For those accustomed to suffering through allergies, the simple day-to-day can pose many potential environmental hazards. For some time, the medical community has researched allergies and what causes them in the first place. Believe it or not, it has much to do with germs.
At first glance, it would make sense to believe that allergies were caused as a response to a negative encounter with some sort of foreign bacteria; however, new research has proven that the intensity of these types of reactions actually have everything to do with the type of environment where the sufferer has been accustomed to living in.
Apparently, the cleaner and more sterile the living environment is, the more likely a person is to suffer from allergies. This, scientists believe is largely to blame for the recent insurgence of multiple cases of allergies much more as compared to the amount of cases of environment related ailments dealt with by earlier generations.
As a society, we now know much more about health and cleanliness than ever before. There are countless products that can be used to rid one’s home of pesky bacteria. The cleaning products industry is at an all time high, as western society’s centralized focus is creating a healthy and pleasant environment to live.
From cleansers that disinfect and deodorize surfaces, to aerosol sprays commonly used to rid the air of germs, there is no shortage of products to choose from and there lies the problem. Typically, American homes tend to be over-cleaned. The absence of bacteria allows one’s immune system to get used to the pristine environment; therefore, when an allergic person leaves their environment, they them become extremely sensitive to the bacteria they come in contact with.
In addition, personal care products can also be full of harmful chemicals that are damaging to the immune system. Triclosan, an antibiotic agent that is found in many products that hold themselves out to be “antibacterial” are actually quite harmful to the immune system. The FDA began investigating products that contain Triclosan in 2013 and as a result, these products will be reformulated to promote better health and safety.
Nothing is proven more effective in preventing the spread of bacteria than good, old-fashioned hand washing. Any regular soap will do. Doctors actually recommend that washing hands in a specific way with plenty of soap and hot water. This method has proven to be very effective. While cleanliness is a must, the presence of a few germs actually help strengthen the immune system.
While there are several factors, including dietary habits and genetics that can also play their own roles in the life of an allergy sufferer, the aspect of allergies that one does have control of is the nature of the environment in which they live. This does not mean to say that people should throw away the mop bucket.
It does, however, warrant an investigation into whether or not the state of one’s health might possibly be improved by ridding themselves of products and habits that might make the environment so clean that it actually makes the absence of germs lead to allergies.
By J.A. Johnson