How Do I Know If I Have Airborne Allergies?
We would like to start off this article by saying….please consult your physician for allergy or asthma testing if you experience moderate to severe discomfort. In this article we will only be talking about “household airborne” allergies. Food,chemical and other allergies will not be addressed, so please do not associate what we say down below to these allergic forms.
Now that we got the disclaimer out let us start to diagnose your problem. You must first be able to separate allergies from other allergy related diseases. Allergy sufferers commonly experience “cold like” symptoms (sneezing, runny nose, sinus discomfort, ect.) followed by itchy and watery eyes. Asthma and sinusitis tend to be a bit more serious and generally need medical treatment. Common symptoms of these are frontal headache, breathlessness, coughing and wheezing.
Once a user has determined that they do in fact have allergies they must begin to take necessary steps to “allergy proof” their living environment.
Strategies - Prepare For a Clean Home
Although you cannot cure your seasonal airborne allergies, you can help prevent outbreaks by making a few adjustments to your home.
Living room: You do not want there to be areas where pollen or dust can easily be trapped. Ideally you want to remove carpeting and upholstered furniture and replace it with hard surface flooring and furniture that can be wiped down frequently. This same theory applies to drapes and curtains. Avoid the big heavy cloth type and look for washable roll up blinds that do not attract dust.
Bedroom: You want to treat your bedroom similar to the living room, limit carpeting and drapes as much as possible. In addition you will want to make sure you have proper bedding and it is washed/cleaned on a regular basis. Pillows, mattress and comforters are huge problem areas for dust mites which can often affect sleep and overall health. One last suggestion is to limit pets to living areas and out of the bedroom. As much as we love our furry friends, pet dander and other air pollutants can reek havoc on our nasal passages and dramatically intensify our allergic outbreaks.
Kitchen: Mold and dust are your two main dangers in the kitchen. To help fight mold make sure your plumbing is leak free, food is properly sealed and you either remove indoor plants or coat the soil with a sealant (aquarium gravel works!). To help fight the dust and dander, clean regularly and extremely thorough. Under your refrigerator, behind your oven, in the back of your cabinets, ect. all need to be wiped down with a damp cloth.
Items to Help You Control your Allergies
Controlling your indoor allergies is not easy, it means you have to work much harder and sometimes spend more money on your living environment. Here are a couple of common items that can make a huge difference:
HEPA Vacuum Cleaner: Although it is gaining popularity, vacuum cleaners are often an overlooked factor when it comes to deep cleaning your home. Armed with the correct vacuum you can effectively pick up dust, trap dust, dispose of dust and blow healthy purified air back into your home. What to look for is a vacuum cleaner that uses HEPA style bags as well as a HEPA filter, this ensures pure air is expelled into the home. Other vacuums might remove dirt and debris but releases micro particles back into the air creating allergic reactions. We recommend Miele vacuums and SEBO vacuums as they are the industry leaders in this field.
Air Purifiers: These units take in your homes air, run it through a purification process and then emit clean purified air back into your home. These units are a must have for any allergy sufferer. While there are many on the market, look for one that has proven independent test, ensuring quality results. IQair and Airfree are both brands that are world renown and offer their own different features and price points, making them appealing to the masses.
All Natural Cleaning Supplies: While cleaning your home you want to make sure you are not polluting your home with airborne and other harmful chemicals. Read the labels of the products you select and make sure that you’re not replacing dust and dander with health damaging chemicals. Steam cleaners and microfiber cloths w/ hot water are great alternatives to traditional cleaning methods.
Bedding: Allergy bedding refers to special bedding covers such as pillow cases, comforters, mattress covers, etc. that keep dust mites from their food source. These critters live in your mattress and pillows and feed off of the dead skin cells we lose everyday. This special bedding can easily be washed and helps prevent the number of mold spores, pet dander and pollen that gets collected in standard bedding.
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