Allergens are all around us. From the outdoors to our home, common sources of allergies like pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and mold can make life miserable. Immunotherapy in the form of allergy shots or allergy drops at CornerStone Ear, Nose & Throat can create an immunity to these environmental allergens, but there are also steps you can take each day to reduce the impact of allergies on you and your family. This article offers some overall advice as well as information on the most common types of allergens and strategies to control them.
- Isolate the allergen or the item producing the allergen. For example, mattress casings help prevent contact with dust mites that can live in your mattress or box springs.
- Remove the allergen or the item producing the allergen from your home, particularly your bedroom. Any common allergens should not be in your breathing space. If you have a pet, the animal should stay outside. If allowed indoors, keep it out of your bedroom and DO NOT let it sleep with you.
- Ventilate to remove allergens or pollutants. This can be particularly helpful to dilute tobacco smoke, odors, and chemical fumes, which should be avoided by people with allergies or sensitivity to pollutants.
- Filter allergens from the air. Using high-performance filters (HEPA) in the central air system can remove dust, pollen, dander, and mold. Air purifiers can also provide a continuous supply of clean, allergen-free air infrequently occupied spaces.
- Recognize the need to make your bedroom as allergen-free as possible. You spend more time in your bedroom than any other room in your home, assuming you sleep in your bedroom for at least six hours a day. Breathing clean air while you sleep can allow your immune system to recover from daytime exposures.
- Consult with your primary care physician about improving your nutrition. Foods contain energy, nutrients, and other components that affect health and the mechanics of the body. Proper nutrition is an important aspect of overall wellness.
- Lower your stress level. Stress can lower your resistance to allergens.
- Engage in physical activity. Moderate physical activity for 20-30 minutes a day, four or more days a week will increase your overall wellness. Exercise is also effective in reducing stress levels and contributes to more restful sleep.
- Get more rest. Fatigue weakens the body’s defense against allergies, and other illnesses. Proper rest gives your immune system a boost and the support it needs to protect your body.