This post is in collaboration with Latex Mattresses Australia
Unfortunately we're not strangers to allergies in this house. Bub isn't the only one who has allergies though, I've suffered for as long as I can remember with extremely bad sinus and asthma. I can't tell you how many times I've been asked if I have a cold when my sinus is playing up (because I've lost count). Winter is pretty much my worst nightmare when it comes to my allergies because they always, without fail, flare up during winter each year. The sudden change in temperature combined with all the coughs and colds spreading like wildfire throughout the community = asthma and sinus hell for me. Every year I get at least one sinus infection (usually 2 or 3) and every few years I end up with a serious chest infection.
Asthma affects 10% of Australians* (over 2 million people) and over 3 million Australians** suffer with sinusitis or hayfever. I'm just one of the
Since sinusitis and asthma are so common, I've put together a list of the non-medicated ways I try to minimise my allergies. The best way to manage an allergy of course is to reduce your exposure to known allergens; for me the biggest trigger for both my asthma and sinus is dust (and dust mites) so I try to remove dust as much as possible.
- Wash bed linen regularly - When you add up how many hours you spend in your bed each week you soon realise how quickly the bedding gets dirty. If you're getting an average of 8hrs sleep a night it means you're spending 56hrs a week in the same sheets. Thats a whole heap of sweat and yuk building up in your bed each week providing the perfect environment for dust mites to thrive in. Ideally bedding should be washed weekly in hot water with a eucalyptus based detergent (both hot water and eucalyptus kill dust mites).
- Use hypo-allergenic bedding - I'm a big fan of hypo-allergenic materials such as bamboo. I first started using it after searching organic fabrics because of bubs skin reactions. I now use bamboo sheets and a bamboo lined sleeping bag for her. While researching bamboo and other hypo-allergenic materials I discovered they also repel dust mites along with other allergens. I'm currently on the search for some bamboo sheets for our bed as well.
T and I also got our act together and bought proper pillows a year ago. By proper I mean contoured latex pillows instead of the $10-only-good-for-two-weeks cheapies I used to buy (and replace) regularly. Latex is also hypo-allergenic and anti-bacterial. We're currently considering getting a latex mattress too because ours is desperately in need of replacing.
- Vacuum often - Ok so this one is a little obvious. If you want to be less exposed to dust, remove the dust, right? But did you know you should also vacuum your mattress? Even though you cant see dust mites, you can be sure those little buggers are happily crawling around your mattress (personally I'm glad we can't see them). Vacuuming won't eradicate them, but it will help to remove the build up of droppings and dead dust mites which cause a lot of reactions. Word of warning though when you vacuum your mattress you'll realise just how gross they get. We did this when we moved the bedroom around after moving the cot out, and it just added another reason to the list of why we want to replace our mattress. It does not look pretty after 8 years of use.
- Clean out filters - This one can be easily overlooked, but its amazing how quickly exhaust fans in bathrooms and filters on air conditioners and vacuums can get congested with dust. That's a whole lot of extra dust you don't need flying around your home. While you're cleaning those look up and check any fan blades as well.
- Don't use feather dusters - They simply move the dust from the surface into the air instead of actually removing it. Instead use a damp cloth which will collect the dust and remove it. In addition you could use a cleaning spray that contains eucalyptus oil.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but it's a great place to start. Of course if your allergies are continuous you may need some sort of medication as well (please refer to your GP for individual advice). As a backup I make sure I always have anti-histamines and ventolin on hand just incase because murphy's law says that if I don't have any, thats when I'm going to need them. Yep I found that out the hard way.
Do you suffer from allergies too?
Do you have any other tips?
Disclosure - this is a paid post in conjunction with Latex Mattresses Australia.
** Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
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