Ways to Reduce Airborne Allergens

Winter is almost here, meaning the the windows will close and the air in your house will not circulate as much. If you have people in your home who suffer from allergies, that can make this time of year very tough. Common house allergens such as dust mites, mold, and pet dander can build up in your air, making your house stuffy and unpleasant. While most of us think about cleaning our house for the holidays, it is just as important to keep the air clean and allergy free. A great article by Cleanairplus.com goes over ways to reduce allergens in your home.

Dust Mites are a Common Allergen

Reducing Common Home Allergens

For those that suffer from allergies, indoor environments often bring their own risk of respiratory symptoms. Common triggers, such as dust mites, pet dander, and mold, can cause as assortment of allergic symptoms. Respiratory problems, allergic rhinitis, and asthma are only a few of the health risks associated with indoor irritants and allergens. Fortunately, taking a few simple steps can significantly reduce your exposure to these three indoor allergens.

Before taking any of the steps below, it is important to consult an allergist or other medical professional about your allergic symptoms. Allergy testing may determine the triggers for your symptoms, and may spare you the time and expense associated with attempting to figure them out without professional guidance.

Dust Mites:

Dust is present even in clean homes, and dust mites are a common trigger for allergic reactions. Dust mites are microscopic creatures that live and multiply in warm, humid places. They do not bite or spread disease, but instead feed on particles of dander and dead skin. Studies have shown that nearly half of all young people that suffer from asthma are allergic to dust mites.

To reduce or eliminate dust mites from your home, dust often and vacuum your entire house each week using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. Wash your bedding every week in hot water, and clean your draperies at least once each month. Stuffed toys that no one plays with should be stored in plastic or removed from your home. Stuffed animals that your children still use should be washed weekly. Stuffed toys can also be placed in the freezer overnight to kill any dust mites that have collected on them.

Additional steps to take include the use of allergen sprays, wrapping pillows and mattresses in vinyl covers, and using bedding products specifically designed to reduce the number of dust mites in your home.

Mold:

Any home can develop a mold problem under the right circumstances, and this allergen is often present even when it is not visible. Molds require moisture to grow, and spread by producing airborne spores that grow in house dust. Mold causes allergic symptoms in susceptible people when it is inhaled.

To reduce the risk of mold growth in your home, provide adequate ventilation and vent sources of steam from your kitchen and bathroom. Use a dehumidifier if the humidity levels in your home are high, and clean areas prone to mold with a solution made with bleach. If mold is suspected, but cannot be found, you may need to call in a professional service to search for it. Mold often grows inside walls and under floors, especially in areas near leaky water supplies.

Pet Dander:

Many people wrongly assume that allergies to pets are caused by contact with pet hair. Pet dander, which is flakes of dead skin that are shed from pets, is the source of the itching and sneezing you experience when you are around an animal. Having an allergy to pet dander does not necessarily mean that you must find your pet a new home. If your allergic reaction is mild, you might consider reducing your exposure instead of removing your pet.

Vacuuming your home frequently, and keeping your pets off furniture and beds, will go a long way toward eliminating pet dander from your home. You should also invest in a portable HEPA air purifier for any room your pet is allowed to enter, as pet dander must be airborne to cause an allergic reaction through inhalation. You should never allow pets into your bedroom, and you should avoid hugging and kissing your animals. A mask and gloves should be worn during grooming, and clothing should be removed when you are finished.

This information is from Cleanairplus.com, please visit their website for more interesting articles.