Do you know that 2 out 10 Americans suffer from allergies? Allergies, which are the abnormal responses of the immune system to substances that are actually harmless, can be triggered by anything from food to grass to animal dander. More specifically, allergies can be caused by pollen, cat and dog dander, grass, weed, molds, and various kinds of food like peanuts, chicken, seafood, milk, etc. Anything that causes allergic reactions is called an allergen. Symptoms include sneezing, nasal congestion, itchy eyes, rashes, itchy skin and wheezing.
Types of Allergies
There are many forms of allergy but probably the most common is hay fever or allergic rhinitis. This type of allergy is caused by pollen or other microscopic substances found in the environment.
Other types of allergies include hives (urticaria), plant allergies, bee sting allergy, pet allergies, latex allergy, mold allergy, cosmetic allergy, drug allergy, eczema (atopic dermatitis), allergic conjunctivitis, food allergies, photosensitivity, and many others.
First of all, you have to know what is causing your allergies. With so many possible allergens, it can be tricky to determine which one is causing your skin to rash or your eyes to itch. If your skin itches after eating eggs or chicken, it is possible that you have allergic reaction to this food. If you suddenly find yourself sneezing when passing by the particular tree in your neighborhood, you might be allergic to pollen. Observation is the key to discovering what your allergens are. This way, it would be a lot easier to stay away from them.
Next, keep your home and surroundings clean. Many people are allergic to dust mites so it is imperative that you keep your house spic and span. Wash beddings and pillow cases regularly. Replace old and worn-out pillows at least every year. Use allergen-proof covers that can be zipped and closed. Clothes that you wear outside the house should be kept outside the bedroom. So should the pets, especially the furry and hairy ones.
It would also be best to do away with the carpet. While this home accessory can instantly add class and flair to any room, it is not advisable for anyone who has allergies. The carpet attracts and traps dust. They are also harder to clean than hardwood, tile or linoleum floors. And because sweeping can stir up the allergens and send them flying into the air for you to inhale, it would be a smarter move to clean the floor with a damp mop or cloth instead.
When going out during windy days, wear an oversized sunglasses. This is not only fashionable these days but also beneficial for your health. Large sunglasses are effective in keeping pollen out of your eyes. It is also advisable to stay inside the house during the day since this is the time when pollen count is at its peak. If you want to go out, opt for nighttime. If you must really go out during the day, be sure to take a shower when you come home.
Now, if none of these techniques works, it's about time that you see an allergist who will probe deeper into your condition. An allergist will devise an effective treatment plan and prescribe you with medications that will help you get through this condition more easily.