reduce allergensFor allergy sufferers, spending time outdoors could be a miserable experience. With the pollen and mold spores making your eyes watery or itchy and your nose runny or stuffy, it’s no wonder you may think it’s better to stay home. 

Unfortunately, your home could be harboring allergens that have the same effect as if you were outside. Experiencing symptoms like constant sneezing, congestion, or shortness of breath may suggest allergy-inducing particles have invaded your home. If that’s the case, there are ways to limit your exposure to these allergens, which can help curb your body’s reactions. Here are some steps you can take to  allergy-proof your home:

1. Prevent Outdoor Allergens from Getting Inside

During allergy season, keeping windows and doors closed can significantly reduce the amount of pollen and ragweed entering your home. Also, it’s best to consider changing your clothes immediately after being outside since they may be bringing in grass, weed, and pollen.

2. Control Dust Mites

These microscopic particles are known for feeding off the skin you shed each day and causing allergies. Since they are too tiny to spot, it’s essential to take the following preventative measures to reduce their presence in your home:

  • Purchase certified allergy-resistant pillow and mattress covers
  • Wash all bedding once a week in hot water (130 degrees F or hotter)
  • Turn on the AC to reduce the humidity in your home and regulate those pesky mites
  • Use a HEPA filter to trap allergens
  • Dust furniture, books, knick-knacks, and other house decorations regularly
  • Sweep or vacuum once or twice a week
  • Steam clean or shampoo carpeting at least once a year
  • Change air filters in your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems every three months (or more if you have pets)
  • Avoid decorating your home with wall-to-wall carpeting, heavy drapes, and overstuffed fabric furniture

By being proactive, you can easily protect yourself from these common home allergens and prevent them from spreading throughout your home.

3. Protect Yourself When You Clean

To reduce your allergies, you may want to wear a mask while doing housework and use cleaning tools that trap dust rather than spread it in the air. In addition, it may be helpful to leave your residence for a few hours since cleaning can stir up all types of allergens.

4. Use a Dehumidifier or Air Purifier

Dehumidifiers and air purifiers can help eliminate dust mites and mold growth by keeping humidity low. Experts suggest purchasing asthma and allergy-friendly certified devices that work with a filter to decrease the level of allergens in the air. 

5. Eliminate Smoke 

Wood burning fireplaces and stoves can aggravate allergies; therefore, try not to use them that often. Additionally, cigarette smoke causes several health issues, including allergies. If possible, avoid smoking cigarettes inside your home. 

6. Keep Pests at Bay

If pests like cockroaches and mice are in your home, the residue they leave behind could contribute to your allergies. It’s best to control your pest problem with poison baits, boric acid, and traps instead of chemicals, which could lead to further health complications such as asthma and sinusitis. To prevent critters from taking over your home, make sure to:

  • Seal cracks and other entry points
  • Avoid leaving food out and dirty dishes overnight
  • Store food in tightly sealed containers
  • Keep garbage bins covered and take the trash out regularly
  • Clean your home consistently 

7. Remove Mold

Mildew and mold are major causes of home allergens. Therefore, it’s critical to track and eliminate these allergy offenders as soon as possible. By performing a mold check, keeping areas with a lot of water clean and dry, reducing the humidity, and fixing any leaks, you can avoid the spread of mold.   

8. Maintain Proper Pet Care

Properly maintaining your pet with frequent bathing and grooming can significantly decrease your allergy symptoms. Also, try to limit your pets to specific zones to reduce the amount of pet dander and, perhaps, outside allergens circulating in your home.  

These suggested methods for allergy-proofing your home may be practical, but to be effective, you may also need to investigate the source of your allergies. Procedures such as allergy skin testing can help identify what’s causing your allergies, so you will have a better idea of the best course of action to take.

If you are having symptoms of allergies, contact ROVA ENT & Allergy for testing, diagnosis and treatment. We are always happy to help!