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How to Minimize Indoor Allergies

Spring allergies may be just around the corner, but indoor allergies are an annoyance that lasts year-round. Common indoor allergies include dust mites, cockroaches, mold, and pet dander. While you cannot control pollen counts outside, there are things you can do in your house to minimize indoor allergies.

Limit fabrics in the home:

Dust mites tend to gather and breed in fabrics. Fabrics can also trap pet dander, especially carpet. If you suffer from indoor allergies, you should remove or limit the amount of carpet, drapes, pillows, comforters, stuffed animals, and fabric furniture. The less fabric you have, the fewer places the allergens have to hide. Try to keep pets out of the bedroom and rooms with carpets to prevent pet dander build-up in the fabrics. If your pet has bedding or fabric toys, be sure to clean them often as they will gather a significant amount of dander. 

Comforters and pillow covers should be washed weekly with hot water to remove any allergens that may have accumulated over the week. If possible, it is best to keep the bed and other fabrics in direct sunlight for those with a dust mite allergy. Keeping the bed by a window will prevent the spread of dust mites because sunlight kills them. If a room is carpeted or has a lot of fabric furniture try to leave the blinds open when the sun can shine through. Sunlight is not a replacement for cleaning the fabrics. While it does kill the dust mites, it does not remove the actual bodies of the dust mites and the allergic reaction will continue to occur until they are removed.

Vacuum once a week: 

Keeping the floors clean is a great way to prevent the build-up of allergens like cockroaches, pet dander, and dust. To prevent breathing in allergies as you vacuum, you can wear a mask. After vacuuming, dust furniture and decorations with a damp cloth to pick up all of the allergens. While vacuuming is effective in removing most of the allergens, it can kick the rest of them up into the air. It is best not to go into a room an hour or two after cleaning it to let the air settle. 

Reduce moisture:

If you have a mold or dust allergy, limiting the amount of moisture in the house can reduce the allergens. Long hot showers can lead to excess moisture in the bathroom and can lead to mold. When taking a shower, make sure to turn on the exhaust fan. Try limiting the length and heat of the shower to keep the bathroom dry. Reduce the number of plants in the home if you have a mold allergy as the wet soil can lead to mold.

Dust mites thrive in hot and wet environments. If you have a dust mite allergy, try to limit the amount of moisture in the bedroom. Wet towels from showers should not be left to dry in the bedroom because it can increase moisture and encourages breeding for dust mites. Dehumidifiers can be used to reduce moisture in the room and could be useful for those with severe dust and mold allergies.

While all of these tips can help improve allergy symptoms, visiting a doctor can provide you permanent allergy relief. At the Ear & Sinus Institute, we offer allergy shots and sublingual immunotherapy to get rid of your indoor allergies for good. Schedule an appointment today!

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