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Articles > Cleaning products to use/not use - cellphone allergy; vitamin D and allergies

Cleaning products to use/not use - cellphone allergy; vitamin D and allergies

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CLEANING AWAY THE CULPRITS
Q I dust and clean my house often because my son is allergic to dust mites, pet allergens and mold spores. Are there any cleaning products that can worsen allergy symptoms? Which cleaning products should I use?
A While most people aren't allergic to cleaning agents, some cleaning products may irritate people with allergies and asthma. If possible, use cleaning products when your son isn't home'then allow plenty of time for airing the house. If your son is cleaning, be sure he wears a mask and that the room has good ventilation. Avoid using heavily scented products, or ones with strong odors like ammonia or chlorine. Give eco-friendly cleaning products, which are nontoxic and usually scentless, a shot'or better yet, make your own! To clean glass, mix a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice in a quart of water. For furniture polish, add a teaspoon of lemon juice to a pint of mineral or vegetable oil.
'Andy Nish, MD,
Allergy and Asthma Care Center, Gainesville, GA

ALLERGIC TO MY CELL?
Q I have an itchy rash on my left cheek and hand that comes and goes. Recently, I realized the rash lined up with how I hold the phone. Could I be allergic to my cell?
A You might not be allergic to your cellphone, but you could be allergic to nickel! Nickel is often used in cellphone cases. If you frequently use your cell for calls, you can develop a rash on your cheek, jaw and ear. And people who text a lot can develop blisters and itchy sores on their fingertips. But before you swear off your cell, ask your doctor for an allergy patch test. You could be allergic to chemicals in your nail polish or hair coloring.
'Dean Mitchell, MD,
Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, New York City

VITAMIN D CONNECTION
Q I've heard about how vitamin D levels affect just about everything in the body. I have asthma and food allergies, and low'but not deficient'vitamin D levels. Could they be connected?
A Vitamin D, the "sunshine vitamin," is great for building your immunity, and also helps protect against many allergy symptoms. In fact, too little vitamin D may be linked to increased airway reactivity, lower lung function and worse asthma control, according to a study in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. So maintaining healthy levels may confer the benefits you're looking for.

If your blood tests reveal you need a boost, incorporate more D-fortified products in your diet and ask your doctor if supplements may be right for you. And remember that about 10 minutes of unprotected sun exposure a day will prompt your body to produce the vitamin.
'Dean Mitchell, MD
Asthma Allergy Blisters Itchy Rash Ammonia Vitamin D Attention Deficit Disorder Lose Weight

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