Controlling Winter Allergies

WinterWhen we think of allergy season, the image brought to mind is often of flowing plants and pollen or the dry leaves of fall.  Yet allergies can happen all year round, even during the months of winter. Often winter allergies get mistaken for being cold or flu symptoms and do not get properly treated, making sufferers go longer without relief.   Here are a few tips on how to reduce allergies during the winter.

Control Humidity at Home
Cold winter months means that we spend more time indoors, thus making our homes warmer and more comfortable.  Make sure to check water heaters and pipes regularly for signs of leaks, and if you cannot resist the urge to warm up with long baths or showers, be certain to run fans and ventilate the room once you are done so that mold does not have a chance to grow.

Decorate Without Dust
While it might be easier to pull last year’s tinsel and lights from their boxes and straight onto the tree, doing so might introduce a lot of unwanted dust into your home.  Unpack boxes away from carpet and upholstered furniture, and make sure to give everything a good dusting before putting it festively on display.

Beware of Guests Bringing in Pollen Along with Presents
Although many guests will be courteous and wipe their shoes before entering a home, the truth is that we bring pollen, dust, and pollutants inside on more than just our feet.  Our hair and clothes can pick up these tiny pollutants and transfer them inside.  Allergy sufferers are often advised to shower and put on a clean change of clothes after coming home, but when guests come to call, this is not an option.  Instead, if you have lots of family and friends coming to celebrate, make sure to clean more than usual by vacuuming carpets and upholstery, cleaning sheets frequently, and capturing any pollen that escapes by running an air purifier with a true HEPA filter.

Winner of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America’s MinusA2 Giveaway!

AAFA Sweepstakes Winner

Last month the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America had an exciting sweepstakes with a brand new MinusA2 Asthma and Allergy Friendly Edition™ air purifier as the prize.   After many entries from hopeful allergy sufferers across the US, Terri M. of Plano, Illinois was declared the winner!

Rabbit Air is proud to partner with the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America to bring you the AAFA Edition MinusA2.  This air purifier is certified asthma and allergy friendly™, and includes our advanced bio engineered BioGS HEPA filter to efficiently filter out common asthma and allergy triggers such as mold, pollen, and dust.  Choosing products that have been certified by the AAFA is one way that families like Terri’s can help to control allergens at home.

Join us in giving hearty congratulations to Terri! We wish her and her family happy holidays, a bright New Year, and fresh, clean air all year long!

How Heat Waves Hurt Air Quality

http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1397489While everyone loves a little summer sunshine, when temperatures keep rising dangerous conditions may occur.  Heat waves are more than mere annoyances; they can increase the risk of health concerns from mild conditions such as heat rash to more serious problems such as strokes.  Even when limiting one’s exposure to the sun and heat, heat waves can still create health risks in areas one might not expect.  Air quality can worsen during a heat wave, to the point of becoming deadly in extreme circumstances. When the air is heated, chemicals compounds such as the fumes from our cars combine with the already present nitrogen oxide in the air to create thick layers of smog. The risk for this is particularly strong in urban areas, where there is already a greater concentration of chemical compounds in the air due to larger populations and more industry.

Smog is never healthy to breathe in, and during a heat wave when smog is found in higher concentrations it can cause lung tissue to become inflamed which over time can cause more serious complications. The increase in smog during a heat wave is especially dangerous for those who are suffering from respiratory illness, such as asthma, as it can increase or induce symptoms. During a heat wave, keep your lungs as healthy as possible by avoiding spending time outdoors in highly populated areas.  While in your home, keep an air purifier running that can trap the harmful VOCs from smog, such as our MinusA2 with the Toxin Absorber Customized Filter.  Stay cool, breathe clean air, and avoid direct sun exposure to stay as healthy as you can during a heat wave.

Celebrating 60 Years of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), an important organization that works to raise awareness about asthma and allergies, and to help those that suffer from these illnesses. At the time of their founding, the AAFA was known as the “American Foundation for Allergic Diseases,” and its aim was to work with allergy specialists to promote research and search for more effective treatments. As the foundation grew, it expanded its interests to look at asthma as well, and started to focus not only on the health care providers, but the actual sufferers of allergies and asthma. Today, the foundation works closely with patients and providers, funding research and outreach programs dedicated to educating the public about asthma and allergies and to help sufferers get their symptoms under control.

