Image Source: Unsplash
Over 50 million Americans suffer from allergies. Most people associate allergies with pets, pollen, or dust, but there are many things people can be allergic to. Letting allergies go undiagnosed and untreated can cause a lot of negative symptoms and may even damage the immune system.
Allergies can affect people in different ways, especially depending on what you’re actually allergic to. Some of the most common allergy symptoms include the following:
- Itchy nose, mouth, eyes
- Watery, red eyes
- Swelling around the lips or tongue
- Shortness of breath
- A rash
If you suffer from allergies, we don’t need to tell you that the symptoms aren’t fun to deal with. Maybe you have just one or two of the symptoms above, or maybe yours are more severe. Some people experience minor reactions while others can be life-threatening.
So, what can you do to manage your allergies? Thankfully, medications are available that can help to alleviate some of your symptoms, but being able to manage them on your own every day is a different story. Let’s look at three effective ways you can keep your allergies at bay and live comfortably.
1. Learn What You’re Allergic To
The best way to start managing your allergies is to know exactly what you’re allergic to. That way, you can avoid the things that will trigger a reaction.
Seasonal allergies are perhaps the most commonly known, and for good reason. There are many common outdoor allergy triggers:
- Mold spores
- Grass/weed pollen
- Mold spores
There are many other things that can trigger allergies, however. Some, you may not even realize you’re allergic to until you experience a reaction, like with certain foods. If you wear jewelry and you often deal with skin irritation or other symptoms, you might be allergic to certain metals. These are the most common metals to cause allergic reactions:
Nickel is the most common metal to cause a reaction. About 17% of women and 3% of men are allergic to nickel. Metal can also hide in other places besides jewelry. Your cell phone, eyeglass frames, clothing hardware, or even certain cosmetics and soaps can contain metals that may cause a reaction. Once you know which metals you’re allergic to, you can avoid certain products.
Allergic reactions can also be caused by certain drugs, animals, or even materials like latex. Keep track of your reactions to things, and you’ll have a better chance of avoiding your triggers.
2. Improve Your Air Quality
Pet dander and dust can trigger allergies and cause irritating symptoms. One of the best ways to combat those problems is to improve the air quality of your home. If you’re able to do that, you’ll find that you can breathe easier and may not experience symptoms like an itchy throat or red eyes.
A good place to start is to make sure your HVAC system is up-to-date and running properly. Most maintenance companies suggest getting your system serviced at least once a year, and changing out your filter more frequently. Some filters should be changed every 30 days while others can last up to 6 months.
You can also improve your indoor air quality by making sure your home is as clean as possible. Wash your clothing regularly as well as pillowcases, towels, blankets, or any other materials that might get close to your face. Keeping things clean will keep allergens from lingering. If you wear contact lenses, keeping fabrics clean around the home can help you to avoid itchiness and irritation around your eyes.
Finally, adding some air-filtering plants to your home can make a big difference. Certain plants have air purification properties:
- Aloe vera
- English ivy
- Rubber plants
- Lady palm
Plants can be used as a part of almost any type of home decor, and there are plenty that improve air quality, so find which varieties work best for your sense of style.
3. Limit Your Time Outdoors
If seasonal allergies tend to be your biggest problem, you can benefit by limiting your time outdoors, especially on days when it’s dry and windy. The best time to go outside is just after it rains, as pollen counts in the air will be lower. You should also avoid going out early in the morning, as that is when pollen counts tend to be higher.
When you spend time outside, after you come in, make sure to immediately wash your clothes and take a shower. The longer pollen sticks to you, the more miserable you’ll become. With that in mind, it probably goes without saying that you shouldn’t hang sheets or clothes out to dry.
Check local forecasts each day. Many local news stations will report current pollen levels with the weather. If you can’t find the information on the news, you can look at the National Allergy Map each day and feel more confident by going outside when pollen levels are low.
Living with allergies can be irritating and even miserable at times. But, there are things you can do to find some relief. Keep these tips in mind if you suffer from allergies, and you might be able to breathe a bit easier!