It’s spring and it’s time for plants, flowers, grasses, and trees to bloom. Given the tremendous amount of rain in California (and across the US), everything is popping up with flowers, grasses, leaves– and of course pollen. Allergies are common at this time of year and there are so many things you can do to minimize problems due to environmental agents as well as how to manage the allergic reactions you have. Lucky for us, LA-Story.com contributor, Naomi Shaw is here with an insightful piece that provides helpful ideas on how to minimize pollens and other allergic things so that you can minimize allergic reactions at home!
Environmentally Friendly Ways to Reduce Allergies at Home!
by Naomi Shaw
Allergy season is upon us and it’s time to deal with them! An allergen is a non-harming substance that causes the body to overreact, usually in the form of rejecting it, giving you the common symptoms of allergic reactions (Those symptoms including sneezing, runny nose, shortness of breath, itching and watering eyes, headaches, fatigue, scratchy or sore throat, coughing and clearing your throat) . Depending on who you are, you may react differently to different allergens or have reactions that vary in severity depending on the substance. This is why allergy season theoretically can last 11 months a year while you might only have issues during the spring.
Image courtesy of Pinnacle ENT Associates
Luckily, reducing your allergies doesn’t always require laborious efforts! Here are several safe ways to minimize the effects of allergens in your home!
Pinpointing YOUR Allergy Season
Being able to decipher what exactly your body reacts to is the first step to removing them from your home. An allergy test is a great place to start if you are looking to find what specifically is causing a reaction for you. Between taking a skin or blood test, you can figure out what types of substances can cause a positive reaction. Another way to tell what particles in the air may be causing you issues is to look up local reports about pollen, mites, or dust that frequent the area.
Furthermore, you can check your home for common allergens that are affecting your daily life. For instance, pet dander and dust are very common sources of allergies. You should also look for dust, which if not checked will cover every surface in your home. Mold can spread spores that are generally hard to breathe and will also spread bacteria as well. Cockroaches and dust mites need to also be kept in check, their droppings are not only unhygienic but a common source of allergies. (Dust mites are virtually undetectable due to their microscopic size. Learn more about them HERE
Reducing Allergens in the Home
Part of managing your allergies is by preventing as many foreign substances from invading your home. Here are some precautions to follow to minimize allergens from entering your living spaces:
- Having a floor mat by the front door to wipe your shoes on will help reduce any trackings on your floors.
- Keep as many doors and windows closed. This should prevent invading irritants. Using a screen for the windows and doors can help, but are generally insufficient to stop pollen or other allergens from getting into your home.
- Keep your pets indoors if possible. Pets are notorious for bringing the outside world in and depending on the shift in temperature, this can make your pet more prone to shedding hair and dander.
- Have a change of clothes whenever you get back home. Pollen can easily attach itself to fabrics and can continue to bother you in your home.
Cleaning Out Your Home
The most frustrating part about preventing allergies in your home is trying to remove them. At times, it can seem like you’re trying to fight nature head-on, but the labor can be lessened so long as you know what you’re doing. The following steps should help you remove and keep allergens away!
- Buy eco-friendly washable air filters to prevent waste. Many people tend to overlook their air filters at home, which are meant to catch any airborne maladies. This usually means that not only are you likely to be using more electricity to have airflow at home, but the filter can eventually become the source of the airborne irritants at home.
- Use a washable duster to clean off surfaces in your home. Dusters with one-time-use surfaces are prone to creating heaps of trash, especially if you are trying to clean your entire home. Using a duster on as many surfaces is a must to minimize pollen, dander, and other allergens.
- Make sure to vacuum after you’ve cleaned as much as you can. Vacuuming last allows you to catch up any pollen that may have settled after dusting and cleaning your air filter. Not to mention, portable vacuums are much more efficient at picking up lint and pollen than a lint roller and doesn’t create waste. Furthermore, empty the vacuum outside to prevent any of the contents from making its way back into your home.
Allergies can be miserable, but at least they are manageable. And with these tips, you can both keep nature from harming you, while taking care to not damage her back in return. Best of all, you can breathe easy knowing you’re not hurting the environment while keeping your air clean.
Bio of Naomi Shaw:
Naomi Shaw is a full-time freelance writer who balances motherhood and entrepreneurship. Living in Southern California with her husband and three children, Naomi writes on all topics with a family and health. She transitioned from stay-at-home mom to freelance journalist to share her lifestyle passion with the world.
LA-Story.com would like to thank Naomi Shaw for her great piece on how to deal with allergies. It’s a timely piece with some great suggestions!
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