Every home contains enough allergens able to trigger a reaction in an allergy sufferer. Household dust can appear in the cleanest home, resulting in year round allergies to the indoor air.
Indoor allergies impact the lives of millions each year and have the potential to cause chronic health problems ranging from allergies, upper respiratory issues and asthma. However, these allergies can easily be managed by reducing the level of airborne allergens in the home.
Dust consists of microscopic particles found in both indoor and outdoor environments. Typically, house dust allergies are triggered by common allergens such as pollen, dust mites, cockroach waste, pet dander and mold. Symptoms of a house dust allergy include sneezing, runny, itchy or watery eyes, nasal congestion and a runny nose.
Vacuum Cleaners. Cleaning the surfaces in the home may not be enough to remove allergens and prevent their recirculation back into the indoor air. An essential tool for household cleaning is a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) vacuum. HEPA filters are designed to trap small particles such as allergens and prevent their recirculation – while traditional vacuums put allergens back into the indoor air triggering house dust allergies.
Carpeting. Carpets easily trap airborne particles and allergens such as pollen, dust mites and pet dander. Reducing trapped allergens and house dust requires:
- Regular weekly or twice weekly vacuuming with a HEPA filtered vacuum.
- Professional cleaning every six months to a year to remove trapped allergens, mold and other particles able to re-circulate into the air.
- Removal of carpeting may be recommended for those with moderate to severe allergies.
House Dust and Dust Mite. Bedding, comforters, curtains, towels and other soft surfaces trap dust mites. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, dust mites are the most common trigger of allergies and asthma. Several steps can be taken to reduce the level of dust mites as an allergen trigger in the home.
- Vacuuming soft surfaces to remove dust once or twice weekly.
- Washing bedding, comforters, towels and curtains in hot water reaching at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Use of allergen proof covers or hypoallergenic pillows and mattresses.
Helpful Household Tips. Use HEPA filtration air purifiers and systems to remove airborne allergens and reduce symptoms caused by house dust allergies.
- Use a dust mask while cleaning if needed. This will limit the exposure to airborne allergens in the home, and decrease allergy symptoms.
- Clean up after meals. Open food not only attracts bugs and mice, but cockroach waste in particular can trigger a house dust allergy.
- Dry all surfaces in the bathroom and kitchen after use, and check for leaks in the plumbing that can result in mold growth.
- Use natural homemade green cleaning solutions to clean your home.
- Basements, vents and crawl spaces can hide and trap allergens and household dust, pushing them into clean areas of the home. These areas should be cleaned on a regular basis because they easily hide areas with high moisture and humidity, promoting mold growth and circulation of spores in the home.
Indoor Allergy Relief is Possible. Even for severe allergy sufferers, finding relief from indoor allergens is possible. Scheduling an appointment with a physician to diagnose allergy symptoms and determining proper allergy treatment is only the first step. Homeowners need to take proactive steps to reduce home dust allergies and improve indoor air quality.
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