Spring has finally arrived and so have those pesky seasonal allergies. Embrace the new season instead of dreading it by allergy-proofing your home. You’ll spend more time enjoying the sunshine and less time sneezing.
Spending more time indoors can help you manage your allergies, but your home can also be a host to allergens. Dust mites and pollen can easily be trapped in home textiles such as bedding and curtains, and furniture including mattresses and sofas.
- Use dust mite covers on pillows and mattresses and make sure to wash your pillowcases, bed sheets and even blankets at least once a week. Also replace wool or feathered bedding with synthetic materials such as opting for a down alternative rather than a down comforter.
- Upholstered sofas and chairs attract allergens, but are difficult to clean. Opt for furniture made of leather, wood or plastic that can be easily cleaned.
- Window Furnishings. When your windows are open, pollen gets caught in curtain fibers and remains in your home. Just like your bedding, be sure to wash your curtains on a regular basis. Cotton and synthetic curtains can be machine washable, or you can replace them with blinds or shades that you can easily wipe clean with a cloth.
- Carpeting is the worst type of flooring for allergy sufferers because dust mites, dirt, pollen, pet dander and other allergens get trapped between the fibers. Replace carpeted floors with linoleum, hardwood or tile flooring. If that isn’t possible, make sure all rugs are washable and that you’re shampooing your carpet frequently.
Simple changes to your bedding and furniture can help relieve allergy symptoms, but you can also take steps to keep indoor air as clean as possible.
- Air Conditioning. Keep windows closed during allergy season and use air conditioning in your home and when you’re in the car.
- Allergens thrive in overly humid environments, but you can keep indoor air dry by using a dehumidifier.
- Air Filters. Whether it’s your air conditioning or furnace, use hypoallergenic high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters throughout your home. You can also use a HEPA filter on your vacuum cleaner. Make sure you follow regular maintenance schedules to keep them clean and working properly.
Unfortunately, pets can also be a major contributor to allergies because their fur contains dander that triggers reactions. When weather permits, consider keeping pets outside, or invest in a vacuum cleaner specifically designed to remove allergens.
While it’s impossible to eliminate allergens completely, making changes in your home can significantly help relieve your allergy symptoms. If you need to take extra steps, consult with your Meijer pharmacist about other options such as over-the-counter antihistamines, nasal sprays, decongestants, and more.