Bert's Blog™

Bert's Blog™ features anything and everything to do with what is more suitable for those living with asthma and allergies. The blog also presents information for manufacturers aiming to provide products and services for those patients with asthma and allergic diseases.

Bert takes the science of certification and talks about it with you so that all can better understand what it means to be Certified asthma & allergy friendly™. He will also discuss tips, asthma and allergy news and resources, Q&As, newly certified products and services, and more.

Bert's Blog™ will occasionally feature guest bloggers from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) and Allergy Standards Limited (ASL) who will talk about manufacturer tips, new Certification Standards, and industry news.

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6.30.16 Summer Tips Image Family at AirportAs summer rolls in, many are preparing for family vacations.  Exciting!  But vacations also require careful planning if you or someone in your family has asthma and allergies.

Maybe you’ve had allergies since you were little. Or maybe you are new to living with asthma. Regardless of your situation, the asthma & allergy friendly® Certification Program offers these tips to prepare for a safer, healthier trip.

Prepare for Your Medical Needs:

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4.26.16 Brandpoint Shopping Tips Image Woman Shopping SmallA stuffy nose. Scratchy throat. Difficulty breathing. It’s bad enough when spring allergy season reaps its ugly head, but when the things in your home trigger your asthma and allergies too, you feel like you’re in an endless battle to feel healthy.

“Many household goods are hidden sources of asthma and allergy triggers,” says Dr. Cary Sennett, President and CEO of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. “Fortunately, you can breathe easier by shopping smarter. By keeping a few tips in mind, you’ll be able to select products that reduce the likelihood of flares or attacks.”

Dr. Sennett and the experts at AAFA offer these shopping tips to limit asthma and allergy triggers in your home.

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2.18.16 Heart Month Image Heart Board  Cert SmallFebruary is American Heart Month, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). AAFA knows that a healthy heart is a great start to a healthy lifestyle.  But did you know your asthma could play a role in your heart’s health?

Crazy, I know!

In 2014, a study led by Dr. Matthew Tattersall—assistant professor of medicine in the cardiology division at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health—found that people with asthma who have to take medication every day to control it were 60 percent more likely to have a heart attack or stroke, compared to those without asthma. 

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1.21.16 Get Organized Month Image MedicationJanuary is Get Organized Month, a.k.a. GO Month, according to the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). And AAFA knows that organization is especially important for those living with asthma and allergies.

I know I don’t need to remind you just how dangerous severe asthmatic and allergic reactions can be. That’s why I’ve put together some tips and tricks to help you “GO” this month when it comes to your asthma and allergies.

Review your medical history. Request your asthma and allergy records, or set an appointment to review them with your doctor. It’s important to recall your history so future treatment can be adjusted as needed.

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1.7.16 New Years Resolutions Image List of ResolutionsHappy New Year, everyone!

As 2016 rolls in, many of us are thinking about our New Year’s resolutions. We may want to exercise more, eat healthier, or take more “me-time.” But it is important to remember your asthma and allergies play a big role in your quality of life too.

Maybe you’ve had allergies since you were little. Or maybe you are new to living with asthma. Regardless of your situation, take advantage of a new year and make a new life for yourself. A life without limits.

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Posted by on in Asthma and Allergy News

12.7.15 5 Steps to Red Seasonal Allergies Image Couple CleaningIf you find yourself using more tissues and sneezing up a storm during certain times of the year, you're not alone. More than 45 million Americans are living with seasonal allergic rhinitis—a.k.a. nasal allergies. For many, allergies that occur seasonally and are mild, but others have allergies so severe it interferes with their day-to-day lives.

"If you have allergies upon exposure to an allergen, such as tree, grass and weed pollen, your immune system incorrectly believes the pollen is an invader. It then overreacts by producing IgE antibodies which ultimately act in releasing certain chemicals such as histamine, responsible for countless unpleasant symptoms such as watery eyes, itchy throat, sneezing and nasal congestion," says Clifford W. Bassett, MD, AAFA Medical-Scientific Council Subcommittee Chair. "Outdoor allergens include pollen and mold spores while indoor allergens involve pet dander, dust mites, and others. The key is to be proactive and see an allergist for proper testing in order to confirm the triggers for your allergy symptoms. Then, you can put an individualized allergy action plan in place."

