Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Elizabeth Street


Can the Remedies for Allergies Really Be This Simple?

Oct 03, 2013

Can the Remedies for Allergies Really Be This Simple?

Earlier this year, Elizabeth Street moderated a panel for Healthy Child, Healthy World where a group of experts spoke on topics ranging from GMOs and the importance of organic foods, to the toxins in our homes. Robin Wilson, an interior designer and ambassador for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, shocked the crowd when she told us that one in six kids suffer from allergies or asthma, and one in nine suffers from both (Wilson herself suffered from both maladies as a child). 

Wilson recently clued us in to what might be behind all the sniffling and sneezing, as well as some simple remedies for allergies, especially if they're not going away as the seasons change.

1. Fruit can be fickle. Simple things, like apples, peaches and plums, can cause symptoms similar to allergic reactions when the seasons change. Remove the peel before eating, or microwave the fruit if you're sensitive. 

2. Pillows are an allergy hotspot. If you've never washed your pillow, and it's more than three years old, it's heavier than when you bought it due to the accumulation of dust mites. Wilson told Metro New York, "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."

3. Get rid of clutter, especially near where you sleep. Remove old books and magazines, which accumulate dust, and wipe down surfaces with a non-toxic cleaner. 

4. Shower curtain safety is key. Vinyl shower curtains give off gas due to heat and humidity (which is how most of us prefer our showers). Replace a vinyl shower curtain with a nylon version. 

5. Always remove your shoes indoors. To most people, this is a no-brainer. Outside, you walk through feces, dirt, dust and more. Why would you want to track any of that into your home? In case that's not compelling enough, consider this: A study by Charles Gerba, Ph.D., a microbiologist and professor at the University of Arizona, found an average of 421,000 units of bacteria on the outside of a shoe, including E. coli. 

Wilson, the mother of a one-year-old daughter, told us that "the key to a wellness lifestyle is recognizing that simple steps will make huge changes in your home." Check out more from Robin Wilson in the video below. 

By Christina Anderson

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