Eco-Friendly Solutions to Dealing with Allergies
Every year, 50 million people suffer from allergies caused by dust, dander, pollen, and mold, and even more than that are plagued by irritation caused by chemicals in products like tobacco and perfume that we are exposed to every day. It can be hard to pinpoint the exact source of your allergies, and even then, it can be hard to eliminate every source of allergens you face daily. But there are many steps you can take to prevent allergy symptoms from occurring with some simple, all-natural changes in your home. There are also plenty of home remedies you can try to treat symptoms whenever they strike.
The most important first step when it comes to preventing allergies is knowing what you’re allergic to. You usually have a good idea of what triggers your allergies, and your doctor may suggest a blood test to know for sure what your true allergy is. A nurse or medical facility can provide you with a test list.
Once you find out that you have a specific allergy, there are immediate changes you can make around the house. You can start in the bedroom, by investing in organic linens and allergenic mattress covers and pillow protectors. Wash your linens once a week in hot water to kill dust mites, using a dye-free, scent-free detergent.
If you have carpets think about replacing them with hardwood floors. If that’s not possible, make sure you are using a vacuum with a HEPA filter at least once a week to improve the air quality in your home.
Invest in an air purifier or a dehumidifier, or both. Air purifiers work for people with dust allergies – their purpose is to clear the air of particles. Dehumidifiers work for people with asthma or other mold allergies.
Clean your home thoroughly, but make sure you are using non-toxic cleaning products. The chemicals in most regular cleaning products can cause extreme irritation in allergy sufferers.
Switch your shower or bath to before bedtime, so you can eliminate all of the dust and particles from your clothes and skin that you accumulate during the day.
If pet dander aggravates your allergies, there is no way for pet owners to totally eliminate that, but you can minimize it. Bath your pet once a week and keep them out of your bed.
Eat a diet rich in probiotics. Probiotics not only reduce food sensitivity and food allergies; they have been known to prevent asthma and eczema by strengthening the immune system. Some foods such as milk, yogurt, pickles, olives, and dark chocolate contain probiotics naturally, but there are also organic supplements available.
If you’re looking to alleviate allergy symptoms at home, one thing you can do is make your own saline solution. Mix a teaspoon of salt and a pinch of baking soda into warm distilled water and try inhaling it over the sink to clear your air passageways
Drink peppermint tea. Peppermint oil is a natural decongestant. Or eat some wasabi or horseradish – foods that actually contain ingredients that promote mucus flow.
Breathe in steam, especially from a hot shower. The steam will help your lungs and the shower will remove all dust particles and irritants that may be in your skin and hair.
Take some extra vitamin C, which is a natural antihistamine. Or look for foods that contain quercetin – another natural antihistamine that you can find in apples, oranges, broccoli, lettuce, and garlic.
Honey has also been proven to relieve allergy symptoms. Doctors aren’t sure why yet, but if you add it to your tea, the effectiveness could surprise you.
Studies show that allergy sufferers are more likely to suffer from other things such as stress, fatigue, migraines, and even depression. People with severe allergies know that it can take a huge toll on your life in every season, but it’s good to know there are a lot of simple ways we can reduce allergens in our everyday lives. It goes without saying that if you have serious health concerns as a result of allergies or asthma, it is always best to consult with your doctor. But hopefully, the most effective ways to prevent allergies will lead you to a healthier lifestyle without ever needing to pick up a prescription – and that will keep us happier, too.
About the Author
Amy Nielson is an avid blogger who writes often for health sites. You can follow her on Twitter @NielsonAmy.