Thursday, June 30, 2005

How to Cope with an Allergy

Allergen is the name given to anything that causes an
allergy in a human body. In the presence of an allergen our
bodies send out histamine, which is what causes local
swelling and bumps. The cream or other pharmaceuticals that
combat allergies therefore usually contain an Anti
Histamine. Allergic reactions include a rash, itchiness,
coughs and general breathing problems.

Anyone can suffer from allergies. For some people the
allergies come and go, whilst others suffer all year round.
Of course some allergies are seasonal, such as hay fever
which appears in spring and summer. Some people can be
allergic to the tree pollens that exist in spring but they
might not be allergic to the grass pollens that tend to
predominate in summer.

Pets, detergents, medical products, foods... all these are
potential allergens. In various people they might cause
different conditions - asthma and eczema along with
dermatitis are all triggered by allergens.

It can sometimes be hard to figure out exactly what it that
is setting off an allergic reaction, but it is really worth
the effort. Say the reaction is worse sometimes than
others, then note down when you get it and try to discern a
pattern. Are you inside or outside when you suffer? Is it
mainly when you are at home or when you are at work?

One thing to do if you are having trouble finding the cause
is keep a log of your eating patterns - this is worth it
since food intolerance are tough to figure out. Also note
your symptoms in a diary - is it a sore throat in the
morning and itchy eyeballs at night?

Pets are not the only potential allergen at home, but they
are one of the commonest. It helps to know that the thing
that causes the problem is the skin pieces that tend to
collect an animals fur. This means regular pet bathing
helps out a lot. Cats, famously, do not like bathing one
little bit, so a rub down with a wet cotton cloth might be
an easier option... Keep them from certain key rooms, most
importantly your bedroom.

House mites are another cause and these little guys love
carpets and soft furnishings. It is a good idea to air
bedclothes well everyday and to wash them regularly. Vacuum
regularly if you have carpets.

Hay fever sufferers will want to make sure the windows to
the bedrooms are not opened, so to air the bed clothes
carry them into another room, and shut the door whilst the
window is open. Do not buy bedding that is made with down -
feathers are another common allergen.

If you've found that dust is the problem it might be worth
investing in a special vacuum cleaner as regular vacuum
cleaners can just stir up more dust. In the meantime you
can wipe soft furnishings with a damp cloth to remove dust
without stirring it up.

Unless you are stumped, avoid letting your wash dry within
the house. Steamy houses encourage mildew which itself is a
likely allergen for many. If you are left without an
option, let air into the house while the drying is taking
place. These tips and ideas may mean some extra tasks
around the house, but they will make it a healthier place
for all, regardless of whether or not they suffer with

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