. Reduce temperature and humidity: Keep the thermostat in the house below 70 degrees and if possible keep humidity below 50%.
  4. Clean weekly: Change pillowcases, sheets, and blankets weekly.   
  5. Don’t make your bed:  A study by Kingston University shows that simply leaving your bed unmade each morning, exposing the sheets to the air and allowing them to dry out causes a substantial reduction in the number of dust mites.
  6. Children’s soft cloth toys: Regularly place soft toys in the freezer for 24 hours before you wash them, or wash them in hot water.
  7. Get an Air Purifier: While it is better to stop the dust mites at the source, reducing the dust levels in the air is a good secondary measure.
  8. Furnace Air Filters: Clean or replace the air filters on your furnace or air conditioner at least once a month.

At Absolute Health, LLC we offer an advanced therapy that can help relieve or significantly reduce the many symptoms associated with dust and dust mites.  This treatment is non-invasive and does not include needles, supplements or medications.  It is completely pain-free and available to all ages, including infants.  If you suffer with symptoms caused by dust and dust mites, please call our office today at 480-991-9945 and find out how we can help.