How to Deal With Everyday Allergies
Learning how to avoid allergens is key to living with allergies. Through the tips in this article, you will learn how to better manage your everyday allergies.
Do you wake up every morning in a sneezing fit? Are you constantly scratching due to itchiness? These reactions may be the result of everyday allergies. Whether you stay at home all day or go out from time to time, allergens can still be present around you, and these can trigger your allergies.
Before we present some helpful tips to eliminate allergens and better deal with your everyday allergies, it’s important to understand what allergies and allergens are.
What are allergies?
The human body’s immune system produces antibodies , which are designed to attack harmful “invaders” like viruses and bacteria. But sometimes, our antibodies attack foreign substances that are not typically harmful, such as dust or pollen . This triggers a reaction which can impact the skin, digestive system, sinuses, or airway. This reaction is known as an allergy . The severity of allergies can vary from person to person, ranging from mild itching,sneezing, or a runny nose, to anaphylaxis which is potentially very harmful.1
What are allergens and why should you avoid them?
An allergen is any substance that triggers an allergy. Common allergens include:2
- Pet dander
- Certain medicines
- Fungal spores
- Foods (e.g. shellfish, eggs, peanuts, wheat)
- Insect and mite feces
It’s not always easy to identify the allergen/s that might be triggering your allergies. However, if you do know what they are then the best way to prevent allergic reactions is to try to eliminate these allergens from your immediate environment.
Daily Tips to Deal with Allergens
1. Change your clothes
Allergens like pollen , pet dander [link to article A5: Managing Pet Allergies] and dust mites [link to article A4: The Dirt on Dust Mites] can stick to your body, clothes, and hair. Make it a habit to remove your shoes, change your clothes, and wash your hands and face whenever you have been exposed to any potential allergens.
2. Shower at night
Showering at night before bed can help make sure that allergens don’t come into bed with you. Going to bed without showering can cause a buildup of allergens on your bed linen that could trigger nighttime allergies.
3. Quick clean
Devoting 10 minutes a day to dusting surfaces or vacuuming rooms can help reduce dust build-up and keep dust mites away. Use a damp sponge or mop (a dry cloth can stir up allergens) and a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter or double bag.
4. Keep windows closed
Especially during high pollen season, when it’s windy outside, or any time you’re doing any garden work, it’s best to keep windows closed to avoid pollen and dust from entering the house. Doing so will also help keep bugs and insects that could trigger allergies out.
Weekly Tips to Deal with Allergens
1. Wash your bedding
To help reduce allergens from building up in your bedding, wash it in hot water (at least 55°C) every week. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions for safely cleaning your bedding and dry clean it if necessary. Stay away from strong-scented cleaning agents to avoid chemical irritants.
2. Deep cleaning
Deep cleaning your home can help eliminate allergens from those hard-to-reach corners. You perform deep cleaning room by room. For effecting deep cleaning for allergies, [link to article A6: Deep Cleaning for Allergies] dust every surface and move furniture aside for a thorough vacuuming. Scrub rooms where moisture builds up, such as bathrooms, laundry rooms and basements, with a mold -killing cleaner. Don’t ignore appliances like refrigerators and washing machines — they can be hot spots for mold growth.
3. Maintain your garden
Keep the grass in your garden or lawn cut short.3 If you are the allergy sufferer, delegate the task to someone else or wear a protective face mask and gloves. Wash any indoor plants with water to avoid any bug infestations and get rid of dust on the leaves. Insects can not only kill your beloved plant babies but could also cause allergies.
4. Always keep allergy medication on hand
It’s not always possible to eliminate every single allergen at home, and sometimes you can’t avoid potential allergens when out and about. For mild to moderate allergies, over-the-counter antihistamines that do not cause drowsiness, such as Loratadine4 (Claritin®), help relieve allergy symptoms. A variety of formats and flavors are available for adults and children. Loratadine (Claritin®) works in as fast as 15 minutes5, is non-drowsy4,6 vs. first-generation antihistamines and cetirizine, and lasts up to 24 hours6.
If you’re running low, be sure to pick some up when you’re running errands or order some online, making sure to pop some in your handbag too.
IF SYMPTOMS PERSIST, CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR.
ASC Ref. Code: B248P032922CS
- Allergies. The Mayo Clinic. Retrieved on November 23, 2021 from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/allergies/symptoms-causes/syc-20351497
- Allergen . MedlinePlus. Retrieved on November 23, 2021 from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002229.htm
- Grass Allergy . Allergy and Asthma Network. Coping with Grass Allergy. Retrieved on December 8, 2021 from https://allergyasthmanetwork.org/allergies/pollen-allergy/allergy-to-grass/
- Kawauchi, H.; Yanai, K.; Wang, D.-Y.; Itahashi, K.; Okubo, K. Antihistamines for Allergic Rhinitis Treatment from the Viewpoint of Nonsedative Properties. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 213. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20010213
- Sur, Denise K C, and Monica L Plesa. “Treatment of Allergic Rhinitis.” American family physician vol. 92,11 (2015): 985-92.
- Haria, Malini, et al. “Loratadine.” Drugs, vol. 48, no. 4, 1994, pp. 617–637., https://doi.org/10.2165/00003495-199448040-00009.