Such a TURKEY!...bird allergies that is.

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Ahhh yes! Thanksgiving dinner will soon be on your table. A beautiful roasted turkey with all the trimmings and pumpkin pie ala mode for desert.  A nap on the couch and then round two! Stuffing and turkey with gravy all over and another helping of pie and ice cream to top it all off, then sitting around with your family watching football or a few good movies.

Yes… it sounds like a wonderful way to spend a day. But where do you keep that tom if you’re allergic to bird feathers? WHAT you don’t keep a live turkey in your home for Thanksgiving? Ok not very many of us urbanites do, but I am sure there are some rural-lites that still have a designated bird for their Thanksgiving meal, like say poultry farmers.

Even if you buy your turkey from your local grocery or butcher shop there is a small chance of being allergic to our fine feathered friends.

Bird allergy is a normal reaction of your body's immune system to the feather dander, or more popularly known as feather dust, and droppings or fecal matter coming out of birds.

 

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People who work closely with birds like farm workers and zookeepers and those who take care of birds as pets like bird fanciers are the most at risk to develop bird allergy.  If you look into it medical statistics identify that the number of people allergic to birds are far lower compared to those allergic to other animals like dogs and cats.

 

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Bird allergies work just like pollen or other allergies. When bird dander or dust from bird droppings enter the air and you breathe them in your body fights back against the allergens causing allergy symptoms.  If you have bird allergies the symptoms are sometimes similar to those for hay fever or allergic rhinitis.  Symptoms for bird allergies can be divided into two groups.

1. Average:Those symptoms that are considered less severe, including watery eyes, sneezing, postnatal drips, sore throat, stuffy nose, coughing, hives itchy eyes and allergic shiners or the presence of black circles in the area below the eyes.

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2.  Severe:The serious form of bird allergies symptoms include prolonged coughing, extended periods of breathing difficulty, occasional fever and chills, weight loss and dry cough which can persist for extended periods. Triggers that cause severe bird allergy can reduce your lung's capacity,  and may potentially pose a detriment not just to your health but also to your life. Sever allergies are caused by regular or constant exposure to allergy causing birds. So if you are a bird keeper or just around avian pets and have experienced such symptoms over a long period of time but cant figure out what is causing your symptoms, allergies may be the culprit.

What to do if you think you have bird allergies. First and foremost see your allergist to confirm your suspicions.  Physicians often prescribe antihistamines, decongestants and corticosteroids to relieve the symptoms associated with bird allergy. Antihistamines block symptoms to allergic reactions, not just to birds, but also to all forms of allergies. Allergy shots, of course may block the onset of bird allergy, but I hate shots!

Avoiding exposure to allergens, in this case the birds and their feathers, will absolutely reduce or even end allergy symptoms, and is probably the most effective measure to use. However, hygiene also an effective defense against any form of diseases and will also be effective in fighting attacks of bird allergy. Wash your hands!

If you have birds in your home the ultimate solutions would be to find them a new home, but our pets are like family and if that’s not an option good air filtration in your home is.  HEPA quality main filtration for your HVAC system and VentMask vent register filters make a good combo to stop allergens in your air and trapped in your air ducts.

 

See ya soon… we must go pardon a turkey! Happy Thanksgiving all!!!

 

WAIT!....speaking of turkey pardoning why not have some fun and learn a little about this tradition.

It is often stated that Presidents Lincoln's clemency to a turkey recorded in an 1865 report by White House reporter Noah Brooks was the origin for the pardoning ceremony. Reports of turkeys as gifts to American presidents can be traced to the 1870s, when Rhode Island poultry dealer Horace Vose began sending well fed birds to the White House. 

By 1914, the opportunity to give a turkey to a President was open to everyone, and poultry gifts were frequently touched with patriotism, partisanship, and glee. In 1921, an American Legion post furnished bunting for the crate of a gobbler en route from Mississippi to Washington, while a Harding Girls Club in Chicago outfitted a turkey as a flying ace, complete with goggles. First Lady Grace Coolidge accepted a turkey from a Vermont Girl Scout in 1925. The turkey gifts had become established as a national symbol of good cheer.

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In November 1947, announcements of the government encouraging "poultryless Thursdays" grabbed national headlines. Outrage from homemakers, restaurant owners, and the poultry industry was palpable in Washington. This came to a head when the poultry industry pointed out that the upcoming Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day, the three big turkey holidays, happened to fall on Thursday.. The effort was deflated in time for Thanksgiving, but not before poultry growers had sent crates of live chickens— "Hens for Harry"— to the White House in protest. The turkey they presented to President Truman that December promoted the poultry industry and established an annual news niche that endures today.

 

While 1947 was the beginning of the official turkey presentation from the poultry industry, the turkey pardon remained a sporadic tradition.

 

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In December 1948, Truman accepted two turkeys and remarked that they would "come in handy" for Christmas dinner. There was clearly no plan for these birds to receive a presidential pardon. The Washington Post used both "pardon" and "reprieve" in a 1963 article in which President Kennedy said of the turkey, "Let's keep him going." During the latter years of the Nixon presidency, Patricia Nixon accepted the turkeys on behalf of the President and in 1973 sent the bird to the Oxon Hill Children’s Farm. The 1978 turkey, presented to Rosalynn Carter, met a similar fate when it was sent to Evans Farm Inn to live in a mini zoo. 

 

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After 1981 the practice of sending the presentation turkey to a farm became the norm under Ronald Reagan. The turkey ceremony also became a source of satire and humor for reporters. The formalities of pardoning a turkey gelled by 1989, when George H. W. Bush, with animal rights activists picketing nearby, quipped, "But let me assure you, and this fine tom turkey, that he will not end up on anyone's dinner table, not this guy -- he's granted a Presidential pardon as of right now -- and allow him to live out his days on a children's farm not far from here.”

 

Thanks for joining us for our Turkey day blog we hope you enjoyed it! So lets enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday and remember the things we have to be thankful for… health, family, our freedoms and FOOD!

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM THEVENTMASKTEAM!