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When your nose gets stuffy and your eyes become red and irritated, you know it’s that time of year. You may automatically place blame for your allergy symptoms on the spring season’s common allergy culprits- ragweed, dust, mold, or other allergens. However, some everyday items can also cause your allergy symptoms to flare. In order to help keep your allergies under control this allergy season, try diligently to avoid these four unexpected household items that can worsen allergy symptoms:

1. House Plants
You consciously close your windows to keep plant pollen outside, but what about the plants inside your home? You could be sensitive to them, too. Indoor plants release pollen, plus they collect mold and dust, which can also trigger allergy symptoms. Indoor plants known to cause allergy symptoms include ficus, yucca, ivy, and palm trees. Limit the number of plants in your home, and keep any plants you do have in well-ventilated areas. Also, check the leaves and soil weekly for mold, and clean any mold that appears.

2. Clothing
If your skin becomes red and itchy after you wear certain outfits, you may be sensitive to a dye or chemical in the fabric, or to the metal in the zipper or buckle. This sensitivity causes a skin condition called contact dermatitis, which occurs when the skin develops an allergic reaction after being exposed to a certain substance. Contact dermatitis can be prevented by avoiding the allergy-causing chemical or metal. Opt for light-colored clothing, since those pieces have less dye, and natural fabrics such as cotton and linen.

3. Chlorine
Houstonians typically spend a lot of time in the swimming pool when the temperatures rise and the weather gets nice. Therefore, you know how harsh chlorine can be to your eyes and skin. However, those who suffer from seasonal allergies can be even more sensitive to this chemical. Frequent contact with chlorine can irritate the respiratory tract enough to trigger allergies. Whenever you swim or even when you clean with chlorine bleach, keep the area well ventilated to reduce your exposure.

4. Smoke
You already know how detrimental smoking can be for your overall health, specifically causing cancer and lung disease, but did you know that cigarettes can also worsen seasonal allergies? The many chemicals in cigarettes have a negative reaction on the immune system, making you even more sensitive to pollen, mold spores, and other allergy triggers. And even if you don’t personally smoke, being in the same room with a smoker can irritate your allergy symptoms. So, avoid smoking and kindly ask others not to smoke around you if you suffer from seasonal allergies.

While avoidance is key in allergy management, it does not treat the underlying cause of allergy symptoms. In order to treat your allergy issues at the source, an allergist will always begin with an allergy test in order to determine your allergy triggers, and the proper long-term treatment. To start treating your allergies, make an appointment with Dr. Pasha today!