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Coping with Spring Allergies

pollenSpring is here (more or less) and with it comes hay fever allergies, aka seasonal allergic rhinitis. Hay fever’s sneezing, congestion and runny nose are similar to those of a cold. But where a  cold can last a few days to a couple of weeks, hay fever can go on for months. In fact, for many sufferers, once it starts in the spring, it doesn’t end until the first hard frost of winter. Continue reading

Treating Household Burns

Ever burn yourself on a hot iron or stove and rub butter on it? That’s what moms have done for years, and while it feels good, it can make things worse. According to the National Institutes of Health, rubbing butter on a burn can lead to infection. In fact, they even recommend against an ointment on a fresh burn for the same reason.

So what to do when you get that inevitable burn around the house? First, you need to know how bad the burn is. Burns are classified into three “degrees” of severity, determined by the size of the burn and how deep into the skin the damage goes. Continue reading

What to Do If You Get Frostbite

Frostbite in winter
So, it, it seems as if the winter weather/wind chill advisories just keep coming, and while this wind chill chart can help you be better prepared if you have to go out into dangerously cold weather, you still need to be watchful for the signs of frostbite.

Frostbite isn’t just a feeling you get when your nose or ears get really cold. It’s an actual injury caused by freezing that results in the loss of feeling and color in affected areas. Most often, the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers or toes are affected, but any exposed area is at risk. Damage can be permanent, and severe cases of frostbite lead amputation. Continue reading

Hypothermia a Real Threat during Extreme Cold Weather

Hypothermia RisksWhile frostbite is a more common result of exposure to cold weather, hypothermia is a real concern, as well. A much more serious condition than frostbite, hypothermia results from the body losing heat faster than it can create it. The result is that body temperature drops to dangerous levels.

With prolonged exposure to the cold, the body’s stored energy will get used up and hypothermia, or abnormally low body temperature, sets in. When body temperature gets too low, the brain is affected and the victim is unable to think clearly or even move well. That makes hypothermia even more dangerous, since the person may not even know it’s happening and, therefore, can’t know to do anything about it. Continue reading

Treating Pain in Your Dog

treating-dog-painIf you’re like most people, you reach for aspirin, ibuprofen or some other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or NSAID, when you want to relieve pain. So it should be no surprise that NSAIDs also are the most commonly used pain reliever for dogs.

NSAIDs help control pain by relieving inflammation – the body’s response to irritation or injury – which is what makes them so effective for arthritis and other joint pain, as well as muscle aches and post-surgical pain. Continue reading

5 Ways to Keep Winter Allergies at Bay

winter allergyWinter can be just as hard on allergy sufferers as summer is. For many, it can be even worse. You can help reduce the suffering with these five tips:

1. Use HEPA filters in your furnace: Granted, you don’t get true HEPA filtration without a sealed system, but the additional filtration that HEPA provides traps as much as 30 times more allergens than a standard filter.

2. Regularly rinse and dry the water reservoir in your humidifiers. Quite often, people refill their humidifiers without emptying the old water. But the older the water, the more likely bacteria and mold are growing in it, and those critters are put into the air by the humidifier. This is true even when the old water is diluted with fresh water. A good rule of thumb is to empty and dry the reservoir every 10 days to two weeks. Continue reading