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Healthy Home Basics - Allergies

By HUD

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  • As many as 40 or 50 million people in the United States suffer from allergies?

  • Allergies cause swollen eyes, itching skin, dripping noses, lightheadedness and even death?
What is it?

An allergy is a strong reaction by your body’s immune system to something that would normally be harmless — a food, plant or medicine. Common reactions include a stuffy nose, itchy eyes or a skin rash. Severe allergic reactions (see below) require immediate medical attention. Many people who have allergies also have asthma. Allergic reactions may trigger asthma attacks, where a swelling and tightening of your airways that makes it difficult to breathe.

Signs of Allergies and Allergic Reactions Include:

 

  • Asthma, shortness of breath, cough, chest tightness or wheezing

  • Itchy, watery eyes

  • Itchy, inflamed or runny nose

  • Hives or itchy rash on skin

  • Dark circles under and around eyes

  • Recurring headache

  • Diarrhea or stomach cramps

  • Anaphylaxis (a severe reaction) may be life-threatening. Symptoms include: swelling, tingling in the mouth and a red, itchy rash, as well as lightheadedness, shortness of breath, severe sneezing, stomach cramps and loss of blood pressure. If these symptoms are present, go immediately to a doctor or emergency room for treatment.
What You Can Do

Know your allergies, and know what to avoid. Not everyone is allergic to the same things!

 

  • Contact your doctor about any unusual reactions to food, plants, medicines or other items.

  • Avoid contact with things you know trigger allergies.

  • Avoid being outside or having the windows open when pollen counts are high.

  • Read food labels carefully to avoid ingredients that cause reactions.

  • Choose medicines and home-care products carefully.

  • Keep a clean home.

  • Control pests such as mice and cockroaches.

  • Vacuum floors and upholstery often with a properly filtered vacuum.

  • Avoid having mold, cigarette smoke, pesticides and chemicals inside the house.

  • Keep pets out of the bedrooms of family members who are allergic to them.

  • In the event of a severe allergic reaction, seek emergency medical attention immediately.

 

 

 

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The Healthy House Institute (HHI), a for-profit educational LLC, provides the information on HealthyHouseInstitute.com as a free service to the public. The intent is to disseminate accurate, verified and science-based information on creating healthy home environments.

 

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Healthy Home Basics - Allergies:  Created on February 16th, 2007.  Last Modified on October 16th, 2009

 

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About HUD

The mission of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all Americans. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.

 

 

Information provided by The Healthy House Institute is designed to support, not to replace the relationship between patient/physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

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