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Allergy Control: Reducing Airborne Allergens in Your Home

Those who are plagued by allergies are always struggling to diminish those irritants that cause watery eyes, runny noses and rashes that sometimes translate into full-blown hives. These and other symptoms can be brought about by a number of contaminants that infiltrate the very air that people breathe within their own homes. If you're among those who are constantly being attacked by airborne allergens, there are some positive steps that you can take in order to reduce or eliminate the elements that are the catalysts to allergy attacks.

Dust mites are the cause of many allergic reactions, and must be eliminated from their most common breeding areas in order to find relief. Since they tend to live in warm and humid places, items such as beds, carpets and upholstered furniture are prime breeding grounds for those miniscule insects. Living on the skin cells that people and their pets shed, they deposit their waste in all of the areas that they gather, wreaking havoc with allergies.

In order to control dust mites and eliminate the allergies that they trigger, wash bedclothes each week and dry on high heat; use anti-allergen casings for mattresses and bedclothes; clean furniture and carpets with a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner; dehumidify the air; filter the air with a HEPA air purifier; perform regular housecleaning at least once a week, using equipment that traps dust; and keep only hypo-allergenic toys in the house that can be washed in hot water, rather than the more commonly used stuffed animals.

With over 35 million people who suffer from pollen-induced allergies, it's critical that steps are taken to remove the allergens that can trigger adverse reactions, such as sneezing, wheezing, rashes and watery eyes or nose. Large quantities of pollen can enter your home by traveling in through open doors or windows, on clothing and hair ? and on the family pet.

As much as we seem to love dry, breezy days, those are the weather conditions that are just right for pollen to circulate. Avoid being outdoors when possible or, at least, be sure to exercise indoors, if you would normally do so outside. When driving, be sure to keep the windows raised and employ the air conditioning. In addition, you should also keep your windows at home closed and use air conditioning or window screens with filters; remember to remove shoes before entering the house; wash your hair each night; avoid hanging laundry outdoors; engage someone else to mow the lawn; and use HEPA filters on heating and air conditioning units.

Those who own pets often have allergic reactions to their dander and need to take precautions in order to eliminate airborne allergens. Keep the pet outdoors as often as is reasonable and wipe down the surfaces of the home's interior; vacuum frequently using a HEPA vacuum; wash your pet weekly with dander-reducing shampoo and use anti-dander spray; wash your hands after handling your pet; wear a dust mask while cleaning; and use vent filters on air conditioners and heaters.

While it may seem like a great deal of work in order to eliminate these airborne allergens from your home, the amount of work will be significantly reduced if you perform these cleaning rituals regularly.

 

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