Jan 13

Eliminate allergies with home cleaning

If you've been sniffling and sneezing this winter, the culprit may be indoor allergies. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) reports that 50 million Americans are born with this condition.

Instead of suffering through the winter, there are some tips you can adhere to to ease symptoms. Although prescription medicine and over-the-counter options can both make you drowsy, eliminating the source of the allergy will combat the problem. Take a look at some helpful suggestions below.

  • Carpet cleaning: "Dust mites are one of the main indoor pest allergens, they can usually be controlled by vacuuming carpets, washing hard surfaces, reducing air infiltration into the home and lowering the humidity level," writes LivingGreenMag.com. "If you have visible pests indoors such as insects or mice, there are many safe, green and non-toxic ways eliminate the problem."
  • Climate control: If your home is too humid it can prompt the breeding of dust mites and mold. However, if it's too dry, winter allergies can also flair up. The key is to maintain a home temperature of 68-70 degrees to minimize mold growth. You may also want to think about cleaning out your air duct to limit your heating system of any impurities.

If you suffer from indoor/outdoor allergies, don't just accept your symptoms when you can actively try to eliminate allergens in your home. Our environmentally friendly cleaners can rid your home of allergy triggers ranging from pet dander, dust mites, mold or mildew. Contact VClean for a consultation and start the new year off in a healthy way! 

Jan 13

Mold found in Florida elementary school

In addition to the common cold, students from Loughman Elementary School in Davenport, Florida, may be out sick because of mold allergies, according to local news source Baynews9.com. 

Numerous rooms inside of the school have been evacuated after harmful mold was discovered inside of them. Back in October, teachers complained of breathing troubles and other upper-respiratory illnesses. A recent air quality assessment revealed that mold was found underneath desks and inside other areas of the classrooms, particularly the Kindergarten wing of the school.

Two types of molds found in the rooms—Aspergillus and Curvulrai—are often found in warm climates and can cause sinus infections and other breathing problems.

"It worries me because [my daughter] does have allergies and I don't know if it's stemming from school or home or outside. She's always getting ear infections, sneezing. She gets sick a lot," Robin Sylvester, parent of an 11-year old child who attends the school, told the source. 

Students who normally attend classes in the moldy rooms have been moved to other areas of the school until the classrooms are professionally cleaned.

If you also suffer from upper-respiratory problems, mold may be the culprit. Harmful mold can make a home inside the crevices of your house, causing allergic reactions such as sniffling, sneezing and a sore throat. Since mold thrives in moist areas, your bathroom, kitchen and basement are common breeding grounds for this fungus. To rid your home of toxic allergens, contact VClean at 888-787-3088. Our bathroom and basement mold removal services can help you breathe easy again! 

Jan 13

The allergy-proof diet

Chances are you've heard of the old saying, "you are what you eat." If you suffer from allergies, even upper-respiratory symptoms can be minimized by adhering to a stricter diet.

"Allergy is a reflection of reduced immunity. To improve immunity, fruits rich in vitamin C such as oranges, sweet lime and lemon should be incorporated into the diet," Ravindra Gupta, Consultant, Internal Medicine, Columbia Asia Hospital, Gurgaon​, said in a statement reported by BussinessStandard.com. "People should have a balanced diet with lots of green vegetables, fruits and nuts," he added.

Believe it or not, allergies ranging from asthma to bronchitis and eczema actually worsen during the winter months since the air is cold and dry. If you suffer from unpleasant allergy symptoms, take a look at some important nourishment to incorporate into your diet.

  • Antioxidants: A diet rich in antioxidants can help you feel better. Swap your coffee for green tea to give your body a boost of nutrients.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Foods that are rich in this nutrient contain natural anti-inflammatory agents shown to combat allergies. Some examples of snacks high in this fatty acid include soy beans, pumpkin seeds, walnuts and salmon.
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is known to boost your immune system. Be sure to consume a variety of vegetables as well as fruit and orange juice.

If you suffer from asthma or allergies you know just how bothersome upper-respiratory symptoms can be. Aside from a balanced diet, it also essential to limit allergens inside of your house. If you want to rid your home of harmful allergy triggers contact VClean for carpet cleaning in Maryland.

Jan 13

New York City Housing Authority faces lawsuit over mold growth

After facing a lawsuit, the New York City Housing Authority has agreed to remove mold in public housing more efficiently. Recently, lawyers representing the residents of the housing units accused the agency of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by allowing mold to flourish in the buildings, leading to respiratory illnesses.

Since Hurricane Sandy, mold has been more common in public housing because this fungus grows in moist areas. However, even before the storm, tenants complained that the building's maintenance workers didn't properly address leaks and other sources of moisture that can promote mold growth. The agency has been dealing with a backlog of repair orders and now must handle these requests more quickly. 

