Tips for Allergy-Proofing Your Home

Tips for Allergy-Proofing Your Home

Your home is your castle — a place where you can relax and feel at ease. However, you may find it impossible to unwind when you get home if you’re constantly coughing, sneezing, and rubbing your eyes.

Allergies are a common problem and have many triggers like dust, pollen, and mold in your home.

At Gulf West Medical Associates in Port Richey, Florida, our head clinician, Dr. Rajesh Dave, understands how allergies disrupt life. Dr. Dave is a preventive health care specialist and wants to give you some of his best tips for allergy-proofing your home. 

Identify the source of your symptoms

Allergies are an overreaction of your immune system to a substance it considers harmful. When you breathe in, touch, or eat this substance, your immune system sends out chemicals that trigger the allergic reaction — stuffy nose, itchy eyes, skin rash, or an upset stomach.

We recommend allergy testing to find the source of your symptoms. Dust, pet dander, pollen, and mold are common allergens found in homes. Knowing what’s causing you to feel miserable at home directs your allergy-proofing efforts.

Improve ventilation

Many of the allergens in the home are airborne, which means they float around in the air, and you breathe them in. Improving ventilation may help reduce these airborne allergens.

Filters found in furnaces and air conditioners are a common source of allergens. These filters capture large particles, like dust, that can collect on the motor and fans if not regularly cleaned and replaced. Cleaning or replacing your filters, along with any dust accumulation, may help improve air quality. 

Though helpful for dust allergies, standard filters may not keep out smaller allergen particles like mold or pollen. The American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAI) suggests trying a single-room air cleaner with a high-efficiency particulate (HEPA) filter to remove the allergens from the air you breathe.

If you have a central air or ventilation system, you need a filter that works for the whole house. AAAI recommends using a disposable filter with a MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) rating between 11 and 13 that you replace every three months.

Allergy-proof your bed

Dust mites live in mattresses and pillows. Use a dust mite mattress and pillow cover to protect your bed from these allergens.

When washing your bedding, use hot water because it’s the only way you can kill the dust mites. Wash your sheets and pillowcases weekly and comforter monthly to keep in-home dust allergies under control.

Keep your bathroom mold-free

Mold thrives in warm, moist environments such as your bathroom. Use an exhaust fan when taking a bath or shower to remove some of the moisture. You can also towel dry the tub and shower after your bath to control moisture and mold growth.

Wash your bathroom rug weekly in hot water and clean or replace shower curtains or bath mats when you see or smell mold.

You can also invest in a dehumidifier to reduce mold in the bathroom or any other moist area in your house like the kitchen or basement.

Dust and vacuum routinely

Dusting and vacuuming regularly using a central vacuum or a vacuum with a HEPA filter can help control allergens in your home environment. If you’re the one with the allergy, wear an N95 mask when cleaning, and don’t clean your bedroom too close to bedtime. The dust settles roughly two hours after cleaning.

Don’t let your allergens take over your sanctuary. If you’re having a hard time managing your allergies, we can help. Be sure to call our office, or request your appointment online today. 

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