When many people think of allergies, they think of runny noses, watery eyes, and wheezing due to outside substances. However, you could be allergic to substances right in your own home.
At Shine Health and Wellness, we know allergens can show up in many places, including in your home. In this blog, Kimberley Shine, MD, discusses some of the common allergens, their symptoms, and how you can reduce your exposure to them.
What is an allergen?
An allergen is something that is normally not harmful. However, when your immune system comes in contact with it, your immune system identifies it as harmful, and your body responds with an allergic reaction.
When it comes to allergens in the home, here are some of the most common ones:
- Pet dander
- Cigarette smoke
- Dust mites
When it comes to dust mites, they’re typically more active in the warmer months, so you might notice your symptoms getting worse during this time.
Common allergy symptoms
Symptoms can vary depending on the allergen, how your body reacts to it, and whether or not you’re allergic to more than one allergen. However, here are some of the most common allergy symptoms:
- Skin irritation
- Shortness of breath
- Runny nose
Allergies may also cause you to wheeze, especially if you suffer from certain conditions, such as asthma. Suffering from asthma can make symptoms much worse, and, in some cases, even be life-threatening.
Reducing your exposure
While there’s not a lot you can do to get rid of allergens outside, there are a lot of things you can do to keep your home as allergen-free as possible. Here are three easy ways to reduce allergens in your home:
1. Use air filters
Air filters can help eliminate certain allergens by trapping them. When looking for an air filter, make sure to choose one that is a HEPA filter. This stands for high-efficiency particulate absorbing air filter. These filters are designed to catch more allergens compared to other types of air filters.
2. Keep out dust mites
Since dust mites can live in your furniture, use dust-mite-proof mattress covers and pillow cases. You should also wash your sheets at least once a week.
You can also vacuum your mattress while your sheets are in the wash. And, when you wash your sheets, use hot water to eliminate the mites.
3. Bathe pets regularly
Pet dander is one of the biggest causes of indoor allergies, so make sure to wash your pets regularly to cut down on the amount of pet dander in your home. You should also keep your pets out of your bedroom, since you spend so much time in this room.
Taking small steps, such as these, can help you keep your home as allergen-free as possible. Furthermore, you can get allergy testing to know for sure what you’re allergic to and so you can get treatment.
If you suffer from allergies, we can help. To get allergy testing or guidance, book an appointment online or over the phone with Shine Health and Wellness today.