Article by Intercare.co.za
Spring. Summer. Sneeze. The summer’s degree of comparison for allergy sufferers.
Are you sneezing and coughing? Is your nose running and your eyes itching and watery? The silly (sneezing) season is upon us and if you recognize these symptoms you are probably allergic to something. You can be allergic to a lot of things, from pollen to strawberries, but staying inside the house is not an option, as your home is packed with potential allergens. Indoor allergens like dust, mould, bed bugs, dust mites and pet dander can cause sneezing, wheezing and congestion. Learn how make your home healthier by eliminating allergens and reducing airborne irritants that can make you sick.
However, first check with your doctor and find out what you’re allergic to, then follow the steps on how to remove pet dander, pollens and dust mites from your home. By reducing your exposure to allergens, you can help lower your need for medications and improve your symptoms.
Start with the bedroom
Because you spend a third of your life in the bedroom, start there when tackling allergy triggers in your home, then work on other rooms where you spend most of your time. First, there is dust, which contains dust mites and is a powerful allergy trigger, so you need to vacuum and dust everything with a damp cloth. Don’t forget ceiling fans, windowsills and under the bed.
Pay attention to your pillows and mattress as well. Mattresses carry another common allergen: bed bugs. To reduce your risk of developing an allergy, remove all bedding, vacuum the mattress and pillows regularly and get a special washable, allergen protective cover that you wash monthly in hot water. Wash all bedding (soft toys and throw blankets too) every week at a high temperature. You can also put soft toys in the freezer for an hour or two every week, to get rid of all the bed bugs.
Furnishings. Choose easy-to-clean chairs, dressers and nightstands made of leather, wood, metal or plastic. Avoid upholstered furniture.
Declutter. A messy bedroom and home can harbour various allergy triggers as it gathers dust. Keeping things tidy might have health benefits after all. Remove items that collect dust, such desk ornaments, books and magazines. Store children’s toys, games and stuffed animals in plastic bins with lids.
Pets. Try to keep pets out of the bedroom. Bathing and brushing your furry friends at least twice a week may reduce the amount of allergen in the dander they shed.
Keep the humidity level low in the house and use an air conditioner to keep temperatures down during warmer weather (mites thrive in humid, warm weather).
No more dust and pollen traps
Next, replace the rugs, carpets and curtains as they attract dust and pollen, so in time, they can become a real problem. Each time you step on the carpet or you open the curtains, you are releasing the allergens into air.
If possible, rather give up on the carpet and replace it with a small washable rug, which can be cleaned easier; instead of curtains, put blinds or a type of window treatment which is compatible with frequent machine washes like washable roller-type shades. If you can’t ditch the curtains, opt for washable curtains made of plain cotton or synthetic fabric.
Upgrade your vacuum cleaner
A vacuum with a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter can make wonders for cleaning and allergy-proofing your house: they can remove really fine particles of dust and debris.
Mould is another huge culprit for allergies, and it develops in wet, dirty places, like the back of the sink, the shower curtain and cracked tiles. Inspect your bathroom and kitchen and if you find a crack, seal it. Make sure all surfaces are always clean and dried off, to prevent mould formation.
Choose natural cleaning products
Try out some all-natural solutions for everyday cleaning. Baking soda, vinegar, and plain water can go a long way in cleansing and deodorising the kitchen, bathroom, and floors, and these products won’t cause irritation to your skin, eyes, and lungs.
If you are fighting indoor allergies as you take on your cleaning, connect with an Intercare doctor to find relief that will let you get back to your seasonal chores.
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