Dust is a big problem for many people with allergies. The annoying little particles get in the nose, throat, and lungs, causing all sorts of unpleasant symptoms like itchy eyes and runny noses. Dust also has the potential to trigger sinus headaches, stuffy noses, and a cough.
Outdoor allergies are typically triggered by pollens from plants like ragweed, grass, and trees. But indoor dust can be far more problematic for those who suffer from itchy eyes and irritated throats. Allergists say dust mites pose the biggest problem because – unlike other allergens – they live inside the home rather than outside, where most people might expect them to live.
Many allergists recommend allergy-proofing the home as an effective way to reduce indoor dust and the misery it causes. These tips can help minimize allergy symptoms indoors.
Practice Allergy Prevention in the Home
Keep the house clean. Dust and vacuum regularly to remove dust-allergen levels. Rinse feather pillows, blankets, or comforters weekly in hot water.
When dusting or vacuuming, it is best to use an electrostatic cloth to remove as much dust from the home as possible and avoid recirculation. Make sure furniture is moved away from walls before vacuuming behind it, and don’t forget to clean ceilings, wall sockets, lamps, and light fixtures as well.
Carpets, Curtains, and Blinds
Carpets are another common source of indoor allergens. If the carpeting cannot be replaced, consider using a high-quality vacuum cleaner with an anti-allergen filtration system. In addition, allergy sufferers will want to consult with an allergist or physician about using air purifiers to relieve symptoms.
Curtains and blinds can also harbour dust mites, so it’s a good idea to wash them regularly. If there is upholstered furniture, vacuum the cushions and dust the frames at least once a week.
It is also important to pay special attention to cleaning around the areas where household members spend most of their time: bedrooms, living rooms, and family rooms are common culprits in homes with dust allergies because people tend to spend a lot of time in these rooms.
HEPA Filters for the Home
People with allergic asthma should consider using a special high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter in their furnace. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing and maintaining the HEPA filter. In addition, investing in a whole-house ventilation system can help keep indoor allergens under control.
It is also recommended to use the best HEPA air purifiers for the air conditioning and heating systems, if possible, and get an allergy-friendly air filter that can be placed in other rooms, including the bathroom. Also, consider placing them on surfaces that are easy to clean into higher traffic areas like halls or stairs. And be sure to have the furnace cleaned annually by a professional to remove dust-allergen buildup inside it.
Prevent Mold from Growing in the Home
It is essential to keep the bathroom and kitchen clean. Mold flourishes in damp places, so make sure to keep these areas as dry as possible. Keep grout lines and drain openings in showers and sinks clear of debris, regularly cleaning them with a bleach-water solution. Wet towels should be hung up after each use rather than leaving them on the floor or countertop for long periods of time by hanging them up after each use.
Pay Attention to the Temperature and Humidity
High humidity and temperature levels in the home help create a perfect breeding ground for dust mites. Keeping the thermostat set at high temperatures or leaving heaters or air-conditioning running all day can worsen allergies by increasing humidity. Instead, open windows whenever possible to keep the air circulating and use humidifiers they are needed.
Take steps to manage a dust allergy by keeping the home clean and trying to reduce humidity. Pay special attention to cleaning the areas where people spend most of the time – especially bedrooms, living rooms, and family rooms, which are common culprits in homes with dust allergies because people tend to spend a lot of time in these rooms. In addition, if investing in an air purifier or whole-house ventilation system, it is easier to control the allergens at home.
If there are new symptoms due to indoor allergy triggers like dust mites or pet dander, see an allergist for help managing this serious health problem that can cause both physical and emotional distress.