Indoor allergies can be even more frustrating than outdoor allergies because indoor allergies invade our homes. While we seek relief from the outside work at home, for those suffering from indoor allergies the home can be a source of further problems. Before you seek out medical treatment, consider these natural treatment options for indoor allergies.
Clean Your House
A thorough house cleaning can help reduce the presence of indoor allergens such as dust mites, mold, pet dander and cockroaches. You may need an allergy test to determine what you're allergic to, or you may already have some idea. When you clean, be sure to use a filtered vacuum, check your furnaces air filters often and wipe all hard surfaces down with a wet cloth.
Rid Yourself of Dust Mites
There's no way to destroy every dust mite in the house, but you can dramatically reduce their numbers by taking a few precautions. Consider all the fabric in your home; these are places where dust mites can live. Wash all bedding, pillows and comforters along with curtains and rugs. Consider removing any wall to wall carpeting you may have, or steam clean it regularly. Remove couch cushion covers and wash these as well. Consider covering your mattress and pillows with a hypoallergenic cover designed to keep dust mites out.
Cut the Mold
Mold can grow in any number of places, but it especially loves warm, wet places like showers and basements. You probably look for mold in these places, but it can grow elsewhere. Mold can be present in the walls and under floorboards as well. If you live in a humid climate or have a basement prone to dampness, use a humidifier to keep the relative humidity down.
You may be allergic to your pet. Pets can bring in all sorts of fun stuff from outside like pollen, insects and grass. You may be allergic to these things or to pet dander, saliva and urine. Since pets lick to clean themselves, their saliva, urine and dander dry and flake off into the house. If you have a pet, there are steps you can take to ease your allergies and still enjoy your pet. Bathe your pet regularly and wash its bed frequently. Keep your pet off furniture and out of your bedroom so you can sleep at night.
Natural Treatment for Indoor Allergies
If you still experience the occasional indoor allergy, there are some methods to use to treat them.
- Nasal Irrigation: this involves flushing a saline solution (salt water) through the nasal cavity. You can use a bulb syringe, Neti Pot or spray bottle to insert 2 cups of water into which 2 teaspoons of salt has been dissolved. The water will run through the nasal passage and out the other nostril. Blow your nose and repeat in the second nostril. Do this nightly.
- Herbal Therapy: there are two herbs known especially for allergy relief. Butterbur is undergoing trials in Europe and has been shown to be as effective as some antihistamines. Goldenseal is an astringent and antibacterial and can ease symptoms as well.
- Acupuncture: this is a traditional Chinese healing practice of inserting very fine needles into key parts of the body. It's thought to stimulate the immune system to better handle allergies.
Indoor allergies can be frustrating at times, but still managed through careful cleaning.
Photo Credit: norio.nakayama