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Easy Ways to Control Allergies Even If You’re Living in the City

Mar 01, 2017

Easy Ways to Control Allergies Even If You’re Living in the City

You wake up one pleasant morning, ready for a great day ahead. But, all of a sudden, you’re overcome by that itchy sensation in your nose, and then you begin to sneeze continuously. You’re confused because you don’t know what’s causing such a severe bout of sneezing out of the blue. The answer is, more likely than not, an allergic reaction to something in the air.

An allergy or allergic disease is a condition that causes a person to have extreme reactions to irritants in the environment. When this happens, your immune system goes into overdrive and acts abnormally when your body comes in contact with certain substances.

Different people are allergic to different things including certain food items and latex rubber. However, most common allergies are caused by suspended particles in the air we breathe. You don’t even have to step out of your house to catch an allergy.

The usual suspects responsible for airborne allergies

Pollen

Pollen is released by some plants every spring, summer and autumn. These tiny grains help plants reproduce.They are released in huge numbers into the air, and being microscopic, are easily carried by the wind and are capable of traveling thousands of kilometres.

A person allergic to pollen grains can suffer from allergic rhinitis— nasal congestion, sneezing, itchy and runny nose, and watery eyes. In severe cases, a person can even suffer from asthma.

Dust mites

Your house can be home to millions of animals called dust mites that are too small to be visible to the naked eye. They thrive in dust particles trapped in carpets, furniture and upholstery.

Dust mites grow in number during warm and humid weather, but they are present throughout the year. Just like pollen grains, they enter our body when we breathe in air holding suspended dust mites and dust mite waste. The allergic reaction you suffer due to house dust mites is very similar to the one caused by pollen.

Unlike pollen, dust mites can cause you to suffer from allergy all the year around as they are not seasonal.

Mould spores

Mould spores cause allergic reactions the same way plant pollen does. Damp areas, even inside your house, can become the perfect breeding ground for fungi, and when these fungi are ready to reproduce, they release tiny spores into the air.

Once again, you’re likely to experience a runny and itchy nose, nasal congestion, sneezing and other symptoms associated with pollen allergy.

Animal dander

Animals, especially the furry ones, can cause you to have an allergic reaction with symptoms similar to the ones caused by pollen, mould and mites. But did you know it’s not the fur that’s causing the reaction? It’s mostly certain proteins present in animal saliva and urine.

These proteins mix with the air once they dry up after an animal has licked itself. You’re likely to start experiencing symptoms a few years after you’ve had a pet like a dog, cat or guinea pig. These allergy-causing proteins can remain indoors even a few months after the animals are removed.

Chemicals

Chemicals released by paints and plastics, perfume molecules, cigarette smoke, traffic pollution and even certain plants can set off allergic reactions in some people.

Chemical irritants can result in allergic symptoms even in people not generally prone to allergic reactions (people who are not generally affected by pollen, dust, mites, etc.). And chemical irritants can actually worsen symptoms resulting from other allergic reactions.

Keep airborne allergies away with simple precautions

Pollen and mould allergy:

  • Stay indoors as much as possible during certain seasons (especially when it’s windy) and keep doors and windows shut.

        · Wear a face mask that can filter out pollen grains and mould.

Dust allergy:

  • Avoid upholstery and furniture that collects dust, especially wall-to-wall carpets.

       ·    Use a damp cloth while cleaning dust.

       ·    Vacuum frequently using a device with HEPA filter to remove microscopic allergy causing particles.

       ·    Wash/clean items with warm water.

       ·    Always wear a mask while cleaning.

Animal dander allergy:

  • Keep a pet with short fur that’s easier to clean and clean it regularly.

       ·   Keep your pet away from your bed, carpet and other articles that can easily collect animal dander.

       ·   Using an air purifier with HEPA filter can help.

  • Not having a pet is the only option if your allergy is severe.

Chemical allergy:

  • Wear a pollution mask when you’re on the road.

        · Avoid cigarette smoke if you can.

Prevention is the best medicine, but despite the best precautions allergens can sometimes find their way to you. If you ever find yourself suffering from severe or prolonged allergic reactions, seek medical help without delay.

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