Allergy causes: not exactly what you think

Fall allergies have taken over my life. The wavering weather, the increasing wind. My allergies (along with many other’s) have gone hay wire.

I used to just think it was nature or anything that had to do with outdoors. But I realized one night that I was experiencing allergy symptoms (sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, scratchy throat) while indoors as well. Very, very curious.

Did you know that your home could be housing rogue allergens? While you might faithfully take your outdoor allergy medicine, other allergens that are causing you grief are living in your home, right under your nose.

Suspect #1: Mr. Teddy. The teddy bear that your child (or you, no one is judging here) consistently carries around might be housing not thousands but millions of dust mites that could be aggravating your family’s allergies. No need to quarantine the bear for his crime against humanity. You can either freeze him out or steam him out. A quick pop in the freezer for a day or a hot cycle through the washing machine. The extreme temperatures will kill the mites and save you from annoying allergens.

Suspect #2: A recent remodel. Just finish a new paint job or buy new furniture? The paint can actually release gas into the air that can be the source for asthma attacks. And even after the new smell is gone the paint can still affect allergies to up to a year. This does not mean you can never repaint or buy new furniture again. Just make sure you are getting “green” paint that is a non-VOC (volatile organic compound). Pricier? Sure. But it will be worth it to avoid the wheezing associated with asthma.

Suspect #3: Warm, wet spots. Think places like your shower curtain, under wet rags, any place that mold can grow and multiply. Mold is a serious in home allergy. Not only can it aggravate normal allergies, mold can actually be seriously harmful to your health. To keep the mold at bay, clean mold hot spots regularly with bleach. But the easiest way to beat mold is to keep mold hot spots very well ventilated. (This is especially important in bathrooms where mold loves to breed.)

Suspect #4: Pets. Yes, your extra adopted family members may be causing your allergies to go haywire, especially if your pets live indoors. Even if you have never been allergic to cats in the past, prolonged exposure to cat dander can grow and create stronger allergies. Easiest way to avoid? Not have a pet. But if you can’t bear to get rid of your furry friend, keep mouser outside or vacuum up cat hair regularly.

Suspect #5: Houseplants. Yes, if you are one who has brought nature indoors, you might be surprised to hear that the indoor plants can be a source of allergens. But not exactly why you think. Indoor plants are also another hot spot for mold. The warm, wet soil is a prime spot for mold. Avoid over watering to avoid extra moisture which fuels mold growth.

If you can’t get rid of your in home allergies, get a free health insurance quote and visit your doctor pronto. Prescriptions can help lessen the allergy affects.