Are you sick of sneezing? Irked by itching? Want to can the coughing? Don’t let your allergy symptoms get the better of you. There’s a lot you can do to reduce the impact that allergies have on your life. Arm yourself with the following tips and wage a war against annoying allergies.
Be aware of the most common types of indoor allergens
Many common indoor allergens are actually outdoor allergens that are tracked into our living spaces by people and pets. Pollen, given off seasonally by trees, grass and weeds, is responsible for triggering most cases of hay fever (allergic rhinitis). The plant most commonly associated with pollen allergies is ragweed.
Molds are often found indoors where the humidity is high, and they can easily become airborne and trigger cases of allergic rhinitis. Animal dander is made up of little bits of skin, feather or dried saliva from animals (usually cats and dogs). Dander is small enough that it can easily be stirred up into the air and inhaled. The debris from dust mites, who live in the dust found indoors, can also be stirred into the air and exacerbate an allergy condition.
Watch out for common food allergens
Food allergy reactions can be dangerous or even deadly, so people with food allergies must be careful of what they eat, where they eat and what ingredients are used. Many people in the United States have peanut allergies. Such an allergy can be triggered by just a tiny amount of peanut protein — sometimes a few molecules is enough. Egg allergies are another common food allergy. Although they are common in children, egg allergies may be outgrown by adulthood. On the other hand, many people do not find out they have a seafood allergy until they are adults.
Take the initiative against indoor allergens
A true HEPA air filter or HEPA vacuum cleaner can be used to remove many types of airborne allergens, especially pet allergens, from the air or a surface. You should always be sure to replace air filters and clean vents frequently to cut down on the dirty buildup of dust, mold or pollen. Using hardwood or tile floors makes it harder for allergens to build up as they do in carpeting. Window shades are better choices than blinds or draperies, and they’re also easier to clean. Using a dehumidifier can reduce mold growth. Mold tends to grow rapidly when the humidity is higher than 50 percent.
The best way to avoid the allergy is to avoid the allergen
Your best bet in preventing allergy symptoms is avoidance ‑- limiting exposure to allergens that cause symptoms. Avoidance is the first treatment a doctor recommends to someone with allergies. It is frequently the only step necessary for allergies related to foods, medications and animals. In some cases, avoidance is a one-time decision that requires little ongoing maintenance. For example, people allergic to penicillin simply avoid using that drug. In other cases, avoidance requires much more effort. People allergic to dust mites must stay on their guard to keep their home as dust-free as possible. Avoidance may not always be possible or practical. Sometimes, medications or allergy shots (immunotherapy) are necessary to keep symptoms at bay. People with allergy symptoms should always consult a doctor, who can help them formulate the best treatment plan.
Keep in mind that allergies can come from unexpected places
People often don’t realize it, but you can become allergic to almost any type of cosmetic because of its chemical ingredients. Such products include makeup, skin-care creams, lotions, powders, sprays, perfumes, fingernail polishes, permanent waves, hair colors, deodorants, baby products, bath oils, bubble baths and mouthwashes. You may also become allergic to the metals in many types of jewelry. Latex allergies are becoming more and more common in the United States. This type of allergy usually involves contact with a latex product, such as a medical glove or a condom. Insect stings can trigger an allergic reaction in a few rare individuals. Although they are not common, insect allergies can be severe. Many people are surprised to find that they are allergic to a medication. Penicillin in particular is an allergen for many people.