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You Just Can't Hide From Allergies

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Stay inside to avoid having allergy attacks, you say? The following would beg to differ. They're everywhere.

 

Allergy Hot Spots Inside The House from ivillage.com

Your Bedroom Greenery. Up to 70 percent of potted plants give off allergy-triggering mold spores -- and if you’re inhaling them all night long while you sleep, you could wake up every morning with a sore throat, stuffy nose, dry cough and other symptoms.

Your Washing Machine. Refrigerators and bathrooms get lots of attention as mold-havens but University of Arizona researchers say washing machines can also harbor millions of these allergy triggers, due to poor drainage and damp crevices, seals and gaskets.

Your Scented Candles. There’s no question that burning scented candles can create a warm feeling in any room, but research from the Environmental Protection Agency suggests those flickering flames also emit chemicals that can nudge indoor pollutant levels up to levels considered illegal outdoors. Plus, the oils that give scented candles their distinctive smells can irritate and inflame the nasal cavities, triggering a runny nose and watery eyes even if you’re not normally allergy-prone.

Your Coat Closet. According to UCLA researchers, at least 50 percent of rarely-washed outerwear is coated with enough allergens to trigger flare-ups.

Your Windows and Doors. According to the EPA, allergens quickly build up inside tightly-sealed homes, reaching levels more than triple what you inhale outdoors. To clear them out fast -- without making your heating costs skyrocket -- open a few windows for 15 minutes daily to let a fresh breeze blow through.

Your Nightcap. Alcohol in moderation may be good for your heart, but indulging in more than one serving daily can worsen allergy symptoms. Alcohol makes immune cells more likely to overreact when they’re exposed to allergens, say researchers at the University of Santiago in Spain.

Your Bathmat. That much-used mat harbors at least 10 times more dust mites and mold than the floor it’s laying on. “These allergy triggers reproduce like crazy when they’re surrounded by humidity -- and a bathmat that’s used daily is rarely ever truly dry.

Your Stuffed Animals. Like carpeting, stuffed animals are magnets for dander, pollen and other airborne allergens and they can become breeding grounds for dust mites, say researchers at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Giving them the bathmat treatment (running them through a hot washer and dryer every week) can solve the problem fast, but many stuffed animals are too delicate for that type of treatment.

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