You’ve just walked into your home, and it’s almost perfect; the fridge is full; your countertops are spotless, and there’s not a shoe out of place. There’s just one thing wrong – you can’t stop sneezing! Your home has become a breeding ground for pollen and dust, and it feels there’s nothing you can do about it. Will the sneezing ever stop?
I’m here to tell you that it is possible to remove allergens from your home, identify your specific triggers and live a relatively symptom-free life.
But first, what are allergies?
Allergies occur when a person’s immune system treats a typically harmless substance as a threat to the body and produces an unnecessary response to the trigger.
While there is a whole load of allergies, the most common ones are allergies to food, insects, ticks, pollen, dust, grass and mould. Immunoglobulin E (IgE) is an antibody that’s produced by the immune system as a defence against any foreign substance. The body produces IgE antibodies specific to the trigger it’s trying to fight, releasing chemicals that can cause allergy symptoms.
What are allergy symptoms?
- Chest tightness
- Itchy or red eyes
- Red rashes or hives
- Shortness of breath
- Sneezing and an itchy, runny or blocked nose
- Stomach pain
- Swollen lips, tongue or face
I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like a fun time to me at all.
Living with allergies has become common, but it’s not normal (there’s a difference).
Let me guide you through simple tips to help allergy-proof your home.
- Avoid the use of wood-burning fireplaces or stoves because the smoke can worsen respiratory allergies.
- Choose an air filter that has small-particle or HEPA filter.
- Clean cabinets and countertops thoroughly with detergent and water.
- During seasons with a high pollen count, consider closing your windows. If you know you’re affected by pollen from grass, trees or weeds, there’s an app that can track your hay fever symptoms to help you manage your day. If you’re interested in getting daily pollen, weather and air quality reports for your location, consider downloading this free app on your smartphone.
- Ensure you wipe excess moisture from the fridge to avoid mould growth. Make sure you regularly clean the dripping pan and clean the rubber seals around fridge doors too.
- Get rid of any out-of-date or old food.
- Install and use an exhaust fan to reduce moisture while having showers or baths, and make sure you dry the tub after use.
- Keep animals out of the bedroom and bath them once a week to reduce the amount of allergen.
- Opt for easy-to-clean chairs, dressers and nightstands and avoid upholstered furniture.
- Remove items that collect dust, like your favourite knickknacks or tabletop ornaments.
- Wash dishes daily, scrub the sink and faucets to remove mould and food debris.
- Wash your sheets, pillowcases and blankets at least once a week. Choose dust-mite-proof covers, and perhaps switch wool or feather bedding with synthetic material.
- When using your stove, use a vented exhaust fan to reduce cooking fumes and reduce moisture.
While allergy-proofing your place is a great start, identifying specific triggers can help you better manage the sneezes, sniffles and red noses. If you want to dive deeper into the cause of your allergy symptoms, why not consider an at-home allergy test?
This is my at-home allergy test kit of choice. Discover what your body reacts to with a small blood sample, where they test 294 different allergens, including pollen, pets, mites, food, mould and more. This test precisely detects allergen-specific IgE with sophisticated technology.
I’d love to know – are you someone who suffers allergies? What do you do to manage your symptoms? Let me know in the comments down below!