With the onset of spring, allergens seem to be floating everywhere and attacking innocent people who were—until all of the sneezing and sniffling—happy to see the season change. It is the time of the year that many people find that they have allergic reactions to particular things, and for others, it is that unavoidable time to stock up on tissues and medications that might alleviate the pain and discomfort.
But there are things one can do to minimize allergic reactions and the presence of allergens in many parts of one’s life. If the body’s immune system refuses to cooperate and fend off the allergy-causing substances, it is up to the person to change parts of their environment. Though it is humanly impossible to form a cocoon and hide there until summer, Prevention Magazine has some more realistic suggestions.
- Keep your home clean/Minimize clutter
- Use hot cycle for laundry
- Rid your bed of dust mite allergens
- Use air conditioning in the car
- Buy a dehumidifier
- Buy throw rugs
- Avoid cigarette smoke
- Install a home air filter
- Isolate your pets
- Make one room an allergy-free sanctuary
The first thing to do is engage in some spring cleaning. Wearing a mask while doing it may keep from being bombarded with dust during the process, but the cleaning is necessary. The artificial heat of winter and lack of fresh air often allows much dust to build in closets and in corners, and ridding the home of it all is the best way to start. However, it is necessary for allergy sufferers to continue to keep the home clean. Once the major scouring process is complete, a weekly surface-clean will keep the home a safe place for overly sensitive senses.
Spring cleaning might be the time to change things about one’s bed to make it an allergy-free zone as well. Special allergen-proof pillows are available at most home stores. And for those who have severe allergic reactions, there are mattresses and box springs that have tight fabric weaves to keep dust mites out.
Another change to the home is to add throw rugs. Even in a carpeted room, buying throw rugs can not only enhance the look of the room but allow the carpet to stay allergen free. And rugs can be easily cleaned in hot temperatures on a regular basis to kill dust mites.
Speaking of laundry, linens, towels, and the like should be washed in water that is at least 130 degrees, something that can be tested with a meat thermometer. If the home washer doesn’t reach a high enough temperature, a laundromat can wash to your specification.
Surrounding oneself with clean air is not always possible, but there are some things to do to make surroundings more allergy-free. In the car, use air conditioning rather than letting the wind blow allergens into the vehicle. Stay away from smoking and smokers, and if one must smoke, doing it outside to keep the home and vehicles free of smoke will help immensely. And in the house, a dehumidifier can stop many dust mite problems, as they don’t thrive in humidity below 45 percent. But if that doesn’t work, installing an air filter or air purifier can alleviate some of the problems.
A less ideal solution is to isolate pets in exchange for not getting rid of them altogether, but that is not realistic for most people who love their animals. There can be “safe” rooms, like the bedroom, however, where the pets are prohibited, which will allow some literal breathing room for those with allergies.
All in all, there are ways to ease the pain of allergy season. Though it may require more work than getting a prescription, it may be worth the better overall health of living in a cleaner environment and protecting oneself from mites and germs.
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