Here are just a few of the great programs and resources that the AAFA offers:

1)     Support groups for children, teen, and adult sufferers, as well as those who love and care for them. These support groups are a safe place to learn about how to manage these conditions and to share stories for emotional support.

2)    Educational resources are also available on the AAFA’s website.  These include posters, fact sheets, and continuing education resources for health care professionals, all designed to provide the best information about asthma, allergies, and treatment options.

3)     For those who are seeking an online supportive community where they can connect with others who are dealing with asthma and allergies from all over the country, the AAFA offers an active online forum where members can ask questions, share stories, and trade tips and information.

4)    For consumers who are looking to purchase products that have been proven to be more suitable for those with asthma and allergies, the AAFA’s Asthma and Allergy Friendly Certification Program is a great resource. Rabbit Air is a proud member of this program, and we are very happy to be able to offer our MinusA2 Asthma and Allergy Friendly Edition air purifier.

Healthy Resolutions for the New Year

The tradition of making a resolution for the New Year goes back a surprisingly long time; all the way to the Romans during the first century BC, in fact.  At that time, the celebration revolved around the two headed god Janus, who had one head looking behind to the past year and the other, forward to the future. Roman citizens were encouraged to do the same and evaluate their past actions so that they could resolve to improve themselves in the coming year.  Over the centuries, the tradition has gone in and out of popularity, and was changed many times along the way.  While we no longer celebrate with Janus, the New Year’s Resolution is a popular practice that many like to make as they look forward to a bright new year.

Here are some ideas for a healthy New Year’s resolution!

1)       If you wake up with a stuffy nose and find yourself sniffling every morning, this might be the year to make your bedroom allergy friendly.  Every month, make one change to help you breathe better at night. This can be as easy as replacing cloth curtains with vertical blinds, using a hypo-allergenic cover for your mattress, or adding an air purifier.

2)       Start doing random acts of cleaning throughout your home.  Wash a dish every time you walk into the kitchen, or dust a different shelf during each commercial break of your favorite show. By making the tasks small and simple, you won’t get overwhelmed, and you can even help to relieve asthma and allergy symptoms by removing clutter and preventing a build-up of dust or mold.

3)       If you spent a lot of time last year lounging on the couch, try adding a brisk walk to your weekly routine.  You don’t have to do much to start reaping some of the benefits gained by regular walks, so don’t be afraid to start slowly. Easing into a new routine can make it easier to stick it out too; start at a pace that feels comfortable to you, and as your build up stamina, you can start walking faster or walking more days a week to get the most out of this healthy activity.

4)       Whether you want to lose a few pounds or just want to strive for a healthier lifestyle, make it your New Year’s resolution to add some more “super foods” into your diet.  These foods – like spinach, walnuts, honey, and salmon – contain powerful nutrients like anti-oxidants and vitamins that play an important part to keep you feeling great.  Challenge yourself to eat one of these nutrient rich foods every day for a healthy and delicious new year!

Staying Healthy Over the Holidays

The holiday season is in full swing, and while we love this festive and fun time of year, we also know that colds and allergies can get worse during the winter months.  Since no one wants to miss out on quality time with family and friends because of a stuffy nose, there are ways that you can keep smart about staying healthy during the winter months.

Having visitors for the holidays can be a merry treat, but friends and family bring more than just their luggage when they come to your home – they carry in germs and bacteria as well.  Keep yourself from getting sick by washing your hands frequently and making sure that anyone with a cough or stuffy nose covers their mouth.

If you celebrate Christmas with a real pine tree, be wary of mold that may sneak in on the needles or bark, and make sure to dispose of any fallen needles right away.  If you prefer an artificial tree to keep the pollen and mold at bay, remember to clean the tree frequently, as the needles provide a lot of surface area for dust to settle and collect.

Rain and snow are great when you’re inside sipping on hot cocoa, but they also create a moist environment where mold loves to thrive.  Keep humidity levels below 50%, and make sure to plug up any leaky windows or places where moisture can seep in.  You may also want to add an air purifier, such as our MinusA2 with the Germ Defense Customized Filter, that can tackle any dust, mold, or germs that make it into the air.  With an air purifier in the home you can worry less about airborne allergens and germs, and focus on the important things – the people you love!

Bloggers Love Rabbit Air

We believe our MinusA2 air purifiers are the best in the business, but don’t just take our word for it!  Check out some bloggers who agree with us…

Mommy Ramblings is written by Carolyn – a woman who truly knows the ins-and-outs of motherhood. A mother of five, Carolyn shares fun and touching stories about her family, offers great advice to others, and shares beautiful photographs from her home studio. Check out Mommy Rambling’s review of our Artists Series MinusA2 air purifier with the beautiful Cherry Blossom design by clicking this link.

