Surprising Ways You’re Aggravating Your Allergies

 Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Itchy eyes, runny nose and incessant sneezing, allergies acting up again? What could you be doing to aggravate your allergies? Allergies worsen when we do seemingly harmless habits on the daily. Keep your allergies in check by watching out for these surprising allergy aggravators:

Eating Food With Pollen-Like Proteins

So you tried to avoid the cat, avoided going outside and had your house cleaned from the inside out and you’re still sneezing like there’s no tomorrow. What could be triggering your allergies this time? According to Cliff Bassett, MD, the founder of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, you could be suffering from oral-allergy syndrome or OAS. Eating fruits and vegetable with pollen-like proteins can actually cause allergy flare-ups. Why? Because according to Bassett, “pollen and food are first-cousins.” Yikes.

Wearing Soft Contact Lenses

Getting itchy, watery eyes again? It could be your contact lenses. Soft contact lenses tend to absorb outside irritants such as smoke and pollen because the surface of the contact lenses are permeable, allowing air to pass through but retains just about everything contained in our tears. This means if you go outside and was exposed to pollen or dust, chances are, these irritants are now floating on your eyes through your contact lenses.

To prevent this, use disposable lenses and throw them away daily to prevent the buildup of irritants on your contact lenses.

Exposure to Fragranced Irritants

If you’ve got a lot of scented candles and aromatherapy essential oils lying around, they could be aggravating your allergies. Fragranced things, including candles, perfumes, essential oils, irritates the lining of the eyelids as well as the nasal passages, causing the eyes to itch, water and resulting in mild to severe sniffles. The best way to prevent your allergies from flaring up is to get rid of any irritants in your home and take the right medications to ease the symptoms if you come across these irritants outside the home.

Woolen Clothing

Got persistent allergy that won’t go away no matter how hard you try to get rid of irritants in your home? Don’t ignore that wool sweater you love wearing again and again. Pollen, dust and other irritants tend to cling to clothing, particularly clothing made with “sticky” fabrics, like wool. So always wear fresh clothing every day. Also, we suggest favoring garbs made with cotton fabric because they clean easily, irritants don’t cling as much and they allow the body to breathe, which is always a good thing.


Stress is not just bad for your health; it could trigger an allergy flare up too! According to a study conducted by researchers at Ohio State University, 64% of participants from their 14-day testing shows that they get more allergy flare ups when exposed to high levels of stress. The solution is simple; find ways to chill out when the going gets a little rough, like taking catnaps or a short walk at the local park.

Second Hand Smoke

It’s not rocket science, smoking is bad for the health. But exposure to second hand smoke is just as bad and it will also trigger an allergic reaction, especially if you have chronic asthma. Just like scented candles or perfumes, smoke is also an irritant to the respiratory tract so make sure you minimize your exposure to secondhand smoke so you don’t aggravate your condition.