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Local Honey for Allergies — Does It Really Work?

2 minute read

Truth v. Fiction: Using Local Honey for Allergies

Allergy season has begun and some allergy sufferers may already be experiencing symptoms that can last through August or September.

These symptoms can include:
● Sneezing
● Runny or stuffy nose
● Watery or itchy eyes
● Itchy sinuses, throat, or ear canals
● Postnasal drainage

While there are many over-the-counter treatments available, the theory of using local honey as a remedy for spring allergies has gained some popularity among those looking for a natural approach, but does it actually work?

The Theory

Allergy shots are a useful comparison for this theory about honey. Your body takes small shots of the allergen to build immunity. As immunity builds, your body is provided with more of the allergen.

This same theory applies to the idea of using doses of local honey for allergies. The raw, unprocessed honey is made close to where you live, and contains the pollen and other allergens that may be causing your allergy symptoms.

It sounds reasonable.

Except for a couple important facts.

The Science

1. Allergy shots isolate the specific allergen that patients are allergic to. Alternatively, there is no way to know exactly what is in the local honey you’re consuming, or if you’re allergic to it in the first place.
2. Seasonal allergies are caused by pollen from trees, weeds, and grasses, not insect-borne pollen from flowers which is predominantly the pollen found in honey.

The Real Benefits of Honey

While local honey might not cure you of your seasonal allergies, it can still deliver a lot of benefits:
● Sore throat remedy
● Cough suppressant
● Good source of antioxidants
● Strong source of prebiotics and nutrients
● Immune booster
● Sweetener alternative to processed sugar

If you want to give raw honey a try, make sure you source it from a local and trusted producer. This beekeeper will be someone who doesn’t use any chemicals or other treatments, has bee hives within 5 miles of where you live, does not feed or move their bees, never filters or heats their honey, and uses wooden frames and natural wax foundation. If you can’t find a beekeeper that meets all those criteria, aim for as many as you can to ensure the most beneficial raw/local honey.

*As a reminder, it’s important to keep in mind that honey is not safe for children under 12 months, as it can lead to a serious condition called botulism.

Clean Air Everywhere

Don’t suffer through allergy season! One of the best things you can do for your health is to ensure a clean, healthy indoor environment. That means using air filters, keeping temperatures and humidity in check, and having your house inspected for any potential problem areas.

Check out all the tips and best practices we’ve included in the Aprilaire Clean Air Everywhere campaign. We want you to enjoy the spring weather without worrying about allergies!

Sources:
https://acaai.org/resources/connect/ask-allergist/will-honey-relieve-my-seasonal-allergies

https://www.healthline.com/health/allergies/honey-remedy#conclusions

https://www.webmd.com/allergies/features/does-honey-help-prevent-allergies#2

https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/top-raw-honey-benefits

https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/how-to-find-the-best-local-honey/

 

 

St. Vincent de Paul

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2021: Aprilaire’s Good Neighbor Values

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We take the importance of caring for others to heart at Aprilaire. We believe we have a purpose beyond the individual work we do and that being a successful company also means “Being a Good Neighbor.” It’s one of our core values, and something we put into action each year.

We remain committed to helping our local communities in a number of ways, including financial contributions and volunteering. In the past, we’ve raised funds to provide pack-n-plays to mothers in need, volunteered at local blood drives, and held various donation drives throughout the year.

While our partnership opportunities may look different in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re excited to continue our work with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, whose mission statement reads:

“A membership organization, the Society began working in Madison in 1925 with two parish-based groups of members serving their neighbors in need. Today, programs the Society operates in Dane County include a large customer-choice food pantry, a charitable pharmacy, storage for the goods of persons who are homeless, seven thrift stores offering direct charity, housing at Port St. Vincent de Paul and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton House, and several other forms of assistance for people struggling with poverty.”

We’ve been working with St. Vincent de Paul – Madison since 2014, giving us a number of incredible opportunities to give back and live out our mission of being Good Neighbors.

We believe the work they’re doing to provide assistance for our community is more important than ever right now, which is why it’s our honor to be a 2021 Platinum Sponsor for St. Vincent de Paul’s 6th Annual Care Café fundraising breakfast on May, 5th 2021. The theme is “Love Made Visible.”

They’re going virtual this year, which means they have unlimited capacity to reach their goal of $140,000. If you live in Dane County, we encourage you to attend the virtual event and support our neighbors in need through your contributions to the food pantry, free pharmacy, and housing programs.

 Click here for more information on St. Vincent de Paul – Madison to see how you can get involved.

Or find a charity in your area that you may be able to connect with to make an impact.

