10 Tips to Eliminate Common Indoor Allergy Triggers By Dr. Jim Fredericks
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Cleaning and Prevention Tips for an Allergy-Free Home
The arrival of
spring also means the start of sneezing, wheezing and itchy eyes
for the more than 50 million people who suffer from allergies,
according to the Asthma and Allergy
Foundation of America (AAFA). Outdoor allergens like pollen and
mold are much to blame during the warmer months, but indoor
allergens can also cause symptoms to flare.
Dust mites, dander and even cockroaches can cause problems
for allergy sufferers when indoors. In fact, about 20 million
Americans have a dust mite allergy and 63 percent of American homes
allergens from cockroaches, which are most commonly introduced
through cockroach saliva, droppings and decomposing bodies.
So, how can you allergy-proof your home to make it a haven, and
not a source of stuffiness and sneezing, during the spring
In addition to visiting the allergist and taking proper
medications, it’s equally as important to eliminate potential
allergy triggers in the home, which – in the case of cockroaches –
are often found scurrying from room to room. Simple household
chores like cleaning and vacuuming can help you find relief.
Consider these 10 tips to allergy-proof your home:
- Patch it up:
Exclude pests by sealing cracks and gaps in walls and floors using
a silicone-based caulk. Pay special attention to where utility
- Manage moisture: Maintain
the humidity level in the house at about 50 percent by properly
ventilating basements and crawl spaces. Consider running a
dehumidifier in these areas to prevent moisture buildup.
- Bring out the
vacuum: Vacuum at least once a week using a vacuum with a
HEPA (high-efficiency particulate) filter.
- Banish dust: Dust hard
surfaces frequently using a dust rag or damp cloth. Limit the
amount of fabric items in each room since they attract airborne
allergens like dust mites and pet dander.
- Clean filters: Clean or
replace the filters in your furnace and air conditioner each
- Keep the kitchen
clean: Wipe surfaces daily, including counters, stovetops
and sinks. Don’t leave dishes to pile up in the sink and make sure
to clean crumbs and spills right away.
- Properly package
food: Store food in airtight containers and avoid leaving
pet food out for long periods of time.
- Take out the trash:
Dispose of garbage regularly in a sealed trash bin.
- Protect your
pillows: Encase pillows and mattresses in allergen-proof
covers to control dust mites. Avoid down pillows or
- Launder the linens:
Wash blankets, throw rugs and bedding in hot water, preferably at
130 degrees F, or take them to be dry-cleaned.
Each year, the AAFA designates May as “
Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month” because it’s one of the
toughest months for allergy sufferers. However, it’s also the
perfect time to ensure the home is free of allergens, and the air
you are breathing in is fresh and clean. To learn more about common
household pests that can cause allergies, watch our new ‘First Responder’