Sneezing More? It Could Be Indoor Allergies
September 09, 2021
The average person’s home is a minefield of allergic triggers that can cause respiratory symptoms in people who are sensitized to them.
Dust mites are a common problem in the bedroom and on carpets and upholstered furniture. Indoor mold is another possibility, especially in more humid climates. And if you have a cat or dog, while they may be a great source of emotional support, they are also filling your house with pet dander – even the so-called hypoallergenic ones.
Think about where you’re spending the most time in your house. Are you working from the upholstered couch with your dog curled up next to you? Are you in a carpeted office next to a set of dusty drapes your grandma gave you?
Heading into the fall is a good time to do some cleaning and remove potential allergen sources, says Lauren Hadney, DO, who specializes in internal medicine at UH South Primary Care. If cleaning the whole house or apartment seems overwhelming, focus on the room where you spend the most time, or try to work somewhere without soft materials, carpets, or your cat underfoot.
Keeping Allergies Under Control
There are additional measures you can discuss with your doctor to help mitigate allergy symptoms, Dr. Hadney says.
Call your primary care doctor to set up an appointment to discuss your symptoms. “This is especially important if you have asthma, as allergies and asthma go hand in hand,” Dr. Hadney says. “It’s important to reduce the underlying allergic inflammation that can lead to allergic asthma.”
Make an appointment to talk to your provider about an allergy blood test. Along with your history, getting an allergy test is the best way to have a full picture of all your allergic triggers. This will make exposure management much easier for you – after all, if it turns out you’re allergic to dust mites but not the cat or dog, that’s one less thing to worry about.
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