Have you had a lingering cold or flu for the past couple weeks? Not a full on cold, but a stuffy nose, trouble sleeping and light-headedness? If you can’t pinpoint why you are sick, if there’s not a flu or cold virus going around your workplace, your kids aren’t sick, you haven’t eaten from a street cart or recently come back from travelling you are probably getting it from something in your home. There are many things in your home you could be getting cold or flu symptoms from. Poor air quality is a major cause of these symptoms, which can be caused by anything from a recent renovation to your HVAC air filters needing replacement. It’s also a good idea to have the ducts and overall system checked regularly by a company that specializes in HVAC systems and water heater repair.
In this article we will go over some different things in your home that cause you to have these lingering sick symptoms, what those sick-like symptoms are for each cause and how to remedy them.
Poor Air Quality
Pollution isn’t just something that exists outside your home. In fact, indoor air quality can sometimes be worse than the air outdoors! This happens when you have insufficient airflow combined with poor HVAC maintenance. A recent home renovation either in your own home or your neighbors would exacerbate the problem by releasing dust, debris and chemicals into the air that then gets trapped in your home.
Even if you haven’t had any renovations done it may simply be time to change your air filters.In an office building the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers says your HVAC system should pump out 20 cubic feet of fresh air per minute. Of course, since we aren’t talking about office buildings here the number should be lower, it still stands that your HVAC system needs to be pumping out enough fresh air for you. If you have dirty filters this is hard for the system to do. You can get sick-like symptoms from this such as: headaches, nausea, dizziness, irritability, itchy eyes and other breathing problems.
If you think this might be the cause of your illness you can either change your HVAC filters yourself and see if there is a difference or call a profession HVAC technician to come inspect your system.
You are obviously aware of food poisoning in restaurants and if you found this post, you’ve probably removed it from the list of possible reasons you’re sick. But you can get sick from things you eat at home too. Start by checking the expiry dates on all your foods, you’d be surprised how many items have expiry dates that you wouldn’t expect.
You can also get sick from eating or drinking too much of one item. We aren’t just talking about alcohol here, we are referring to the other much loved drink: coffee. If you have a high caffeine tolerance you might be getting nauseous and lightheaded from way too much caffeine, which makes you dehydrated and being dehydrated will give you a number of sick-like symptoms.
If you think this might be the reason you feel worse for wear try cutting your coffee drinking in half and double the amount of water you are drinking. If any symptoms disappear you’ll have found the culprit.
It’s worth noting that dehydration can also just be a result of not getting enough liquids in your day. If you aren’t a coffee addict you may still be able to trace back your sickness to dehydration. General dehydration symptoms include: general aches and pains, headaches, constipation and lethargy. In this case the remedy is simple: drink more liquids!
There are two reasons you will get sick because of sleep deprivation. The first, is because when you are sleep deprived your body is not functioning at its best and your immune system is weakened. This means it is easier for you to catch something. The other reason you might feel sick because of sleep deprivation is simply because being sleep deprived can give you headaches, make you feel lightheaded and lethargic, not to mention it can mess around with your eating habits and make you not feel hungry at all. You may be so used to being sleep deprived you don’t notice the telltale signs that it is the cause of your sickness.
Perhaps one way you can eliminate or confirm this possibility is by asking your friends, family or anyone you live with if they’ve noticed you seem more tired than usual or they’ve noticed you go to sleep really late, wake up early or just generally been a night owl. If not, it’s still a great excuse to catch some more shuteye this weekend.
If none of these causes rings a bell in your head and you are still sick from causes unknown, it’s time to visit a doctor. This post is not meant to stand in for professional medical help. We would hate for any of our readers to be led astray, so when in doubt visit your doctor.