Over 60 million Americans suffer from allergies. That is a fact. But another surprising fact is that many of these people are also encouraging their symptoms without realizing it. Are you one of those people? If you tend to do any or all of these things, you might just be inviting more allergy symptoms. Take a look to see if you might need to change any habits.
Maintaining Stressful Deadlines
A 2008 study at the Ohio State University College of Medicine discovered a correlation between increased allergy symptoms and stressful work deadlines. Their theory is that a particular protein found in blood, called IgE, might be the cause of the allergic reactions. Stress hormones cause the body to produce more of this protein, which in turn produces more symptoms. If you find you routinely do not get enough sleep, try getting more sleep to reduce stress levels, or try other relaxation methods when the pressure from deadlines is unavoidable.
Having an Extra Nightcap
One alcoholic beverage is plenty, because each drink after that may come with an unexpected price. According to Danish researchers, each additional drink raises your risk of experiencing allergy symptoms by 3 percent. They believe one of the contributing factors may be the yeast and the bacteria contained in alcoholic beverages that produce histamines, chemicals that cause the allergic reactions. If you are already experiencing allergy symptoms, it may be best to avoid alcohol altogether. It would certainly be best to avoid the extra drink and stick with just one a day with dinner.
Taking Medication Late
Allergy medications are meant to block histamines, which is why they are called antihistamines. The problem is that they do not work as well if you wait until after you are already experiencing symptoms to take them. Doctors recommend that you begin taking your allergy medication about two weeks before allergy season begins. This way, the drug can start working before you are ever exposed to the allergens.
Hanging Out with Smokers
Smoking is a bad habit for everyone, but those with allergy symptoms suffer more. They are particularly bothered by the fumes and the particles allowed into the air. A Japanese study discovered a correlation between teens with nasal allergies and the fact that they live with smokers. Even when the smokers do not have anything lit, the chemicals and particles can still irritate allergy sufferers. They linger in the air and attach themselves to the hair and clothing of smokers, furniture, and other objects. If you cannot avoid smokers altogether, it is best to avoid smoky atmospheres as much as possible. If you live with a smoker, it is best that the smoker never smokes in the house.
Showering in the Morning
It is never a bad thing to shower in the morning. Everyone likes to feel clean around coworkers or as they go about their day otherwise. However, while you are busy going about your day, you are exposing yourself to all of the things in the air around you. Allergens such as pollen may attach themselves to your clothing and hair. For this reason, it is a good idea to take a shower in the afternoon or early evening. As soon as you get home, throw your clothes in the hamper and hop in the shower to wash away the allergens before they spread throughout your home.
Keeping the Wrong Houseplants
Many allergy sufferers are allergic to the pollen of at least one common houseplant variety. Therefore, if your allergy symptoms flare up more when you are at home, it may be a good idea to see if your plants are the culprits before getting rid of your precious pet. Belgian researchers claim that the most common offenders are ivy, ferns, ficus, orchids, and yucca plants. Perhaps try a less common plant if you wish to have houseplants.
Washing Your Clothes in Hot Water
It may seem like a good idea to save electricity by washing your clothing in cold water or warm water instead of hot water. However, researchers in South Korea discovered that temperatures of at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit will kill all of the dust mites on the garments, whereas a lower temperature of about 104 degrees will not even kill 10 percent of the bugs. If you suffer from allergies, try turning up the temperature on the water heater before doing your laundry.
Chances are, you did not even know these habits could make your allergies worse. Now that you do, it cannot hurt to give them a try. If you are a major allergy sufferer, these tips may help keep the symptoms at bay. Even if you only suffer occasionally, you may be able to benefit from changing a few habits.