What You Can Do About Your Allergies at Home
Your home may be aggravating your allergies. The common causes of allergies—pollen, dust, pet hair, mold, and dust mites—could be lurking in your furniture, flooring, and even in the air. Don’t despair—you can take some simple steps to reduce allergens and their irritating effect on your body.
Use an Air Filter
Using an air filter, especially in your bedroom, can help relieve the symptoms of nasal allergies and asthma. The air filter (or air purifying) machine has a fan that draws air inside, where a filter traps the tiny particles that cause your allergies. The cleansed air is then circulated back into the room.
HEPA (short for “high efficiency particulate air”) filters are especially effective and can remove as much as 99% of allergy-causing particles. They can also trap bacteria. HEPA filters can be used on your furnace and air conditioning system and added to vacuum cleaners.
Imagine those pesky allergens as hiding in every small space in your home—because they are. The cracks in your floor, the fiber of your carpet, the fabric on your couch, and even your bedding are all places that harbor irritants. A deep clean can help.
Start by vacuuming everything, including the undersides of couch cushions and your mattress. Your mattress may be a source of dust and mold that can make your allergies worse. Dust mites also hid in your bedding. Most pillows can be machine washed.
Replace Curtains with Blinds
Curtains can be attractive, but they attract dust and allergens. When you open or close the curtains, the motions release the allergens into the air where you can breathe them in. While you can wash or vacuum your curtains frequently, you may find bigger relief by replacing them with washable blinds or shades.
Choose materials carefully; you’ll want blinds or shades that can be easily wiped down with a damp cloth. Blinds or shutters with large slats are easier to clean than those with mini-slats. Roller shades are also a good choice because there are no horizontal surfaces for dust to settle on.
If you have allergies, your indoor environment, especially your bedroom, can have a serious impact on how you feel. Once you’re aware of the places where allergens can accumulate, you can take positive steps to remove them. When the air is cleaner, you can literally breathe easier.
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