Allergies are exaggerated immune responses to environmental triggers known as allergens. Allergies are very common, with approximately 50 million people in the US suffering from allergies. Florida’s allergy season is longer and stronger than just about anywhere else in the country.
Common symptoms of allergies include:
- nasal congestion,
- itchy and watery eyes,
- stuffy or runny nose,
- scratchy or sore throat,
- throat clearing,
- cough from postnasal drip.
In addition to common symptoms, allergies are often linked to asthma triggers and other respiratory conditions.
Besides taking allergy medicine and avoiding outside activities, how can you reduce allergens and reduce your allergic reaction?
The key to managing allergies is to reduce indoor allergens as much as possible. Your living environment may be a source for allergens. Indoor allergens can include:
- House Dust
- Mold Spores
- Dust Mites
- Cat Dander
- Dog Dander
- Pet rodents
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, dust mites may be the most common trigger of year-round allergies and asthma. They are on every continent except Antarctica. You may not be able to completely eliminate them from your home, but you can significantly reduce the quantity and impact.
What are dust mites?
Dust mites, close relatives of ticks and spiders, are too small to see without a microscope. Dust mites eat skin cells shed by people, and they thrive in warm, humid environments. In most homes, such items as bedding, upholstered furniture and carpeting provide an ideal environment for dust mites [Mayo Clinic].
Keeping your home and flooring clean is key to reducing the impact of allergy season on you, your family, and your pets.
For air control, you should replace your filters on a very regular basis. We suggest using higher end filters designed for Florida climates. If you have animals, you may want to replace your filters more often than is suggested by the filter.
Everything that you can clean in your home should be cleaned. Regularly wash linens. You will also want to wash any pet furniture (example – dog beds, blankets for animals, etc). Dust mites can cause problems for animals and can irritate their skin. For animal beds, it’s best to have beds you can wash completely in the washing machine.
Carpets and flooring should be professionally cleaned on a regular basis. Depending on the time of the year, foot traffic, allergens present, and whether you have animals, you may choose to clean your floors every 3-6 months.
Get your furniture cleaned! People often forget about furniture. But if you take all other precautions and do not clean the furniture, you will be exerting effort with not much benefit. Consider getting your couches, chairs, and especially your mattress cleaned. Mattresses contain up to 60% of the dust mites found in homes.
Don’t forget about curtains and other miscellaneous materials in the house that you can’t readily throw in the washing machine.
Do you need help with cleaning your home and removing as many allergens as possible? Call us! 727-394-2942