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 Post subject: Nighttime Snufflies
PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 8:50 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:37 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Nova Scotia
My son has asthma. It is very well-controlled, he hasn't had an attack in over a year. I don't like to say "mild asthma", but I guess that's what it is. He takes Flovent twice a day.

However, he has a stuffy nose at bedtime. He doesn't seem to be stuffy the rest of the day. And, he's not stuffy every night. But probably he is stuffy about 70% of the time. It seems to vary week-to-week.
Because it is not constant, and it seems to vary week-to-week, (as opposed to day-to-day), I haven't been able to narrow it down to a particular product or activity. For example he swims 3 times/wk, but he's not stuffy *only* on swim days.

He was particularly stuffy when using L'oreal kids shampoo, so we stopped using it. We went back to Johnson's Baby Wash, we have used that since he was a baby and now he's almost 4 but I find it is mild on his skin so why change.

There is carpet in his room. I know, we should change it and we'd like to. However, I'm not sure that's the culprit in this case. Like I said, it seems to vary week-to-week.

Is nighttime stuffiness simply a by-product of asthma? Do I just have to accept it and try not to let it bother me as much? It doesn't seem to bother my son as much as it bothers me! I just feel bad for him, I would hate to be stuffed-up at bedtime.

Then again, some preschoolers have a constanty-runny nose. Maybe it's just childhood, and not related to asthma at all??


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 11:52 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
My daughter has itchy skin that varies week to week. Right now, mold spores are in high concentration in the air. My friend subscribes to an online local environmental airborn allergy site which e-mails her what environmental pollens/spores are in the air. My daughter seems to be effected by the mold which is high right now, but the service might help you to pinpoint if it has an environmental trigger.The site is local, and it is called "pollen direct" maybe you have one for your area as well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 12:57 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
It's interesting you mention mould...we used to live in a finished basement. As soon as we moved out (and above ground - yahoo!) his asthma greatly improved. I'm convinced that he was reacting to mould.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 1:02 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:37 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Nova Scotia
Thanks saskmommy! I tried registering for that site, but it seems it's only in the US. However, I did find the same service at weathernetwork.ca. I registered for a daily pollen forecast email. This should help me find out if it's pollen/spores that are causing the stuffies.

I guess I could ask his allergist to test for different pollens? But it doesn't seem to be serious, just bothersome.

Check out weathernetwork.ca/health


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 1:05 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2005 2:07 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Burlington
My son is the same way. It only happens at night. I kept thinking he was getting a cold all the time. His room gets cleaned every week but I took some extra time and pulled everything out and cleaned every nook and cranny. I bought that Arm & Hammer Allergen Reducer powder for the carpets. I removed any stuffed animals from his bed. I washed everything on his bed in hot water. I removed any stuffed animals from his bed and put them in a sealed container. It seemed to help a bit but he's still a bit stuffy. I'm thinking I should change the pillow next. Perhaps mould is the issue?

I know he has season allergies (mostly in the late summer) but I would think those would be present during the day as well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 1:23 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:37 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Nova Scotia
I hesitate to say mould, because our house is only 3 years old and we are the first owners. I could be way off, but I thought mould was most common in older homes/homes that previously had leaks/water behind walls/basement dwellings. Plus, my understanding is that mould will wreak havoc on the lungs/airways, so if it was mould, we'd probably be having serious problems with his asthma. But I appreciate the suggestion. (Especially becuase we live in Nova Scotia, which is damp and I've read we have one of the highest levels of asthma in Canada. Damp=mould, and we have losts of damp in NS!)

Saskmommy, you have mentioned snow mould. What is that?

I think I'll try eliminating all stuffed toys (there's only 3-4 anyway), and maybe change the bedspread. Right now he's using a duvet, but it's poly-fill, so I thought it would be ok. Maybe it's just the puffiness of it, keeping dust in the fabric. Also he has a feather pillow...but he was tested for allergies to feathers and dust, and he tested negative!

I suppose a person can be not-allergic to dust, but still be sensitive to dust.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 3:52 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
Snow mold is basically what happens when the snow melts, and unfreezes any mold growth in the lawns, dead leaf piles etc. The constant state of the lawn and the entire neighbourhood being wet contributes to an outdoor mold problem during the spring melt down and dry up.

