Ask The Allergista: What's your opinion on face masks?

Q:

Hi! Just subscribed to your blog, which I've followed off and on for a year now. I'd like to ask your thoughts on allergy masks - whether wearing them is something you've ever done, would never do, or could advise/opine on. The reason why I ask is because I have grappled with seasonal allergies (from Florida to NJ, you name it), allergies to printed material (certain inks are the end of me, sending me into a sneezing fit), as well as pet allergies (specifically to my beloved rescue pups as I've learned over the past three years). Basically, if you could suggest a mask for the most severe of allergen outbreaks, I would love to hear your perspective.

Keep being awesome.

A:

To answer your first couple questions:

  • No, I've never worn a face mask for my allergies.
  • I would only do so if I was having serious breathing problems or extreme brain fog (where you get disoriented due to the allergens you're breathing in)

There's a wonderful blogger, Kathryn, who wears a face mask when she goes out in public. She'd be a great person to reach out to. Her blog is called Allergic to My Life Battle and she wrote a book called "Allergic to Life".

I did a little bit of searching online and came across this website called "I Can Breathe!" which has a whole host of breathing masks. They have a range from light silk masks to the more heavy duty kind with carbon filters.

If I were you, I'd invest in air filters for every room in your house and also make sure you're changing out the filters to your central air system regularly. That makes a big difference. I do keep an air filter in my cubicle at work as well.

For the dog issue, there's a shampoo for dogs which helps those who are allergic to them. it's called Allerpet D. I also use Zyrtec for my season allergies (it's stringer than Claritin) and a sinus rinse machine when I feel like using it. There are manual sinus rinses as well.

Hope this helps! And thank you for the kind words :-)

Sincerely,

The Allergista