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What's the Deal with Indoor Allergies?

At certain times of the year, it’s best to stay indoors if you have seasonal allergies. Spring is bad for grass and tree pollen. Summer brings the peak of grass pollen season in most places. Fall isn’t any better, with mold topping the list of outdoor irritants.

It’s easy to control seasonal allergies to things in nature by avoiding or limiting exposure to them. But what happens when you start sneezing and wheezing inside your home or office? Controlling indoor allergies can be a bit trickier--but  not impossible.

In this article, you’ll discover the likely culprits behind your indoor allergies and how to get them in check.

Why you sneeze and wheeze indoors

Indoor allergens come from microscopic bits of protein. Some sources of this protein include animal dander, cockroach and dust mite droppings, and molds. No matter how clean your home or other indoor spaces are, allergens can invade and wreak havoc on your immune system.

There are several reasons why you may have developed indoor allergies. Let’s look at some of the most common factors.

Indoor allergies can be genetic 

When in doubt, blame it on your genes. In the case of indoor allergies, pointing a finger at your genetic predisposition can be a valid reason for your suffering. Some scientists agree that heredity plays a role in whether you develop allergies, including to common indoor irritants like dust and mold.

Researchers have discovered that you have a greater risk of developing allergies if someone in your family also has them. However, the science points to genetic susceptibility to allergies in general rather than to a specific allergen.

Air quality plays a significant role

Genes aren’t the only reason you might be suffering from allergy symptoms indoors. Air quality plays a significant role in whether you develop indoor allergies or trigger existing ones.

Americans spend an average of 90 percent of their time indoors. If the air you breathe contains dust, mold, and other allergens, it’s no wonder you have itchy, watery eyes, a scratchy throat, and sneeze frequently. You can’t escape the air you breathe, so you must ensure it’s healthy.

Allergic to pets you don’t own

Pet dander affects up to 30 percent of Americans, with the majority sensitive to cat and dog dander. Some people know it’s an allergy trigger for them, so they avoid spending quality time with whichever type of animal makes them sneezy and wheezy.

It’s not simply enough to not have pets of your own if you are sensitive to cat or dog dander. You can bring those allergens home with you from the outside world. Any time you visit a public place where others with pets have gathered, pet dander can hitchhike home on your clothing and continue to affect you in your home. Even an open window can invite animal allergens into your home.

How allergens cause indoor allergies

What is it about these allergens that prompt us to cough, sneeze, wheeze, and get watery eyes? Why is it that some people are sensitive while others have no reaction? It all comes down to your immune system.

When you have an allergic reaction to one of these proteins, it’s because your body has interpreted them as dangerous invaders that must be stopped. When your body identifies a threat, it responds by kicking the immune system into overdrive. Sometimes your body has a mild response, like coughing or sneezing. Other times, it may take extreme measures, causing serious reactions like anaphylaxis.

Your body creates antibodies to fight off the intruders, which bind to the allergens. Working hard to destroy them is what causes common allergy symptoms.

Indoor allergens can be more difficult to escape than those you encounter outside. If you’re already prone to allergies, being constantly exposed to them in your home can cause more severe reactions.

Signs you have an indoor allergy

Coughing. Sneezing. Watery eyes. Full-on asthma attack. All of these are possible signs you have an indoor allergy. Some other symptoms can be harder to link to allergies. They can include:

  • Exhaustion. When your immune system is in high gear, it can sap your energy fast. If you feel fatigued all the time but aren’t sure why it could be from indoor allergies.
  • Frequent sinusitis. Are you always going to the doctor with a sinus infection? One or two sinus infections a year is normal. When you start having more than that, it’s time to ask if allergies could be the culprit.
  • Hives or skin rashes. Contact dermatitis can be a less common reaction to an indoor allergen. While not life-threatening, these outbreaks can be painful. If you find yourself frequently rashy, it’s time to explore allergens as a possible trigger.

Indoor allergies vs. outdoor allergies

How your body reacts to indoor allergies isn’t any different than how it reacts to outdoor allergies. Only the cause of the allergic reaction fluctuates. Most people with outdoor allergies are triggered by pollen. When indoor allergies are an issue, they’re usually caused by one of four things:

  • Animal dander
  • Cockroach droppings
  • Dust mite droppings
  • Mold

Allergies can happen at any age

There is no magic age where you may or may not develop allergies. Some people become allergic at a young age, while others may find themselves with newly blossoming allergies well into their senior years. Just because you weren’t allergic to something as a child doesn’t mean you won’t become sensitive to it later in life.

Repeat exposure to an environmental trigger seems to be the main driver of when or if you become allergic to it. Years and years of exposure to indoor allergens like dust and pet dander can eventually cause allergies in even the healthiest of people. How much your body can tolerate may be different than another person’s body.

Chemical solutions make allergies worse

There is a common misconception that cleaning can rid your home of indoor allergens. Do not be fooled, because some forms of cleaning can make your symptoms worse. Many household cleaners contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can severely impact indoor air quality. All you do when cleaning with them is replace one kind of allergy trigger for another.

Another unintended consequence of using some of these harsh solutions is they can cause new symptoms. Your immune system already overreacts because it’s overly sensitive. Introducing something new to your environment can further aggravate your condition.

Natural relief for indoor allergies

There are several ways you can fight indoor allergens. One of the most recommended options is to use an air purification system in your home. You can buy a whole house unit or buy individual purifiers for each room.

You also can try Easy Air Organic Allergy Relief Combo Pack. A clinically tested indoor allergy relief solution, it doesn’t expose you or your family to dangerous chemicals. The included Organic Allergy Relief Spray and Organic Allergy Relief Laundry Rinse included in the combo pack dig down deep to reach protein allergens and deconstruct them at a molecular level.

Easy Air takes huge, dangerous boulders of allergens and turns them into harmless rubble. The unique two-way formula system is safe for use around babies and pets. Both organic liquids contain exclusively botanical ingredients. While they can’t eliminate or cure allergies, they can make your indoor space a lot more comfortable.

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