Have you ever gotten sick in the summertime? Have you ever caught a cold or a fever, even though you don’t hang around people much, and live alone. It has happened to us a few times and left us just as mystified as it probably left you. We were taught that outside plus cold equals sick.
But what if we told you that the items in your very home, in your very own living room as a matter of fact, could actually be the culprit? Here, we list 13 different things you can find in your front room that could be contributing to your illness. Hear us out.
1. Insects and pesticides
Roaches have oils and “roach dust”, the saliva, feces, and shedding body parts of the bug (we apologize for the mental image that may have conjured, especially if you’re eating dinner), that contribute to allergies and asthma. They aren’t the only ones either.
Flies, same as roaches, have a tendency to carry all kinds of bacteria that they then spread to foods whenever they land on it to eat.
Yes, every time you see a fly land on a piece of food left out, it is eating and defecating. And any time that happens, whatever disease they are carrying gets transmitted, too.
This is one of the most common reasons you develop a cold in warm months, like July and August, when no one in particular is sick.
And before you think pesticides are the answer, keep in mind that these can cause you to get sick as well. If you’ve ever used any in your den or living room to rid yourself of the problem only to later find yourself with a nagging cough, it’s the pesticides you use.
The hazardous particles in the pesticides can be rapidly absorbed by the lungs into the bloodstream with every breath you take. They can cause major damage to the throat, nose, and lung tissue, which could lead to pneumonia, strep throat, and bronchitis.
2. Your shoes
It makes sense when you really think about it. Your shoes go everywhere you go, but they do so on the ground.
With every step you take, you’re picking up bacteria, viruses, germs, and parasites that are peppered along whichever trail you’re hiking to get where you’re going.
And you take them with you when you go home. We want you to imagine getting home after a long day. Imagine the things you’ve picked up on your shoes.
Now imagine you take off those shoes and place them on the stairs, in your closet, or wherever you set them when you do. Do you see where we’re going?
3. Fire wood
It’s mid February and a light snow is beginning to fall. That pile of firewood you keep in the shed outside is calling out to you. Before now, there have been a few weeks with days of spotted showers. You go to your shed, open it up, and you can smell it instantly, pungent and sharp.
It’s the smell of mildew. During the days it rained, the wood has become soaked by the rainwater that may have seeped into the shed through a drip or what have you.
You think nothing of it, bring it inside, make your fire, because the fire itself will eventually dry the fire wood out, right?
But at the same time, you are burning mildew laced wood that will emit smoke. When you inhale this smoke, you are also inhaling mold. Respiratory illness is very likely to occur after that. Be careful.
We’re mainly referring to the pets that have fur; cats, dogs, and the like. This shouldn’t be much of a surprise for most,
but what we think you will find surprising is that allergies aren’t the only catalyst for the coughing and sneezing your pets invoke in you.
If you have a weakened immune system, you are at a higher risk for infection when it comes to the diseases they carry in their feces
(toxicplasmosis) or that are carried by the fleas the scratch off of themselves when they’re relaxing on the other side of the couch you’re on.
It’s happened to us at least once or twice. Dust when inhaled through the nose can cause major irritation to the lining of
your nasal cavities. When that happens in an environment abundant in dry air, like your living room, it denies your nose the mucus that it
usually provides to keep it lubricated and defend the airways from the nasty germs that cause infection and eventually sickness.
Yes. As it turns out, that nasty green goo that is such a nuisance when trying to have a conversation actually saves you from getting sick. Without it, you’re a sitting duck.
6. Vacuum Cleaner
Think of all of the dust, dirt, and grime caked deep into your carpet from all the times you and your loved ones tracked it from outside.
Outside, where there’s no telling what you’ve stepped in or stepped on.
As soon as you flip that switch, the vacuum does kicks up all of that dust and dirt into the air and within breathing distance.
Even worse, dangerous organisms such as salmonella could be multiplying in your vacuum cleaner bag, primed and ready to be released into the air as soon as you turn your cleaner on.
Makes you look differently at vacuuming the living room floor, doesn’t it?
7. Heating and air conditioning vents
Ironically, the very thing that is supposed to trap the allergens that are floating through the air when in use is the same thing that causes you to get sick, if not maintained properly. The vents in your heating and air conditioning units can definitely cause you to get sick when not cleaned or changed.
When the dust, dander and the like accumulate over time, as soon as you go to use your unit, it all gets blown into the air, all around your living room and the rest of the house. Before you know it, you’ve got the sniffles.
Yes, we know what you’re thinking: “I’m not even safe from my candles?” No, you are not. Though it depends on the type of candles you use.
The keyword here is the ‘type’ of candles you use.
Candles that are made conventionally are packed with some of the worst chemicals
there are that can lead to very severe maladies and can trigger asthma and other respiratory issues.
To avoid this, look for candles that are 100 percent beeswax with cotton wicks. Avoid any candles that produce black soot around the wick when used. That is a surefire indication that this is a candle chock full of chemicals you don’t want to breathe in.
9. Air Fresheners
We are of the opinion that air fresheners have no real practical purpose aside from making the air smell pretty for about 10 minutes before it inevitably does.
If you use it specifically for that purpose, we don’t fault you for it. But we think we you should know, it could potentially make you as sick as the candles we mentioned previously.
The chemicals in that air freshener trigger nasal congestion, sneezing, and the runny nose. If you’re already sick, it’s pretty much the worst product you can use.
You’ll especially want to avoid those heavy duty, antibacterial sprays, such as Lysol. They’re much harder on your respiratory system.
10. Wall-to-wall carpet
We already mentioned before how just vacuuming your carpet can introduce a lot of allergens and such in the air and eventually in your lungs.
But you don’t have to do any vacuuming to get sick from your carpet.
Again, all of the dirt and such that you track from outside by your shoes eventually gets caked into the carpet and that alone could do it.
But think of all of the dust from the dry skin from everyone in the household your carpet accumulate over time.
Think of all of the pet dander, bacteria, and irritants that it’s trapped over the years.
Add a weakened immune system and spending a lot of time inside during colder months and it’s the perfect recipe for the common cold or worse.
11. Remote Controls
This is an easy one. One of the most common ways any virus is spread is through touch. Any germs on anyone’s hands move from their hands to the remote during contact. And we know what happens after that.
This follows the same principle as the carpets. Over time, the curtains in your living room collect the same dust and dander cocktail that your carpet does. That same cocktail releases the same contaminants that cause you to get sick as soon as you draw them back.
13. Computer keys
Germs on a person’s hands will spread to the keyboard they use. It’s pretty much inevitable. Anyone sick or unknowingly carrying germs that can make you sick will spread them through contact as soon as they go to check their e-mail.
There’s so many other ways your living room can make you sick, but these are just a few. When you break it down, it really is all about the contaminants that the elements in your living room (things like your curtains, the carpet, your furniture, etc.)
hold onto and how easy it is to spread germs from the outside through contact with the things you use in the same place.
Now that you know, you can take the proper steps to keep you and yours in good health.