Are you allergic to your home? How to identify allergens in each room
You don’t have to go outside to experience allergy symptoms. If you have itchy, red eyes and are sneezing and haven’t even come out, the problem may be inside the House.
“Allergy and asthma control starts at home. Many allergy sufferers stay indoors when pollen is high, but dust mites, pet dander, mold, and even cockroaches can cause problems indoors,” says Kenneth MendezPresident and CEO of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
Allergic rhinitis affects 5.2 million children and 19.2 million adults, according to the foundation. There may be triggers in your home, right under your nose, that are contributing to your constant sniffles and sneezes. Here’s how to deal with allergens in each room.
You spend a lot of time in your bedroom, so experts recommend making it an allergy-free zone.
“The most common allergy triggers inside the home are dust mites, which collect in mattresses and bedding, and pet dander,” says Dr. Stanley Finemanallergist and spokesperson for the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.
Wash bedding once a week in hot water and consider using mattress and pillow covers. Keep pets out of the bedroom; but if that’s not an option, bathing your dog more frequently can help reduce dander.
Experts also recommend putting an air purifier in your bedroom. When choosing one, be sure to consider the size of the room.
“Most of the time you get what you pay for, so check out a reputable HVAC company for the best suggestions for you and your family,” says Dr. Franklyn R. Gergitswho specializes in ear, nose, throat, and otolaryngology allergies at the Sinus and Allergy Wellness Center in Arizona.
Bathrooms without windows or good ventilation can be perfect environments for mold and mildew.
“To control mold growth, it’s important to fix any leaks in or near the shower, sink, toilet, or tub,” Mendez says. “Standing water will contribute to mold growth.”
Always wear protective clothing, gloves and a mask when handling mold-damaged materials, he says, and use disposable rags or sponges to avoid spreading mold spores to other parts of the home. .
“Use dehumidifiers or exhaust fans, or open a window, to help reduce humidity in bathrooms or other rooms in your home,” says Fineman.
Run an exhaust fan for at least 15-20 minutes after showering.
In the kitchen, Mendez recommends checking all water lines such as sinks and dishwashers for leaks, as mold can grow around water sources. It can also grow in garbage cans, refrigerator gaskets, and cabinets, so check those areas as well and get rid of the mold immediately by cleaning with soap.
“Cockroaches are a common pest that can also be a source of allergens. Similar to dust mites, the cockroach’s waste and body can trigger allergic reactions in sensitive people,” Mendez says.
Avoid cockroaches by not leaving water and food sources outside at night. Also store your pet’s dishes and food.
Basements can also promote mold growth and cause allergic reactions.
“The lack of ventilation, humidity, and dark basements make this room a breeding ground for mold,” Mendez says. “Improving ventilation can help reduce humidity in basements, as can using a dehumidifier.”
Clutter attracts dust, so keep rooms open and clean. Avoid carpeting and consider cork flooring, as it is naturally antimicrobial and flame retardant. If you still want carpet, wool is a good option. Area rugs attract dust and dirt, but no pile or low pile is a better option.
“Be sure to check for signs of damp on walls and windows,” Mendez says. “Fix leaks, remove mold-damaged materials, and clean up moldy materials that cannot be replaced.”
The living room
The living room gets a lot of traffic, making it a focal point for irritants and allergens that affect indoor air quality.
Avoid fabric curtains as they accumulate dust. Instead, use bamboo or wood window treatments. Leather or imitation leather furniture can be cleaned of dust. Also keep pets away from furniture.
“Choose leather or vinyl furniture over fabric pieces, take pillows out, and opt for window shades instead of curtains,” Mendez says.
You can also try using an air purifier to remove airborne allergens in the living room, Mendez says. Consider the Dyson Pure Cool Purifier Tower Fan ($595, walmart.com).
“Wash blankets and rugs weekly in hot water,” Mendez says. “If you have carpet, consider replacing it with hard flooring if possible. If hard flooring isn’t an option, vacuum the carpet once a week.
Run the air conditioner, but change or clean the filters once a month for window units and every three months for central air systems.