Question: "What kind of room air cleaner should one consider purchasing?"
Answer: Only an air cleaner whose mechanism involves or includes HEPA and/or Electrostatic Air Cleaner with charcoal filter should be considered. Pure "Ionizers" do not work adequately, unless combined with one of the other mechanisms as a major factor.
The following are suggestions which we have found useful over the years on a variety of topics related to environmental control.
No. 1: Instructions for initial treatment of a cold: FLUIDS, 2 quarts daily for adults; steam inhalation and nasal irrigation; no antihistamines other than claritin or allegra for three days; no "cold tablets"; Neo-Synephrine nose spray one-quarter percent, 2 sprays each nostril three times daily for three days, then stop; plain Robitussin expectorant, 2 teaspoons 3 x daily for three days; bronchodilators as ordered; warm saline gargles hourly for two days.
No. 2 No pets of any kind should be allowed at any time in the living quarters of an allergic household. They are highly sensitized. The longer the exposure, the greater the likelihood and severity of sensitivity, both in allergic individuals and in family members. Existing pets should be restricted to an unused basement or back hall or removed from the household.
No. 3 Regarding household temperature and humidity, we recommend a daytime temperature of 65 to 67 degrees, a nighttime temperature of 60 to 62 degrees, and relative humidity of 40 to 50%. Overheating produces dry mucous membranes, complicates allergic symptoms, and greatly increases susceptibility to colds.
No. 4: Smoking of any kind is a miserable habit with harmful effects of various kinds on both the smoker and on all others in the household. It is indoor air pollution and increases the occurrence and severity of all respiratory conditions. Secondary smoke is especially bad for children. Smoking during pregnancy is a serious risk for both mother and fetus.
No. 5: Feathers, on birds or in pillows, comforters or furniture, are highly sensitizing and should be avoided by elimination or by zippered pillows.
No. 6:Fireplaces and wood stoves may be pretty and comfortable; they are also drying and air polluting. Except for occasional use, they should be avoided.
No. 7: Exposure to mold spores is a prominent cause of allergic symptoms for many patients. Mold grows best in damp and dark area. It may be controlled by improving lighting and reducing relative humidity of the enclosed area. In addition, sensitivity to mold exposure during major seasonal peaks may be reduced by avoiding the intake of foods based upon mold growth and fermentation ( wines, cheeses, etc.)
No. 8: Women of childbearing age are reminded that several antibiotics, and also anti epilepsy medications, interfere with the function of birth control pills. Abstinence or alternative measures are suggested when such medications are being taken.