In the developed world, over recent decades there has been a steady increase in the number of people who suffer from allergies. It is extraordinary how many substances can cause allergies, and many sufferers have multiple triggers to their symptoms. Apart from taking medications, one thing that victims of the allergy epidemic can do is to remove as many sources as possible from their homes.
Some allergies are caused by contact with substances such as cosmetics, rubber, glues, dyes, plants, and many other items. These can cause a skin reaction in a sensitive person. Once the source of the allergy is understood, it is relatively easy to remove these from the environment.
Other allergies are reactions to foods. The best-known include nuts, eggs, dairy products, and gluten, but many other foods can also be responsible. These too can be guarded against once they are known.
The hardest allergies to protect against are those caused by microscopic airborne particles, which are invisible, easily carried around, and readily inhaled. Their sources can be:
- Dust mites, which feed on cast-off human skin cells that are everywhere—we all lose about 30,000 a day!
- Pollen, especially the wind-carried pollens of grasses.
- Mold spores—some sources of mold are visible, many are not.
- Cockroaches—their droppings contain a protein which is a known allergen.
- Animal fur and bird feathers. These can be very fine and float invisibly on the air.
Batten Down the Hatches
To protect against these microscopic irritants, there are a number of steps you can take:
- As far as possible, manage without carpets and curtains in your home. These harbor millions of particles which are stirred into the air by movement. Hard surfaces are much easier to keep clear.
- Wash sheets and pillow cases often. You could buy covers for mattresses that guard against mites.
- Vacuum your property regularly with a reliable vacuum cleaner, one which doesn’t stir things up too much. Some have special fine filters.
- If pets are the source of the problem, keep them away from bedrooms.
- If you have cockroaches, use traps and get professional advice on eradicating them permanently.
- Reduce mold by keeping humidity levels low, especially in those rooms most likely to be humid, the kitchen and the bathroom.
- Make sure your home is well-aired, except when pollen or other pollutant levels are high outside.
- In extreme cases, you may consider installing a filter pump to strip the dust and other particles from the air.
A Safe Haven
Your home is your fortress, and you want to feel safe from all attacks there. Unfortunately, you happen to share your home with billions of living organisms and particles, some of which can make life misery for an allergy sufferer. There is no way you can keep out every possible source of reaction, but with a thorough cleaning regime and some changes in the environment you can make a good start.
Mollie Freeman has a dust allergy which can make life pretty horrid at times. She writes about a range of home and family topics for women’s lifestyle blogs using her experiences to hopefully help others.