8 Tips to Help Prevent Allergies in Adults and Children
Over 50 million Americans suffer from allergies during the year. While for some people it's barely a sniffle, for others, it can be a huge distraction and/or make them miserable.
If you or your loved ones are in the latter group, then you might be desperate for some solutions. You'd love to experience the outdoors without your eyes getting itchy and your throat closing up.
Well, you're in luck. In this article, we'll discuss 8 tips to help prevent allergies in both adults and children.
1. Breastfeed Your Baby
Breastfeeding is linked to a myriad of benefits for both the mother and baby. Not only does it create a better bond between the two, but it also does things like boost the baby's immune system.
For example, breast milk gives the baby some vital antibodies. It can also reduce the risk of the baby getting certain diseases, like SIDS, respiratory tract infections, and gut infections.
Another major condition breastfeeding can help with is allergies. If you exclusively breastfeed for at least 3 to 4 months, there's up to a 42% reduced risk for things like asthma and eczema.
2. Hold off on Introducing Solid Foods
On that note, you may be tempted to stop breastfeeding a few months in and introduce solid foods to your baby. They may be interested in what you're eating and may even beg to have a bite. And with how cute your infant is, it's easy to give in to their demands.
However, introducing solid foods too early in a baby's life can cause some issues. In general, you shouldn't feed them solids before they're 4 months old.
Not only can the food be a choking hazard, but it can also increase the chance of obesity. Not only that, but it can cause them to get either too little or too many calories in their diet.
Most importantly, it can bring about food allergies. So no matter how tempting it is to feed your infant solids, wait until they're at least 4 months old to do so.
3. Clean Regularly
Many people are allergic to dust, mold, and pollen, especially if there's a huge buildup of it. Whenever they're disturbed, they can irritate your nose and respiratory tract.
You might think that cleaning kicks up these things even more, so you might avoid doing so. Or you just don't have time to do it on a regular basis.
However, trust us when we say it's worth keeping up a frequent cleaning schedule. If you have to hire someone, it's worth every penny spent.
Also, while it's true that cleaning will kick up dust and debris, it won't be as much as if you let it just sit around and gather everywhere. If you dust and clean every week or so, the amount shouldn't bother you too much.
4. Replace Your Carpet
Carpet may feel nice on your feet and make the room warmer in the winter. However, they're huge culprits in trapping pet dander, dust, pollen, mold, and more.
It may be a huge project to take on, but consider replacing all your carpet with hardwood floors or something similar. This will prevent fibers from trapping these allergens and exacerbating your symptoms.
5. Take Precautions With Pets
If you're allergic to animal dander, you might be suffering if you have a pet. But you really don't want to rehome them since they're a treasured member of the family.
In that case, you can take a few precautions and steps to minimize your exposure to pet dander.
For example, you can bathe or groom them more frequently. You can also ban them from certain rooms in the house so you have a safe space you can escape to and spend time in. If possible, make them downstairs-only pets so you get complete relief upstairs.
6. Take Showers Before Bed
If you've been outside, you might've accumulated allergens on your body and clothing. The best thing to do is to take a shower before bed so you don't end up sleeping in these allergens for 8 or so hours.
You should combine this with changing your clothing when you get inside. Put your outside clothes into the hamper straight away so it has less of a chance of dispersing allergens into different areas of the house.
7. Take an Antihistamine
Antihistamines are medications that decrease how histamines affect your body's receptors. Histamines are released when you have an allergic reaction to something, so by default, antihistamines should help immensely with your allergy symptoms.
Antihistamines will work best if you take them before the symptoms appear. So for example, if you know you're going outside for the day, take a Zyrtec in the morning before you head out. This is an over-the-counter medication you can easily get without a prescription.
What's great is both adults and children can use antihistamines, so your entire family can get relief. Just be aware of the possible side effects. Most are non-drowsy, but still be on the lookout for that as a side effect, as it can be rare (but still possible) to feel sleepy on those medications.
8. Try Allergy Shots
If you're really desperate, you can always try allergy shots, or immunotherapy. This involves a lot of time and money on your side, so it may not be worth it for everyone.
In the first 2 weeks, you'll have to get 1 shot a week. Then, you'll taper the shots over the next half year.
After that, you'll need to get maintenance shots. This will be once every 3 to 5 months, depending on the schedule your doctor puts you on.
Slowly, you should see your allergy symptoms decrease in intensity.
Prevent Allergies With Our Great Tips
Now you have some great tips to prevent allergies. Remember that you can always get a little help with things like antihistamines and keep up with tidiness in your house.
By being mindful of your allergies and taking the proper precautions, you'll find that you can live a relatively normal life with little interruption. So put our allergy prevention tips into practice to lead a better life!
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