As T.S. Eliot once said, April is the cruelest month. For many people, spring means the onslaught of seasonal allergies. It can be a real drag when youre unable to enjoy the warm weather due to a case of itchy, watery eyes and a sneezing fit that sounds like a twenty-one gun salute. Before you stock up on medication, take a look around your home. Your living conditions may in fact be the number one contributor to your symptoms. Check out this list of tips and tricks to make your home allergen-free.
1. Foolproof your bed
First thing’s first– start with your bedroom. According to WebMD, allergies are an abnormal response of the immune system where the bodys defenses react to a usually harmless substance in the environment, such as pollen, animal dander, or food. One of the most common allergy triggers is dust mites. These pesky critters thrive in areas of high humidity and feed on the dead skin cells of humans and their pets, states WebMD. In order to prevent dust mites, cover your pillows, mattresses, and box springs in dust mite-proof covers.
We suggest Allergy Armor Ultra Bedding, available at achooallergy.com.
2. Clean up clutter
A messy house is the perfect breeding ground for allergens. Remove or thoroughly dust belongings that are natural dust magnets– such as bookshelves, venetian blinds, and tabletops. When cleaning, wear a mask and gloves in order to block exposure to airborne dust particles. The MayoClinic recommends using vacuums that have a high-efficiency particular air (HEPA) filter. A HEPA filter, which can range in size from portable to room-size, is particularly helpful to those who are allergy-prone, as it “can capture 98% of the tiny particles in the air,” says WebMD.
In addition to vacuuming, the site suggests steam cleaning. Steam cleaning helps get rid of dust particles that are trapped in carpets and upholstered furniture.
Another common allergy trigger is mold. According to WebMD, mold needs moisture to grow [and] can be found in damp areas such as basements and bathrooms. Using a dehumidifier can provide a simple solution for fighting mold in your home.
A little low on cash? Pick up your scrub brush for an old school, but effective solution. WebMD provides these simple three steps– clean, disinfect, and dry. Use a mold-killing product that contains five percent chlorine bleach (or try hydrogen peroxide or vinegar) and be sure to use clean cloths for drying.
3. Close the windows
This may sound like an obvious tip, but its definitely worth mentioning. In addition to dust mites, pollen is another common allergy trigger. Make sure to close your windows when the pollen count is high. According to CNN.com, the highest pollen count takes place in the morning, between the hours of 10AM and 3PM.
When it’s steamy out and you turn to the AC, make sure that the filters are free of dust and pollen. Dr. Hugh Sampson, a professor of pediatrics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, told ABC News: [Allergy sufferers] should use air conditioning in an attempt to keep the pollen counts in their home as low as possible.
For those in need of extra help, Health.com provides a handful of online widgets and tools for allergy sufferers, which send updates straight to your phone.
4. Don’t Overlook Simple Solutions
Sometimes, its the simple things that provide the best solutions. Common allergy triggers are often brought into the house through your shoes. Buy a rubber mat and ask visitors to leave their shoes at the door. Similarly, after spending a lengthy amount of time outdoors, pollen can accumulate in your hair and clothes. If you plan on being outside for a few hours, make sure to wash your hair and change your clothes at the end of the day.
Are you one to leave your clothes in the washer for hours after theyre done? Seeing as how mold loves moist, damp areas– get those clothes to the dryer asap.
5. Keep Pets Outside
Unfortunately, your pet may be contributing to your seasonal allergies. Keep pets outside in order to prevent an abundance of animal dander from collecting in your home. It may be hard to banish your beloved dog or cat to the great outdoors, but itll help decrease the severity of your allergy symptoms. If you must keep your pets indoors, don’t allow them into the bedroom.