Allergies can be a debilitating and disruptive type of ailment to deal with on a regular basis. Seasonal allergies are a real nuisance and can really affect your quality of life, productivity at work and school and prevent you or your child from taking part in day to day activities.
The bottom line is that allergies - no matter what they are – are a complete pain. But the good thing is that there are a number of things you can do to help prevent allergy symptoms from getting you down. And they don’t have to cost a lot of money or make you go for expensive allergy testing with a professional.
First of all, it is important to work out where your allergies are coming from; is it a seasonal allergy, are you allergic to dust and pet hair, or do you have an allergy that is food or medication related? A simple process of elimination will be able to help you work out what it is that is causing you to suffer from allergy symptoms. And once you have established the culprit, you can start taking action to minimize the symptoms altogether.
Here are 5 ways to minimize allergy symptoms.
Carpets and rugs are one of the biggest culprits when it comes to harboring all sorts of delightful things that are the major causes of allergy symptoms. Things like dust, pet hair, mites and the like are all stored away and in some cases breeding away, right under your nose in the pile of your carpets. And the thicker the pile, the more inhabitants there are. The problem is that traditional home vacuum cleaners are not powerful enough to remove all of the dust particles and tend to only remove what is visible.
But it’s the stuff that we can’t see that has been compacted into the underlining of the carpet that is causing our allergies to flare up. Asthma and hay fever sufferers would be much better off living in a home without any carpets at all. Wooden flooring laminates and tiles are a much better option for these allergy sufferers. And any rugs that are in the rooms should be washed regularly.
2. Pet Hair
Pets are our most beloved companions and in many homes are very much part of the family. This means that our dogs and cats all curl up on laps, on sofas, in beds under covers and stretch out in the sun on countertops, climb into cupboards and nest on clothing and curl up on freshly ironed laundry.
Apart from being very irritated that you are covered in pet hair all the time, it is a major allergy trigger in many people. Eyes start watering, swelling up and people start sneezing, throats start to itch, and for asthmatic people, any amount of pet hair is a nightmare.
The dander in cat hair is a particularly harsh trigger for people with allergies and can set someone off the minute they walk into a room – they don’t even need to touch the animal yet. And cats seem to have a six sense about these people – making an immediate beeline for them when they arrive.
The solution to pet hair is ensure that your pets do not, under any circumstances lie on the furniture or get into bed with you at all. Buy your dog’s baskets with their own pillows and teach them to sleep in their baskets. Chase cats off counters and if you can – although it’s a very hard job – teach cats to lie in their baskets as well.
Vacuum living areas thoroughly every single day and in the worst case scenario it may not be advisable to have a pet at all. If you can, choose a pet that doesn’t shed hair, or has short hair, it will make your allergies and your life a lot easier. Groom their fur regularly so that loose hair goes into the brush rather than everywhere else.
3. Dust Mites
Dust mites are living in every single home – regardless of how clean and tidy the home is. And they can mostly be found to be living and breeding – yes, sorry – in your mattress, pillows and bedding. The best way to get rid of these mites is to deep clean your mattresses regularly and make sure that your bedding and pillows are laid out in direct sunlight regularly to kill off the dust mites.
Some people have been known to store their bedding in the freezer – as the cold also kills off dust mites. But the average household doesn’t always have a large enough freezer to accommodate the home’s linen and grocery requirements. If your family sufferers from allergies, you may want to invest in a proper deep cleaning machine for mattresses and upholstery, as it might be a lot cheaper than getting a professional company in once a month.
4. Food Allergies
Food allergies can be a tricky one as it can be very hard to pinpoint which food it is that is causing the allergy symptoms if is it not a life-threatening symptom. Common offenders are things like nuts, seafood, eggs, wheat and dairy. And if you do have a food allergy it can be tricky to work out how to prepare the family meals at night.
But once you have figured out what it is that is causing the trouble, you can make a plan. Rye bread flour is not always popular, in the cases of a wheat allergy, but there are other substitutes like maize and rice flour as well. Rice cakes, rye crackers and maize bread are all creative substitutes for wheat. And there are many wheat free products on the market today in the health section, which makes it a lot easier to shop for a gluten allergy family member than it did in the past.
The Internet is full of creative solutions and ideas for meals, substitutes and additives so that you or your child doesn’t have to feel deprived when cutting out a food substance that is causing an allergy.
5. Seasonal Allergies
Seasonal allergies can be easy to manage in terms of preventative medication. When it comes to things like pollen, you can’t just simply avoid going outside during pollen season, but you have to manage they symptoms before you start feeling like you are going crazy.
Check up in your local paper or online for the up to date pollen count data in your area; in many cases local news channels list the pollen count daily along with the weather update. This way you can pre-empt when you think you are going to have to take steps to counteract the runny nose, watery and swollen eyes, itchy throat and tight chest symptoms.
During pollen season just make sure you keep the windows closed especially when it is windy, dry your clothes inside, install filters into central heating systems and keep bushes and shrubs trimmed consistently. Don’t let kids play in fields during pollen season and keep them occupied inside during the highest points of the day like late morning and early afternoon.