Allergy-sufferers generally recognize a flare-up when it happens. The stuffy nose, the red, dry, or watery eyes, and the rampant sneezing are just a few indicators that tip us off to the presence of annoying allergens. Most of the time, we simply point to known allergen sources, such as pollen from flowers or dust in our homes. But there are some surprising triggers that can cause your allergies to flare. The following are just four of many little-known allergy triggers.

1. The Weather

Ever wonder why your allergies are worse on sunny, dry, and windy days? Wonder no more. This is due to the weather! Days like these present ideal conditions for allergens to be released from trees. The wind can help carry allergens along, and even days with light precipitation can arouse allergens in the air. The best days for allergy sufferers tend to be stormy and cool days since heavy rain storms tend to wash pollens out of the air.

2. Cluttered Gutters

Mold is everywhere, and when we disturb mold spores, they get sent into the air and often end up agitating our allergies. You probably do a thorough enough job of cleaning inside your home to keep mold at bay, but did you know that mold can live in clogged-up rain gutters? Full gutters (and rotting roofs) lead to leaks, which lead to mold spore growth in and around the home, even seeping into the basement. Regularly clearing your gutter and fixing any leaks in the roof can prevent mold growth. Contact a company like Gutter-Resto VIC if you have any concerns.

3. Chlorine

For many of us, it wouldn’t be summer without endless hours spent in the pool. For allergy-sufferers, this can be a problem. Chlorine is a gaseous irritant that can make its way into your body. While chlorine itself isn’t considered an allergen, it acts like one, as it can cause sensitivity and irritation in the respiratory tract and result in skin rashes or hives. Many of those with allergies display a hypersensitivity to chlorine, making it best for us to stick to non-chlorinated bodies of water. If you do go in chlorinated (especially indoor) pools, be sure to shower off afterward and refrain from opening your eyes underwater without goggles.

4. Your Own Clothing

Last, and perhaps most surprisingly, are your clothes. Clothes made from certain fabrics (especially wool, since everything tends to stick to it) and that are re-worn several times before being washed are major carriers for allergens. Since our clothes are so close to our bodies, clothing makes it especially easy for allergens to infiltrate our bodies and set off our allergy triggers. Washing clothes consistently in hot water is shown to be the best way of keeping allergens from sticking to clothes.

It is not always easy to tell what might be causing an allergy flare-up. Be sure to carefully consider your entire environment, and if your allergies seem to be serious, consider seeing an allergist for testing.

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