TIME public health

4 Health Products You Should Never Buy Online

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Beware these sketchy online purchases

Whatever you need, you can get it online. That can make shopping for health products a little bit, shall we say, sketchy. “The people selling certain products to you don’t care about your health and just want money. With greed comes a lot of fraud,” says Josephine Dlugopolski-Gach, assistant professor of internal medicine and pediatrics at Loyola University Health System. While you have to be careful with whatever you buy, these four products below can run you into a lot of trouble—and harm:

Certain prescription medications

If a site will let you buy meds without a prescription, that’s a big red flag—especially for certain medications. Listen to this warning from the Drug Enforcement Administration: “Buying online could mean doing time.” Even if you have good intentions, you can’t legally buy “controlled substances” online like Xanax or Ambien without an Rx. And prescriptions from cyber docs won’t cut it, says the DEA. The law is different depending on your state, but most require you to see a doctor you have a relationship with in person. In addition to that, buying from a bad site could leave you with medication that’s fake or contains dangerous ingredients. For example, the FDA purchased the flu-stopping medication Tamiflu online in order to test it. They found it wasn’t Tamiflu at all, but a combination of talc and acetaminophen.

It’s perfectly fine to buy prescription medication from a state-licensed US-based online pharmacy; these sites often can help you save money. To know if they’re legit, Dr. Dlugopolski-Gach suggests making sure they have an actual phone number, have a licensed pharmacist on staff, and require an Rx to fill your order. You can check the legitimacy of the site at the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. And use common sense. “If the deal sounds too good to be true, you’re probably not going to get the right medication,” she says.

Weight loss supplements

You never know what you’re going to get when you buy a weight loss supplement online. The FDA points out that in their testing, they’ve discovered supplements—even herbals—were tainted with hidden and unsafe ingredients. Many are also not FDA-approved, meaning their claims haven’t been checked out and aren’t regulated. (It’s on the individual companies to tell the truth. They don’t always do that.) “A lot of times, these weight loss pills are just stimulants. They contain a lot of caffeine, which is not safe, especially if you have a cardiac condition,” says Dr. Dlugopolski-Gach. “I’ve seen people go into the ER on the verge of a heart attack.” While building long-term healthy habits is often the best way to keep weight off, if you want to check out something that promises to help you lose weight or rev your metabolism, “tell your doctor what you’re interested in before you buy it, even if it’s marketed as natural,” she adds.

Breast milk

You hear “breast is best”—but it’s not if it comes from an online source, suggests an editorial in The BMJ. The problem is, breast milk online is an unregulated industry, so it can be contaminated with viruses (like hepatitis or HIV), bacteria (if not stored or shipped properly) alcohol, prescription medication, and illegal drugs, notes Dr. Dlugopolski-Gach. What’s more, in a new study in the journal Pediatrics, researchers tested 102 samples and found 10% were topped off with cow’s milk, which can cause an allergic reaction. It’s understandable that people might want to buy breast milk–aka “liquid gold”–if they can’t produce their own due to cancer treatment or other reasons. Or that other women would want to donate or sell their milk if they produce more than enough. However, the temptation to make more money by adding cow’s milk might be too much for some online sellers. Organizations like Eats on Feets and Only the Breast (which broker such sales) do recommend pasteurizing all milk and screening donors for HIV and other diseases (among other safety suggestions), but many people don’t follow the guidelines, according to a CNN report. “If you can breastfeed that’s wonderful, but if you can’t, formula is the next best thing,” says Dr. Dlugopolski-Gach. “It’s not worth risking going to an online source and getting breast milk from a stranger.” If you do want to donate milk, there are nonprofit milk banks that collect, test, pasteurize, and store human milk for infants, mostly at-risk neonates in hospitals; go to the Human Milk Banking Association of North America for more information.

Hormone products

If you are approaching menopause, you might be tempted to buy hormone replacement medications, creams, or herbs online. “Some women want a quick fix to get their sex drive or chutzpah back,” explains Diana Bitner, MD, an ob/gyn at Spectrum Health Medical Group in Grand Rapids, MI. “I have patients who have bought testosterone pellets on their own. They end up taking so much of the hormone they have really bad side effects, like hair growth, voices deepening, and rage issues,” she explains. Many of these products are not effective, safe, and contain variable amounts of active ingredients.

