What Are the Hidden Allergens That Affect Your Life?
When it comes to allergies, many people only guess what their allergy triggers are, but in some cases, they may be wrong and a react to some hidden allergens. Therefore, it is especially important to see a specialist and get tested for allergies. Based on the diagnosis, you will have to avoid certain allergenic substances. In addition, your doctor will recommend an appropriate allergy treatment.
To avoid your allergy triggers, you will have to apply some modifications to your lifestyle. For example, research shows that allergic rhinitis can be triggered by a lot of common things people are used to do daily. Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, causes symptoms like sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose, wheezing, and itching. Up to 60 million Americans have allergic rhinitis.
Below, we will speak about the everyday habits that can be related to allergy triggers.
#1: Accumulating a Lot of Things in Your Home
If you have allergies, you should clean your house regularly and avoid furniture that accumulates dust quickly. Stick to a minimal approach when decorating your home. If it looks like a museum of all different kinds of stuff, it will be a perfect environment for dust mites and mold. Make sure to keep only what you need and get rid of unnecessary stuff, by donating some things and storing others in plastic bags or bins in a basement or garage.
Experts also recommend avoiding carpets, especially in the bedroom, because bare floors and walls won’t collect as much dust. If that is not an option for you, stick to carpeting that is easily washable in a machine and wash it regularly.
#2: Making Common Cleaning Mistakes
To keep the allergies under control, you should clean your home frequently. According to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America, the cleaning should be done at least once a week. However, there are various cleaning mistakes many of us make that can lead to an allergic reaction.
Thus, you should never forget to wear a mask when doing house cleaning. This is because housework usually involves a lot of dust stirred up in the air. It is also a good idea to use a damp cloth when dusting.
Make sure to use a wet mop or a vacuum cleaner instead of sweeping. Otherwise, you will just stir the dust up. When it comes to good vacuum cleaners, experts recommend getting one with a HEPA filter. HEPA filters help to trap tiny allergenic particles like dust mites and pet dander.
Besides, you should pay attention to the ingredients of your cleaning products. Some of these may contain irritating and allergy-inducing chemicals or fragrances. Try to find natural, unscented products.
#3: Putting Away Clothes That Are Still Wet
Sometimes, when we don’t have enough time, we store clothes that are not completely dry. This is a wrong thing to do, as it may lead to mold growth. Even slightly wet clothes create a damp environment that makes a perfect breeding ground for mold, which causes allergic reactions in many people.
This especially applies to people who live in a humid climate. You should always make sure to dry the clothes completely and only then store them away.
#4: Being Under Stress
Research suggests that people are constantly living in a stressful condition tend to experience more allergy symptoms, compared to those who are not so affected by stress. According to experts, stress can have a physical impact on your body and worsen your symptoms.
Therefore, you should learn to manage the stress. To do so, you should first determine the stressors you’re affected by and how to deal with or avoid them. We also recommend that you find some time for relaxation and fun, which will help to improve your breathing.
#5: Eating Foods Contaminated with Allergens
Oral allergy syndrome is quite a common condition, which is also referred to as “pollen-food syndrome”. If you have an OAS, you’ll develop the symptoms of seasonal allergies after eating peaches, apples, melons, and other fruits, because these foods contain the same allergenic protein as the pollen you are allergic to. Eating fruits contaminated with allergens leads to cross-reactivity, which causes symptoms like itching and swelling of the lips and mouth, and itchy and watery eyes.
However, cooking these foods damages the allergens, which means you can eat them without having allergy symptoms.
To make sure, you do have an oral allergy syndrome, consult with your allergist and get tested.
#6: Smoking Cannabis
More and more states are legalizing the use of medical marijuana. According to a 2015 study, smoking marijuana can lead to the development of allergy symptoms. Cannabis is a plant that produces pollen, and it may cause allergies just like any other pollinating plants.
Thus, if you have a pollen allergy, consuming marijuana, even in medical purposes, may not be a good thing for you.
#7: Using the Wrong Type of Contact Lenses
If you have an allergy and wear contact lenses, make sure to use the right type. All contact lenses can trap pollens and other allergens and cause irritation in the eyes. But disposable contacts are more suitable for allergic people, as you can throw them out at the end of they or change them during the day, if they start causing discomfort. Unlike the disposable types, extended-wear contacts are not recommended for those with allergies.
You are always better off consulting all the questions that worry you with your healthcare provider.
#8: Ignoring the Indoor Allergens
Common allergy triggers don’t only exist outdoors. Indoor allergens like dust mites, mold, pet dander, cockroach and tracked-in pollen cause allergic reaction in millions of people. To control these irritant, you have to maintain indoor air quality. You can remove many indoor allergens using air filters in central-heating and air-conditioning, air purifiers, HEPA vacuum cleaners, and regular housework. Remember to change the filters in the air conditioner every 2 to 3 months.
Consult with your doctor whether you need to equip your house with air purifiers or (de)humidifiers.