1. Know it!
If you're struggling to locate the source of your allergies, keep an allergy diary. Write down the time of day symptoms worsen and any activities you take part in or particular clothes that you wear. Even clothing dye or certain washing detergents may be a trigger!
2. Avoid it!
Be proactive – limit your exposure to airborne particles by driving with the internal air conditioner on instead of pulling air into your car. Leave windows rolled up. Avoid sitting in an office with a fan (if you have to, make sure the fan is clean at the back where a lot of dust can be trapped). If you have an air conditioner at home, make sure it is cleaned regularly. Keep windows closed on high pollen days or days that are very windy. If you have to go outside, wear sunglasses to limit airborne particles getting into your eyes.
3. Bag it!
Teabags are little helpers when it comes to eye issues. Itchy, inflamed eyes can be superbly soothed with a damp cool teabag. Rooibos tea is the best option, and if you have a natural eye remedy the bag can even be used as a very handy compress. Just be careful not to leave it on overnight, as the rooibos tea leaves may stain the skin.
4. Wash it!
It may come as a surprise, but your hair can be a huge allergen trap! Small particles of dust, pollen and pet dander can become trapped in your hair through airborne particles passing on the breeze during the day. Try to wash your hair often if you are particularly susceptible to airborne allergies.
5. Heat it or Freeze it!
Dust mites and mould lurk on bedding, rugs, and curtains. Very high temperatures or extreme cold kills dust mites and mould. For fabrics and items that will not stand very high temperatures (to kill allergens the temperature needs to be as high as 130 degrees F or 54 degrees Celsius) try putting items in garbage bags, then into the freezer for a few hours before washing it as usual.
Interesting fact: Number of people with chronic allergy-like symptoms such as a runny nose, congestion and cough but who have non-allergic rhinitis instead: one out of three!