Indoor Allergies in Mercer Island, WA
When it comes to the nuisances and potential risks that allergies inflict, the household may be considered one's place of solace, the single place where refuge from allergy symptoms is ensured. For some, however, this might not be the case, and entrance into the home might strike discord: watery eyes, a scratchy throat, congestion—the telltale signs you're suffering from indoor allergies.
Treating your allergy symptoms starts with identifying and addressing the underlying source of your allergy. To treat your indoor allergies and return your home to a place of solace, schedule a consultation with a qualified healthcare provider in Mercer Island that can discuss indoor allergy prevention and treatment. Call (206) 966-4522 or contact Dr. Marina Abrams online.
Indoor Allergy Causes
Understanding your indoor allergy may begin by identifying common household allergy triggers and whether they are the root of your heightened immune response. Common causes of indoor allergy include:
- Dust: Composed of a combination of things—which may include bits of plants, skin, soil, food, fibers and animal matter—dust can be stirred up while vacuuming, sweeping and dusting, making it easier to inhale and cause an allergic reaction.
- Dust Mites: Barely visible to the naked eye, dust mites inhabit the household, feeding (as their name suggests) on dust as well as organic detritus found in flakes of human skin, and leaving droppings that contain potent digestive enzymes that are major inducers of allergic reactions such as wheezing as well as asthma. Dust mites are commonly attracted to areas rich with human dander (dead skin flakes) and high in humidity, such as in bedrooms, carpets and bathroom rugs.
- Pet Dander: Animals shed tiny flakes from their skin, fur or feathers called dander (similar to dandruff in humans though harder to see), which clings to clothes, shoes and hair, causing an allergic reaction in affected persons.
- Cockroaches: In addition to posing a public health risk, carrying human pathogens such as Salmonella and E. coli, cockroaches leave droppings, the source of which can cause allergic reactions and trigger asthma in affected persons.
- Mold: Thriving in places with high humidity (such as bathrooms and damp basements), mold sheds spores that can be inhaled, triggering indoor allergy symptoms or, in some people, a severe condition called chronic inflammatory response syndrome .
Indoor Allergy Symptoms
Indoor allergies can be hard to initially identify as they mirror common cold symptoms, thus making the first step in an indoor allergy diagnosis to distinguish your symptoms from those of a cold. Whereas cold symptoms may include nasal discolored secretions (yellow or green), as well as chills and body aches that last anywhere from a week to 10 days, common indoor allergy symptoms include:
- Drippy nose with watery, clear secretions
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Scratchy or sore throat
Indoor allergy symptoms typically linger for weeks, although they can persist much longer. In fact, unlike seasonal allergies—which tend to manifest symptoms in the spring and fall months—indoor allergies can trigger symptoms all year long.
Indoor Allergies Diagnosis & Treatment
Diagnosis and treatment for indoor allergies can be accomplished through two mechanisms: trial-and-error and allergy testing. When trying to identify an at-home allergen, identifying a pattern is key. You might notice, for instance, yourself affected by allergies every time you visit a friend's house, eventually deducing their pet as the culprit of your allergy triggering. While trial-and-error serves as one mechanism through which to identify your potential allergen, it is by no means an easy undertaking and may pose a greater risk to your overall health by subjecting yourself to prolonged exposure of potential allergens in order to determine the root cause.
Allergy testing, on the other hand, offers a far safer method for identifying your allergy. Conducted by a trained healthcare provider in a safe environment, allergy testing can consist of a number of different methods. Skin and patch tests offer a safer way to expose yourself to potential allergens in order to deduce precisely what allergen is triggering your body's immune response. Safer than an at-home trial-and-error method for uncovering allergies, these tests only expose you to small traces of different allergens in order to identify your allergies without endangering you. Alternatively, blood tests can confirm the presence of immunoglobulin E, an antibody strongly linked to allergy response, in your blood to confirm allergies ail you.
Treatment for indoor allergies could start with strict avoidance of the allergy once identified. If this is not enough, medical interventions could include prescribed allergy medications to control your symptoms, as well as allergy shots. Nasal irrigation products such as a neti pot are particularly helpful when used on a regular basis, and can help reduce your allergy symptoms. As with any allergy, it is also important to strengthen your immune system with proper diet and exercise, and even immunotherapy, in order to build a proper defense against them. Your healthcare provider can supply you with more information on how to effectively strengthen your immune system as well as alternative therapies to avoid prescription medication use.
You should never feel like home is devoid of its natural comforts due to an indoor allergy. To schedule a consultation with a qualified healthcare provider in Mercer Island that can provide indoor allergy relief, call (206) 966-4522 or contact Dr. Marina Abrams online.
Water's Edge Natural Medicine
Address3131 Elliott Ave
Seattle, WA 98121
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Tue: 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
Wed: 8:00 am - 3:00 pm
Thu: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Fri: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm