Allergies occur when your immune system reacts inappropriately to substances that are not harmful to your body under normal circumstances. Your immune system recognizes the trigger or the allergen and releases a chemical known as histamine. Histamine can lead to a variety of symptoms such as:
– Stuffy, irritable nose and throat
– Mucus production
– Itchy, watery red eyes.
Approximately one in five people in United States suffer from these symptoms, although the severity may vary from one person to another. Recent years have seen a significant rise in the incidence of allergic reactions. They are two to five times more prevalent today than they were about 30 years ago. Contrary to popular myths, most experts believe that indoor air is more polluted when compared to outdoor air. Millions of people across the country suffer from allergic reactions due to the air they breathe in their home, and they do not even realize it.
The most common allergy triggers in your home include dust, dust mites, mold, pet dander, cockroaches and other pests. While it may be impossible to have 100 percent pure air inside your home, you can take several steps to avoid allergies at home.
Dust to Control Mites
Dust mites are tiny bugs related to the spiders. You may not be able to see them without the microscope but they are commonly found in house dust. They thrive in warm and humid environments. The bedding, upholstery and carpet in your house offer ideal breading ground. You can control the number of dust mites in your home by dusting various surfaces in the house at regular intervals. Use damp cloth or mop to remove the dust. You should also lower humidity levels in the house to control the growth of mites.
Vacuum carpets and upholstery to remove the dust and the dust mites. Most experts recommend using vacuum cleaner with high efficiency particulate air, or HEPA, filters for effective cleaning. If you have severe allergies, you can designate someone else to vacuum the room. Wait for 20 minutes after the cleaning session for the remaining dust to settle down before entering the room again.
Reduce Pet Dander
There are more than 100 million pets in the United States. About 15 to 30 percent of individuals with allergies are sensitive to the otherwise harmless proteins in pet dander, and experience serious symptoms when exposed to them. You can lower the pet dander in your home by replacing traditional carpets with rugs that can be washed in hot water. You may also choose a low pile carpet and steam clean it at regular intervals. Clean the pet once every week to lower the concentration of allergens on its surface. You may also install HEPA filters to the central heating and cooling systems to prevent the spread of allergens.
Shut Out Pollen
Close the doors and windows of your house at all times to prevent pollen from entering the house. Plant pollen is one of the most common causes of allergies in the United States. It is highly prevalent during spring and fall.
Avoid Mold Spores
Molds are a type of fungi that grow extensively in the warm and moist areas of your home such as the bathroom and the kitchen. The fungus replicates under ideal environmental conditions to produce spores which can enter your respiratory tract and cause allergic reactions. You can prevent mold by controlling the humidity in your house. You can also seek the services of a professional mold removal company to lower your exposure to spores at home.