Kicking Against the Ticks: How to Be Prepared for an Allergy Attack
Summer is here, and with it are all the things you’ve come to know about the changing of the season. You’ll see wasps interfering with picnics, an increase in tissue consumption, and lots of antihistamines being pushed at the store.
It must be allergy season, right?
Allergies are an unavoidable part of life for millions of people. There’s no way to cure them, and out of nowhere, you could be in for a surprise allergy attack when you least expect it. With the correct preparation, you can ease your suffering and get back to enjoying the summer.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING AN ALLERGY ATTACK?
When you go through an allergy attack, you’re feeling your body’s natural response to an invasion. Of course, you’re not actually being invaded by anything, and your body is reacting to something that isn’t harmful. In the case of the summer, you could be reacting to something new in the air that wasn’t previously present. Pollen is one of the common causes of a new allergy attack at the start of the season.
Once your immune system decides that you have something in your body that you shouldn’t, you begin to react. Your antibodies determine the allergen and start fighting off what is meant to be a threat. Antibodies will release chemicals known as histamines into your system. You’ll notice inflammation happening when this occurs. Fluid begins to seep through, and your small blood vessels begin to tighten up.
HOW CAN I BE PREPARED FOR AN ALLERGY ATTACK?
Aside from staying indoors and isolated from anything that could possibly set off your immune system, there isn’t much you can do to completely stay away from allergens. An allergy attack is always lurking right around the corner, waiting to destroy your daily schedule without warning.
Thankfully, if you know what to expect, you can always prepare for an allergy attack. There are preventative measures you can take before you experience any symptoms, and you could also use certain remedies if you begin to experience symptoms.
Some of the most common allergens are listed below, along with the best ways to prevent and deal with an allergy attack involving each one.
Pollen is one of the leading causes of an allergy attack. Different kinds of pollen are most prominent during different times of year. In the summer, you can expect to deal with pollen from grass, weed, and ragweed. This isn’t helped by all of the freshly mowed lawns you will encounter as you move throughout your home area.
If you are a gardener, you’ll have to be aware of the amount of pollen you will encounter through weed-pulling. Just yanking the pests out by the roots can set off any number of allergens you have in your system.
To avoid an allergy attack from pollen, the first thing you can do is look at your watch or phone. Pollen counts are typically the highest in the late morning and early afternoon. If you can manage to keep yourself indoors during these times, you can reduce the exposure level. This works out great if you commute to work for a 9-to-5 job – just make sure your air conditioner in the car is set to reuse inside air, and you’re good to go.
Keep your windows closed if possible. Pollen is an airborne allergen, and particles will easily flow through any open portals into your home. If you absolutely have to have windows open, keep one fan pointed toward the window to keep out any floaters.
If you have to work outside, use a face mask to avoid any direct inhalation of pollen. An allergy attack is more than enough cause to wear a mask, as strange as it might feel to use. As soon as you are finished with your chores, get a shower and a fresh outfit to make sure there isn’t any lingering pollen. You’d be amazed how easily it clings to your clothing.
As creepy as it might sound, dust mites are actual living beings contained inside pockets of dust. Along with giant clumps of dust, you’ll encounter dust mites inside window blinds, stuffed animals, and larger pieces of furniture.
Dust is an inevitability. You can clean the house every single day, and no matter how much you scrub, dust will always find a way to get back inside your home. Although unavoidable, there are a few things you can do to combat dust mites and their presence around your immune system.
To start, get an air purifier. The stronger the rating on the purifier, the lesser your exposure to dust mites. The difference between sleeping with an air purifier going during the night and without one is night and day if you are expecting an allergy attack. If you enjoy sleeping with white noise in the background, consider it an added bonus.
When you go to sleep, avoid using any pillows filled with down. These kinds of pillows are open invitations for dust mites to invade your nasal passages while you sleep. You should also wash all of your bedding at least once a week with hot water. Using cold water won’t be enough to completely eliminate their presence, so make sure the temperature is consistent.
If you or your children have any stuffed animals, throw them into the same cycle. Make sure the dryer stays hot as well. Dust mites are persistent, and you never know when some of them might slip through the cracks.
Try to stay away from using long window blinds or drapes. These allow dust mites to settle and act like new tenants who won’t pay the rent. You can find specific curtains and other window treatments that are hypoallergenic to prevent dust buildup.
Finally, avoid using too many rugs and carpeting. Dust can’t settle on hardwood floors, and it’s much easier to clean.
Dank isn’t just an expression for the memes flooding your Twitter feed. Explore any basement or laundry room long enough and you’ll come across a bit of mold. It’s unavoidable in any room with plenty of water usage, and it can spread to the outdoors, too.
When the summer begins to fade and the leaves fall, try not to rake if you can help it. Mold spores like to hide in piles of leaves, and the second the rake disturbs them, you’re asking them to set up shop in your airways. This gets even worse when the rain comes and piles of wet leaves harbor entire populations of mold spores.
Speaking of rain, it’s a great excuse to stay indoors. Not only can you catch up on Netflix or a book, but you won’t be letting mold into your nose if you skip out on exploring outside. You can also use this as a reason to skip the work that needs to be done in the garage or crawl space.
When it gets extremely moist and rainy, consider purchasing a dehumidifier for your home. You won’t want to completely dry out your living space but lowering the amount of moisture in the air prevents mold from spreading. You can also put a stop to mold growth using incandescent light. It’s not the eco-friendliest light, but it will stop you from having an allergy attack.
One of the pitfalls of summer is the open invitation for stinging insects to attack you and your gatherings. Picnics, barbecues, and any kind of social event can be an attraction for wasps and hornets to visit without warning. A sting for someone who isn’t allergic is a minor inconvenience, but to prevent an allergy attack from a sting, you’ll need to exercise caution outdoors.
To start, keep long sleeves and pants throughout the summer. You might get a little hot when you aren’t in the shade, but exposed skin is like a landing strip for any insect to sting. While you’re outside, be sure to avoid wearing any bright-colored clothing. Wasps and hornets don’t like especially bright colors that they perceive as a threat.
When using deodorant, stick to unscented. Any of the chemicals you find in most scented deodorants don’t sit well with insects that sting, and they will let you know.
Finally, stay away from garbage cans. Yellow jackets go crazy over cans full of sugary beverages and discarded food. Approaching yellow jackets in the middle of a feeding frenzy is asking for trouble.
LAST WORDS ABOUT PREVENTING AN ALLERGY ATTACK
If you suffer from any type of allergy, you can take some simple measures to prevent an allergy attack from happening. Sometimes, you won’t have to worry at different points throughout the year. If you are threatened with an allergy attack, the best thing to do is follow a few easy steps and not panic about the lingering possibility of setting off your immune system.
With the correct preparation and the right tools set in place, you won’t need to rush to the drugstore to fight off an allergy attack.