When the 70s rock and roll band Kansas sang “Everything is dust in the wind”, they weren’t talking about seasonal allergies. However, if you are someone who spends several months out of the year fighting off symptoms caused by allergy triggers like hay fever, pet dander, or dust then you might feel like your life personifies the song lyric.
Because things like human shoes and clothing or your pet’s paws or fur can carry the painful allergens into your home, staying indoors is anything but a surefire way to avoid sneezing, wheezing, coughing, itching, and scratching your way through to the next season. There are simple ways to allergy-proof the inside of your home, though and while your house won’t be 100% free of the triggers, it will be free of most of them. And once you develop a routine, soon everyone in your house will follow suit.
Adjusting to an Allergy-Unfriendly Environment
Carpets, furniture, dust, household cleaners and point are all found in our homes. All of these put allergens into the air that we breathe. Carpets, furniture, cleaning items and paint all put chemical vapors into the air. Carpets and furniture are also breeding grounds for dust mites which float through the air. People shed skin flakes daily and these settle on furniture, in carpets and also float in the air. Here are some tips to send allergens the message that they’re not welcome.
- HVAC – Set your thermostat to 70 F, which cuts down on humidity. Use high-grade filters in heating or AC units and vacuums, and clean the filters frequently to prevent build-up. While you might still have to seek medical attention, such as a ragweed allergy treatment for pollen allergies, this precaution could cut down on your symptoms.
- PESTS – Rodents and insects can bring in pollen. Get rid of any existing ones with pesticides – ones that are chemical-free if possible, and then prevent new ones by using caulk in any cracks around windows and sealing doors properly.
- MOLD – Keep an eye on areas that could get wet, especially in basements or areas of the home with water leaks such as under sinks and in bathrooms. If you have a refrigerator with a water dispenser and ice maker make sure to regularly check the water line for any leaks. The same goes for the area behind and beneath washing machines.
- CLEAN – Regular cleaning with environmentally friendly products does wonders. Although nobody likes the idea of cleaning the entire house from top to bottom in one day, developing a routine helps. Take care of the majority of the chores like dusting and windows in a different room every day of the week. Then take care of big jobs on the weekends.
- OUTDOORS – Have a look to make sure you do not have a ragweed plant growing close by. Each plant is reputed to be able to produce about a billion grains of pollen over a season and can be highly allergenic.
Cleaner Air for Easier Breathing
Having clean air in your home is a must when dealing with allergens. In our attempt to make our homes more energy efficient by insulating our attics and weather-stripping around doors and windows, what we have really done is made them air-tight. This means that it’s difficult for triggers to come in through spaces like attics, doors, and windows. However, once airborne pollutants get trapped inside.
An air purification system in your home will trap the particles in the filter and keep them from floating throughout your home. Find one with a HEPA rating, because those are the most effective at getting the most minuscule particles from the air and prevent them from returning. For that same reason, a vacuum cleaner that uses a HEPA filter is another useful item to have. The vacuum sucks up dirt, dust, and dander from your carpets, drapes, and furniture. When used in combination with an air filter, you’ll have double the chance of removing allergens from your home.
Allergies versus Sinuses
While some symptoms of allergies and sinuses can seem the same, the reality is that they are as different as springtime and autumn. A stuffy nose, headache and fatigue may seem to be part of an allergic reaction, but it isn’t necessarily so. What you could actually be experiencing is a sinus infection.
The symptoms of both can be so much alike that it makes it difficult to know which you have. Self-diagnosis is definitely not the way to go since the treatments are different. If you suffer from these symptoms then the only way to know how you should treat them is to see your doctor so they can let you know what you are suffering from and the proper treatment plan.
Every spring freelance writer Mark Harris could count on a slew of sinus symptoms, especially after spending long weekends hiking or kayaking. After reading information at sites like www.avoid-nasal-allergies.com he began to suspect that he suffered from seasonal allergies and made an appointment with his doctor. Now that he knows what the problem is and how to treat it, his springtime is a lot less sneezy and he actually spends more time outside.