Here's what to do about spring allergies
About 60 million Americans may perhaps be excused if they do not share in the raptures of spring.
estimated number of people who suffer from allergies to spring pollens.
Studies by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, in New
Orleans, suggest that the duration of the suffering season seems to be
increasing. One surprising reason: More trees than 100 years ago.
Most allergy sufferers have itchy, watery, red eyes during the allergy
season. Eye problems are a neurological reflex that starts in the nose,
travels to the brain and back to the eyes and nose again.
Doctors at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, N.Y., say sufferers
first try to treat themselves with over-the-counter medications. There
are many effective eye drops, such as mast cell stabilizing agents,
antihistamines and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for relieving
One caution: Using decongestant eye drops (as
opposed to simple saline drops) for a long period of time can lead to
increased pressure in the eye. Chronic use could lead to glaucoma.
If over-the-counter meds don't relieve your allergy symptoms, see your
doctor. Many prescription drugs are available.
prescription nasal sprays shrink swollen nasal passages.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are also a variety of prescription
antihistamines and leukotriene inhibitors that may work for you. Short
term oral steroids can be prescribed for those with severe symptoms.
Adults and children who are tired of their spring and fall allergies,
and their efforts to treat them, should consider allergy shots. After
taking them twice a month for six months, a maintenance shot is given
once a month for two to five years. In time, you may not need shots at
'Eat down the fridge'
It's an expression borrowed from the Great Depression
era that means eating foods you already have instead of buying more.
The idea is a healthy one, since the largest percentage of food thrown
away is made up of vegetables and fruit. Kim O'Donnel, author of The
Meatlover's Meatless Cookbook, challenges you to be resourceful for a
week or longer in order to reduce food waste.
According to Jonathan Bloom in his book, American Wasteland, Americans
annually throw away about 197 pounds of food per person.
Low-dose aspirin reduced cancer risk, study finds
A heart disease study has produced surprising results
about cancer. Researchers followed more than 25,000 study subjects who
took low-dose aspirin (or placebo) to see if it lowered their risk of
heart disease. Researchers were surprised to discover that cancer risk
was reduced by 21 percent in those who took aspirin.
The five-year study, reported in Time, suggests that aspirin might
become a tool for cancer prevention.
New lupus drug gets approval from FDA panel
The first new lupus treatment in more than 50 years
has been recommended for approval by an FDA advisory panel.
The drug, Benlysta, was developed by Human Genome Sciences, and is
expected to be a big seller.
An estimated 1.5 million
Americans have been diagnosed with lupus. It can cause painful
inflammation and tissue damage almost anywhere in the body.
Benlysta has been shown to hold off flare-ups. Rheumatologists say the
new drug is "incredibly important."
Exercise strengthens bones, holds off osteoporosis
Several studies show a strong association between
exercise and improvements in bone mineral density. Because bone is
living tissue, certain types of exercise can make it stronger.
The pull of muscle on bone stimulates the bone to grow, incorporate
minerals and become stronger. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking,
jogging, racket sports and volleyball, make bone and muscle work
together to build strength.
A combination of
weight-bearing exercise and resistance-training exercise additionally
builds up the muscles that support the skeleton, improving posture and
improving balance to help avoid falls that lead to fractures
Professional carpet cleaning is good for your carpet and your health
Steam cleaning is the most thorough method of carpet
cleaning and most likely to restore the lush appearance of your carpet.
Even traffic wear can sometimes be prevented.
the vacuum cleaner and using a store-bought carpet shampoo machine can't
remove deep dirt particles from between the carpet fibers. The particles
are sharp and you press on fibers when you walk on the carpet. Fibers
can be cut, which results in wear patterns and a shortened carpet life.
Professional deep cleaning removes allergens such as those caused by
dust mites living deep in the carpet and pollen from trees, grass and
Children and adults who have asthma or
allergies will feel better and be less likely to get a respiratory
infection after these allergens are removed.