August 26, 2008,
L.B. asks from Royal Oak, MI on August 19, 2008
Air Conditioning Allergies?
I am been suffering from allergies all summer long, but it actually seems worse at night when I am locked in my air conditioned house sleeping. I wake up every morning (before my baby none the less!) at 4am sneezing, coughing, and dying with an itchy throat. This bothers me, but lately my 5 month old son sounds congested in the mornng too and I feel awful! I use a humifier in the summer, but wondering if I should get a dehumidfier for the summer. I have cleaned my ceiling fan in my room (he does not have one) and change our furance filter. My next step is to get my airducts cleaned out. Any suggestions?
So What Happened?™
Thank you so much everyone for your responses. I love all teh great suggestions. I didn't realize until after I read some that I had a typo in my post...I do use a humidifier in the WINTER (opps!) and was thinking of getting a DE-humidifier and getting my ducts cleaned. I think I am going to do that now because I have tried the allergist, but really want to try and stay away from drugs. I had switched to seventh generation everything since my son was born and agree...cleaning products with bleach definitely cause breathing troubles. I do see a chiropractor weekly and belong to a organic food co-op. Thanks again so much!
R.V. answers from Detroit on August 20, 2008
I too suffer from allergies all summer long, I actually just went to an allergist because I have many of the same symptoms you describe. I get severe headaches when I wake up. I had an allergy test and I am severly allergic to all grass, seriously, and dust mites. He said more than likly it was the dust mites causing the morning allergy stuff because of sleeping on them all night long. I have been taking zyrtec and using Nasocort(prescription), and it has been helping. I guess I would suggest,if you can go, see an allergist because they maybe able to pinpoint what it is, maybe it is air, but if you are outside during the day it could be outside that is coming out while you inside. My doctor told me to run my air conditioner from ealy spring to late fall, even when it is not hot, but because I had such a bad reaction to grass and some weeds, he said it helps to control it. Good luck, I know what you are going through. I have a 3 y.o who is afflicted with allergies, but a little to young to test. They say that the test is better for 5 and up. Alright, I wish you well! R.
L.N. answers from Benton Harbor on August 19, 2008
Adding a humidifier to your AC is wasting energy. AC units cool by taking moisture out of the air, so if it's too dry back off the AC a little. We are seeing LOTS of allergies about now, so maybe you'll need a short term run of allergy meds.
Hope you find a solution!
S.S. answers from Detroit on August 23, 2008
OPC-3. If you are curious, let me tell you more!
A.V. answers from Grand Rapids on August 20, 2008
Have you considered switching your cleaning products to using natural products? There is a direct correlation between cleaning products and allergies/asthma.
C.S. answers from Detroit on August 19, 2008
You'll be shocked at how much stuff is in your airducts! We had it done when I was suffering with allergies a few years ago. Our home was new when purchased so I really didn't think there would be much in them, boy was I wrong! They blew the stuff into a 5 gallon bucket and it was almost full when they finished! There was cigerette butts, dust, candy wraper and all sorts of construction debree in there. We do NOT smoke and the candy was brands we don't eat, it was from the guys working on the house during construction! Very gross. If you're still suffering after the ducts are clean try Zyrtec, that works for me really well.
C.S. answers from Detroit on August 20, 2008
Go buy a air purifier, I have one for my 5 year old in her room, cause she has alergies bad, I was having to wash her sheets every couple day and all her stuffed animals otherwise she would cough all night long, once I got the air purifier it never was a problem again. They can be relitivley inexpensive, I thought I would have to get that Ionic Breeze from sharper image which is costly but I found a great one at my costco warehouse for $120
C._. answers from Grand Rapids on August 19, 2008
what if you get one of those fans w/ an IONIZER and run it for 1 hour before bedtime and see if that helps. Also, can you change the filters for the air intake.
also, do you know what you are allergic to? sometimes food allergies will give you a stuffy nose too.
August is ragweed season....at least for me it is...
if you're allergic to ragweeds here is a list of other things to avoid:
sunflower seeds & oil
D.M. answers from Detroit on August 20, 2008
Hi L.---My first thought was to make sure you are cleaning the filters regularly. Air conditioning is supposed to help with outdoor allergies, so besides the filter and mold ideas, addressing indoors is next.
Have you ever considered addressing your immune system as a way to improve your allergies? I am a Wellness Educator and through my business I help people be healthier through whole food nutrition. I have a number of resources available to share, along with medical research, which show that eating LOTS and LOTS of fresh fruits and veggies will balance the immune system so that it is not so sensitive to dust, mold or mites. Food is medicine, if we eat enough of the right foods. Call me to find out more. I offer the education free of charge. My number is ###-###-####. I look forward to hearing from you. In health, D.
M.M. answers from Detroit on August 26, 2008
So sorry this response is coming so late as I had computer issues. Our whole family has allergies and they are all different. Last August my husband and I bought an air purifier for our house (as in it is for the whole house) and we liked it so much that we bought a dealership and now sell them. We specialize in air and water purification for homes and businesses. We also have a laundry pure product that helps to reduce allergies tremendously as it keeps your skin from getting itchy. After a year we have noticed a tremendous difference as we live in an old house that use to be quite moldy and musty. Our three children cut their absences down by 75% during the first semester after we installed the air purifier. I have three school aged children and am also a SAHM.
Please feel free to check out our website (The company who makes our products is ECO Quest International. It is the same technology that NASU uses and we have no true competitors. You can also find our ad in mamasource in the new business section. Go to maximumsuccess.com/remmam and also www.tryeqoquest.com
Hope this works out for you. We offer a free mold and bacteria test for your house if you should be interested and a 7 day free trial with an air purifier.
K.H. answers from Detroit on August 20, 2008
Air conditioners take moisture OUT of the air - much like a dehumidifier would. Maybe it's too dry? Maybe it's the dust in the ducts? They sell filters that you can put inside your vents for people with allergies - maybe try getting some of those for your rooms? Sounds to me like it's too dry in there - I always get a stuffy nose when the air gets really dry.
A.H. answers from Detroit on August 22, 2008
I see you have your 'conclusion' but also... wanted to ask you:
When was the last time the duct work was vacuumed out (by the professionals)? So much can get stuck in there and depending on the age of the home (if it was not done) and if you have a pet or pets, this can be pretty bad on the allergies.
When we moved into our home, that was the first thing we did (but I worked at a filter company, so a girl learns these things!)! I have to say, they pulled out at least five garbage bags FULL of gunk - there used to be a cat here before and the duct work was filled! GROSS!!!
It's getting close to the time to do it again as I do have a cat in my home, and I can tell when the air is on. 'Recycled' Air can be a big culprit for allergies unless you have the proper filters/ purifiers.
T.H. answers from Grand Rapids on August 20, 2008
I would seriously consider a de-humidifier for the summer. Using a humidifier can cause the mold and mildew to be exponentially worse in the summer. The humidity level is naturally higher due to the warm weather and your air conditioner works to get rid of the excess. I would only use the humidifier in the cold dry months (i use mine from about december to the end of february). You can get a humidity gauge at any walmart...they recommend between 40 and 60 percent humidity depending on your comfort level.
G.S. answers from Saginaw on August 20, 2008
Walmart has 24 hour generic form of Zyrtec you can buy over the counter, I have many allergies and found that it works very well for my allergies. Also, a good air purifier will also help.