Fighting winter allergies?
Staying indoors for most of the winter season increases exposure to indoor allergens like dust, mold, pet dander, and cockroach droppings.
A survey from the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that at least 6 allergens were detectable in more than 50% of homes.
While no home can be allergen-free, there are common sense steps you can take to help reduce allergen exposure to keep your allergies from taking control of you.
“Indoor allergens can be significantly reduced by using dust-mite proof covers and bedding, minimizing carpeted surface areas, and keeping pets out of bedrooms and living areas as much as possible,” said Dr. Alan Goldsobel, a practicing allergist at Allergy and Asthma Associates of Northern California.
Here are 10 other tips to help you keep allergies under control:
1) Replace your air filter every 90 days – try changing it with the start of each season, to help you remember.
2) Bedrooms are the most allergen-prone, due to dust mites – in addition to using hypoallergenic bedding and sheets, wash them weekly in very hot water – at least 130 degrees. Limit stuffed animals to 1 or 2 that are washable.
3) Wash your pet’s favorite furniture and toys often.
4) Dust mites accumulate in carpets and heavy upholstery, so opt for smooth-surface floors and furniture (leather and vinyl are better furniture options).
5) Air cleaners with certified allergy-friendly filters can filter out almost 98% of allergen air particles.
6) Vacuum once or twice a week and be sure to look for certified asthma allergy-friendly vacuums with HEPA filters.
7) Tired of taking medicines? New on the market is ClearUP® Sinus Pain Relief device – a drug-free, FDA approved, clinically proven handheld device for allergy-related sinus pain. It’s easy to use, convenient and a single treatment takes only 5 minutes! When used twice a day for two weeks, sinus pain was reduced by 43%.
8) Use a humidity meter to monitor humidity levels in your home – the CDC recommends keeping it below 60% to reduce dust mites and prevent mold growth.
9) Use vent fans to clear the air after cooking or showering, and clean all solid surfaces regularly with 5% bleach cleaning solution.
10) Use poison baits, boric acid and traps instead of chemicals to control cockroaches. Keep all food stored in sealed containers, garbage cans covered, and emptied regularly.