Allergies are becoming increasingly common with around one in three people presently suffering from some sort of allergy. Yet quite often people do not realise they are allergic to something that is causing recurrent and sometimes debilitating symptoms. A typical example of this is dustmite or mould allergy. The only symptom you might notice is headache and fatigue or a postnasal drip that just does not seem to go away. Because allergies are so common and can cause significant health problems it is worth discussing how you can identify if you have an allergy and also learn what you can do about it.
Allergies can develop at any time in our life but are most common in our childhood years due to our developing immune system. It is possible to go through life and not be allergic to anything or, on the other end of the spectrum, some people develop allergies to multiple substances. There is a genetic component to the development of allergic tendencies that can run in families. However you do not necessarily develop an allergy to the same substances as your relatives.
How You Can Prevent Allergies
The best prevention is to remove the potential allergen that triggers an allergy whether it is from your home or work. If you can minimise the level of the offending allergen, your medication requirement and allergy symptoms may be reduced. The following suggestions may help you to reduce allergens around you:
- Keep your home dry and well ventilated
- Cut down on dust around your living area by cleaning regularly
- If you suffer dust allergy it is a good idea to purchase barrier covers for your bedding.
Wash your bedding weekly in very hot water and hang to dry in full sun rather than use the dryer. Vacuum your bedroom regularly and, if possible, remove the carpet from your bedroom.
- For people who suffer from pet allergy try and keep your animals outside in your yard as much as possible. Try not to allow your pet in your living area and bath them at least once every two weeks.
- If you suffer from skin allergy it is suggested that you first prevent scratching the itch as this causes the so-called itch-scratch-itch cycle. Also applying a fragrance-free moisturiser regularly can prevent dry skin from cracking and becoming inflamed. Inflammation further stimulates your immune system to develop a rash.
- If you previously have had an allergic reaction to insect bites, such as bee stings, the best prevention is to remove all hornet’s nests or beehives from your yard and the eaves of your home. If you happen to get stung or bitten take an antihistamine immediately to help minimise reactions such as rashes, swelling or itchiness. If there is no sign of improvement or the reaction becomes worse contact your healthcare provider or call your local emergency clinic for assistance.