Is it that time of year, already? Spring cleaning is here! And with it, your friends Dust and Allergies. If you are dreading the coming weeks of cleaning and coughing, you are not alone. Luckily, there are ways to reduce the likelihood of being bombarded with them. When you know where the irritants are coming from, you can reduce your chances of coming in contact with them. Here a just a few common causes of indoor allergies:
Your pets are your family, but even your family can irritate you sometimes…literally. Pets shed skin cells, also known as pet dander, just like us. However, the protein in their skin is different, which can cause an immune response in your system leading to an allergic reaction. Keeping your pets outdoors more often or even choosing a specific breed with hypoallergenic proteins can help you with this allergen.
Fabrics and Other Materials
Believe it or not, every piece of fabric you wear comes from a different source, sometimes multiple sources. This is one reason why some people have an allergy to specific materials. Many times, we assume what we wear is plant based or synthetic but can actually carry proteins and allergens from different animals and pesticides that we wouldn’t put on our skin otherwise. Our skin absorbs roughly 80% of what we put on it. This could result in itchy and dry skin, rashes, and even scarring from your immune system’s response to fight it off. Pay attention to the materials you put on your body and around your home to reduce potential allergic reactions.
During the summertime, many people bring in fresh plants and flowers to brighten up their home. Though it is a great idea to bring in greenery to increase oxygen levels in your humble abode, it can cause additional allergens to form in the air depending on the plant type. Plants have different and specific oils and proteins they give off to do a number of things, including ward off insects, attract bees, help with the pollination process, etc. But, if you think you may be sensitive to a specific plant family, chances are that can include more than just one plant type. Identifying the type of plants that cause such allergies can help you from getting them in the future.
What You Eat
Eating is an essential and mostly positive part of your day. But, honestly, many people don’t understand that what you put into your body becomes how your body reacts to it. More and more people are beginning to realize just how essential the foods we eat impacts our immune system. For instance, your body needs nourishment in its freshest form to function properly and ward off potential allergies. If you aren’t eating well and getting the right nutrients on a consistent basis, your body’s defense against those allergies is shut down. Then, when those allergies are reintroduced into your body, your body tries to attack it, but inadvertently ends up attacking itself. This creates an inflammatory response in your body, such as sneezing, coughing, puffy and red eyes, etc…by adjusting your diet, you give your body the strength to fight potential allergies.
Mold and Mildew
If you live in an area where humidity is present more often than not, you know what a pain mold and mildew can be. The water content in the air can be really great for your skin and hair if at the optimum levels, but when it becomes excessive, mold and mildew can cause in your home and in your body. As moisture builds indoors, the fungal bacteria can become airborne and find its way into your lungs. This can lead to chronic coughing, bronchitis, multiple instances of recurring colds and flu-like symptoms, etc. It is important to find ways to reduce mold and mildew in your home, especially the bedrooms and bathrooms as they tend to hold the most moisture content.
As you learn more about how to reduce the instances of indoor allergic reactions, you can take preventative measures by having your home indoor air quality assessed through a home energy audit as well as regular maintenance by your local and certified HVAC professional. Take care of your body by taking care of your home and it will thank you.