Natural Ways to Alleviate Allergies

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Despite our society’s over dependency on prescription medication, there still remains a great deal of interest in allergy relief minus meds which only mask the problem instead of cure or control it.  However, thanks to on going research and interest in natural living, there is now a growing list of natural ways to alleviate allergies without using drugs.

Hidden Allergy Triggers

Allergies are triggered by a number of elements. Common allergy triggers include dust/dust mites, smoke, pet dander, and pollen.  However, most people are unaware that specific elements could also lead to allergy problems. Things such as roach droppings, fabrics, food, mold, insect stings/bites, and pollen from specific trees such as maple or olive, are also hidden allergy instigators. And, if you have asthma, a reaction to any offending allergy-causing substance can worsen your asthma symptoms. Still there are steps you can take to prevent and treat allergy attacks when they occur without having to resort to meds.

Understanding Your Environment Can Help You Control It

Because your allergies can by triggered by any number or combination of causes, your best bet is to understand the sources of allergies, and then do what you can to control these areas.
Dust Mites – One of the most common causes of allergies, are microscopic dust mites that often gather in mattresses and bedding. This fact becomes even more troubling when you consider that a good third of your 24 hours is spent cocooned in this space.  Reduce your exposure by covering box springs, mattresses, and pillows in dust proof or allergen proof cover. Other than that, try to wash your sheets about once a week and stay away from down/feathered comforters and pillows.
Window Treatments – Curtains and drapes collect dust, smoke, and other allergens.  Wash them frequently in hot water. However, if possible, replace them with easy to dust blinds or shutters, preferably made of natural materials like bamboo.
Mattresses and Your Health – Mattresses are wrapped in plastics and treated with flame retardants.  This is particularly important if you have a child, as it may have an adverse affect on your child’s health and development. If you have a synthetic mattress, air it outdoors before bringing it in your home.  Cover the mattress with a wool or organic mattress pad. An allergen proof mattress casing can significantly reduce allergy symptoms.
Synthetic Fibers – Synthetic fibers are created with materials sometimes containing harmful chemicals. If you have sensitive skin you’ll soon realize that your allergies aren’t limited to your sinus, but show up on your skin too in the form of a minor to major rash.  Try washing your clothes in fragrance-free and dye-free detergents.
Carpets as Large – Scaled Magnets – Much like sponges, carpets attract pollutants like mold and dust. They also emit chemical fumes long after they’re installed. If possible replace carpets with bamboo or linoleum flooring, both being wallet and eco-friendly.
Air Freshener Fad – Everyone knows cleaner air means a healthier you. However many people make the mistake of hiding (or trying to hide) bad air.  Instead of covering up odors with more odors, such as fresheners, can actually irritate lungs, cause headaches, and numb your nose to odors. Try purifying the air in a more natural way by opening windows, using simple vinegar cleaning solutions, and air purifier for a far more natural effect.
You can also run your air conditioner and air filters to absorb the pollen from the air in your home.  However, don’t use window or attic fans, which can increase pollen inflow. Other than that, keep your windows closed during spring/summer allergy season.

What You Can Do

Natural Air Purifiers – Indoor house plants act like natural air purifiers.  The foliage and roots work to absorb chemical pollutants released by synthetic materials. Ferns, for example, are ideal plants for homes with pets and kids.  However, if you don’t want to deal with plant maintenance and care, you can always opt for a real air purifier.
Eat the Right Foods – Foods may also act as an allergen.  Te most common foods that our bodies may treat as an allergen, are wheat, milk, eggs, corn, yeast, coffee, and chocolate. To help fight allergies, make sure you drink a lot of water, up your vegetable intake, and try and eat more fish.  These foods are full of natural vitamins that help fight allergens.
While most people treat allergies like an unwanted seasonal visitor, the fact is that a combination of understanding allergy triggers, plus a few key steps you can take to limit them, will ensure that you do not become a victim of allergy attacks. The key is to keep a clean environment – and that includes your air quality.
 
Shireen S. is a green expert working with www.air-purifier-home.com to help them maximize consumer awareness.  She can be reached at shireen@air-purifier-home.com

About the Author

Kimberly Johnson

As Senior.com Director of Sales and Marketing, Kimberly Johnson is passionate about providing Seniors with the resources and products to live well.  Kimberly is a seasoned caregiver to her family and breast cancer survivor.  Her father battled ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease and she was a primary caregiver.  Today Kimberly lives in Southern California near her 104-year-old grandmother, widowed mother, a mentally disabled sister and second sister who is also a breast cancer survivor.  She is happily married to her husband of 24 years and they have 3 children.

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