What to do for seasonal allergies when pregnant
By law, food manufacturers must clearly label any foods that contain something that’s known to cause allergic reactions in some people.
By carefully checking the label for the list of ingredients, you should be capable to avoid an allergic reaction.
People with food allergies most often experience an allergic reaction while eating out at a restaurant.
You can avoid this by:
- not relying on the menu description alone (remember, numerous sauces or dressings could contain allergens)
- letting restaurant staff know your dietary requirements, including how severe your food allergy or intolerance is
- avoiding places where there’s a chance that diverse types of food could come into contact with each other, such as buffets or bakeries
- communicating clearly with the waiting staff and asking for their advice
- always checking what allergens are in the dish, even if you own eaten it before, as recipes and ingredients can change
Remember, simple dishes are less likely to contain «hidden» ingredients.
If you’re not certain about a dish, do not risk it.
Read more about living with a food allergy and get advice from the Food Standards Agency on food allergen labelling.
House dust mites
One of the biggest causes of allergies are dust mites, which are tiny insects found in household dust.
You can limit the number of mites in your home by:
- fitting roller blinds that can be easily wiped clean
- using tested allergy-proof covers on mattresses, duvets and pillows
- cleaning cushions, soft toys, curtains and upholstered furniture regularly, either by washing (at a high temperature) or vacuuming
- choosing wood or hard vinyl floor coverings instead of a carpet
- using a vacuum cleaner fitted with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter, as it can trap more dust mites than ordinary vacuum cleaners
- choosing leather, plastic or vinyl furniture instead of upholstered furniture
- regularly wiping surfaces with a damp, clean cloth – avoid dry dusting, as this can spread dust into the air
Concentrate your efforts of controlling dust mites in the areas of your home where you spend the most time, such as the bedroom and living room.
You can discover more information on allergies in the home on the Allergy UK website.
Insect bites and stings
If you own ever suffered a bad reaction to an insect bite or sting, it’s significant to take precautions to minimise your risk.
When you’re outdoors, particularly in the summer, you could:
- cover exposed skin
- apply insect repellent
- wear shoes
- avoid wearing strong perfumes or fragrances, as these can attract insects
Find out how to prevent insect bites and stings
Tiny particles released by moulds can cause an allergic reaction in some people.
You can assist prevent this by:
- keeping your home dry and well ventilated
- dealing with any damp and condensation in your home
- not drying clothes indoors, not storing clothes in damp cupboards, and avoiding packing clothes too tightly in wardrobes
- removing any indoor pot plants from your home
- avoiding damp buildings, damp woods and rotten leaves, cut grass and compost heaps
It’s not pet fur that causes an allergic reaction.
Instead, it’s flakes of their dead skin, saliva and dried urine.
If you cannot permanently remove a pet from the home, you could try:
- not allowing pets in bedrooms
- regularly washing every bedding and soft furnishings pets lie on
- regularly grooming pets exterior
- keeping pets exterior as much as possible, or limiting them to a specific area of the home, preferably an area without carpet
- using an air filter in rooms where you spend most of your time
- washing pets at least once a week
- increasing ventilation with fans or air conditioning, or by opening windows
If you’re visiting a friend or relative with a pet, enquire them not to dust or vacuum on the day you’re visiting, as this will stir up the allergens into the air.
Taking an antihistamine medicine about an hour before entering a pet-inhabited home can also assist reduce your symptoms.
The Allergy UK website has more information about domestic pet allergies.
Pollen allergies, more commonly known as hay fever, are caused when trees and grasses release pollen into the air.
Doctors often call hay fever allergic rhinitis.
Different plants pollinate at diverse times of the year, so the months you get hay fever will depend on what sort of pollen you’re allergic to.
Typically, people are affected during spring (trees) and summer (grasses).
To help keep your hay fever under control, you can:
- avoid drying clothes and bedding exterior when the pollen count is high
- shower and change your clothes after being exterior
- keep doors and windows shut when possible
- check weather reports for the pollen count and stay indoors when it’s high, if possible
- avoid grassy areas, such as parks and fields, particularly in the early morning, evening or night, when the pollen count is highest
- wear wraparound sunglasses to protect your eyes
- if you own a lawn, try asking someone else to cut the grass for you
Find out how to prevent hay fever