Mold, pollen and dust can make anyone who suffers from allergies or asthma downright miserable. If you are one of the estimated 60 million people in the United States who have allergies or asthma, keeping these pollutants out of your home is a must in order to breathe easier. While these three allergens get most of the blame for home allergies, there are several unusual allergens that could be giving you a stuffy nose, scratchy throat and watery eyes.
Airborne Food Allergens
Those who have a food allergy to shellfish, peanuts or dairy products know better than to even eat a small amount the food to which they are allergic. Unfortunately, airborne exposure to an allergen via fumes, vapor, sprays or odors can be enough to cause an allergic reaction. Simply breathing in the steam of cooking shellfish or walking by an open jar of peanut butter can be enough to tighten the airways and cause breathing difficulties in those who are allergic.
Cats and dogs get a bad reputation for causing allergy symptoms in those who are allergic to pet dander. While lizards and snakes have seemed like safe options as pets in the past, studies show that people can be just as allergic to reptile scales as they are to pet dander.
You have probably heard of dust mites causing indoor allergies, but cockroaches can be just as bad. It’s not the cockroach itself that triggers an allergic reaction, but rather the protein that is found in its droppings that causes allergy symptoms to flare. Because cockroaches are found all over the home, it’s important to get the air vents cleaned once a year to prevent breathing in this protein.
Green algae or Chlorella grows in a similar environment as mold. It thrives in damp, warm areas and causes sensitivity in those who are allergic to mold or mildew. Kitchens and bathrooms are where green algae grows best, but it can also be tracked inside from the outdoors on the shoes or on pets. Removing shoes outdoors and airing out the bathrooms and kitchens, especially for those who live in warm, humid climates, can help decrease the amount of green algae that can be inhaled.
Indoor plants can help clean the air and add green to any room. Unfortunately for allergy sufferers, inhaling these plants can cause an allergic reaction. Ficus, yucca, palm trees, ivy and tradescantia plants have been found to provoke the most allergic reactions in sufferers. Additionally, the flowers that your loved one gave to you for a special anniversary may look beautiful, but it’s best to pass them onto a friend if you suffer from allergies because they can cause allergy symptoms even after they are cut.
Allergy sufferers should be aware that spiders kept as pets as well as spiders that are living in nature both pose a risk of inducing allergy symptoms. Spiders have tiny hairs all over their bodies; when a spider provokes rapid vibrations in its body, these hairs can scatter around the home, where they are breathed into the body. An allergic reaction can then ensue.
Other Furry Pets
Hamsters, guinea pigs and even rabbits all have pet dander that can cause indoor allergies in those who are allergic. Because these are common pets for children to own, it’s important to invest in high-quality air filters in order to help your children breathe better. Keeping the pets out of the bedroom and in a central location can help your children breathe better during the night.
Many people believe that dust is made up only of dirt. Unfortunately, the dust that lines your bookshelf also contains skin particles, soil and animal matter. Studies have also found a significant amount of silverfish in the regular household dust. Silverfish are a type of tropomyosin, a protein that provokes allergy symptoms in many.
While it can be difficult keeping these unusual allergens away, a high-quality vent filter can help to filter the air you breathe in each day. Air vent filters work by “catching” the tiny allergens, allowing the clean air to flow through into your home. Be sure to use a high-quality filter for the best results and always change it as recommended.