As we spend more time in our homes this season, we become even more susceptible to allergy flare-ups caused by indoor allergens.
Dust mites are among the most common indoor allergy triggers, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology (AAAAI). They live and multiply easily in warm, humid places such as upholstered furniture, bedding, and carpeting.
As house dust can be found throughout the home, strict avoidance isn’t always possible. But you can take steps to minimize the amount of dust mites in your home, to control your allergy symptoms.
Here are some tips to help you cope better:
- Use a dehumidifier to keep humidity below 50%. A hygrometer (available at hardware stores) can measure humidity levels.
- Dusting can kick up allergens into the air, so use a damp or treated cloth that attracts dust rather than scattering it.
- Vacuum once or twice a week and be sure to look for certified asthma allergy-friendly vacuumswith HEPA filters to help reduce dust emissions.
- Minimize clutter in your home as it tends to collect dust. Remove knickknacks and piles of magazines and newspapers from your bedroom.
- Use allergen-proof fabric covers for mattresses, box springs and pillows. These covers are made of tightly woven fabric and prevent dust mites from thriving or escaping from mattresses and pillows.
- Wash bedding weekly in hot water (130 F) and put items in the dryer at the hottest setting.
- If possible, replace wall-to-wall carpeting with throw rugs. Wash or dry clean rugs regularly.
- Tired of taking medication? Consider alternative allergy treatments for sinus pain from allergies such as 100% drug-free ClearUP Sinus Pain Relief®– advanced microcurrent (low-level electrical stimulation) for reducing sinus pain.
- Install a high-efficiency filter in your furnace or air conditioning unit with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) of 11 or 12 and leave the fan on to create a whole house air filter. Change the filter every 3 months.