Prevalence of allergies in Western societies has grown over the past 50 years with no end in sight. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, common allergies currently effect 40-50 percent of schoolchildren. Whether from foods, medications, or environmental proteins, anyone with allergies has only two options. You can suffer them or learn to manage them.
It is possible to reduce the symptoms to imperceptible levels and avoid some allergies altogether. Food and medication allergies are best avoided altogether. Foreign protein allergies, including pet dander, pollen, smoke and dust, are the most common. You’ll need the following proactive steps to manage this type.
The Initial Cleaning
People with allergies almost always experience them at night or in the morning as a result of home contamination. The home is supposed to be a refuge from such concerns, and it can be again with a thorough cleaning. Removing allergens requires attention to a few basic principles. Keeping them out of the home is easier than it sounds. Consider the following principles when cleaning each room of the house.
- Dust Removal
While necessary, the process of cleaning often excites allergies. This is primarily due to stirring dust. For wiping surfaces, always use a damp cloth. If you have a centralized HVAC system, leave the fan on throughout the cleaning process. It is worthwhile to change the filter. Always use the fan when changing filters. Window units should be sprayed clean twice a year.
- Upholstery and Bedding
The denser the fabric, the more spaces it has to hold allergens. Consider hardwood floors, furniture without upholstering, and buckwheat pillows. After cleaning the mattress, a plastic cover should be installed under fresh sheets. Short carpet is easier to clean than shag, but all types need a vacuum once per week. Use cleaning chemicals rated as hypo-allergenic or make your own.
Water molecules serve to suspend allergens in the air. Humidity should be kept to between 30-50 percent, according to the Mayo Clinic, in order to reduce allergens like mold, mites, and bacteria. Bathrooms should be well ventilated.
- Order is Critical
Besides wearing a dust mask during the initial cleaning, a most important principle is top to bottom cleaning. Start with fan blades and vents before working your way down to baseboards and carpets. this ensures a more complete clean.
Obviously, those allergens came into the home from outside. While best avoided, there is no stopping work and other outside obligations even on high-pollen days. Allergy medication can prevent flare-ups during outings. Dust masks also help. Steps should be taken to prevent re-contaminating the home with allergens.
A shoe cubby in the foyer, garage, or covered porch is a good idea. An overcoat strictly for outside wear prevents transfer of most allergens. Regular cleanings and bathing pets are other effective techniques.
Any steps taken to reduce allergens in the home will provide relief of symptoms and protection from many other toxins. Radioactive dust, soil bacteria, and heavy metals found on parking lots are all reduced with the above techniques.