Environmental allergens emerge as a response from your body’s immune system to something from your surrounding that although is usually harmless, but can trigger varying symptoms of coughing, sneezing, fatigue.
Most symptoms of environmental allergies resemble common cold signs like a runny nose, shortness of breath, wheezing, tiredness, headache or itching. To ascertain if you have a cold or an allergic reaction is to notice your body’s response to particular elements in your surroundings.
The impact of climate change can be felt all across the globe with rising temperatures, longer allergy seasons and deteriorating air quality leading to stronger airborne pollutants and increased allergy symptoms. With Earth Day turning 50 this year, there’s an increased awareness amongst the people that the real enemy is no one but us. Unless we take action and alter our lifestyles, nothing will change. The increasing longevity and severity of environmental allergies indicate the need for drastic changes to prevent further earth warming.
POLLEN – is one of the most common allergens and can lead to watery eyes, sneezing or an itchy throat that can get worse especially during spring or autumn seasons.
PET DANDER – is typically light-weight and minuscule and can be airborne for hours. Homes without pets usually have lower levels of detection. Common symptoms of reactions to pet dander include hives, coughing, and sneezing. You don’t necessarily need to be around an animal to be allergic. Even if you’re near a person who has dander on their clothes, you can be affected.
DUST MITES – are tiny bugs or minute beings found in dust particles inside the house and can live in practically everything from your mattresses, pillows to carpets, and upholstery. A dust mite allergy’s most common during spring and summer months.
MOLD – constitutes tiny fungi and spores floating through the air and can lead to allergies mostly in humid and damp surroundings. Your immune system gets overly sensitive to particular spores and considers them as allergens that induce sneezing, breathing trouble, coughs and itchiness.
Consulting an Allergist and getting an allergy test done is the first step to getting treated, following it up with the recommended medication and care. Besides the prescribed medications and usual OTC antihistamines, prevention is the next best way of managing your symptoms with some natural remedies. For instance, an air filter can improve the quality of the air in your immediate surroundings by trapping the pollutants before they enter your space.
Allergy proof your bedding and pillows, covers and sheets to prevent dust mites with a regular cleaning routine and vacuuming. Keep your windows shut to reduce the environmental allergens at home, especially during the days when there’s a high pollen content. You can keep your bathroom window open instead. Ensure to air your bathroom following a bath to get rid of the moisture and prevent mould growth.
The use of essential oils can enhance the effect of your conventional treatment. Essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus and tea tree can provide relief from congestion, itchy & swollen eyes and act as anti-inflammatories. However, it is best to use them with carrier oils or in diffusers.
An over the counter saline spray is yet another effective way of managing your allergies, while taking a probiotic can show a marked improvement in symptom relief. Another simple and most effective natural remedy is to practice good hygiene and bathe after being outdoors. Wash your clothes to prevent the advent of mould spores and pollen inside the house.
The key to managing environmental allergens is to prevent exposure and even though avoiding these pollutants may not always be possible, with proper measures, medication, lifestyle changes and home remedies you can get relief from acute symptoms.