Could Your Home Be Causing Your Allergies?
You might think you are safe from allergies in your home, but actually, it could be just that that’s causing you to sneeze and cough all year round. The most common symptoms people complain of in allergies are a runny nose, sneezing and itchy eyes but also a wider range of symptoms such as wheezing, disturbed sleep and poor concentration. If this sounds like you then you could be suffering from an indoor allergy or what is also known as “home fever”.
Home Fever is mainly caused by house dust mites which are microscopic creatures that survive well in warm damp conditions such as the average home. Beds are one of the main culprits in the home as they provide an ideal environment for dust mites as they can feed on the skin cells we shed, obtain warmth from our bodies and gather water from our sweat and exhaled breath.
House dust mites are commonly found in carpets, upholstered furniture, fabrics and furry toys, and while they are entirely harmless to most people, in some they can trigger an allergic reaction in others. It’s the mite droppings which usually cause this, and these can collect in pillows, mattresses, duvets, upholstery and carpets.
If you have a bigger problem than this, then it’s worth looking into pest control to see if there is anything more serious causing your allergies such as roaches, termites, or ants. Otherwise, there are simple things you can do at home to help rid the dust mites and to ease your allergies.
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There are products that you can buy products that have been tested to ensure they prevent the escape of the house dust mite allergen. Have a look for those and give it a try. You can also try using allergen-proof barrier covers on all of your mattresses, duvets and pillows.
Clean, Clean and Clean
Make sure that you dust regularly but always use a damp duster first; then a dry cloth to make sure you’re not just moving the dust around. Wash all of your bedding that is not encased in a barrier cover, such as sheets and blankets, every week and make sure you wash them at 60 degrees or above to help eliminate house dust mites.
If you can, also, remove all carpeting in the bedroom and vacuum all the surfaces of upholstered furniture at least twice a week. Then use a high-temperature steam cleaner on the carpets.
If you have washable stuffed toys, then wash them frequently and at the same temperature as your bedding. If the toy can’t be washed at 60 degrees, then you can place it in a plastic bag in the freezer for at least 12 hours once a month and then wash at the recommended temperature.
Choose Home Furnishings Wisely
It’s an excellent idea to change your mattress every 8-10 years and replace your pillows every year. You should also use light, washable cotton curtains, and wash them frequently.
If you need to, use a dehumidifier to keep indoor humidity between 30 and 50%, plus an air purifier to trap large airborne allergens such as pollen, house dust mite debris and mould spores.
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