Allergy flare-ups occur when our bodies have an overactive immune response to outside stimuli. In some cases, however, the following unexpected triggers can make this response even worse.
- Fruit & Vegetables: When grass, tree and weed pollen counts are high, your immune system may attack fruit and/or vegetable pollen. To reduce the risk, try cooking your fruit & vegetables and avoid eating the peels or rinds.
- Alcohol: Because it dilates the nose’s blood vessels, alcohol can worsen allergies for people with asthma, hay fever and chronic bronchitis.
- Stress: Research suggests that stress can increase the body’s levels of allergy-triggering proteins, resulting in worsening symptoms and longer recovery times.
- Hair products: Hair paste and gels create a sticky surface that becomes a magnet for pollen. To reduce your symptoms, go light on these products.
- Thunderstorms: In the short-term, rain helps decrease pollen counts; however, by stirring up more pollen, it ultimately increases allergies once things dry out.
- Humidity: Excessive humidity creates a breeding ground for dust mites. To combat this, use a dehumidifier to alter your indoor humidity to around 40 to 45 percent.
- Ceiling fans: These can send allergens airborne, where they have a better chance of invading your sinuses. Run your fans sparingly and make sure they are regularly dusted.
- Over-watering houseplants: This promotes mold and mildew growth within soil, spurring allergies and diminishing indoor air quality.
- Morning showers: If you’ve been exposed to pollen or other potential allergens, it’s a good idea to shower before bedtime, or you are apt to wake up with more symptoms.
- Pets: In addition to exposing people to dander, dogs and cats tend to bring a lot of allergens in from outside, thanks to their thick, fur coats.
- Cleaning: This can also send allergens airborne, especially if you’re using a vacuum without a HEPA filter.
For some people, seasonal allergies are a minor nuisance. For others, they are a major problem that can lower the quality of life. If you suffer from severe allergies, consider investing in a HEPA home air filtration system. You should also ask your doctor about medications and injections, which can reduce symptoms and give you more freedom to enjoy life.