Seasonal Allergies or Pollution
Allergies or your Environment?
Ever wondered if it’s allergies or pollution affecting you? If you’re unlucky enough to be affected by itchy eyes and runny nose at this time of year, you most probably put it down to Hay Fever or seasonal allergies. Have you ever considered that it might be down to your ‘polluted’ environment. Pollution takes many forms and after many years I now know that my ‘allergies’ are caused by chemical as well as emitted pollution. Let me tell you how I’ve reached this conclusion, and if nothing else it may encourage you to delve deeper into the problem and try a different approach.
The environment has changed
I grew up in the 70s in the unspoiled south west of England where we had no industry other than tourists and there were few traffic jams other than during the summer season. Many of us only had lino on the floor with carefully placed rugs by the open fireplace, and windows were single glazed. Mum did the washing on Monday and hung it out on the washing line to dry. We also used to buy fizzy pop in redeemable glass bottles but that’s a different story!
At around the age of fourteen I started suffering with Hay Fever symptoms, backed up by a diagnosis from the doctor. Well if the doctor said I had it then I must have! In fairness it probably was hay-fever as the symptoms were seasonal and the problem was compounded by the fact that the local Grammar School was surrounded by grass and trees. Life was miserable in my mid teens with piriton and phenergan the only available option; both of which made me really sleepy. But I got on with it and scraped through my ‘O’ Levels and went off to college.
My family were a family of old wives who believed ‘Old wives tales’ and Nan was convinced it would go away as there was the “seven year cycle; and I’d developed it aged 14!” Nan proved to be a wise old wife, and as I came out of my teens the itching and sneezing did in fact go away so the old wives must have be right, mustn’t they?
Whether they were or weren’t I have no idea but as I got older, I started to suffer random (seasonally unrelated) attacks of itchy eyes with sneezing of such intense ferocity that I’m just glad my pelvic floor is strong. If not, then this article may well have been about Tena Lady products rather than extolling the benefits of HEPA filters and air scrubbers. Bear in mind that as I got older, we all became two car households, wall to wall carpeting became prevalent and tumble dryers invaded every household spilling out steam into homes that were now so airtight from the double glazing that it had no where to escape to.
I needed to identify the triggers
These episodes were really starting to get me down, sometimes they took on the guise of a 24 hour type of flu in which I could readily get through a couple of boxed of tissues. So I began writing a diary to see if I could identify any trigger points and started to realise that they were largely triggered by three things –
- Housework – namely cleaning, hoovering and making the beds; when i would have a constant drip and eyes that felt like pins were being stuck in them
- Hairdresser Appointments – following these I would be struck with an acrid smell at the back of my sinuses along with the inevitable drippy nose.
- and Saturday shopping trips to larger towns and cities rather than our small town.
I abandoned getting my hair colored, effectively nipping the problem in the bud. This is by no means a reflection on the practises or products being used by my hairdresser, who still trims it regularly in my home; although I now believe we should seek out more natural products to enhance our hair if we feel the need. I then did a full audit of the cleaning products I was using and ditched the majority in favour of eco-friendly, paraben and sulphate free or home made alternatives; not only saving money but helping the planet along the way. It did help a bit but the overwhelming problem was my constant fight against dust, we were living in rented accommodation and the curtains were a little shabby and the carpets constantly clogging up the hoover with fine powder coming the backing that was breaking down.
My Eureka Moment on Allergies or Pollution
I have a mind that takes in snippets of information and saves them up for future use. The seed was sown for the allergies or pollution argument was sown during trips in my husband’s car. I started to notice that I when I went out in his car as opposed to mine which was a far older model, I was struck by how clean and fresh the air felt, and commented on it.
“Oh that’s the air conditioning system, “ he said. “It’s got a really good set of scrubbers and filters on it,”
This got me thinking so off I went to tap tap tap a search on my favourite go to site; namely Amazon where I found a huge range of portable air scrubbers or air purifiers which looked like they just might do the job. I had no idea such things existed, but nothing ventured, nothing gained I thought as I laboriously read through the reviews, many mentioning allergies or pollution. Eventually I went for the PureMate PM510 with Hepa Filters and built in Ioniser.
It arrived and I placed it strategically at the centre of the house on full blast and immediately started to notice a difference. Eventually I took to moving it from room to room keeping it on a low setting near the bedroom at night and not only pretty much solved the problem but felt energised as well due to the release of negative ions. See here – for more about the benefits of negative ions
It must have been down to the environment we were living in
We finally did and are now living in the country with wooden floors and minimal carpeting and more importantly no allergies. What’s more is that we are completely surrounded by fields, trees, plants and anything that could and does produce pollen; yet I have no symptoms at all!
The Purifier is now working its socks off in our office as its situated on an industrial estate where we’re subjected to heavy traffic fumes and its doing a good job there too. We change the filters every 6 months and hoover them in-between.
There are so many on the market now but here are a few we’ve identified as good, along with some Humidifiers as well which will improve the quality of your environment. And by the way if you genuinely just (and I use the word just with caution) have Hay Fever, the scrubbers will still clean out much of the pollen in your environment.