words Al Woods
For people with allergies, life can be a daily challenge. Some struggle with pollen outside the home and some are sensitive to dust, pet dander, and other allergens present in the air they breathe.
Physical symptoms can include sneezing, wheezing, running nose, itchy eyes, and skin irritation, but the emotional impact can be even more distressing. If you find that your allergies are becoming an issue no matter what the season and/or you cannot manage your symptoms, it is best to consult a doctor. In the meantime, this guide outlines coping strategies for allergy season.
Get some relief medication
There is a wide range of allergy medications available both over the counter and from a doctor, so depending on the severity of your allergies, you may not need to suffer the worst of your symptoms. For example, Pataday Once Daily Relief eye drops provide relief for itchy eyes and are available without a prescription. Talk to your local pharmacist about your symptoms and see what they would recommend.
Stay on top of housework and personal hygiene
It is important to stay on top of your housework to clear the home of dust, pet dander, pollen, and dust mites, as well as other allergens. This includes vacuuming the carpet (preferably with a vacuum with an air filter) and washing laundry and soft furnishings. Allergens can settle on the skin, hair, and in your nose, so wash your hair and skin each night to minimize the risk of a reaction overnight and start afresh the next morning. Try using a nasal spray or saline sinus rinse to flush your nose as allergens can accumulate there.
Try to relax
Studies have found that allergic reactions can intensify when the sufferer is stressed, so take some time out to reduce your cortisol levels in whatever way works for you. Click here for some tips on how to relax at home.
Try wearing a filter mask
Whether from flowers, trees, or grass, pollen is a common trigger for people with allergies. If you are affected by seasonal changes, it is best to stay indoors as much as possible, especially on high pollen count days. You may also want to consider wearing a filter mask while you are outside. You may feel self-conscious at first, but the benefit of reducing your symptoms is more important.
Prevent dust mites
Another trigger to consider is dust mites that live inside the home. Dust mites prefer warmer temperatures and humidity, so try to keep the temperature beneath 65 degrees and invest in a dehumidifier. Protect your mattress and pillows with organic cotton protectors and wash bedding every week in a hot cycle.
Minimize pet dander
Some people are allergic to pet dander (found on their skin, saliva, and urine) and choose not to have pets, but many people still want to include four-legged friends in their household. There are ways to reduce pet dander, such as grooming pets every day, bathing them every week, taking them to a professional groomer, restricting their movements to certain areas of the home, and keeping them off soft furnishings such as the couch and beds. An air purifier can also help to rid the air in your home of pet dander and other allergens.
Avoid indoor mold
An air purifier and dehumidifier can also help to prevent the development of mold in the home and maintain a lower temperature. To remove specific areas of mold, bleach can be effective, or you may want to hire a professional cleaner for extreme mold.