Health: Allergies Wellness Center
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  • All about indoor allergies

    Discover the most common causes of indoor allergies and what you can do to alleviate your symptoms.

  • Signs and symptoms

    The most common symptoms of indoor allergies include sniffles, sneezing and watery eyes, while more severe reactions may result in itchy skin, rash, puffy face, respiratory problems and a variety of other discomforts.

    Pay attention to when and where you experience the most severe symptoms. Investigating the immediate surroundings helps identify potential triggers. Triggers are things that set off an allergic reaction by signaling your body to defend itself against perceived invaders — the reactions are those familiar runny eyes and noses, rashes or other response mechanisms designed to force the invader away from the body.

    Common culprits

    No two people are alike, and neither are allergies, but there are well-­known triggers that impact a larger-than-average number of people. Below are the most common culprits associated with indoor allergies.

    • Pets and people: Everyone loves their four-legged friend, but pets may pose special problems for those suffering from allergies; dander, dust and even pollen brought in with pets are common triggers for sensitive individuals. All living creatures are prone to shed, including humans; in fact, the average person sheds nearly a pound of "dead skin" each year. Multiply that by the number of people in your home for a quick "ick" factor. Worse yet, dead skin is the main diet for mites, which in turn are a common allergic trigger.
    • Chemicals and carcinogens: Chemicals and carcinogens (cancer causing substances) are lurking all over your home — usually without your knowledge. Harsh cleaning products, new carpeting, paint and hundreds of common household products contain a small quantity of toxins. They rarely create a health threat in tiny amounts; but combined and/or accumulated over time, they may reach high enough levels to impact sensitive individuals, particularly those who suffer from multiple chemical sensitivities or chemical-related allergies.
    • Spores and more: Humid areas of the home like the bathroom, kitchen or basement may be subject to mold and mildew, while extra-dry areas frequently fight dust and dirt. Spores, dirt and pollen might be natural, but that doesn’t make them less of a problem for those suffering from allergies.
    • Food: Some people are so sensitive to food-related allergies that even the smell is enough to trigger an allergic reaction. Common food-related allergies include peanuts and shellfish. Do your guests a favor and ask about food-related allergies in advance, then refrain from using any related ingredients when cooking or baking.
    • Fragrances: Fragrances are another common indoor allergen: candles, essential oils and potpourri can trigger sneezing, wheezing and sniffles. Search for nonallergenic alternatives to your favorite fragrances to ensure that everyone can join the fun.

    Fast fixes

    The good news is many people are able to reduce or even eliminate many common culprits by implementing a few fast fixes.

    • Go green: Search for nontoxic alternatives to harsh chemical cleaners and fragrances. Fragrance-free laundry detergent and softeners, carpet cleaners and even air fresheners are all available in environmentally friendly versions that are less irritating to sensitive mucus membranes and good for the earth. Remember to clean — not contaminate — your home.
    • Keep the air clean: When performing routine chores, make it a priority to clean the air at the same time. Vacuums with HEPA filters help prevent particles from becoming airborne, and disposable dust wipes eliminate, rather than redistribute, dust. Combined, they work to reduce the amount of particles circulating throughout the house. Change the central air filters in your home and consider having air vents cleaned and maintained on a regular basis.
    • Fight the mites: Did you know as many as 18,000 mites can live on just one gram of dust? It’s true. Not only are mites a bit creepy, but an excess of mites are associated with allergic reactions, irritated eyes and even asthma symptoms in some individuals. Mites tend to be found in large numbers where people spend the most time: beds, your favorite chair or the family sofa. Fight mites by regularly cleaning furniture, carpeting and other textiles. Use dust-covers that can be easily removed and washed on furniture like your favorite chair or sofa. Hypoallergenic pillows and pillowcase covers combined with mattress covers dramatically reduce mite exposure on bedding with the added benefit of being easy to clean and remove.
    • Ventilate: Whenever possible, allow air to freely circulate throughout your home. Consider purchasing a HEPA air filter to trap airborne particles and other contaminants from the air.

  • Used with permission. ©2015 Walmart. All Rights Reserved. 

    Important Walmart Disclaimer: All content provided is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to substitute for the diagnosis, treatment, or advice of a medical professional. Consult your medical professional for guidance before changing or undertaking any diet, exercise or health program, or before using any prescription or over-the-counter drug. Neither the author nor assumes any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter. Walmart does not sponsor, recommend or endorse any third party, product, service or information provided on this site. If you have dietary restrictions and/or allergies, always read the ingredient list carefully for all products prior to consumption. If the ingredient list is not available on the product, check with the product manufacturer, or do not consume the product.

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  • Allergy Relief Costs Less at Walmart

    If spring allergies, fall allergies or food allergies are holding you back, the Allergies Wellness Center is a great place to get relief for less. Find expert tips on keeping allergens at bay, and save on air purifiers, allergy medicine, nasal strips and sprays that can help make sure you stay sniffle free. From pollen to dander, our Allergy Wellness Center can help any time of year. And if your allergies require prescription medications, be sure for check out all the ways you can save at our Pharmacy.