Spring Clean­ing Can Help Al­le­vi­ate Al­ler­gies

Escalon Times - - MANTECA CENTENNIAL -

Al­ler­gies af­fect peo­ple of all ages. The Amer­i­can Academy of Al­lergy, Asthma & Im­munol­ogy re­ports that al­ler­gic rhini­tis af­fects be­tween 10 and 30 per­cent of the world’s pop­u­la­tion. In ad­di­tion, the preva­lence of al­ler­gic dis­eases has risen in in­dus­tri­al­ized na­tions for more than 50 years.

Sea­sonal al­ler­gies tend to be the strong­est in spring and au­tumn. Al­ler­gies can be ex­ac­er­bated by many fac­tors, in­clud­ing in homes where im­prove­ments are be­ing made. Reg­u­lar house­clean­ing can re­move many com­mon al­lergy trig­gers and help al­le­vi­ate symp­toms. Know­ing which com­mon home im­prove­ment mis­takes can ag­gra­vate al­ler­gies can help home­own­ers avoid them.

Suit up

Be­fore any clean­ing be­gins, al­lergy suf­fer­ers should don face masks and rub­ber gloves to pre­vent them­selves from breath­ing in al­ler­gens or hav­ing them touch their hands, where they can be trans­ferred to the face or else­where. Those clean­ing should also wear clothes that can be eas­ily re­moved and laun­dered af­ter a day’s work.

Clean win­dows sin­gu­larly

Pro­longed ex­po­sure to out­door al­ler­gens, such as pollen, mold or rag­weed, can ag­gra­vate al­ler­gies. There­fore, if win­dows are be­ing cleaned, do one at a time and then promptly close the window. Hav­ing the air con­di­tion­ing run­ning can help fil­ter the air as well.

Use ex­haust fans

The AAAAI rec­om­mends us­ing an ex­haust fan in the kitchen and bath­rooms to re­duce the lev­els of mois­ture in these rooms and fil­ter out po­ten­tial al­ler­gens and odors. Mois­ture can even­tu­ally lead to the growth of mold and mildew, which isn’t healthy for any­one, in­clud­ing al­lergy suf­fer­ers, to breathe in.

In­vest in a HEPA fil­ter

Vac­u­ums with HEPA fil­ters can trap al­ler­gens that are so small that they pass through reg­u­lar vac­uum fil­ters. That means in­stead of con­tain­ing them, these small par­ti­cles are only be­ing shot back into the air where they are eas­ily breathed in. We­bMD sug­gests vac­u­um­ing once or twice a week to keep car­pets and floors as clean as pos­si­ble. Plus, don’t for­get to vac­uum up­hol­stered fur­ni­ture and drapes as well.

Laun­der with hot wa­ter

When it comes time to wash linens, do so in hot wa­ter, which can kill dust mites re­sid­ing in sheets and blan­kets. Em­ploy mat­tress cov­ers

to fur­ther pro­tect against dust mite al­ler­gies.

Sham­poo smart

Sham­poo­ing a car­pet may cause mois­ture to be­come trapped in the car­pet fibers, lead­ing to in­creased dust mites or mold growth. Spot­clean stains in­stead. Oth­er­wise, hire a pro­fes­sional cleaner who will clean and dry the car­pet as quickly as pos­si­ble.

Damp dust­ing is bet­ter

When clean­ing up dust or home ren­o­va­tion de­bris, use a damp cloth or a vine­gar so­lu­tion to wipe down sur­faces. This helps trap small par­ti­cles in­stead of send­ing them into the air.

Treat mold is­sues

Mold can trig­ger al­ler­gic re­ac­tions, so it is best to keep it out of a home. So­lu­tions that con­tain at least 10 per­cent bleach can be ef­fec­tive at killing mold, but it’s best to pre­vent mold from grow­ing en­tirely.

Leave car­pet and up­hol­stery sham­poo­ing to the pro­fes­sion­als, as ex­cess mois­ture can con­trib­ute to mold and dust mites, which ag­gra­vate al­lergy symp­toms.

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