Are you going to let allergies take control of your life? Allergies can be a terrible burden and the culprit behind this misery is allergens, which is an antigen that triggers the body to launch an immune response. While this is a natural reaction when fighting off viruses, these antigen “invaders” are usually quite harmless, and they are certainly possible to get rid of. Thus, your body’s enthusiastic defense is completely unnecessary, as are the miserable side effects that come with it. Here are eight ways you can sweep allergens out of your life so that you can breathe easier.
1. Clean Your Home.
Your allergy problem need not be a serious and recurring issue. One way to be sure is to painstakingly clean your home from top to bottom. Thoroughly dust and vacuum all areas and try to reduce clutter where any dust can accumulate.
We recommend that you wear a N95 Respirator Mask while cleaning and use a damp cloth to wipe surfaces as this helps to trap and remove allergens. Make vacuuming and dusting a regular part of your routine going forward and watch out especially for mold and mildew buildup.
2. Allergy Proof Your Home.
Once you have finished your cleaning, take steps to ensure that the issues causing your allergy trouble can no longer take hold.
If you cannot regularly vacuum, get rid of your rugs if possible, or switch to ones that are washable. Dust-mite covers on pillows and mattresses will help you to sleep better at night as will air cleaners that use HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance) filters to catch small particles. Try to keep your upholstered furniture clean or switch to alternatives made of wood, plastic, or other materials that do not allow for the collection of dust and other particulate matter.
3. Clean and Change Your Filters.
Your home will never be fully allergy proofed if the air conditioner, air cleaner, and furnace filters are not also properly maintained. Think about it: the air you are breathing is being circulated through a dirty piece of material that is leaving it contaminated with the very thing the filter was designed to eliminate!
A clogged filter will simply ensure that these allergens flow continuously throughout your home and continuously make your life worse. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to clean the filters or replace them entirely as they provide the perfect nesting ground for dust mites, one of your worst enemies.
4. Create Pet Free Areas.
Pets are wonderful companions for young and old alike, but they can also inadvertently contribute to your allergy issues, as allergens can easily collect in the animals’ hair. If an allergist has determined that you are allergic to your pet, there are steps you can take that will reduce your despair, but also allow you to keep your furry friend. While allergy medication can help alleviate these symptoms, reducing exposure to your animals can also be a significant aid.
Make sure your dog or cat stays out of areas where you spend a great deal of time, particularly your bedroom, and give your dog a regular bath to help clean the accumulated mold, pollen, and dust out of its fur.
5. Wear a Mask.
As previously mentioned, it is a good idea to wear a N95 Respirator Mask while cleaning, but they can also be worn at other times as well. These particulate respirator masks are very effective at preventing you from breathing in allergens, but they will not help you ruin any fashion awards. Not the most attractive or practical solution, they can be particularly embarrassing if you like to spend a great deal of time outdoors. They do get the job done, though, so the discomfort masks cause may still be worth it for you in the long run.
6. Close Your Windows.
While one loves to experience a spring or summer breeze, keeping your windows open also provides a perfect way for allergens to blow their way into your life. One of the worst allergens, pollen, can be difficult enough to deal with when outdoors, so you definitely don’t want it ruining your time at home. During peak allergy times, stick with fans or air conditioning as ways you can keep cool indoors.
7. Spend Less Time Outdoors.
Just as keeping your windows closed reduces your exposure to allergens, you can further diminish your misery by spending less time outside during the seasons when allergens are at their worst.
Enduring a long cold winter only to find that spring brings on a whole new set of problems hardly seems appealing, but why make things worse for yourself? If you know that exposure to hay brings about problems for you, try to stay away from areas where you would encounter it. Similarly, if your friends’ pets cause an allergic reaction for you, try inviting them over to your place, rather than visiting their home and spending half of the evening sneezing and blowing your nose.
8. Change Your Diet.
When people talk about allergens, the immediate thought is usually pollen, mold, dust and the like. However, the food we eat can also contain allergens that can cause everything from pain to headaches to mood issues. If you suspect that certain foods may be causing your problems, seek a referral from your doctor to a medical specialist who is equipped to perform IgE and IgG allergy testing. The results from these tests will provide a guide as to what you should eliminate from your menu, including such possible offenders as gluten, dairy and yeast products.
Allergies are no one’s idea of fun and can really take the joy out of your life. Over-the-counter medications are a common way to fight this problem, but you can also be proactive by reducing the amount of allergens in your living area. This will also help encourage you to maintain a regular schedule of cleaning your home, which can also improve your life in other ways as well. Take some extra time to improve your quality of life so you can make the most of your free time without a clogged head and watery eyes!