Five tips for preventing allergies

Using the right shower curtain can help prevent allergies. Credit: Metro File
Using the right shower curtain can help prevent allergies.
Credit: Metro File

If your sneezing and sniffling aren’t going away with the end of summer, read on for tips from Robin Wilson, an ambassador for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America who has created a line of hypoallergenic comforters  launching at Bed, Bath and Beyond next month.

Fruit is not always your friend – Many of our favorite fruits, from apples and bananas to peaches and plums, can cause symptoms similar to grass or tree pollen reactions. If you are sensitive, place the fruit in the microwave for 10 seconds to deactivate the proteins, and never eat the peel.

There’s no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog — Poodles, Labradoodles and Yorkshire terriers are all considered hypoallergenic because they don’t shed hair, but there’s no scientific proof that these breeds produce lower amounts of Can f 1, the most common dog allergen. Avoid exposure to pets, never allow them on the bed and always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water after playing with an animal.

Cleaner is not always better – In general, the old saying “Cleanliness is next to godliness” is true. However, a little exposure to dirt and germs is actually a good thing, because it strengthens the immune system. When cleaning, always use a non-toxic cleaner, and remove excess books, magazines and other clutter from the sleeping area to reduce dust build up.

Vintage pillows equal heavy symptoms – If your pillow is more than three years old and has never been washed, it weighs more now than when you bought it. It’s loaded with dust mites that are next to your face while you sleep. Use hypoallergenic pillows over down pillows, and use a zippered pillow protector that you wash weekly for a double barrier. Wash your pillow twice a year and replace pillows every three years.

Always use a nylon shower curtain liner – Allergy sufferers are told to shower often to remove pollen and pet dander from their bodies. But the phthalate chemicals in vinyl shower curtains off-gas with humidity and heat, and also attract mold and mildew. Replace your vinyl liner with a nylon shower curtain liner.


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