Same goes for buying soy. “Women will buy a ton of this online and say it doesn’t make them feel better, so they buy more and more,” Dr. Bitner explains. Only about 30% of women’s bodies can actually utilize soy to lessen menopause symptoms, so you may be wasting your money. For any hormone treatment, even if it’s labeled “natural” you need a doctor’s guidance; she can ensure you get the right hormones in the right amount every time that work.

This article originally appeared on Health.com.

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TIME public health

New Orleans Smoking Ban Sets Example for South, Advocates Say

New Orleans Smoking Ban
Gerald Herbert—AP Barry Rutherford smokes a cigarette inside Kajun's Pub in New Orleans April 21, 2015.

Many other Southern cities still allow bar patrons to smoke

When New Orleans told bar patrons to stub out their cigarettes this week, the city joined a growing number of spots across the country that have banned smoking in bars and restaurants. But the bans are much less common in the South—making New Orleans a pioneer that public health advocates hope will serve as an example for nearby cities and states, where people are still accustomed to lighting up at the bar.

“Unfortunately, with all the progress we’ve made in this country on smoke-free air over the last over 20 years, the Southeast United States has been a holdout at the state and local level,” said Chris Bostic, deputy director for policy at Action on Smoking & Health. “New Orleans, one of the bigger cities in the South, going smoke-free is a very positive step in the right direction.”

While places like New York City and Chicago ban smoking in all restaurants, bars and workplaces, the South has largely resisted such laws. Atlanta, Nashville, Richmond, Va. and many other Southern cities lack comprehensive bans on smoking in public places. In all, just over 50% of the U.S. population lives in a place where there isn’t law guaranteeing smoke-free restaurants, bars and working environments, according to data from the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation.

Some states have split the difference, banning smoking in restaurants but allowing it in bars. That’s the case throughout Florida, where a state law bars people from smoking in restaurants but also prohibits local authorities from banning smoking in bars. That means even if a Florida town wants to stop people from smoking in local bars, local officials aren’t allowed to do so.

“What you see happening in other states where the municipalities and county governments are passing stronger laws, you don’t see that in Florida because the local governments are preempted,” said Brenda Olsen, chief mission officer for the American Lung Association of the Southeast.

In the absence of smoking regulations on the state or city level, some bar owners have implemented bans on their own. When Brent Hernandez opened Redlight Redlight Beer Parlour in Orlando, Fla., he initially welcomed smoking patrons. But two years later, in 2007, Hernandez changed his mind. To smoke, drinkers had to take a step outside.

“There was backlash in the beginning, but even the smokers understood why,” Hernandez said. He saw it as a simple health question, and noted that many customers don’t want to be surrounded by smoke.

As anti-smoking advocates grapple with a hodgepodge of state and local laws, they are heartened to see New Orleans, a city known more for its partying then concern over public health, taking a hard line on the issue and banning smoking not just in restaurants but also in casinos and bars. Public health experts say that smoking policy changes often begin at the local level and spread to other municipalities. In Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi, for example, some cities have started the process of creating their own bans after hearing about the new policy in New Orleans, according to Cynthia Hallett, executive director at the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation.

“A smoke-free New Orleans has had a positive ripple effect already,” Hallett said. “Local policy leads the way. You get more innovative, stronger laws.”

TIME public health

New Orleans Smoking Ban Takes Effect

Judy Hill, owner of the Ooh Poo Pah Doo Bar in New Orleans, enjoys a smoke just days before the new city smoking ordinance on April 17, 2015.
David Grunfield—The Times-Picayune/Landov Judy Hill, owner of the Ooh Poo Pah Doo Bar in New Orleans, enjoys a smoke just days before the new city smoking ordinance on April 17, 2015.

You can no longer smoke in bars, restaurants or casinos

At the stroke of midnight on April 22, it became illegal to smoke in bars, restaurants and casinos in New Orleans.

Smoking is now also prohibited in fairgrounds and within 5 feet of Lafayette Square, as well as in outdoor sports stadiums, except during concerts, festivals and parades, WDSU News reports.

“People will be able to breathe fresh air, and it’ll be a good thing overall,” Hannah Bourque, who works on Bourbon Street, told WDSU.

But while many cheer the public health benefits of the ban, not all small business owners in the city are thrilled.

“It’s that overall bohemian kind of free spirit that we have in New Orleans that makes it so unique, and it’s why people love it,” Shelly Waguespack, owner of Pat O’Briens, told the New York Times. She is one of the businesses joining with Harrah’s, the city’s casino, to sue over the ban.

The New Orleans city council unanimously passed the ban in January. The city was one of the last in the U.S. to allow smoking in bars and restaurants, and decided on the new rules for the safety of restaurant staff and performers.

TIME public health

You Asked: Should I Use Antibacterial Soap?

Illustration by Peter Oumanski for TIME
Illustration by Peter Oumanski for TIME

Research shows they offer zero health benefits. But by changing the makeup of your skin and body bacteria, antibacterials may be fostering new health concerns—especially for kids.

Whoever said “cleanliness is next to godliness” would think pretty highly of modern-day America. Never before has a population so committed itself to rubbing, scrubbing, sterilizing and disinfecting itself from the grit and grime of the natural world. And for good reason: global trade and travel have allowed viruses to hop from country to country via innocent workers and tourists.

But while our zeal for cleaning is well-intentioned, our efforts are often misguided. In the case of antibacterials, we may be doing ourselves harm.

“Somehow, through marketing or misinformation, we’ve been led to believe that if we get rid of bacteria, we’ll improve our lives and our health,” says Dr. Martin Blaser, director of the Human Microbiome Program at New York University and author of Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues. “In fact the opposite is probably true.”

Microbiologists are fond of pointing out that your body contains more bacteria than anything else; microorganisms populate your skin and gut by the trillions. “We live in a bacterial world,” Blaser says. “And the vast majority of those bacteria are neutral or beneficial. Very few are harmful.”

MORE: Antibiotics Overload Is Endangering Our Children

While much of his research has focused on the dangers associated with antibiotic drugs, Blaser is also concerned about the use of bacteria-killers in the home, especially where infants and children are concerned. “Early life is a critical time to build immunity and metabolism and cognition,” he says. “There’s more and more evidence that bacteria are a part of that development.” Remove some bacteria, and its possible you could be upsetting or altering that development in unpredictable ways.

There could be other consequences. “We’re seeing a greater number of antibiotic-resistant microorganisms over the periods these products have been around,” says Dr. Allison Aiello, an epidemiologist at the Gillings School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina. Aiello says there are known factors, such as antibiotic use in humans and animals, that have led to this uptick. But antimicrobial soaps containing triclosan may also be contributing to the appearance of these heartier organisms outside of healthcare settings, she says.

MORE: Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Are Now In Every Part of the World

At this point, there are still many gaps in the data on anti-microbial chemicals. But Aiello says various forms of triclosan—the chemical found in antibacterial hand soaps and body washes—may actually encourage the spread and strength of some bacteria by killing off others. She says there’s also some concern these chemicals may interact with human hormones in damaging ways. Those concerns led the state of Minnesota to ban triclosan from cleaning and personal care products.

“The potential risks definitely outweigh the benefits, which are none,” Aiello says.

You read that right. To date there is no evidence that washing and scrubbing your body and home with antibacterial products does any good.

One study split 1,000 households into two groups. While one of those groups received antibacterial cleaning products, the other got plain soap. Neither the researchers nor the participants knew which type of cleaner they were using.

“In terms of infection rates and sickness, we found absolutely no difference between antibacterial soap and regular soap,” says Dr. Elaine Larson, first author of that household study and director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Antimicrobial Resistance at Columbia University.

Larson—working with Aiello—has reviewed dozens more research efforts that looked into the efficacy of antibacterials. Again, she and her colleagues found no benefit.

This doesn’t mean cleaning is unimportant, she says. Rather, the mechanical force—the act of rubbing your hands together under hot water, or scrubbing a cutting board with a brush—is what dislodges and cleans away harmful microbes; “The idea that soap kills germs is a misconception,” she says. “Soap just helps you wash germs off.” Regardless of the type of soap you’re using, Larson says “the rub is more important.”

Of course, there are times when true sanitization is necessary, Larson says. A doctor performing surgery is one of those times. People who have weakened immune systems may also require special consideration. But even in those circumstances, Larson says an alcohol-based sanitizer—not antibacterial soap—is needed to wipe out potentially harmful germs.

“This mythology has developed that we can sterilize the world, and that that’s a good thing,” Blaser says. “But the question should be, what’s the benefit? With many antibacterials, there isn’t one.”

