Dust here, there and everywhere

achoo

If you are allergic to dust, you may find times of the year are worst than others. In the winter when it is either very wet and rainy, or very cold and covered in snow, dust triggers will be indoors or in cars that have not been cleaned… When spring comes around, and summer, then the dust from unpaved roads, or even asphalt roads that haven’t been swept could trigger you, when walking or biking. When cars drive by, dust particles are kicked up and become airborne.

I like winter as I only need to focus on the dust inside the house and workplace. How do you control dust inside the home? We have an air purifier and use it daily. Vacuuming on a regular basis is another priority. We have a nifty vacuum with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) certified filter. This filter works by forcing air through a fine mesh that traps harmful particles such as dust mites and other triggers like tobacco smoke, pet dander (dandruff) and pollen. Does your vacuum have a HEPA filter? Weekly vacuuming is often the suggested frequency. If I had time to vacuum more often I surely would. :)

If you are triggered by dust in the workplace, speak to a supervisor about it. It is a health risk. Workplaces need to be clean and safe for all employees. Do not suffer in silence. The truth is that there is bound to be someone else who is also triggered by the dust. Itchy eyes, skin, runny nose, asthma can all result from dust particles. Employers should be understanding and willing to work with you.

What are your biggest concerns around controlling dust in your home, workplace or other?

Detective work for a stuffy nose…

Snuffy

Friday afternoon we left for a weekend away and I had thought to pack one of my dust mite pillow covers and an extra pillow slip instead of bringing my pillow. Friday night I was so tired I fell asleep without putting the dust mite pillow cover and new slip on and had quite a night. I felt like the Snuffleupagus from Sesame Street! Being so tired I took some antihistamines, turned over and went back to sleep… Though I did go through an entire box of Kleenex!

I couldn’t figure out why my nose had been so stuffy. We opened the windows, aired out the cabin and I hoped for a better night’s sleep.

Just before bed, I remembered that I had packed the pillow cover and extra slip. How could I have forgotten! I zipped up the cover and that night I slept without a single sniffle. A simple cover made ALL the difference :)

Next time I sleep somewhere else I am going equipped with my own pillow, or at the very least, a dust mite cover and extra pillow slip. Do you ever get a stuffy nose when sleeping somewhere else? Does your pillow travel with you? I think I need a traveling pillow!

 

Why am I sneezing? Why is my asthma flaring up?

Do you ever feel like you don’t quite have the answer to why you are sneezing or why your asthma might be flaring up? Lately, I have been having a rough time tracking down the triggers. I’ve always made sure to vacuum (with a Hepa filter) on a weekly basis and clean the sheets and blankets in hot water weekly to get rid of any possible dust mites. I have a Hepa filter which I usually leave on during the day…

So I try to play detective… Though I can’t seem to find the common thread between my asthma and allergy “symptom flare ups”. Now, I am starting to consider colds more often as the culprit. Not all the time, but I do know a cold weakens my immune system, and then does that make me more susceptible to worse symptoms? In any case, I know I need to get healthier. When I am in good physical condition, and exercising on a daily basis, my lung capacity increases and asthma is less of an issue. It becomes less and less of an issue to me, the more fit I am. Note that this may not be the case for everyone though… Some do not take “intense” exercise as well, all depending on how well controlled their asthma is. Everyone is different, and our bodies do not all react the same. For me it may be exercise, for another, it may simply be fresh air or on the contrary, staying indoors with Hepa filtered air. What works best for you? And do you know often resort to it when things just aren’t going as planned?

Determination

Today was yet another “expedition” to get my allergy injection. I had made up my mind that I was going to get it today and I did not let the unexpected challenges deter my objective. As I had not had my injection in almost 3 weeks due to the clinic being closed last week and not feeling well enough the week before, I made up my mind that today was the day. I set out on my bike to catch the bus. Arriving at the bus stop, with 10 minutes before the bus, I realized I had everything BUT the allergy serum I needed. I headed home, picked up my allergy serum and made it back to the bus stop with time to spare… Then it was off to the clinic. A note on the door indicated it would be closed this sunday. I hopped on my bike and headed to the next clinic only 5 minutes away. Just my luck! It was only open until 13:00 on weekends and I arrived at 13:30. After a few minutes of sitting on the park bench outside the clinic, I had decided to head downtown and get my injection once and for all. Another bike ride and bus commute and I was standing outside a clinic that was actually OPEN. Just 30 minutes later, I was making my way back home.

Now, looking back I ask myself why I didn’t just call it a day, come home and maybe plan on going to the clinic tomorrow after work. The answer is simple. I didn’t want to give up. I’m sure I would have come home earlier I would have had something to go to, but that was not the case. So I decided to take a deep breathe, accept today would be a commuting one but that I would finally get my allergy injection. Now I am sitting at home, enjoying a nice quite evening and the days chaos is a mere blur.

Eventful days can sometimes be good even though in the moment you might be wishing things were different. I learned that if I really set my mind to something things will work out. :-)