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Cold or Allergy

     Is it a cold?  Is it an allergy?  Today I'll be discussing the symptoms of dust allergies in the hopes of narrowing down some of the possible causes of reactions many people might be having. The list of dust allergy symptoms is surprisingly long and growing. Many people are unaware of the many symptoms that can appear simply from dust irritants and blame their symptoms on a multitude of varying causes.  Perhaps if they were made aware of the many reactions spawned by dust, they could take action more quickly to alleviate their symptoms.                                                        


  • Watery eyes 
  • Itchy eyes
  • Swollen eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Stuffy nose
  • Post nasal drip
  • Itchy nose
  • Sinus pressure
  • Sinusitis
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry throat
  • Scratchy throat
  • Coughing
  • Itchy ears
  • Plugged ears
  • Ear infections
  • Headache
  • Itchy skin
  • Skin rash
  • Headache
  • Ear infections
  • Lung infections
  • Restlessness
  • Frequent awakening
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Asthma

     An allergic reaction to dust is caused by our body reacting to protect itself. When you are at rest in your home whether sitting or lying down, there is dust and its inhabitants all around you. When you are allergic and you breathe in these irritating substances, your body is attempting to protect itself from these intruders.  It produces excess mucus in an effort to block the passageway of these irritants. The longer you are in that environment, the more mucus produced and the more severe the allergy symptoms become.

     Many of the symptoms listed above are attributed to the common cold.  If symptoms go away in a week to ten days, it probably was just a cold.  If symptoms linger, or you have ongoing cold or cold symptoms throughout the year, it more than likely is due to allergies, asthma or SBS, 'Sick Building Syndrome'.  If the symptoms occur only during the night and upon awakening, it may be something in your home.  If symptoms occur more during the day or early evening, it could be caused by something in your workplace.  If your allergies are not yet severe you can try to narrow down the culprit yourself.  By taking steps to eliminate as many of the irritants discussed in your environment as possible, you may find that is all that is necessary.  You can accomplish this simply with more frequent cleanings in a specific area and applying some of the natural allergy relief treatment techniques given in previous articles such as Dust Mites and What You Need to Know.  In doing this, you not only eliminate many dust mites and their fecal matter, but also pollens and animal dander that may also have crept into your environment.  If after trying these various techniques, symptoms still remain intermittent, you may want to have an allergy skin test done by an allergist where they will test for a variety of possible allergens including dust mite, pollen, food etc.  They may even want to check for lactose intolerance or gluten intolerance.  If they find you have an allergy, they can then administer allergy shots to slowly desensitize you to the offending allergen or suggest changes in your diet.  Be sure to check the Quick Reminder Chart at the top of the page for helpful hints.

     Happy Breathing!!!

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