Tips for Allergy-Proofing Your Home This Spring

Tips for Allergy-Proofing Your Home This Spring

Spring is the season of renewal and rebirth. But if you’re among the 50 million Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies, it’s a time of itchy, watery eyes, a scratchy throat, and non-stop runny nose.

Allergies occur year-round. In spring, though, blooming trees and flowers create an abundance of common triggers, including pollen, grass, mold, and ragweed. 

Dr. Mark Rosenberg and Dr. Arthur Lieberman of Macomb Medical Clinic in Macomb, Michigan, 

offer the following pro tips for minimizing these pesky allergens from invading 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 and 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 to 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 bathing or showering to remove some moisture. You can also towel dry the tub and shower afterward 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 difficulty managing your allergies, we can help. Call Macomb Medical Clinic to schedule an appointment or request an appointment online today.

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