If you suffer from allergies, spring can be a miserable time of year. But allergens don’t just lurk outdoors. Some of the biggest allergy triggers, such as dust, dander and mold, are hiding right inside your home. Below are some tips on how to control these common allergens.
- When the pollen count is high, stay inside.
- Shut the windows and turn on the air conditioner.
- Use high-efficiency particulate air filters.
- Clean air ducts.
- Give the carpets, shelves, curtains, windowsills and even light fixtures and lamps a good vacuuming.
- Have pets? Vacuum more frequently.
Tackle mold and mildew.
- Regulate the humidity in your home below 50 percent.
- Clean the dehumidifier weekly.
- Wipe down surfaces with mold-killing solution.
- Animal dander and saliva are major allergy irritants, so keep your pets out of your bedroom if you can.
- Talk to your veterinarian about allergen-reducing diets or bathing routines.
- Wash your bedding in hot water with scent-free detergent.
- Buy pillows and bedding with artificial fiber.
- Put plastic covers on pillows and mattresses.
Carpeting and drapes.
- Change ornate and heavy window coverings to sleek lines or window shades.
- Consider hard floors, tile or vinyl floor surfaces.
- Don’t smoke, and do not allow it in your home.
- If you need help breaking the habit, Fairfield Medical Center’s Tobacco Cessation Program can help.
By being proactive in controlling your environment, you can reduce the sneezing, runny nose, and itching, watering eyes that so often plague allergy sufferers. In addition to these at-home tips, speak with your primary care provider about whether or not allergy-controlling medications may be right for you.