health

Allergy Triggers
There are 30 million people who suffer from summertime seasonal allergies. Allergy triggers are everywhere, and vary greatly from season to season. Here’s a list of common—and not so common—allergy triggers, and ways to avoid them.

Paint

Wall Paint

That fresh coat of bold paint on your living room walls could be giving you itchy eyes and headaches. The solvents and synthetic resins found in paint cause this, and oil-based paints are particularly problematic because they continue to release chemicals even after they dry. Keep windows open, allowing fresh air to circulate for a month after painting. Paint with low VOC (volatile organic compounds) levels spews fewer chemicals into the air, but it stills has the potential to bother you.

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iRobot Roomba Pet 532 in Living Room

Carpeting

Carpet may feel nice on your feet, but dust mites find it to be the perfect place to set up camp. And they are there to stay—vacuuming every day won’t get rid of them. Remove wall-to-wall carpeting in your home and instead, place small rugs that can be washed monthly to soften your floor. Dust mites love humidity, so make sure to keep the humidity in your house below 50 percent.

Take a Shower

Morning Showers

People who only take a shower in the morning could be worsening their allergy symptoms. Pollen particles get on your body, hair, clothing and shoes and can prolong your allergy grief when you’re inside. Leave your shoes at the door, toss your clothes in the laundry, and rinse off quickly in the shower when you get home from work or from being outside for an extended period of time.

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Orchids

House Plants 

Those with intense seasonal allergies are allergic to at least one household plant, a Belgian study found. The allergens in plant sap can disperse into the air and create sniffling. Any potted plant in your home may do this, along with ficus, ivy, yucca, orchid, palm and fern varieties.

Kimber Crandall

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Blue Jeans Buttons

Nickel is a rash trigger for up to 20 percent of women—and it’s what most buttons on jeans are made of. This could cause a rash along your waistline that’s itchy, red and blistery. To fix this, coat the button with clear nail polish, which a recent St. Louis University study found to be effective. You can also replace the buttons with plastic ones.

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Perfume

Perfume

Your favorite scent could contain hundreds of chemicals that haven’t been tested on humans. Those chemicals bond with the essential oils in perfumes and may irritate others who are sensitive to them, resulting in sneezing, congestion and headaches. Use a fan at work to disperse any pesky fragrances wafting off colleagues. If you like to have a signature scent, opt for body creams and moisturizers with light scents which are less likely to irritate you – and others.

Reuters

Martini

Alcohol

The alcohol you’re drinking has more of an effect on you than you think. You may be allergic to the grains and additives used in liquor, like wheat and the preservative sulfur dioxide, which could cause a rash or stuffy nose. Wine and beer could also affect you. Drink grain-free liquors like potato vodka, rum and tequila and skip flavored liqueurs. Choose red wine over white wine, as it tends to have fewer preservatives and look for “sulfite-free” wine. Anything with carbonation increases the chance of an allergic reaction.

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bananas

Food Allergies

Certain foods can be a big trigger for allergies, the most common being shellfish, nuts, eggs and wheat, but some of your favorite summertime flavors could be an issue because of allergens. Oral allergy syndrome (OAS), or pollen-food syndrome, is itchiness of the mouth and throat right after eating fresh fruit or vegetables. It’s caused by a cross-reaction between allergy antibodies directed towards pollens with similar proteins found in foods. OAS affects about one-third of people with seasonal allergies. People who are allergic to ragweed may experience symptoms after eating bananas, cucumbers, melon, sunflower seeds or zucchini. Those people who are allergic to grass pollen may have a bad reaction to oranges or tomatoes. And individuals with weed pollen allergies may want to avoid carrots, parsley and celery. Cooking the food may eliminate a reaction, but not always.

AP

Allergy Triggers

There are 30 million people who suffer from summertime seasonal allergies. Allergy triggers are everywhere, and vary greatly from season to season. Here’s a list of common—and not so common—allergy triggers, and ways to avoid them.

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