TIME Food & Drink

Blue Bell Creameries Issues Recall of All Products

Blue Bell ice cream in Lawrence, Kan., Friday, April 10, 2015
Orlin Wagner—AP Blue Bell ice cream in Lawrence, Kans., on April 10, 2015

Blue Bell Creameries is recalling all of its products, thanks to a listeriosis scare

(BRENHAM, Texas) — Texas-based Blue Bell Creameries issued a voluntary recall Monday night for all of its products on the market after two samples of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream tested positive for listeriosis.

The company “can’t say with certainty” how the bacteria was introduced to the manufacturing line, Blue Bell’s chief executive Paul Kruse said in a statement.

“We’re committed to doing the 100 percent right thing, and the best way to do that is to take all of our products off the market until we can be confident that they are all safe,” Kruse said.

The first recall in the family-owned creamery’s 108-year history was issued last month after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention linked ice cream contaminated with listeriosis to three deaths at a Kansas hospital. Five others in Kansas and Texas were sickened with the disease.

The foodborne illness was tracked to a production line in Brenham, Texas, and later to a second line in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

The recall extends to retail outlets in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wyoming and international locations.

A manufacturing facility in Oklahoma where operations were suspended earlier this month for sanitizing will remain closed as Blue Bell continues to investigate the source of the bacteria, the statement said.

Blue Bell is also implementing a process to test all of its products before releasing them to the market.

TIME public health

California Measles Outbreak Is Over, Health Officials Say

No new cases related to the outbreak have been reported in 42 days

A measles outbreak that infected 131 Californians has ended, the state’s Department of Public Health said Friday.

The outbreak, which began in December at Disneyland, infected people ranging from 6 weeks to 70 years old, sending 19% of them to the hospital. No new cases related to the outbreak have been reported in 42 days, officials said.

“Having this measles outbreak behind us is a significant accomplishment,” Gil Chavez, California’s state epidemiologist, said during a press call. “Measles can be very serious with devastating consequences.”

Health officials believe a tourist brought measles to Disney’s Anaheim, Calif. theme parks in December, eventually infecting 42 people at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. The disease then spread to a number of students, teachers, health care workers and other Californians. No deaths were reported.

At least 56 of the people who contracted measles during the outbreak had not been vaccinated, according to Chavez (the vaccination status of 38% of those who were infected is unknown). He encouraged unvaccinated people to get the measles vaccine “to protect themselves, to protect their loved ones and to protect the community at large.”

TIME Environment

North America May Have to Live With Bird Flu For a ‘Few Years,’ Says Top USDA Vet

A flock of turkeys at a Minnesota poultry farm
Bethany Hahn—AP A flock of turkeys at a Minnesota poultry farm

No quick end to the outbreak

A leading agriculture official has forecast that North America’s bird flu outbreak could last for some time.

“It’s something in North America that we may have to live with for a few years,” the USDA’s chief veterinary officer John Clifford told lawmakers in Minnesota.

The state is the area of the U.S. hardest hit by the disease, detecting bird flu on 26 turkey farms. Bird flu has also been found in Wisconsin, South Dakota and others.

A Minnesota House committee voted unanimously Thursday to allocate nearly $900,000 to help combat bird flu, which has afflicted 1.6 million turkeys in the state and become an economic blight for its almost $1 billion turkey industry.

No cases of human infections have been reported so far.

TIME public health

Not All Birth Control Covered by Insurance Companies Under Obamacare

Woman taking birth controll pill
Frank May—picture-alliance/dpa/AP

A new study from the Kaiser Family Foundation finds not all birth control is covered without costs or copays, including some IUDs and emergency contraceptives

Most health insurance companies are offering the free birth control required under the Affordable Care Act, but gaps still remain, according to a new report.

The Kaiser Family Foundation examined 20 health insurance providers in five states and found women are still paying some contraceptives, including vaginal rings, patches and implants.

The free birth control requirement is both a key and controversial piece of President Obama’s signature health law, seen as one of the many ways the law helps lower health costs for women. The report found that while many insurance carriers in California, Georgia, Michigan, New Jersey and Texas are covering contraceptives cost-free, some do not fully cover Depo-Provera shots, the OrthoEvra patch, certain types of intrauterine devices or IUDs, and emergency contraception.