Susan, from the blog Susan’s Disney Family, also had the chance to try out our MinusA2.  Susan and her family are big Disney fans, of course, but she also blogs about her life as a mother, her family’s travels, and about her favorite products and giveaways. We were happy to hear that Susan’s husband’s allergy symptoms began to decrease after using our air purifier.  Read her review right here!

Marissa from The Review Stew is another blogging mamma who had the opportunity to try out one of our MinusA2s.  As a mother of three who is also a fitness enthusiast, Marissa writes her blog to help other families learn about products that fit into a healthy and natural lifestyle. In her quest to help reduce her family’s allergies, Marissa has tried many air purifiers, but considers our MinusA2 to be her favorite.  Check out her review to see what else she has to say about Rabbit Air.

We want to thank Carolyn, Susan, and Marissa for their thoughtful and flattering reviews.  We can’t wait to see who will review Rabbit Air next!

Secondhand Smoke Facts and Statistics Infographic

The Negative Health Effects of Secondhand Smoking

A “passive” smoker is someone who inhales the secondhand tobacco smoke generated by others. Secondhand smoke is a mixture of the residual smoke that comes from burning tobacco and the smoke exhaled by a smoker. Exposure to secondhand smoke is thought to be more harmful than smoking a cigarette directly for the same amount of time. The below infographic details statistics about the negative health effects of secondhand smoke.

You are welcome to use this infographic about secondhand smoke statistics on your own website, please link back to this page or www.rabbitair.com as the source.

All of Rabbit Air’s air purifiers are excellent for smoke removal, secondhand smoke, and the odor from smoke. Cigar Aficionado rated Rabbit Air a top air purifier for smokers,  you can read the article on our site. Choosing the best smoke air purifier for your home is a matter of many factors including room size, filtration needs, unit cost, filter replacement cost, etc. Visit our website to learn more about the air purifier models we offer.

Secondhand and Environmental Tobacco Smoke Facts

Mainstream Smoke is the smoke in the air that is exhaled by a smoker.
Sidesteam Smoke is the smoke in the air from a lighted cigarette, pipe or cigar.
Secondhand Smoke (SHS) is a mixture of the 2 above forms of smoke that come from burning tobacco. This is also known as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS).

SHS worsens asthma and asthma-related problems in up to 1,000,000 asthmatic children.

The immediate effects of SHS may include: headache, dizziness, eye irritation, cough, sore throat, nausea

Long term effects may include: stroke, asthma, dementia, cognitive impairment, lung cancer, breast cancer, cardiovascular problems

About 3,400 nonsmoking adults die of lung cancer each year as a result of breathing secondhand smoke.

SHS effects on children may include: allergies, olfactory diseases (nasal), circulatory problems, asthma, respiratory problems, behavioral problems, Crohn’s disease, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

An estimated 35,000-62,000 deaths occur annually from heart disease in people who are not current smokers, but who are exposed to environmental tobacco smoke.

11% of children 6 years and under are exposed to ETS in their homes on a regular basis (4 or more days per week)

SHS contains thousands of toxic chemicals including: ammonia, butane, chromium, lead, carbon monoxide, cyanide, polonium, formaldehyde

Summer Air Quality

We all know that the hot summer sun can be bad for our skin, but did you know that the air quality during the summer months can pose a health risk as well?  UV rays from the sun are stronger in the summer, causing more ozone to accumulate in the atmosphere and particularly in big cities, heat can cause outdoor air quality to worsen. The calm skies of summer can cause pollutants that have been released into the air to stagnate and hover in the skies, becoming thick layers of smog. This increase in pollution can be potentially harmful to those with asthma, allergies, or other respiratory conditions, often contributing to symptoms or causing reactions.

Keep safe throughout the summer by checking air quality forecasts and planning your outings during the day when pollutants aren’t as concentrated in the air. If you usually exercise or perform strenuous activities outdoors, try something new and workout to a fun video or podcast at home. If you do decide to soak up the sun, try to steer clear of locations that are near freeways or other high-pollutant producing areas like big cities. If you relax indoors to beat the heat, use an air purifier to keep indoor air fresh and clean. Whatever you decide to do this summer, do it with clean air in mind inside your home and out.