Let’s face it, Louisville is notorious for people walking around with sniffles and watery eyes. As a matter of fact, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Louisville, Kentucky was third on the top 5 spring allergy capitals list for 2012. To make matters even worse for the typical allergy sufferer, our winter was extremely mild, therefore, flowers bloomed early causing discomfort earlier in the typical allergy season.
If you are one of the millions of people who suffer from allergies, the key to relief is to control allergy triggers – allergens. Since people spend 90% of their time indoors, the quality of the indoor environment should be a major concern for everyone.
Breathing challenges can be aggravated by polluted indoor air. There’s a lot you can do to make your home more comfortable.
Avoid Dust, Dander, and Pollen
Dust mites, pet – and human – dander (skin cells) and pollen, are common culprits that trigger allergy and asthma symptoms. The key is to have as few places as possible for particles to collect on, and to keep these places clean.
• Don’t use fans, which stir up dust.
• Have your HVAC unit cleaned and change your filter monthly to reduce dust.
• Use small rugs that can be cleaned easily.
• If replacing carpet isn’t feasible, vacuum it at least weekly. Use a vacuum with double bags or a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate) filter.
• Replace carpet with hardwood or tile flooring.
• Keep windows closed and use air conditioning.
• Cover mattresses, box springs, and pillows with
plastic cases or special allergen-proof covers.
Avoid down pillows or comforters.
• Use wood, plastic, leather, or vinyl furniture that can be wiped clean.
• Replace dust-collecting blinds and long drapes with window shades or washable curtains.
• Wear a mask and gloves when cleaning.
Household molds can trigger allergy symptoms, so avoiding mold can help you avoid asthma, congestion, and other allergy-related symptoms. And the best way to avoid mold is to avoid moisture.
• Keep the house dry.
• Don’t leave wet clothes in the washing machine where mold can quickly grow.
• Wash shower curtains and bathroom tiles with mold-killing products.
• Don’t have too many indoor plants — especially in the bedroom; mold can grow in plant soil.
• Fix any leaks or seepage in the house.
• Use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom.
To combat the problem even more, use a dehumidifier which will absorb moisture and prevent mold growth, or install a whole-house air cleaner which captures and eliminates dust, pollen, pet dander, and many more allergens. Also, consider installing products that release purifying agents to destroy allergy causing mold, dangerous bacteria, viruses, chemicals, contaminants, and pollutants in the air 24 hours a day. A UV Treatment System provides a line of defense against spreading airborne bacteria.
Following all of this advice is not going to cure your allergy problems, however it will make you and your family more comfortable during the sneezing and sniffling season.