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Allergies Archive

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Respiratory health harms often follow flooding: Taking these steps can help

Published November 9, 2022

Flooding due to major storms or heavy rains can harm lung health, both from toxic contaminants that end up in the air and from the growth of mold caused by dampness. Taking steps to prevent flooding when possible and moving quickly to reduce health risks if flooding occurs can help protect your family’s health.

Beyond hot flashes

Published September 1, 2022

Around menopause, a decline in estrogen can trigger low-grade inflammation that leads to unexpected symptoms from head to toe. Symptoms can affect the digestive tract, skin, joints, eyes, ears, and heart, among other areas. A 2022 study found that estrogen loss can even fuel the jaw pain known as temporomandibular disorder. A year or longer can pass before many women connect symptoms with menopause. Women can take lifestyle measures to lower inflammation, such as eating more fruits and vegetables, avoiding processed foods, and exercising.

Poison ivy: Scratchin’ like a hound?

Published August 17, 2022

Misconceptions about poison ivy are common — from when you can get it to how you might get it, and the best ways to treat it. Knowing the facts can help you avoid it, or treat it properly if you are exposed to it.

Thunderstorm asthma: Bad weather, allergies, and asthma attacks

Published June 22, 2022

Thunderstorm asthma is an attack that starts or worsens after a thunderstorm. It can occur in anyone with asthma, but it most often affects people with seasonal allergies. There are several risk factors that make experiencing this phenomenon more likely, so it's important to know what these are.

Do allergies make snoring worse?

Published March 1, 2022

Allergies that cause nasal congestion, sneezing, and a runny nose (what doctors call allergic rhinitis) can cause more frequent and louder snoring. Treating allergic rhinitis can reduce snoring and other symptoms related to poor-quality sleep.

Reduce the health risks from "forever chemicals"

Published October 1, 2021
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of thousands of manmade chemicals that are widely used in products such as nonstick pans, stain repellants for furniture and carpets, cosmetics, and industrial products. These compounds are dangerous to human health and may lead to immune system problems and increased risk of certain cancers. Avoiding exposure by filtering water and choosing PFAS-free products can help to reduce those risks.

Sniffing out sinus-related problems

Updated June 1, 2021
Sinus problems are common, especially those caused by allergies, which affect some 40% of American adults. They often manifest as stuffiness, congestion, or a reduced sense of smell. Sinus problems most commonly fall into three categories: acute viral infections, allergy triggered inflammation, and chronic sinus infections.

’Tis the (allergy) season

Updated April 1, 2021

Here's how to prepare for spring and summer pollen allergies.

Ah, spring is in the air. But unfortunately, so are billions of pollen particles that make millions of stuffed-up Americans suffer through weeks and months of sneezing, coughing, and wheezing. Even if spring and summer allergies never bothered you before, it's possible for symptoms to suddenly appear now in your 60s or 70s.

"Your immune system changes over time. Although most allergies begin early in life, it's possible to develop seasonal allergies at any age," says Dr. Mariana Castells, an allergist and immunologist in the department of Allergy, Rheumatology, and Immunology at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Can dust mite allergy be treated with a pill?

Published February 10, 2021

For decades, people with an allergy to dust mites took over-the-counter medications for relief, and if those were not effective they could choose to receive a course of immunotherapy shots that lasted years. A newer form of treatment is available in pill form and is taken at home.

Is cheese a healthy source of probiotics?

Updated February 1, 2021

Ask the doctors

Q. I'm trying to add more probiotics into my diet. Is cheese a good source?

A. Probiotics, good bacteria that can contribute to gut and overall health, can be found in some types of cheese as well as in dietary supplements, fermented foods, and yogurt. Typically, probiotics are in cheeses that have been aged but not heated afterward. This includes both soft and hard cheeses, including Swiss, provolone, Gouda, cheddar, Edam, Gruyère, and cottage cheese.

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