Yo Sneezy! Stop Tromping through the Forest
April 11th, 2009 at 5:46 pm
There are very few ways to avoid nasal allergies but hey, it’s worth a try, right? For example, I’m allergic to the yellow sneeze balls hanging from the allergy trees that line one side of my street. (I’m sure they have a real name, but that will do for now). So, what do I do? I stay on the other side of the street on my walks, and I steer clear all together when it’s windy. It seems to help.
The weird thing about nasal allergies – those caused mainly by dust mites, plant pollens, animal dander and mold spores – is that the symptoms sometimes don’t show up until HOURS later. I can be totally fine all day and then BAM! that night I’m a sneezy, drippy mess. Apparently it’s called ‘late phase reaction’ and they think it is related to airway inflammation. Now, Fluffy the cat may cause an immediate reaction for you. That’s an ‘early phase reaction’ or Type 1 allergic reaction. Read more about Allergic Inflammation and you’ll see how incredibly complex it is. No wonder it is hard to treat all the different kinds of allergies.
Back to avoidance. It’s hard to know what to avoid if you don’t know what is causing your allergies. You might think about getting tested.
If you know what you’re allergic to, here are some suggestions on how to avoid them:
Pollen – Close your windows and use your air conditioning, especially in the bedroom. Avoid morning exercise outside because pollen levels are higher then. Tree pollen is prevalent in early spring. Avoid grass pollen in May and June and weed pollen in late summer and fall. If you’re allergic to ragweed, watch out from mid-August until mid-October.
Dust Mites – Keep your bedroom clean of mites – those little microscopic creatures that live and poop in your bedding, pillows and mattresses. Mite-proof your pillows and mattresses with Allergy-Free Pillows, Anti-Allergy Pillow Cases and Anti-Allergen Mattress Encasings. Read Why Your Pillow is Gross. Wash your bedding every week in hot water (130 degrees). Wash your blankets and comforters once or twice a month. If you live in a humid environment, think about getting a de-humidifier. Dust mites thrive in humid climates.
Pets – Keep them out of the bedroom or out of the house all together. Keep them off the furniture. Talk to your doctor about medication that may help your symptoms and save you from giving your pet away. Have someone else bathe Fido on a weekly basis. Consider removing your carpet from common areas of the home. Vacuum frequently with a vacuum that has a HEPA filter. Monitor your reactions to pet dander carefully. Even after the animal is gone there will still be dander flying around for months so you should steam clean all carpeting and furniture, plus clean the drapes and bedding.
Indoor Mold – Outdoor air is usually the cause of indoor mold but humidity in your kitchen, bathroom and basement can also cause indoor spores that lead to an increase in allergic rhinitis symptoms. If you see mold or mildew in your house, kill it with a 5 to 10% diluted bleach solution. Check for water leaks and make sure moist areas are ventilated or use a de-humidifier to reduce mold growth. Use your bathroom exhaust fan after showering and in your kitchen to remove water vapors. Keep your refrigerator clean and trash cans clean and closed. Don’t store things in your basement or attic that can accumlate mold. If you have water damage or a lot of mold, call someone. It’s dangerous and the damaged parts may need to be removed. Check your house with a Mold Alert.
And if you’re sneezy, don’t tromp through the forest.
See our Top 5 Allergy Products.
Bless you for your continued support.