The main causes of indoor allergens in your home are pet dander, dust mites, and indoor molds. So, where do these allergens live and how can you lessen them and their effects? We’ve got some tips to help you control and reduce indoor allergens in your home.
Pets – Pet dander (cats mostly) is a top cause of indoor allergens. “The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America says that as many as 3 in 10 people suffering with allergies have allergic reactions to dogs and cats (source). Even if you may not be allergic, there is a pretty good chance that your friends or family members are.” Fortunately, this site has several dog dander treatments, from wipes to sprays, that may help. You can find a few more options, including some for cats, here.
Always be sure to brush your pet daily and vacuum frequently. Dogs are more likely to bring in outdoor allergens, so a bath occasionally and brushing outside before they come in can be helpful too.
Wall-to-wall carpet – A good vacuum (preferably with bags, not a canister) can help considerably with dust mites in your carpet. According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, “Dust mites, close relatives of ticks and spiders, are too small to see without a microscope. Dust mites eat skin cells shed by people, and they thrive in warm, humid environments. In most homes, such items as bedding, upholstered furniture and carpeting provide an ideal environment for dust mites.”
For all three of these, washing your stuffed toys and bedding in hot water frequently can reduce dust mites. If you have curtains or heavy drapes, wash those frequently as well. We often forget about those and lots of dust, and therefore dust mites, can build up.
Damp areas – Check these frequently for mold. Once you know where the mold-producing areas are in your home you’ll be able to combat mold more effectively. Use a dehumidifier if necessary and proper ventilation in particularly damp areas of your home like basements and bathrooms.
Mattresses that aren’t in allergy covers
Pillows and bedding you can’t wash in hot water
For these last two, you can use your vacuum’s wand attachment to vacuum mattresses, pillows, and comforters. Consider getting a cover for your mattress that CAN be washed in hot water as well.
If you are experiencing allergy symptoms, it could be from an indoor allergen. Contact Dr. Hallett today to learn more.