As allergy season rolls around and pollen is in the air, allergy sufferers everywhere are looking for relief. What people often forget is that allergy season is not just about triggers outside of the home. Lurking in the homes of even the cleanest people there are plenty of allergy triggers waiting to torment people just as much. While medication is always an option, there are some steps that can be taken to help control those triggers – in some cases enough to actually avoid them triggering an allergic reaction.
The first step to naturally combating allergens in the home is knowing what you are allergic to. Some people know their allergies already, but what about people that are dealing with their first bout against allergies, or someone that suddenly seems to have a new trigger? The easiest and best solution is to make an appointment with an allergist who can pinpoint exactly what substances you are reacting to. It costs a bit of money, but your comfort and health are worth it. Knowing what you are allergic to almost means you know exactly what you need to do in your home to neutralize the triggers.
The most common in home allergens are dust mites, pet dander, cockroaches, and mold. Keep in mind if you have plants they can also be a trigger. Check through the common triggers and cross off any possibilities that do not apply to you – for instance if you do not have pets, then pet dander is highly unlikely to be a problem. Likewise don’t underestimate the ability of a cockroach to hide – just because you cannot see them does not mean they are not present.
To reduce allergens lurking in your home naturally there are several steps you can take:
* Vacuum at least once a week – twice is preferable – using a HEPA filter to make sure allergens do not re-enter your home through the exhaust vent.
* Clean and then stow things like stuffed animals during peak allergy season.
* Use natural cleaning products around your home to help combat allergen buildup on surfaces.
* Wash linens in hot water at least once per week.
* Control mold by cleaning showers, sinks, and toilets at least every other week.
* Close windows when the pollen count outside is high to reduce the amount that enters your home.
There are some steps that can help reduce indoor allergens that only apply to some people.
* If you have a pet you can opt to keep them outside or employ a more regular bathing schedule that includes applying dander reduction products. You can also limit the areas of the house they have access to, and make sure that their bedding is washed as often as you wash your own.
* If you have a wood burning stove that is in use make sure it is airtight so that smoke is not released into the air which can contribute allergens.
Keep in mind that although allergies are mostly associated with the spring and summer, indoor allergens are present year round. In some cases they can be at their worst in the winter when homes have windows that are closed and sealed to prevent drafts. Your best course of action to combat indoor allergens is to find out exactly what you are allergic to, and then maintain a regular cleaning schedule using natural products to keep buildup to minimum.