Yes, you read that right. You may be doing things that make your allergies even worse. Anyone who has them knows first hand that allergies cause the most disruptive, most lingering and unpleasant symptoms. For the estimated 60 million Americans who struggle, it might surprise you to hear that though you keep your windows closed, you stay indoors when pollen counts are high, you may still be doing things that contribute to your symptoms.
Here are nine, along with quick fixes.
1. A friend who smokes cigarettes around you, as allergy sufferers appear to be especially vulnerable to the effects of second-hand smoke. Some times particles from a heavy smokers clothing or hair can also be problematic.
2. Showering only in the morning. Those who deal with hay fever actually benefit from a quick shower as soon as they get home, or after being outside for any length of time. This helps remove hidden pollen particles on your body, hair, clothing and shoes that can keep on triggering symptoms even after you’re inside. If you’re dealing with a pollen allergy, make it a habit to slip out of your shoes, change and put your clothes in the hamper and shower as soon as you come inside.
3. Stress laden deadlines at work. Research from 2008 found that subjects with allergies had more symptoms after taking a test designed to induce anxiety, compared to when the same subjects did something that didn’t make them feel anxious. Those troublesome stress hormones may increase the body’s production of blood proteins that bring on allergic reactions. So if you’re under stress, be sure to get enough sleep and keep up with any stress reduction strategies that work for you. If you don’t have any, find some, fast.
4. Having another glass of wine with dinner. Surprisingly, alcohol can increase the chances of perennial allergic rhinitis by 3% for every added alcoholic drink consumed in a single week. It may be that the bacteria and yeast naturally part of wine produce histamines and these are the cause of those uncomfortable allergy symptoms… stuffy nose and itchy eyes. You’ll might want to hold off on the alcohol when your symptoms are acting up.
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9 Surprising Ways You Make Allergies Worse Continued…
5. Waiting too long to take your medication. The drugs you’ve been given to help your symptoms work best before you’re ever exposed to the allergen. Your best bet is to start taking your allergy medications a few weeks before the season starts, or before you’ll have to be around your own allergy triggers.
6. Wash water that’s not hot enough. If you find you sniffle a lot in bed, turn up the temperature of the water in the washing machine to the hottest setting you have and launder your bedding again. In South Korean research, washing cotton sheets at 140 degrees killed all the dust mites, but at a warm, 104 degree just 6.5% of the dust mites were killed. Hotter is better.
7. You’re allergic to a houseplant – over 75% of hay fever allergies come from at least one of the most common plants we keep indoors according to a Belgian project. The allergens in plant sap can diffuse into the air. The plants most likely to cause trouble are the ficus, yucca, ivy, palm, orchid and fern.
8. Skipping evening medications is not a good habit to get into. Taking your allergy medication at bedtime allows for the drug to be circulating in your bloodstream all night long and first thing in the morning. Allergy symptoms like sneezing, weepy eyes and runny nose actually are worst in the morning according to Richard J. Martin, MD, who is chair of the department of medicine at the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Colorado. A smart suggestion is to choose the regular (instead of non drowsy) formula so you’ll fall off easily.
9. Water workouts in an indoor pool can cause lots of problems for your system thanks to all that chlorine. It disinfects the water but also is super hard on your skin, eyes and respiratory tract. A study in the journal Pediatrics reports that teens who spend more than 100 hours per week in a chlorinated pool have a 3 to 7 times greater risk of suffering from hay fever when compared to swimmers who do laps in chlorine free pools. A good strategy here is to wear a mask or goggles, try not to swim in a chlorinated pool every day, and swim outdoors instead of inside, where chlorine fumes can build.
To your good health,