You wake up one morning and that unbelievably annoying tickle at the back of your throat has turned into a full blown coughing fit; it’s cut you down in the prime of life. A common cold, you think?
Not necessarily. In actual fact, research suggests that everyday items in our own homes can be the real culprit of why we can’t shift that persistent runny nose or that ever-annoying cough.
In this brand new post, we run through some of the ways your house may be to blame for common health problems.
If accompanied by the usual symptoms of a cold, then you may well be suffering from… well, a cold. But sometimes, a persistent cough can signal something else.
Mould, for example, can significantly affect our health. Mould and damp are caused by excess moisture and can be caused by a number of things including condensation, leaking pipes or even rain seeping in around door and window frames.
Mould also produces allergens and irritants which, when inhaled or touched, can cause a runny nose, red eyes, skin rashes and coughing. Mould is also seriously detrimental to asthmatics so if you suspect you have mould or damp in your home, be sure to call in an expert straight away.
A Sore Neck
If you’re finding it difficult to turn your neck from side-to-side, whether that’s in the car or in the office, then you’ll need to determine what the source for your neck pain is.
Neck pain is quite common and generally nothing to worry about as it generally clears up within a week or so. A stiff neck can be caused by incorrect sleeping position, problems with your bed, mattress or pillows, bad posture and activities such as prolonged computer use or prolonged driving.
In order to prevent neck pain, make sure you take regular breaks from your desk by getting up from your seat and having a walk around, ensuring you stretch and rotate your neck as you leave. Additionally, try some relaxation techniques if you feel overly stressed – a nice hot bath may do just the trick to ease that tension!
Finally, if the pain is caused by your sleeping position, make sure you limit your pillow to one and invest in a relatively firm mattress to prevent your neck from being bent whilst you sleep. Don’t sleep on your side as this can cause your head to tilt and you could wake with a nasty pain.
Recent research has suggested, the UK is going through an ‘epidemic’ of painful skin allergies which is found to be caused by a chemical commonly found in many cleaning products and cosmetics.
The chemical, named methylisothiazolinone or MI for short, is second only to nickel for causing contact allergies. The chemical is a harsh preservative and has been previously found in paint and glue as well as our everyday cleaning products such as laundry products, shampoo, washing up liquid, baby wipes and air fresheners.
If you find yourself suffering from skin irritations, go to see your GP immediately and check the Skin Deep website for advice on whether your household items are known to cause skin problems. Ensure you use rubber gloves whilst cleaning at home as well as opening windows and diluting them to lesser the possible effects.
Better still, find alternative products that are good for cleaning such as vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice.
Some breathing difficulties can be caused by a number of things within your home. Central heating, for example, whilst keeping us warm and snug throughout the winter months could disrupt the amount of moisture within your body.
Central heating can affect the natural oil within your eye causing them to dry out; making it easier to catch infections in the eye. Not only this, central heating can sometimes cause frequent coughing at night due to the membranes of your lungs not getting enough moisture. If you find this to be the case, invest in a humidifier to lessen the effects.
Your trusty vacuum cleaner may be doing a good job getting rid of all the dust and nasty microbes from your floor, but if you’re not cleaning out the filter then these are at risk of finding their way into your lungs; causing allergies and breathing difficulties.
When vacuuming, make sure you keep the windows open to help fresh air circulate the room, consider wearing a dust mask to prevent any nasty bits from making their way into your lungs and change your filter regularly!
Dust mites can wreak havoc on an asthma sufferer’s ability to lead a normal life. As they thrive on humidity and warmth, they’re naturally attracted to our bodies so make sure you rid your environment of these nasties as much as you can.
To prevent dust mites from entering our system ensure your sheets and towels are washed regularly in hot water and dried thoroughly before putting them on your bed. A mattress is designed to last eight years, any longer than that and you’ll need to throw it out.
Many of us have a favourite chair, seat or even blanket at home that we use whilst relaxing and it’s important that these are washed, vacuumed and dusted weekly in order to eliminate dust mites as well as other places they could live including curtains and carpets.