Approximately 20 percent of Canadians suffer from allergies and actively avoid things such as pollen, dust, mold and exposure to pets that tend to bring on episodes of sneezing, sinus congestion and itchy, watery eyes. While completely avoiding allergens is often impossible, SheKnows Canada feels that allergy sufferers should at least be able to breathe easy in their own homes. Here are some tips to take control!
Try to eliminate or limit the presence of allergy aggravators, which may make sufferers feel worse. Perfumes, aerosol sprays, fumes, humidity, tobacco smoke and wood smoke fall into this category.
Leave pollen outdoors
Ridding skin and hair of pollen and other allergens by showering before bed is essential. Keep the house pollen-free by closing doors and windows as well as using air conditioning.
Mold not welcome
Make your home a less-than-ideal environment for mold by cleaning shower curtains, bathroom walls and windows frequently. Be sure to vent the bathroom using an exhaust fan after each shower. Toss houseplants, dehumidify basement areas and use mold-proof paint. Eliminate any existing mold with a bleach-based cleaner.
Pet dander downer
Unfortunately, allergy sufferers may get into quite a dilemma where pets are concerned. Pets may have to leave the home or be kept outside. Some dogs, such as labradoodles, are more easily tolerated by those with allergies; however, keep in mind that even these breeds bring dander and pollens into the house from outside. If you wish to keep a pet, be sure to wash it frequently and keep it out of the bedroom.
Do away with dust
Easier said than done… But dust mites lurk in carpets, bedding, drapes and feather pillows. They also thrive in damp environments, so keep humidity low. Here are some tricks to deal with domestic dust:
- Replace soft furnishings with vinyl or leather, which can be cleaned more easily.
- Choose hardwood floors or linoleum rather than carpet.
- Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum! Invest in a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.
- Install an air cleaner and change filters regularly. This goes for air conditioners, too!
- Ditch drapes, feather pillows, stuffed animals and comforters that can’t be thrown in the wash.
- Wash bedding in hot water at least every two weeks.
- Cover mattress, box spring and pillows with allergen-impermeable zipped coverings or plastic.
While completely eliminating allergy triggers is impossible, using the above tips will reduce allergens in the home environment significantly.