"The agreement covers all of the more 400,000 tenants in public housing. It requires housing officials to recognize asthma as a disability and to make accommodations for tenants with the condition," reports the New York Times. "For example, the authority could be expected to relocate a person with asthma and his or her family to another apartment, or to use low-toxicity fungicides or to allow extra air-conditioning units in apartments."

The lawsuit was brought by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the National Center for Law and Economic Justice on behalf of public housing tenants and two nonprofit groups, Manhattan Together and South Bronx Churches.

Mold and mildew growth can have a serious effect on your health and wellness. If you have mold in your home, contact VClean for bathroom and basement mold removal to help you breathe easier. 

Jan 06

Cold snap brings risk of frozen pipes and mold

As most Americans learned all too well this past week, the country is experiencing a record-level cold snap at the moment, with snowfall and sharp wind chills plunging the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic into subzero temperatures. While you may be able to keep warm by dressing in multiple layers and pushing your thermostat higher, the cold air presents another serious risk to homeowners: Frozen pipes.

Freezing temperatures typically afflict homes every winter, and with the country experiencing some of the worst cold seen in 20 years, you can bet it's sure to occur in the next few days. According to The Cincinnati Enquirer, sudden drops in temperatures coupled with weak insulation can freeze a home's water pipes, a phenomenon that frequently leads to water leaks and mold.

"Both plastic and copper pipes can burst, and recovering from frozen pipes is not as simple as calling a plumber," Tom Biedleman, vice president of AAA Insurance, told the source. "A 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can spew up to 250 gallons of water a day, causing flooding, serious structural damage and the potential for mold."

To protect your pipes from freezing, try some of the following:

  • Disconnect hoses and use indoor valves to control water flow
  • Keep cabinet doors open, to let in heat near uninsulated pipes underneath sinks
  • Set your thermostat to the same temperature at night as it is during the day
  • Seal air leaks in spaces containing pipes.

If your pipes have already burst, though, VClean can help with the aftermath. Our water damage clean up specialists can undo any of the deterioration caused by burst pipes and water leaks. There's also a strong possibility of mold and mildew caused by this escaped water, a problem that we can eliminate with our mold removal services. Call us today at 888-787-3088 to learn more about how VClean can help your home.

Jan 06

Can the use of inhaled corticosteroids for asthma be harmful?

Asthma is a prevalent condition affecting both children and adults. Recent research shows that children who are overweight or obese are significantly more likely to develop the disease. The study also shows that using inhaled corticosteroids to treat asthma in childhood could result in reduced bone mineral density in early teenage years.

Over the years, pediatric use of inhalers for asthma has increased, as more and more young ones have been diagnosed with the condition.

"In the light of these results, weight control is especially important for children who have suffered from bronchiolitis in early childhood. As to the use of inhaled corticosteroids, particular attention should be paid to using the lowest sufficient dose to maintain adequate asthma control," Ms. Virpi Sidoroff, MD, who presented the results in her doctoral dissertation at the University of Eastern Finland, says in a statement. 

In spite of the findings, doctors believe that asthma should never be left untreated since symptoms can be especially bothersome. The key is to use the lowest dose of medication possible to limit any negative side-effects.

In addition to treating asthma with prescription medicine and inhalers, getting to the root of the problem can also limit symptoms. Certain triggers, including pet dander, dust mites, mold, smoke and dry air can contribute to the condition. It is important to rid your home of these debris to ensure that the air you and your children breathe in is healthy and clean.

To get rid of harmful allergens, be sure to contact VClean at 888-787-3088. Our air duct cleaning and carpet cleaning services in Maryland can help minimize coughing, wheezing and sneezing.

Dec 27

Do you suffer from Christmas Tree Syndrome?

Believe it or not, Christmas Tree Syndrome (CTS) is a real condition. Given its name a couple years ago, CTS relates to an allergy stemmed from real Christmas trees.

"It first happened about four years ago," David Bass tells Mirror News. "I'd just moved into my first flat and bought a real Christmas tree. Soon after I'd decorated it, I started sneezing and getting red, watery eyes and an itchy nose, just like the hay fever symptoms I get in the summer."

If you suffer from winter allergies, you're not alone. Around a third of the UK population experiences an increase in hay fever symptoms around Christmas. It was an annual increase in upper-respiratory symptoms for a week before and after the holiday that encouraged allergy specialist Dr. Lawrence Kurlandsky, then at the Upstate Medical University in New York, to implement a study on clippings from 28 fir trees.