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Experiencing the Fight For Air Climb

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Before the Fight For Air Climb

Entering the US Bank Center for the American Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb was a rush of energy.

This seemed less like an arduous trek up 1,000 stairs and more of an indoor festival. There were volunteers ready to greet you and pump you up for the ensuing climb and people from different companies sitting at tables ready to hand out souvenirs.

They were probably also there to distract you after you just got done instinctively looking up toward the top of the 47-story US Bank Center in downtown Milwaukee becoming a little uneasy at the prospect of your journey upward.

Before you made your climb, you gathered as a team and took several escalators down to the basement level before getting warmed up with a quick aerobic routine. Then you took a long and winding tunnel where you greeted by more volunteers who were cheering you on. It was hard not to feel inspired and excited.

During the Fight For Air Climb

One-by-one people took off up toward the top of the US Bank Center to begin their Fight For Air Climb. I, like most, started off confidently and quickly. I took the first six flights easily, but then by flight eight, I began to fight for air. I now understand why they title this climb just that. My mind and my body were at odds. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to continue at the same pace to get it over with as quickly as possible or to slow down and feel better. I went with the former.

Everyone in the stairwell was trudging onward with the same dilemma. We all were gasping for air as we kept pushing up each step and each flight toward the top of the Fight For Air Climb. At several points, I wondered if I was actually making any progress.

Every 10 flights there was a group of volunteers handing out cups of water and words of encouragement. Both were sorely needed to help push me along.

With each passing flight, I kept a tally of how many flights I had left. Twenty flights down, 27 more flights to go; 30 flights down, 17 flights to go; Ok, 40 flights down, 7 to go. By the time I got to the 40th floor, I knew I could make the last push to make it to the top of my Fight For Air Climb journey.

After the Fight For Air Climb

Eventually, I reached the top after 9 minutes and 31 seconds. At the top of the stairwell, I was met by volunteers who were cheering me on and by other climbers who were also catching their breath and taking in the picturesque views of Milwaukee and Lake Michigan afforded to us by the tallest building in Wisconsin.

As I grabbed a water and walked around soaking in both the views of the city and my accomplishment, it was really cool to watch teams taking pictures together or greeting other climbers with high-fives and smiles. There was a certain camaraderie found in a common struggle.

Despite the lingering soreness, I cannot wait for next year’s climb. No matter if I beat my time from this year or not, it’s about fighting for air together and helping those impacted with lung disease.

To join an upcoming climb in a city near you, visit www.lung.org/aprilaire.

flights

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Experts Say Flights Can Resume, But Bring Increased Risks

2 minute read

Air quality experts say that it is safe to resume flying, but travelers must take advanced precautions before traveling like taking shorter flights when possible, wearing masks, and social distancing. 

In an opinion piece for The Washington Post, Joseph Allen, an assistant professor of exposure assessment science at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, makes the case that airplanes do not make you sick. In fact, airplanes have comparable levels of air filtration and fresh air ventilation to a health care facility

Flights May Be Less Comfortable With Recommendations

He argues that airlines should continue disinfecting high-touch areas such as armrests and tray tables, stop in-flight food service, mandate mask-wearing, and ask patrons to keep their above ventilation fan on throughout the flight. While these adjustments make flying less enjoyable, they can help reduce in-flight virus transmission. Masks are currently required on public transportation. 

Allen is not the only one saying it is safe to resume flying. 

‘Safer Than Eating At A Restaurant’

Linsey Marr, an engineering professor at Virginia Tech, in a CNN article writes, “When HEPA ventilation systems are running on a plane and everyone is masked, the risk of Covid-19 is greatly reduced and makes air travel on a big jet safer than eating at a restaurant.”

Activities Create Biggest Risks

She and Allen argue that the biggest risks in airline travel stem from activities like the pre-flight boarding process or when a flight is delayed and people are stuck on the plane. Marr, who has been wearing an air quality monitor when she travels, said CO2 levels are elevated during these aforementioned activities and are indicative of a lack of fresh air ventilation. 

Marr told CNN that “A CO2 (carbon dioxide) level of 3,000 ppm means that for every breath I take in, about 7% of the air is other people’s exhaled breath…like drinking someone else’s backwash!”

The airport also presents other problems for travelers.

Allen suggests airports create more touchless experiences, upgrade their HVAC system, and require masks. Some updates have already been implemented in some airports or will be implemented in the future. 

Other experts suggest carrying your own personal hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and sticking to shorter flights

Even though there are risks to flying, Marr and Allen say you are clear for takeoff this summer