Without coverage, the contraceptives can be expensive. An IUD, for example, costs up to $1,000—which means that without insurance coverage, one of the most effective forms of birth control is unavailable to some of the women who want to use it.

“We encourage the administration to provide guidance and clarity to insurance companies to ensure all women can access the birth control methods that work for them without cost barriers, as the law intended,” Cecile Richards, the president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement.

The Kaiser report notes that insurance carriers are permitted to limit the forms of birth control they cover under Obamacare, but the companies should still offer leeway to consumers who have a medical need for certain devices, the report found.

The report also found that despite the widespread attention to the effect the contraceptive mandate would have on religious institutions that oppose birth control, few groups have applied for a religious exception to the law.

Read more: Why You’re Still Paying for Birth Control Even Though It’s ‘Free’ Now

TIME Healthcare

20 Ways to Stop Allergies

woman-blowing-nose
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From dust mites to pet dander, here's how to tackle annoying allergens

It’s like a scene from a low-budget horror flick: the trees are blooming, the grass is growing…and runny-nosed zombies are invading the planet! Seasonal allergies are here, but if you’re one of the sniffly multitudes, you may have noticed that the “allergy season” can span most of the year (and that symptoms may flare right before your period).

Here’s your best defense—from least to most invasive, medically speaking. Try the first few and you may not need to hit the pharmacy at all.

Tree pollens, grasses, and weeds

Your symptoms surfaced as early as February, when trees started blooming. Right now, it’s grasses that are making you miserable (they will through late summer). Weeds will keep you wheezing through fall.

1. Police pollen

Click on the National Allergy Bureau’s website for a daily ranking of allergens, including seasonal tree pollens, grasses, weeds, and outdoor molds. Stay indoors when levels are high or very high for those that you’re sensitive to.

2. Wear a mask

If you must finish that gardening before the in-laws show up, don a not-so-chic but très useful N95 filter mask ($17 for 20; drugstore.com), which keeps pollen out of your nose and mouth.

3. Wash your hair at night

Rinse the pollen out, especially if you’re a gel or mousse fan. These products can trap pollen.

Read more: 14 Reasons You’re Always Tired

4. Soak up the calm

In one study, seasonal allergy (hay fever) sufferers had a more extreme reaction the day after performing a stressful task, such as giving a speech.

“Stress raises levels of the hormone cortisol,” says Clifford Bassett, MD, an allergist at New York University Medical Center, and that often leads to an amped-up allergic response.

A few minutes of meditation or a soak in the tub should help.

5. Keep your nose clean

“Your nose is like a car windshield—pollen sticks to it,” says Neil Kao, MD, an allergist at the Allergic Disease and Asthma Center, in Greenville, S.C.

Try a saline sinus rinse (amazon.com), found at any drugstore.

If that doesn’t do it, buy the nonprescription herbal nasal spray NasalCrom (cromolyn sodium), which helps prevent allergic reactions in your nose.

6. Take an antihistamine

There have never been more over-the-counter antihistamine options.

You may be able to find relief with 10 milligrams of cetirizine (Zyrtec) once a day.

If those don’t work, ask your doctor for a prescription antihistamine such as fexofanadine (Allegra, but also available as a generic) or levocetirizine dihydrochloride (Xyzal).

7. Try the sprays

If nasal washes and antihistamines don’t work for you, up the ante with a prescription steroid spray like Flonase, but you can skip decongestants; Dr. Kao says they don’t work for allergies and may worsen your congestion after several days of use.

Read more: 25 Ways to Allergy-Proof Your Home

Dust mites

Dust mites thrive in homes that are warmer than 70 degrees and have a humidity above 50 percent. Here’s how to beat them.

8. Cool (and dry) it Keeping your home temp in the mid to low 60s and the humidity between 40% and 45% should send them packing.

Buy a home hygrometer ($10; amazon.com) to measure humidity levels.

9. Use barriers

To fight dust mites, look for mattress and pillow encasements at stores like Target, as well as online retailers like AllergyBuyersClub.com; costs range from $50 to $150 for bedding made from organic cotton.

10. Boil your bedding

Not literally, but you should wash your sheets and pillowcases weekly in water that’s at least 140 degrees; a study in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology found that this temperature wiped out all dust mites.

11. Outsource housekeeping

This won’t take much arm-twisting, will it?

