Dealing With Common Indoor Allergens
People living with allergies know that being indoors can be a safer place to limit your exposure to allergens, but there are no guarantees. Certainly, the occasional gust of wind can bring pollen through an open door, as well as pesky allergens that others in the home may bring in without realizing it. Within your home, many potential environmental issues thrive, triggering your allergies just as severely as a field of dandelions. Below, we’ve identified some of the common sources of indoor allergens, and simple solutions to reduce their invasion.
- When it comes to your allergies, some breeds of dogs and cats are worse than others. A primary offender is the dander that’s shed from those pets. You should see an allergy specialist if you suffer from allergies and haven’t considered that your pet may be the number one cause of your allergy symptoms. Simple testing at the doctor’s office can identify those issues. Aside from their own biological allergens, pets that go outdoors also have a tendency to get pollen and other aggravating allergens caught in their fur, which they then shake and shed all over your home. Regular grooming can help to cut down on this problem.
- Dust mites. Breathing in dust mites can cause serious respiratory issues, let alone the havoc they can wreak on your allergies. It is certainly easy to gloss over the impact these mites can have on your indoor environment, considering the mites themselves are miniscule. We know that mites mostly 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 closely controlling the humidity in your home, using allergen proofed bedding, and washing that bedding weekly.
- We don’t usually think of pollen as an indoor issue, but it usually is the most common trigger, even inside your house! Pollen travels on pets, as mentioned above, but it can also be carried on your hair and clothing while you’re outside. Even if you travel almost entirely between your home, your car, and your office without taking brisk walks through the flowers, you can be covered in a layer of pollen without realizing it. In addition to using HEPA air filters in your heating/cooling system, you should also wash your hair and clothing more often, as well as change clothes when you come home. Leaving windows open to create a “nice breeze” can bring millions of allergy spores in through the screens also!
- A very serious threat to your health is also mold and related allergens, even to those who aren’t usually allergy sufferers. This is why good habits concerning mold are important for everyone. It is well documented that the most common areas for mold growth are areas that are dark, where moisture is present, and where there isn’t a lot of air movement. This typically means your basement or any crawlspaces in the home, and even the back corners of closets and cupboards are vulnerable. You can visually examine any areas that may seem to have an abundance of humidity or moisture, or you can hire a trusted contractor to perform a more thorough inspection, complete with air sample analysis.
The above list focuses on several of the most common issues regarding mold and allergens, but you should investigate very thoroughly if you are susceptible to allergies from any source!
Author: Dick Wagner