Did you know that indoor air can contain more dust, lint, smoke and pollen than outdoor air? Dust allergens are all around us, everywhere we go. And because of that, many patients with asthma or allergic rhinitis can suffer greatly from dust allergy symptoms. Thankfully, a good thorough cleaning can make a huge difference and you don’t really have to strip down your house to the bare bones to make it allergy proof. Find some relief by taking these simple measures:
Dust Allergy Symptoms
Although you can’t even see them with the naked eye, dust mites can sure stir up a lot of trouble. About 20 million Americans experience allergic symptoms to these little bugs that are similar to an endless cold or even asthma. Common dust allergy symptoms include:
Dust Allergy Prevention: Allergy-Proof Your Home
Allergy treatment begins at home. With these few tips, you can learn what triggers to avoid so you can prevent (or at least, ease) attacks. The best preventive measure is to get away from the cause of the problem. We’re not talking about moving to a new climate, such as the beach to “get away” from allergens… we’re speaking about practicing environmental control (without packing your bags). And it starts with cleaning up your home.
Common Dust Allergy Triggers
A house doesn’t need to be visibly dirty to trigger a dust mite allergy reaction. Some common dust allergy triggers include:
• Dust mites – this is the most common cause of house dust allergies. Dust mites live and multiply in warm, humid places and usually found in pillows, mattresses, carpeting and furniture.
• Cockroaches and Mold – Small mold or cockroach particles and spores are a common component of house dust and may actually be the true cause of a dust allergy.
• Pollen – From trees, grass, flowers and weeks, pollen is a common culprit of allergies.
• Animal dander – Animal dander (skin flakes), saliva and urine can cause allergic reactions, especially if combined with dust.
Prevent House Dust Triggers
• Dust rooms with a damp cloth weekly. Never use a dry cloth, since it stirs up mite allergens.
• Use a vacuum cleaner with either a double-layered microfilter bag or a HEPA (high-efficiency particle arrestor) filter.
• Wear protective gloves as well a dust mask while dusting to reduce exposure irritants.
• Reduce the number of stuffed animals, wicker baskets, dried flowers and other infamous dust collectors around the home.
• If possible, replace carpets with bare floors (linoleum, tile or wood) and use washable scatter rugs.
• Cover windows with shades made of plastic or another material that you can wipe clean or remove fabric curtains to wash monthly.
• Cover your mattress and pillows in dustproof or allergen-impermeable covers. Dust mites are one of the most common allergens found in homes, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
• Wash all bedding and blankets at least once a week in hot water (at least 130° to 140°F) to kill dust mites.
• Replace traditional stuffed animals with washable ones.
In addition to the above, keep your home cool (between 68 and 72 degrees F), maintain a low humidity (between 40 and 50%), and make certain there is good ventilation.
When Should I See A Doctor?
If dust allergy symptoms interfere with normal day-to-day activities, or if there is a sudden onset of symptoms, you should see a doctor. This is especially important if a child under your care is experiencing severe or sudden symptoms.
Allergy treatment is available now at eMedical Urgent Care.
Learn more about our services and how we can treat you by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707. We welcome you to walk in, get your exam and be on your way.