Scott & White Allergist Offers Helpful Tips On How To Allergy-Proof Your Home
Sniffling, sneezing, and a running nose are not exactly fun outdoor companions. For more than half of the U.S. population, who suffer from allergy symptoms, life outdoors can be brutal.
So, how do most of these sneezing, dripping Americans cope? They go inside. The problem is that the allergens often follow us inside or are there waiting for us.
In a recent survey, over 50 percent of homes were found to have at least six detectable allergens present. The solution: allergy-proofing your home.
Division director of asthma and immunology, Scott & White – Round Rock, Thomas Leath, MD, offers some helpful tips on keeping allergens out and reducing the ones that are in.
Keep Everything Closed
“To keep outdoor allergens out, I recommend keeping your doors and windows closed, even on those tempting beautiful spring or fall days,” Dr. Leath said.
Keeping car windows rolled up can also help.
“I typically recommend allergy-proof encasements for pillows,” Dr. Leath said. “It is also helpful to wash bedding in hot water weekly and place in a hot dryer.”
Wall-to-wall carpeting should be removed if possible and be vacuumed with a vacuum that has a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate) filter or double-layered bag.
Dr. Leath also recommends removing other dust “reservoirs” like stuffed animals, curtains and throw pillows.
Keep Humidity Low
“Temperature per se doesn’t make a difference, but since warmer temperatures promote humidity, lower room temperatures could help,” he said.
Dust mites and mold thrive in relative humidity above 55 percent. So, reducing dampness can help to decrease their growth.
Remove mold on hard surfaces with a mixture of water, detergent and five percent bleach. And repair leaking roofs or pipes.3
Keep Fido Clean And Out Of The Bedroom
“For pet allergies, the ideal situation is a pet-free home, but that’s not realistic for every family,” Dr. Leath said. “So, keeping the pet out of the bedroom and placing a HEPA filter in the bedroom are the next best steps.”
Bathing pets twice per week has also been proven to reduce the number of indoor pet allergen levels, he said.
And because allergy symptoms related to pets are caused by an allergen in the dander of the animal, vacuuming carpets or replacing carpet with hardwood floors or tile can also help to reduce exposure and irritation.3
Use A Sinus Rinse
“Basically, your nose is a fancy filter for what you’re breathing into your lungs,” Dr. Leath said. “If you’re allergic to what it’s filtering out of the air, then it’s going to sit there and be a problem.”
So, you can rinse out your nose with a saltwater nasal rinse during those peak allergy seasons or whenever you think you need it.
And if you have done what you can to allergy-proof your home and are still suffering from allergy symptoms, you may need to make an appointment with an allergist.
Scott & White allergists are board-certified and don’t require a referral*.
*Some insurance companies may require a referral, even if Scott & White allergists do not.
For more tips on allergy-proofing your home, visit the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology’s website.
If you think you’re suffering from allergies, find an allergy and immunology physician at Baylor Scott & White Health to speak with today.