The study, which was published in 2011, found more than 50 different types of mold on tree bark and needles, many of which were known to cause allergies. Not only do Christmas trees affect homeowners around Christmas, but since their needles can also get trapped in carpets and under couches, this allergy continues throughout the winter.

Anyone with hay fever knows that it's a vicious cycles. Once your outdoor allergies go away, the winter brings a whole new set of symptoms. If you're like Bass and suffer from CTS or other winter allergies, be sure to contact VClean. Our Maryland carpet cleaning services can rid your home or debris and pine needles, which may limit your unpleasant respiratory symptoms.

Dec 26

Tips for remedying winter allergies

If you think that allergies are only prevalent in springtime, you may be in for a rude awakening this winter.

"During the winter, families spend more time indoors, exposing allergic individuals to allergens and irritants like dust mites, pet dander, smoke, household sprays and chemicals and gas fumes — any of which can make their lives miserable," Dr. William Reisacher, director of the Allergy Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City, said in a hospital news release. "With the lengthening of the pollen season over the past several years, people with seasonal allergies might find their symptoms extending even further into the winter months."

Luckily, there are some helpful tips for remedying winter allergy symptoms. Take a look at the suggestions below:

Limit allergens in your bedroom: Your bedroom is perhaps the most crucial room in your house to eliminate allergens. Keep your pets out of your bedroom and think about adding hypoallergenic sheets and pillow cases to your bed. If you have a carpet in your bedroom, it is essential that you clean it regularly and even use a professional cleaning service like VClean. 

Maintain humidity level: Keeping your indoor humidity level between 30 and 40 percent will help prevent mold growth. Try using a humidifier or dehumidifier to regulate this level. If your room is too dry, this can cause nasal allergy symptoms. Additionally, if air is too moist, mold can flourish. Just be sure to frequently change humidifier water and filters to avoid contamination.

If allergies are a problem in your household, contact VClean for carpet and air duct cleaning or mold removal services

Dec 26

New “Asthma App” rewards kids for taking medicine

Asthma affects children (and adults) of all ages. In fact, the condition is responsible for more school absences and hospitalizations than any other chronic illness. Out of the seven million children who suffer from this disease, many forget to take their medication, which is why researchers are developing a new app that reminds kids to take their medication and rewards them for doing so.

"It's like somebody just coming up to you and just choking you," Mikah Allen, asthma sufferer, tells the MySunCoast.com. "[Taking my medication] just slips my mind sometimes."

Dr. Giselle Mosnaim, Allergist and Immunologist at Rush University Medical Center, tells the news source that reminding children to take their medicine can limit unpleasant symptoms and trips to the emergency room.

Currently an app is being developed to encourage children to take their medicine. The technology has transformed taking your medicine into a game. Each time a child uses his or her inhaler, they can play a virtual game to earn rewards on Google Play. The 50 cent reward they get for listening to doctor's orders can be spent on music, apps, TV shows and movies. Through the app, doctors can also notify children if they forget their daily dose of medication.

Although using an inhaler is an important treatment option when dealing with asthma, it is also helpful to rid your environment of asthma and allergy triggers, ranging from pet dander to dust mites. If your child suffers from asthma, allergens inside of your carpet or air duct may be contributing to symptoms. Be sure to contact VClean for Maryland carpet cleaning services and help your child breathe a sigh of relief. 

Dec 25

Alternatives to allergy shots

One in five Americans suffer from allergies or asthma, costing the health care industry $7.9 billion annually, as well as causing unpleasant symptoms in both children and adults. To remedy symptoms, some patients opt to endure repeated allergy shots, which are especially used to treat hay-fever. Although these shots can reduce sneezing, coughing and other upper-respiratory symptoms, they can also be painful and time-consuming, since patients must visit the doctors office frequently.

A recent study shows the sublingual immunotherapy—the use of pills or liquid medicine—may be just as effective as traditional shots.

"It would be much easier to have a child take this treatment orally or under the tongue rather than receive an injection," Dr. Hermant Sharma, head of the Food Allergy Program at Children's National Medical Center, told Wtop.com. "This is still strictly experimental."

Essentially, the pills or drops will make your body used to a particular allergen so that you don't have as many flair ups.

Although this research shows promising news for those who suffer from allergies, many children have trouble swallowing pills or forget to take their medicine on a daily basis. Similarly, allergy shots can be quite painful, especially for kids. When dealing with allergies, it's best to get to the root of the problem, which means eliminating the allergens from your home.

At VClean we can help rid your house of irritating allergy triggers, ranging from pet hair to dust mites. Call us toll-free at 888-787-3088 to inquire about our Maryland carpet cleaning and air duct cleaning services, which may be able to help alleviate allergy symptoms. 

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