Dealing with seasonal allergies is a pain, but you shouldn't let it lower your quality of life. Here are a few helpful steps to gaining control of your symptoms:

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11.12.15 Holiday Tips  New Products Image Tree DecoratingMore than 60 million Americans have asthma and allergies ... and it’s likely some of them will visit your home this holiday season. When triggers can lurk anywhere and everywhere, it’s important to take steps to ensure your home will be as comfortable as possible when your loved ones arrive.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America’s Certification Program offers some tips for getting your home holiday-ready and asthma and allergy-friendly:

Cleaning to reduce triggers

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10.8.15 Flu vs Allergies Image Man SneezingThe similarities between symptoms of the flu or cold and nasal allergies—a.k.a. allergic rhinitis, indoor or outdoor allergies, seasonal allergies, or hay fever—can cause confusion. It can even cause you to make the wrong diagnosis and treat your symptoms with the wrong medications.

It is important to understand the differences and determine the correct diagnosis because if allergies are left untreated, they can cause more serious conditions like sinusitis or ear infections. There are some key differences between the two, but it is always important to talk to your doctor to get the most accurate diagnosis.


Tagged in: Allergies Cold Fall Flu Tips
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10.1.15 Fall Tips Image LeavesFall can be hard for families like yours that are living with asthma and allergies. As global warming conditions boost ragweed levels each year, fall storms and tornadoes also pick up and disperse ragweed and other allergens.

The most common outdoor allergen in the fall is ragweed, which pollinates from mid-August to early October through most of the United States. It can trigger asthma and allergy symptoms in millions of adults and kids causing itchy and runny nose, nasal congestion, repeated sneezing, watery eyes, inflamed sinuses and, in severe cases, difficulty breathing.

But, it’s not just an outdoor problem—weed pollen also makes its way indoors and it is important to take steps in order to avoid pollen from getting into your homes. And don’t forget, removing it when it does get in.

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8.20.15 Back to School  State Honor Roll Image 1st Day of School EditedThe back to school season is stressful for any parent. You have to buy new clothes, new supplies, and new lunch boxes. Not to mention you have to figure out afterschool care. Oh, and if your child has asthma or allergies, you need to make sure they’ll be safe at school when you’re not around. So let’s just add scary to the stress for parents of children with asthma or allergies.

You’re very aware of your child’s triggers so you can actively work to reduce their exposure in your home through simple cleaning routines or long-term renovations. But do their principles, teachers, or school nurses know what triggers your child’s asthma or allergies? Do they know what to do if your child has an asthma attack or allergic reaction?

Triggers can be anywhere and everywhere at a school. Rugs or carpeting can collect dirt and dust mites. Classroom pets are cute but problematic. Rigorous sports may exert your son or daughter and there are bees on the playground with freshly mowed grass. For children with food allergies, the cafeteria presents a problem and so do the treats sent by other parents.

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7.6.15 Matte Release Home Reno Tips ImageThis is the peak season for do-it-yourself projects, and maybe you already have your tape measure in hand, ready to tackle a bathroom remodel, open up the floor plan or finally reimagine that unfinished basement. There are plenty of considerations to take into account with any project, including space, budget and your desired results. But you also need to think about the people who will be enjoying this space with you, especially if any of them suffer from allergies or asthma.

Whether you undertake the project yourself or you hire a professional, each project has the potential to make life easier for the allergy and asthma sufferers living in your home. To help you create the best environment for them, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) offers these helpful tips from its asthma & allergy friendly Certification Program:

Shut the door on bad cabinets. If you’re looking to add or replace your cabinets, you may be considering common options like pressed wood, particleboard or composite boards. These materials, however, often release high levels of volatile organic compounds such as formaldehyde. To make your new cabinets more suitable for the asthma and allergy suffers in your home, talk to manufacturers about low-VOC options instead.

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6.18.15 Wedding Season Image Wedding Sign SmallIt’s wedding season once again and it seems like everyone you know is getting married. 

Since asthma and allergies affects 1 out of 5 Americans, and over 50% of U.S. households, odds are the new couple may be among them.  With one of the worst allergy seasons in over a decade, it’s important for the new couple to keep pollen and other allergens and irritants outside so they can start their new journey on the right foot—with a healthier home.

When you’re brainstorming ideas for gifts, consider Certified asthma & allergy friendly™ products.  When you see the Certification Mark and my face, you know that product is scientifically proven to be more suitable for those with asthma and allergies.  There are a full range of products, from small to large, that can fit into a budget you feel comfortable with.

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2e1ax yoo nano3 entry 5.21.15 Keep-Pollen-Tsunami-Outside-Image Family-GrillingAfter a long winter, warmer weather is finally here!  Thank goodness, right?  That probably means you are soaking up the sun, the kids are playing outside, and your neighbors are hosting outdoor grilling parties. 

Oh, and you’re probably sneezing, itching your eyes, and blowing your nose thanks to what many are calling the “Pollen Tsunami.”

Pollen and other allergens and irritants are in the air this spring—with force—and it can be hard to keep those triggers where they belong, outside!  You can’t control outdoor triggers, but you can take a few steps to help keep them from sneaking inside your home with you.

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