Allergies affect more than 50 million Americans each year, which includes people suffering from allergic rhinitis (hay fever), food allergies and eczema. If you are one of the people who suffers from allergic rhinitis, there are a few things you can do to make your home more comfortable and to reduce allergens in your home. Here are some of the ways you can make your home a sneeze-free zone.
Consult With Your ENT
Before you make any changes to your home, talk to your ENT about your symptoms. Your ENT may recommend allergy testing to help you determine the cause of your allergy symptoms. Based on the results of the testing, he or she may be able to make suggestions about changes you can make in your daily routine and in your home. For example, if you are allergic to pets, your ENT might recommend that you have regular allergy shots to help manage your symptoms without having to give up your pet.
Replace Carpets With Hard Flooring
Carpets can trap dust, dust mites, fur, pollen and dander. If your home has carpeting, consider replacing it with hard flooring surfaces, such as tile or wood, that can be cleaned more thoroughly. You can replace just the carpet in the bedrooms if you are on a tight budget, as this will at least help you to sleep better. Add a few machine-washable area rugs to your floor to add a soft place to rest your feet, as these can be cleaned easily.
Keep Windows Closed
While having a burst of fresh air in your home can help it to feel less stuffy, this may be a bad idea during allergy season. Keep windows and doors closed to prevent outdoor allergens from making their way into your home. If you will be running the air conditioner instead of opening the windows, be sure that the filters have been replaced for your HVAC system. Failing to replace the filters can lead to allergens being circulated throughout the home.
Wear Protective Gear When Cleaning
Whether you are dusting, vacuuming or scrubbing floors, you may be exposing yourself to allergens. Take the proper precautions to prevent allergy attacks when you clean by wearing protective gear. Face masks that cover your mouth and nose will prevent you from breathing in airborne allergens, and wearing long rubber gloves can help to prevent hives and other allergic skin breakouts. You may also want to wear protective goggles to keep dust out of your eyes. This will also prevent you from rubbing your eyes as you clean, which can spread allergens to your eyes, nose and mouth.
Your ENT (such as one from Mid America Ear, Nose, & Throat Clinic PC) can give you other suggestions for managing your allergies at home. When allergy symptoms strike and pollen and mold levels are high, you'll want to stay indoors as much as possible. Use these tips to make your home an allergy-free zone.