Vacuuming and sweeping stir up dust mites and their droppings, which can take more than two hours to settle.

If you can’t hire someone else to clean your house while you’re away, invest in a vacuum cleaner with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, like the Eureka Boss SmartVac ($150; target.com)—and wear a trusty filter mask.

Read more: 11 Unexpected Spring Allergy Triggers

12. Try acupuncture

At least one study and lots of anecdotal evidence suggest it can help.

“I’ve seen amazing results in my allergic patients,” says Roberta Lee, MD, vice chair of the Department of Integrative Medicine at the Beth Israel Medical Center, in New York City.

She thinks acupuncture may decrease stress hormones, which can reduce inflammation. A session usually costs $100 to $150; ask your insurance company if some or all of that is covered.

13. Indoor mold

Mold thrives in warmer, more humid weather. Don’t assume it’s not there just because you can’t see it: Mold can hide under carpets, in walls, or anywhere. Here’s how to beat it.

14. Bleach it

A 5% bleach solution and a rag or sponge can zap small mold problems.

If you’ve got a very large moldy area (more than 10 square feet), consider hiring a mold-cleanup crew. Find one at the Indoor Air Quality Association.

15. Dry up rooms

Put an exhaust fan in bathrooms and laundry rooms, and a dehumidifier in unfinished basements.

Read more: A Sleep Meditation for a Restful Night

16. Get HEPA

Filters, that is. Ideally, you want a central air-conditioning system with a HEPA filter attached.

If you don’t have central air, try free-standing air cleaners in key rooms such as the bedroom.

Change the filters at least every three months and have your heating and air-conditioning units inspected (and cleaned, if necessary) every six.

Pet dander

If you’re set off by pets, you may be allergic to proteins found in the animal’s saliva, dander (dead skin flakes), and urine. And all furry pets carry these proteins; studies suggest hypoallergenic cats and dogs can cause just as many symptoms as the regular kind. Here are better steps you can take if you can’t bear to part with Rover or Frisky.

17. Ban him from the bedroom

Just keeping pets out (or better yet, away from your upstairs entirely) can help relieve your symptoms.

18. Cut the rug

Consider replacing wall-to-wall carpeting with hardwood floors, tile, or linoleum, which won’t trap dander.

19. Get him groomed

Your pet that is. Ask your nonallergic partner or child to comb him every day, preferably outside, with a comb dipped in distilled water, which traps dander.

And a weekly bath (more often will dry his skin, making the dander problem worse) is a must.

20. Get shot

Immunotherapy has about an 85% effectiveness rate in decreasing allergic symptoms, including those triggered by animal proteins.

You get one to two weekly shots to expose you to very small doses of the allergen, and the dose is gradually increased over about six months.

You’ll need maintenance shots about once a month for three to five years.

Read more: 10 Ways to Soothe a Sore Throat

Could it be something else?

Do you have a runny, stuffy nose that just won’t quit? If dust-proofing your house and taking antihistamines don’t make you feel better, you may have a condition called chronic nonallergic rhinitis, a swelling of your nasal lining and passages that leaves you congested and drippy.

“Unlike your usual allergies, you don’t have an itchy nose, eyes, or throat, and you don’t respond to allergy medications,” explains Dr. Bassett.

Try eliminating irritants like strong odors (think perfume or household cleaners). Saline nasal sprays and rinses often bring relief, but if they don’t work, ask your doctor for a steroid nasal spray.

This article originally appeared on Health.com.

TIME toxins

Blue Bell Expands Ice Cream Recall

A Blue Bell Cotton Candy Bar.
AP A Blue Bell Cotton Candy Bar.

Blue Bell ice cream contaminated with listeria has been linked to three deaths at a Kansas hospital this year

Blue Bell Creameries is expanding its recall of products made at its Broken Arrow, Okla. plant after additional products tested positive for bacteria known to be a leading cause of deadly food poisoning, the company announced Tuesday.

The recall expansion includes the company’s banana pudding ice cream and a host of other products manufactured on the same equipment.

Blue Bell ice cream contaminated with listeria, a food-borne bacteria that sickens 1,600 people in the United States annually, has been linked to three deaths at a Kansas hospital this year. The sick, elderly and young are particularly vulnerable to the bacteria, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Read More: How Ice Cream Gets Contaminated—and Sometimes Kills

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