Quote:
Unlike pollens, molds may persist after the first killing frost. Some can grow at subfreezing temperatures, but most become dormant. Snow cover lowers the outdoor mold count dramatically but does not kill molds. After the spring thaw, molds thrive on the vegetation that has been killed by the winter cold.

http://healthlink.mcw.edu/article/926104064.html

Nova Scotia = damp, and a lot of problems for those with a mold spore allergy are created in the damp outdoors...not in their house.

If you check out the asthma certified products in the rectangle advertisement below, you will find pillows. They are available at sears, I ordered some yesterday, and they are currently on sale...but I am not sure for how much longer. Even if asthma is not a problem, it never hurts to hinder dust mites from your pillow. They are also designed to withstand regular machine washing.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 6:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
A few ideas to think about:

1) as saskmommy says, it could be a mould allergy---even if your house it new, mould grows in plants, on wet tiles in the bathrooms, in bathroom drains. sometimes mould can be in new houses too. it is a concern when there are construction delays.

2) has your son been tested for dust mite allergy in addition to dust? for a lot of people, it isn't the actual dust that is the problem but the dust mites...their feces are highly allergenic. If it could be dust mites, you could encase your son's matress in a non-permeable matress cover which dust mites can't get through---washing the duvet and all bedding frequently in hot soapy water would help as would removing curtains and horizontal blinds. there are dust mite resistant pillow cases too--pillows are ideal breeding grounds for those mites. if it is a dust allergy, then removing the carpets might be a good idea. but if it is not, then it might not matter a whole lot.

My way of knowing that I have a dust allergy (besides the allergy tests): if I don't dust my room for 2 weeks, I can tell a major difference! (you might think of letting the vacuuming go for longer than usual and see if it makes your son worse.)

3) maybe it is not an allergy at all---maybe your son could have acid reflux (which can sometimes be "silent"---i.e. your son might not feel anything. at night (when laying down), reflux can irritate nasal passages causing stuffiness

I hesitate recommending reflux medication, though, since a few studies have shown that they increase the chance of developing food allergies. (there was one study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. I'm not sure that these studies have hit the radar screen---two specialists prescribed me reflux medication but didn't mention anything about this.)

For some reason, treating the nasal passages improves lung function and vice versa.

Good luck! figuring out this allergy stuff is *so* difficult--there are so many things to consider.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 8:14 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:37 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Nova Scotia
Thanks guys, you have given me some interesting stuff to work with.
I didn't realize dust and dust mites would be 2 different tests!

Wouldn't you know it, he's been totally clear the last couple of nights since I posted. Maybe if I keep writing about it he'll stay clear...ha ha.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 3:54 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
I got my asthma friendly pilows today. They are good for dust allergies...and made without the use of chemicals which can aggrivate asthma as well ( the chemical part was new to me, this implies that regular pillows have chemicals which can aggrivate asthma). I also switched my laundry detergent to ecover (and dish detergents ), and my daughter has been sleeping in regular clothes (not fire retardant chemical treated regular pajamas). I have not given her antihistamines for 2 days and she has slept throught the night with no new scratches and she has not complained once about being itchy even though she has played outside during the day. I am assuming here that she is "chemical sensitive" so the chemical free asthma pillows should be good for her (she currently has a blanket stuffed in a pillow case).

I thought they might be of interest to you as well...maybe your nighttime snifflies are related to the use of chemicals. I imagine that the feathers in feather pillows must be heavily treated with chemicals to make them clean enough to be in a pillow.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 7:12 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
saskmommy - glad to hear that your daughter is feeling better. :)
Speaking of chemically treated feather pillows -- when my son seemed to have a reaction to feathers, I did some research on the net about down filled duvets and discovered (to my surprise) that a lot of the duvets on the market are also chemically treated (same for carpets, and the list goes on...). Exposure to these chemicals can't be good for any of us -- let alone our extremely sensitive little ones.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 7:32 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
never thought much about chemically-treated fabric and pillows. i guess we are exposed to a lot more chemicals than we would like to think.

while we're on this topic, I read that low doses of formaldehyde in the air (formadehyde is a very common indoor air pollutant because it is in so much stuff) has been shown to increase reactivity to dust. (if anyone is interested in the citation, I coudl dig it up without much trouble).

On second thought, I wonder if allergists who only do one test for "dust" actually mix the "dust mites" and "dust" solutions together (kind of like how some allergists test for "mixed nuts" rather than for individual tree nuts). It really wouldn't make sense to test for dust but not dust mites. My allergist seems to prefer doing individual tests..i.e. he tests for different types of tree nuts separately and also does a separate test for dust and for dust mites.


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