Sniffles! It’s the season for Winter flu, and from everything I’ve read, is very bad this year. I’ve even read that some have been down for weeks and even died! I don’t know about you but I don’t like walking around clutching a handkerchief in my hand hoping that the next sneeze will be the last one.
Often times my thinking becomes foggy and my eyes are constantly itchy and dry. In a word, a sniffle can be worse than it sounds. It prevents us from rest and makes it hard to recharge ourselves. But, can we do more so we don’t get the sniffles. Here are a few ideas to tackle that endless sniffle before it gets the best of you.
You’ve done everything to stay healthy, but it doesn’t work
If we don’t look after our immune system we’re more likely to catch colds and sniffles. Eating healthier, fresh fruits and vegetables, especially those with vitamin C and magnesium that will help our bodies fight off infection. However, if we’re already ill, you need to help your immune response with vitamin D. In Winter, at least where I lived, there are not many sunny days.
Your lungs are going through a hard time when you’ve caught a cold and a homemade chest rub to help open up our sinus passages. A few drops of eucalyptus oil in boiling water can also do wonders as an inhalation solution. But what if none of these health strategies works? Then, my friend, it’s bad news. It means you may not have a cold after all. But you might be struggling with an allergy.
What are the signs of an allergy?
Indeed, allergy can appear in a variety of shapes, but mostly mild and moderate symptoms tend to include congestion and difficulty breathing. While you might have heard of the anaphylaxis syndrome, in reality, it’s a very rare phenomenon. Most people who are dealing with allergies, struggle with breathing issues, sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes, which are similar to the kind of symptoms you’d experience from a cold.
However, we might want to pay attention to other signs, such as a local rash, or even diarrhea, which happens from food allergens. Allergies can happen at any age and mine didn’t flare up until my 5o’s. Adults can indeed experience sudden allergic reactions to triggers that never use to be a problem before. So the question is: What is causing your allergy?
Blame it on the termites?
More often than not a termite invasion remains completely invisible until the damage is done. But more importantly, they are known for putting our homes and health at risk. For instance, any building that uses wood in its foundations can lose its structural integrity through an invasion, without mentioning issues with insulation material, drywall, and even your favorite books.
From a health perspective, termites can spread molds through our homes structure, which can trigger an allergic reaction. The best course of action is to get in touch with an expert pest removal service, such as ABC Pest Control, to get rid of termites as soon as possible. It’s also a good idea to let a professional surveyor check the safety of our home once the termites are gone.
Is your beloved pet making you sick?
We can find ourselves sneezing and sniffling next to your beloved furry friend. It can happen suddenly after years of not being sensitive and all of a sudden we are. We certainly aren’t going to let go of our fur babies! But there are plenty of things we can do to ease our symptoms and decrease the risk of allergic reactions. Indeed, airborne allergens such as cat dander can cling to curtains, drapes, and rugs. So, it’s essential to consider replacement or regular washing and vacuuming to avoid allergens buildup. You can also use allergy relief medication to help your body deal with the issue. Finally, the addition of an air filter can help to clear your home.
Have you changed cleaning products?
Have you recently switched to a new brand of cleaning products? Try switching back to your trusted brand or to move toward an organic solution or make your own like I do. Indeed, the presence of specific chemicals such as bleach, ammonia, limonene, and amines can trigger allergies. We may not experience an immediate reaction as cleaning chemicals may get into the air and be absorbed through the skin or our airways, causing a delayed reaction. Green cleaning products can help you keep your home spotless without a sneeze.
Is the basement just too damp?
Our basement is on the damp side and it can be that the mold growth is impacting on our health. We actually had ours tested. While not everyone reacts to mold, some develop sensitivity over time and can experience throat irritation, coughing, wheezing, nasal stuffiness and eye irritation. In short, all the common symptoms of a bad cold. If your immune system is weak, you might even experience more severe reactions. Since mold spores can travel through the air, keeping the door of the humid basement shut is not going to solve the issue.
Is that yummy recipe harmful to your body?
Indeed, the most common allergenic foods are eggs, fish, milk, nuts, and peanuts, shellfish, soybean, and wheat. So, we might want to switch to a free-form diet if you notice a pattern with your food. Don’t worry; there are plenty of yummy supplements to replace any of your allergens effectively.
Are you allergic to vintage?
If you love vintage furniture as much as I do, you might consider the potential allergic risks. Indeed, some antique furniture might suffer from mildew contamination which, even if you can’t see it, will have a similar effect on your lungs than dealing with mold growth. Additionally, we need to remember that old furniture has been standing in homes for years. Before using I thoroughly give it a good cleaning. Finally, if we want to fix or refinish our antique furniture, be cautious by doing it outdoors or in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling the dust.
What’s in the furniture?
Finally, if it’s not our antiques maybe we should check the contents of modern furniture? For instance, shower curtains and plastic tablecloths contain phthalates which are a hidden toxin. It can disrupt our hormones and affect our health in the long term. Press-wood furniture contains formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen and can also lead to respiratory allergies. The rule is simple: If it smells, don’t keep it.
Hopefully, with this information, we’ll be able to deal with any potential allergic reaction in our homes.