Indoor Allergens – A Potential Nightmare!

child blowing her noseThe indoors can be a safe place for those who struggle with allergies, but there are no assurances. Along with the chance gust of wind bringing pollen through an open door, and the allergens others in the home may bring in without realizing it, there are plenty of environmental issues within your private domain to trigger your allergy flare-up – just as badly as a field of wild flowers.

Here are a few usual sources of indoor allergies, along with suggestions on how to reduce their infiltration:

  • Pets – Different breeds of dogs and cats affect allergies in different ways. Some indoor animals can be worse than others and dander that’s shed from those pets is a big offender. If you haven’t considered that your pet may be the cause of your allergic reaction, it might be time to see an allergy specialist. They will give you a skin test to confirm whether you’re susceptible to irritation from the protein present in pet saliva. Plus, pets that go outdoors also have a tendency to get pollen and other allergens trapped in their fur, in addition to their own biological allergens. When they come inside, they often shake and shed, so grooming and regular haircuts can cut down on this problem.
  • Pollen – Usually the most customary trigger, even inside the home. Pollen can travel inside on pets, as mentioned above, but it can also be carried on your own hair and clothing while you’re outside. Even if you travel mostly between your home, your car, and your office, you can be covered in a fine sheet of pollen without realizing it. (Ever notice the layer of pollen often seen on the surface of cars?) HEPA air filters in your HVAC system, as well as keeping your house windows closed can help. Also, you should consider washing your hair and clothes more often, and change clothes when you come home.
  • Dust mites – Considering that mites themselves are microscopic, it is easy to ignore the influence dust mites can have on your indoor environment, but the havoc they can wreak on your allergies is significant, and breathing in these mites can cause serious respiratory issues. Since mites primarily feed on our shed skin flakes, and because they are microscopic, you will never be fully rid of them. You can however, prevent large scale infestation by controlling humidity in your home, using allergen proofed bedding, and washing that bedding at least once a week.
  • Mold – Mold is an entirely different issue that should be taken very seriously! We know that mold growth and allergens can be a life-threatening concern, even to those who aren’t normally allergy sufferers, which is why appropriate habits regarding mold are good for all. The most common areas for mold’s growth are those that are dark, where moisture is present, and where there isn’t a lot of movement, often that means your basement, crawlspaces, and even backs of closets in the home. You can visually check for areas that may seem to have an abundance of humidity or moisture, or you can hire a contractor to perform a more thorough inspection, complete with air sample analysis.

You should investigate these potential allergen issues very thoroughly if you are susceptible to allergies from any source. The above list is just a few of the more usual types of allergens for you to consider.

Author: Dick Wagner