Can Allergies Cause Chest Pains?

Do you have pain in the chest this Valentine’s Day?  That feeling might not be a broken heart.  Chest pain is a symptom of allergies and allergy-related conditions.  Pain in the center of the chest that feels like squeezing along with pain in the arms, back, neck or jaw can be heart attack.  That’s when you need to call 911.  But if you have a persistent tightness in the larger chest area, it may be a condition related to allergies.

Allergy Induced Asthma

Asthma Cigarettes – Seriously?

Uncontrolled allergies can lead to asthma.  Asthma inflames your airways, makes them narrow,  and fills them with mucous.  This makes breathing difficult.  You may hear a wheezing noise as you breathe.  You may also cough.

During an asthma attack, your chest may feel tight.  Some people describe it as a feeling of something pressing down on the chest.

The repeated coughing and gasping for air associated with asthma can cause damage to the scalene muscles.  These muscles are located on the side of the neck and attach the neck vertebrae to the 1st and 2nd ribs. Scalene muscle damage causes pain in the upper chest that may or may not radiate down the arm.

Medication and allergy avoidance control asthma.  Talk to your doctor and if you have asthma, know how to prepare for an asthma attack.

Allergy Medication Side Effects

Thatpills for allergies pill you swallowed to relieve your allergy symptoms can cause chest pain.  If you take allergy medications that include the decongestant pseudoephedrine you know how well it works.

What you might not know is that tightness in the chest is one of the many side effects of pseudoephedrine.

Talk to your doctor about alternative medications that do not contain this ingredient if you are sensitive.

Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis

People that are sensitive to dust and other inhaled allergens can experience Hypersensitivity pneumonitis if they do not control their exposure.  This can be caused by living or working in dusty areas and has even been associated with molds coming from the HVAC system.  The primary symptom is tightness and pain in the chest.  It is caused by repeatedly inhaling allergens and can cause serious scarring of the lungs.  Reversible if caught early; if not can lead to pulmonary fibrosis.

Control Your Allergies!

If you have allergies, asthma, scalene muscle damage or hypersensitivity pneumonitis you know it isn’t a pain in the neck, it’s a pain in the chest and it can be serious.  Talk to your doctor and then talk to The Allergy Store about controlling your exposure to allergens.

Frequent washing, using allergen proof bedding, and allergen reducing products in your home can all reduce your exposure to allergens.  We can’t mend a broken heart, but we can control allergens.  We’d love to help you!

Til Next Time!

Cheryl

 

12 Tips to Reduce Dust Mites in Your Bedroom

Do you wake up in the morning and feel like you never went to sleep? Got a stopped up nose and puffy eyes?  That’s what you get for sleeping with dust mites.

Sleeping With Dust Mites is a Bad Idea

Reduce Dust Mites
Dust Mite

Whether they are dead or alive, sleeping with dust mites is a bad idea. The dead ones can make you just as sick as the living ones.  It’s the feces and body parts from the dust mites that are the allergens. Just killing the mites won’t remove the allergen although reducing populations is always a good thing. Reduce your dust mite populations and associated allergens by making some changes to your bedroom and your cleaning routine. Even if you can’t do everything,  just do a few of these things to reduce the number of dust mites in the bedroom.

Tips to Reduce Dust Mites

  1. Wash all bed linens once a week in hot water that is 140°F or hotter. Unfortunately most of the hot water in your  home is 105°F to 107°F. Good news is that there are very effective products that make up for your lack of temperature.
  2. Cover your mattress, pillows and box springs with zippered allergy proof covers. Higher quality ones will last you for years so don’t waste money on cheap ones. The cheap ones won’t last but  a year or two.
  3. Hang your comforters, bedspreads and blankets outside in the sunlight (especially if you have wool or silk). The sun will kill the mites. The downside to this tip is that bedding may pick up pollen, not good if you have seasonal allergies.
  4. Toss comforters, bedspreads and blankets in the dryer for 15 minutes on the fluff setting every 2 to 3 weeks. It will knock out some dust without fading your colors.
  5. Freeze stuffed toys overnight and toss them in the dryer in the morning.  Freezing kills the mites and tumbling in the dryer loosens the  allergens.
  6. Keep the humidity below 40%.
  7. Steam clean chairs, sofas, couches and carpets.
  8. Steam clean carpets and rugs on a regular basis. Make sure that the company or equipment you use has a good extraction system. Trading mold for dust mites is a bad thing.
  9. Get rid of carpeting if you can and eliminate the need for steam cleaning.
  10. Replace your pillows every six to eight months unless they are protected with a zippered dust mite proof pillow cover.
  11. Clean early in the day.  All the dust you stir up will have a change to settle before bedtime. Don’t forget to clean the ceiling fan.
  12. Last but not least – get rid of the excess clutter and dust catchers in the bedroom. Do you really need 12 pillows on the bed? We have not had curtains in our bedroom for 20 years. I still remember the day we took them down. What a dust cloud that caused!

Mike Krause

What is Healthy Sleep?

healthy sleep leaves you refreshed
Dust Mites in Your Bed?

We spend one-third of our life asleep. Everybody wants a good night’s rest. Everybody wants to sleep healthy. We all agree on that. But what is “healthy sleep”?

The National Sleep Foundation defines “healthy sleep” as sleep that meets the following:

 

  • You fall asleep within 15-20 minutes of lying down
  • You regularly sleep a total of seven to nine hours in a 24-hour period.
  • While in bed, your sleep is continuous—you don’t have long periods of lying awake when you wish to be sleeping.
  • You wake up feeling refreshed.
  • You feel alert and are able to be fully productive throughout the waking hours. (
  • Your partner or family members do not notice any disturbing or out of the ordinary behavior from you while you sleep, such as snoring, pauses in breathing, restlessness, or otherwise nighttime behaviors.

 

The Harvard Medical School devotes significant resources to studying sleep and promoting healthy sleep. They have an extensive video library here if you would like to hear from medical experts about the important of healthy sleep.

 

Tips for Healthy Sleep

 

Most experts agree that there are steps you can take to get to sleep, stay asleep, and wake refreshed.

 

  • Avoid caffeine late in the day
  • Limit your exposure to light
  • Establish a bedtime routine and keep it
  • Exercise daily, but not just before bedtime
  • Keep your room dark and cool
  • Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows
  • Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and heavy meals just before bedtime

 

Healthy Sleep Hygeine

 

The debate rages about whether to shower or bathe at night before fight over shower at night or in morningyou go to bed or in the morning when you rise. That is one sleep hygiene fight we will not wade into. If it helps you sleep, bathe or shower before you sleep. If not, do it in the morning.

 

However, bathing at night does reduce the amount of skin and body oils in your bed. Those are just dust mite food.

 

Speaking of dust mites, it is important to control their population if sneezing, wheezing, or coughing keeps you from getting a good night’s sleep. So, be sure to wash your sheets, pillow cases, and blankets every 7 days in hot water. This will remove the skin cells that are food for the dust mites as well as removing the dust mites themselves.

Protect your mattress and pillows with zippered dust mite proof covers. You’ll extend the life of your mattress and pillows and make it much easier to keep your bed clean.

 

zippered mattress covers promote healthy sleepFor temperature regulating comfort, choose natural fibers for sleeping. Cotton wicks away moisture to keep you dry. Both silk and wool fibers work to regulate body temperature as well. This makes these fibers great choices for comforters, blankets, and duvets.

 

If you’ve got any bedtime routines that work for you, drop us a line. We would love to hear what you do to get a healthy sleep.

Til Next Time!

Cheryl