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2.5.1 Allergy Avoidance and environmental changes


This article is from the Children Allergies and Asthma FAQ, by Eileen Kupstas Soo kupstas@cs.unc.edu with numerous contributions by others.

2.5.1 Allergy Avoidance and environmental changes

From: Susan Fiedler (susan@infopro.netcom.com)

My son and I have asthma and allergies, these ideas have helped us


Cleaning the Home Environment:

Invest in an electrostatic filter (plastic frame $27.00, metal frame
$60.00 up to $100.00) if you have a heating system that accepts
changeable filters. It saves on the throwaway filters, trips to the
doctor, allergy medications and misery for several months a year. But
you MUST wash it out once a month to clean the pollen and keep your
pump working at top efficiency.

It may pay to have your air circulation ducts professionally cleaned,
to get out old dirt, pollen, pet dander. Use the phone book, call
heating/cooling specialists for recommendations. This may be especially
useful if you are moving into a used house.

If you take prescription allergy medications like Seldane (.92 each
pill) take that when you need to be awake, but take a cheaper, over the
counter medicine at night (if it has the effect of making you drowsy,
not irritable). Suggested by my pharmacist.

Suggested by my doctor: During the allergy season buy one bottle of
nasal saline spray and then make the refill solution yourself. By
spraying the nasal passages, you rinse out the irritating pollens. This
can cut down on the need for medication and overall discomfort. But you
must remember to do it after every time you go outside. The refill is
just one teaspoon of salt into 1-2 ounces of water, stirred until

If you have forced air vents, put cheesecloth or air conditioner filter
in each one. Keeps dirt from the vents and air system from entering the

Health Insurance:

If a Health Insurance provider with whom you have a prescription
payment plan excludes a medication, challenge them. I have done this 3
times and each time won (over $200.00) for some time on the phone using
their 800 number. On two occasions the data entry person just hit the
wrong key. On the other my pharmacist spoke with them and proved that
my four year old could not take the over the counter equivalent they
said he should be getting. (Wrong dosage for his size, not chewable).
Just remember to stay calm and polite and have all the facts and policy
numbers at hand when you call.

Sources for Products of Interest

Allergy Control Products Inc.
96 Danbury Road
Ridgefield CT 06877

Provide free (with orders?) pamphlets on Cat Dander, House Dust/Mites,
Understanding Vacuum Cleaners Vacuum Exhaust and Allergen Containment,
Mold Spore Allergy. Products include: special mattress/pillow covers,
blankets (Vellux), room cleaners (filter room air), face masks, vacuum
filters (don't let the dust/dirt back out of vacuum), high filtration
vacuum cleaner bags, Miele canister Vacuum cleaner, filters for A/C,
and central heating systems, Allergy Control Solution (neutralizes dust
mite and their feces, a primary allergen for many people).

I have used their vacuum filters, Allergy Control Solution and mask.
All very good and extremely helpful.

Information on Food Allergies

The Food Allergy Network
10400 Eaton Place Suite 107
Fairfax, VA 22030-5647
fax 703-691-2713

Non-profit organization that puts out a newsletter ($24.00 US 6
issues/year) on food allergies, that covers allergy-related subjects
such as eczema, allergen-free recipes, drug updates, news updates, a
dietician's column. They also sell a number of reasonably priced
booklets and cards to help you cope with schools, information on
anaphylaxis (potentially lethal allergic reactions), how to read food
labels so as to avoid allergens (ex. soy products go by many names in
packaging). Sample newsletter and information sent on request.

Sources of Food Products for Special Diets, Allergen Free (or Substitute) Products

Ener-G Foods
P.O. Box 84487
Seattle, WA 98124-5788
in Washington State 800-325-9788
Fax 206-764-3398

You can call them for their free Allergy packet of information. They
manufacture and sell baking mixes, ready-made baked items, recipes
(sorted by 45 dietary criteria) and specialize in products for those on
gluten-free, wheat-free, egg-free, corn-free, soy-free, milk-free or
low protein diets. The order form groups products by what they DON'T
have (ex. wheat, eggs) and tells you the ingredients for each item.
Sold by single package or by the case. Some of their products can be
found in good health food stores. But if you want to buy it in bulk and
save a decent amount of money, try one package from either a store or
the manufacturer to see if you like it, and then place a bulk order
with Ener-G. They also sell products for people with renal failure and
malabsorption syndrome (Celiac-Sprue).


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