Top 5 Household Allergens That Are Living Right Under Your Nose

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Your allergies have struck again. Bring out the tissues for your runny nose and watery eyes. Your sinuses are killing you, and you're coughing and wheezing everywhere. You're used to it, but that doesn't make the experience any better.

Allergies are the result of the body trying to protect itself. If your immune system thinks something you've come into contact with is bad for you, it will fight that substance off. The result may be an upset stomach, a skin rash, or that all-too-familiar dripping, coughing, sneezing reaction in your sinuses and breathing passages.

At best, allergies are annoying. At worst, they can be life-threatening if the sufferer goes into anaphylactic shock.

If you or your child has recurring food allergies, you've probably learned to avoid those foods. If you're allergic to insect stings, you know to avoid insects and carry medication. Most people determine which substances cause recurring skin allergies -- contact dermatitis or eczema -- and try to avoid those. Most people know that smoking indoors may trigger allergies.

If there are substances outdoors that trigger your allergies, you can try to avoid them, but our homes -- even smoke-free ones -- aren't safe zones. In fact, most homes harbor a number of allergens that send us into sniffling, hacking misery.

What culprits are likely lurking inside your home? Read on to find out.