Saturday, August 28, 2010

Indoor allergies

According to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of American, 1 in 4 Americans have allergies. I have horrible allergies indoor and outdoors and all season long.  My eyes itch like crazy and I literally wish I could rub my nose off. At night I have a hard time breathing through my nose. During the summer my back neighbors have these tree's that have such a strong scent and massive pollen counts  that I cannot even open my windows for about a month. They are so bad that even my husband has issues with them and he doesn't even have allergies. Its a constant struggle all year long for me. Uggg

There are a few ways you can have some allergy relief.  Since mine are so bad, I only get a small amount of relief but hey, I will take any help I can get. Over the years I have found new ways to help with my allergies and hopefully you can get some use from my tips. And don't forget to leave a comment and add your own tips!

Improve indoor air quality
Tobacco and wood fires are huge triggers. Let friends and family know you have allergies and do not allow people to smoke in your home.  We have a strict no smoking rule in our home. During the winter we use our fireplace but I have to be careful how long i'm in the same room and keep my bedroom door shut or I will suffer all night long.  They also say that high levels of VOC (found in paint) can cause children to get asthma at a young age. So you might want to think about repainting rooms with no VOC paint especially if you have young children.  Cleaners are also loaded with VOC's. Might want to try cleaning with 50/50 vinegar and water and see if that helps you out.  Also children can help with cleaning because its non toxic.

Use dye free/fragrance free products
You have to be real careful with this one. Some products say they are dye free/fragrance free but are really not. Its better to just not buy any products unless you have to. Instead of using room spray use a spray bottle with water and a couple drops of your favorite essential oils. My favorite is lime/lavender.  Use your own homemade cleaners as stated above.  No plug in fresheners, no smelly perfumes, and lets just face it. No fragrance of any sort in any item in your home. This means also no carpet powder or febreeze type products Besides why do you want to mask anything? Just keep your home clean/body clean and you wont smell. Am I right?

Clean clean clean
Keeping your home clean will keep your allergies at bay. Dust often, pet hair/dander is everywhere so vacuum often, and don't let mold grow anywhere.  Keep your bathroom well ventilated to keep mold out.  Vacuum often and sweep every day.  A tidy home will help you breath more easily.

Out Optical Brighteners
Many laundry products contain ingredients called optical brighteners which are chemicals that reflect light in a way that tricks the eye to make fabrics seem brighter or whiter than they are. Sneaky companies!  To do this, optical brighteners are deposited on fabrics during the wash process. This can be problematic because optical brighteners can rub off on skin and react with sunlight to cause an allergic reaction which presents as a rash that is often mistaken for sunburn. Potential skin contact and allergic skin reactions caused by optical brighteners can be avoided by using laundry products that are optical brightener free.  Now days you can find these just about everywhere. Don't forget to research research research.

 Keep your windows closed in pollen season
Instead try keeping a fan in your room.  If you use your A/C unit, change the allergy filter often.  This has helped me out so much.  If you open your window, you invite all that pollen outside to come right in your home.

Avoid line drying outside
I have a hard time with this one. I refuse to not dry my stuff outside. My mother did it and I prefer the smell of my clothing naturally dried outside. Sorry but I cannot use my dryer unless its not possible for me to dry them outside.  I love the smell, the softness of my clothing and i'm loving the energy savings off my energy bill.  But if I did stop drying them outside, it would help my allergies a lot. Again I REFUSE! I have drying racks I can use in my garage for the winter months. There is always options.

So my question is what do you do about your allergies? Do you have allergies as bad as I do? How do you cope with indoor allergies?


Lisa Sharp said...

We use homeopathic allergy meds, air filters and all the stuff you talked about. I hate not being able to line dry, hopefully someday I can set up an indoor system. Maybe dry my stuff outside when the pollen count is low or none and dry just my husband's inside (he has worse allergies than I do).

Tracy said...

My husband suffers from pretty bad allergies too. What helped us was building a makeshift air filter for cheap. We took a box fan and duct-taped a 20x20 allergen furnace filter to the back and ran that all night. It really helped and it was cheap.

Anonymous said...

I, like you, have allergy symptoms all year round. I have not been able to find 'the answer', however, I have several things that seem to help somewhat. I do not like to take any drugs, but without any, I am a wreck. So I take a generic WalMart brand Zyrtec (about $22 for 90 pills)every day or two. This keeps me sane and I do not battle allergy symptoms all the time. I have found a Neti Pot helps greatly. This is a daily sinus/nasal rinse system and I make my own solution of half baking soda, half non-iodized salt. I am also beginning to try making my own cleaning solutions with non-toxic products - washing detergent, deodorant, soaps, lotions, general cleaning solutions, etc. to see if this will help clear allergy symptoms. This also helps the planet by going green.
Since I am an avid camper, hiker, biker, kayaking kind of person, staying indoors is out of the question. It would be a wonderful gift to find a solution - cure - for relief of allergy symptoms.

Patty said...

My husband and I both take generic zyrtec from Sams (about $16 for 360 pills). Our dog has allergies to everything too. We've considered replacing our carpet with wood or tile but thats an expense we don't want to take on yet. The neti pot stuff helps when I remember to use it. Also consider seeing a doctor if things are really bad. I think its pretty rare but I had a CT scan done of my sinus's that revealed an infected mass in my right sinus cavity. I was basically under constant allergic reaction to the fungal infection in my sinus which wouldn't clear up b/c my sinus was always clogged. Vicious cycle.

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