Indoor Allergy – How to manage and what to do?
Now that the ragweed allergy season is behind us in most parts of North America, the cooler weather will drive the majority of individuals indoors for a greater part of each day. As you close up your home to keep the heat in, you’ll also find that public buildings are closing up and turning on their heating systems. And once the clocks fall back, you know for sure: we are into the indoor allergy season!
That’s right: indoor allergies are just waiting to get you as you snuggle into your cozy winter nest. A constant assault of dust mites, pet dander, carpet fibers and airborne toxins becomes the norm for the next few months as we stay locked up indoors.
What can you do to reduce your allergy symptoms from indoor sources? Lots! Here are some simple and relatively inexpensive tips you can start with to help you to breeze through indoor allergy season.
- Wash your bedding at least once a week in hot water. (This means water that is at a temp of at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit or 60 degrees Celsius). Dust mites (which live in your sheets) are the cause of one of the single most common indoor allergens.
- Keep your pets out of your bedrooms! As the second largest producer of indoor allergens, keeping pets away from your sleeping area can significantly improve your symptoms.
- Frequent vacuum cleaning is a great way to reduce indoor allergens – as long as your vacuum isn’t spewing those allergens out its exhaust. If you don’t have one yet, invest in a vacuum with a HEPA filter that will trap allergens and get them out of your air.
- Clean, clean, clean! A good fall cleaning that includes washing all “soft” surfaces like draperies and curtains or bed spreads and duvets can ensure that any allergens that are hiding in these items will not be haunting your home. For items that cannot be easily washed in your washing machine – like your duvet – consider dry cleaning.
- Make your home a smoke-free zone. No one should ever be allowed to smoke anywhere inside the house. It’s that simple.