How to Treat and Prevent Allergies

How to Treat and Prevent Allergies

Allergies symptoms can make you super miserable and lead to countless visits to the doctor each year. I personally suffer from both indoor and outdoor allergies. When it comes to managing my allergies, I found that preventative care is best. However, life often gets in the way and I forget to take my daily allergy medication especially if I am not experiencing any symptoms. Today, I wanted to talk more in depth about allergies. Continue reading to learn how to treat and prevent allergies.

Disclosure: This post is for informational purposes only. Please work with your doctor or health care provider to help develop the right plan for you and your condition.

What is an Allergy?

An allergy is a response from your immune system to a substance. The substance sets off a chain reaction and causes your body to treat any allergens as a foreign object or invader. Then it causes your immune system to react to the allergen. Once, your body reacts to the allergen, then you start feeling the signs and symptoms. The signs and symptoms can range from mild to life threatening depending on the allergen that you were exposed too. Your immune system then produces antibodies. Antibodies are created to tell the mast cells and basophils to release chemicals including histimines to attack against the allergens. This causes the allergic reaction in your nose, throat, eyes, lungs, skin, or GI tract, which sends a signal to the area of your body where the allergen is at and your body is told get rid of the allergen. Each time your body is exposed to the same allergen your body will continue to have an allergic reaction to the allergen.

Here is a list of common allergy symptoms:

  • sneezing
  • watery eyes
  • itchy eyes
  • itchy throat
  • congestion
  • sinus pain
  • fatigue
  • wheezing
  • coughing

If you have an allergy attack, you should always treat the attack so that it doesn’t learn to serious health problems. Allergies are heredity so if you have allergies so it is likely that you inherited them from your parents.

Common Allergy Triggers

Here is a list of the common allergy triggers that tend to set off allergic reactions in most people:

  • Pets – Warm blooded animals can cause allergy problems in adults and children. Pet dander and saliva is usually responsible for causing problems. They shed tiny flakes of skin and fur. As your animal cleans itself with their tongue/saliva , the protein in their saliva dries into their fur and gets into the fabrics in your home. Plus, they go outside and roll in the grass, dirt, and weeds and track those allergens back into the house. Plus, it is imperative that you clean up any pet accidents immediately. Pet urine that isn’t clean up will eventually become airborne and it releases bacteria into the air.
  • Cockroaches – Many people don’t want to admit that they have a problem with cockroaches because these pesky bugs carry a huge stigma that your house is dirty. However, even the cleanest homes can get a roach infestation. If you see a cockroach, you need to immediately treat the problem since you don’t usually see the entire infestation. They tend to hide in walls, damp spots, and dark places. Cockroaches shed or excretes proteins that trigger allergy symptoms.
  • Dust Mites – This is the most common culprit of most indoor allergens. Dust mites are small microscopic insects that live among us. They feed off our dead skin cells that fall off our bodies. They live in your bedding, upholstery, and in your carpets. If you suffer from indoor allergens, you should wash your bedding frequently to help reduce the amount of dust mites living around you. If you have severe allergies or asthma, if possible you should rip out the carpet in your home and encase all of your mattresses.
  • Pollen – This is another common culprit for most people and it is often referred to as hayfever. These allergens are caused by trees, weeds, and grasses that release tiny particles into the air. These particles are responsible for fertilizing other plants. Depending on where you live, these outdoor allergens can be seasonal or year-round. You can find out what the local pollen counts are on the news or by going to The Weather Channel Allergy Center.
  • Mold – This is another popular culprit for most people. Fungi can live both indoors and outdoors in warm moist areas. If you are allergic to mold, you should check your bathrooms, under the sinks in the kitchen and bathrooms, clothes hamper (especially if you toss in wet clothes and let them set for a few days), laundry room, and basements. Immediately clean up any mold growth and call in a professional for large areas of mold. Check around the outside of your home and clean up any mold growth. You can find mold outside where you have poor drainage, around your a/c drain, compost piles, and rotting leaves or grass on the lawn.
  • Food Allergens – There are several foods that can cause allergy attacks. These foods include: cow’s milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, and wheat. Depending on the allergen you are allergic to, you can eliminate these products from your diet.

Preventing Allergens

Antihistamines

Antihistamines can help prevent or treat your allergy symptoms. These medicines help by blocking the histamine. There are different antihistamines on the market and have a wide variety of side effects. Some common medications that are used to treat allergies are:

  • Benadryl
  • Claritin
  • Zyertec
  • Actifed
  • Allegra
  • Plus many others that are prescribed by your Doctor

Some of the know side effects depending on the drug you are taking is: drowsiness, dry mouth, blurred vision, dizziness, and many more. Read the side effects listed on the medication bottle for more information about the side effects for the drug that you are currently taking.

Reduce Exposure to Allergens

You can attempt to reduce your  exposure to the things that they are allergic too. Here are a list of ideas on how to reduce their exposure:

  • Keep pets out of the bedrooms.
  • Wash bedding on a weekly basis using hot water.
  • Encase the mattress and any pillows to reduce the amount of dust mites in the bedroom.
  • Remove carpet and install hard wood or laminate flooring.
  • Avoid opening the windows. Instead, use the air conditioner.
  • Use curtains that you can wash in your home.
  • Find furniture that is easy to clean. For example, buy leather couches instead of buying fabric.
  • Bathe pets weekly.
  • Clean up any mold in your home as soon as you notice it.
  • Wash the dishes on a daily basis.
  • Don’t allow laundry to sit for several hours in the washing machine. Your laundry can mildew while sitting in the washer waiting on you to move it to the dryer.
  • Avoid wood burning fireplaces during the winter time.
  • Use exhaust fans while bathing to help reduce excessive moisture build up.
  • Repair any water leaks immediately to prevent mold growth.

Purchase an Air Purifier

RxFilterless UV Air Purifer

For more information about the Air Purifiers for your home, click on the photo or to purchase an air purifier.  

Air purifiers can serve as a first line of defense for anyone who is suffering from asthma, allergies, or other respiratory ailments. They can help allergy suffers by cleaning the air that is around them. An air purifier can help remove the airborne micro particles from the air that cause so much discomfort. Most of them help allergy suffers reduce the amount of dirt, dust mites, pet dander and remove other odors from the air.

Dry winter causes allergies which may lead to health problems like sneezing, nasal congestion. Find out the best whole house humidifier to get rid of allergies today by humidifying your indoor air.

Please share our article on how to treat and prevent allergies to friends and family too!

Photo Credit: Flickr

How do you treat and prevent allergens in your home?