A Fall Guide to Reducing Allergies in Your Home: 6 Tips to Breathe Easier
Many of us look forward to the first signs of fall, including football, foliage, pumpkin carving and cooler weather. However, for approximately 50 million Americans, fall also marks the beginning of an annual battle with the coughing, sneezing and runny noses associated with seasonal allergies .
While some people are more sensitive than others, there are several things you can do to limit harmful allergens and breathe better this fall.
6 Ways to Reduce Allergies in Your Home
1. Control dust mites. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), eight out of 10 people in the United States are exposed to dust mites in their homes, and six out of 10 are exposed to pet dander. Considering you spend approximately one third of your day in your bedroom, using high quality mattress encasements, mattress protectors, and pillow protectors is a great way to keep dust mites from proliferating. These bedding accessories have been proven to be more effective than simple air cleaners at eliminating the dust mites and dander floating in the air.
2. Establish a healthy sleep zone. The bedroom contains the greatest number of dust mites and pet allergens, which makes it the most important room to allergen-proof. In addition to mattress protection, here are a few other tips to cut down on allergens where you sleep:
- Limit clutter in your bedroom, especially upholstered items and stuffed animals.
- Keep window treatments simple and use washable blinds or plastic shades that can be wiped clean of dust.
- Don’t let your dog sleep on your bed, and keep pets out of your bedroom if possible.
- Vacuum the bedroom and dust frequently.
3. Wash up. It’s common to spend more time outside during the fall since the weather is typically cooler and more comfortable. However, if you’re not diligent in cleaning up when coming back inside – you could bring unwanted allergens into your home. Be sure to wash your hands and face thoroughly and do the same for your four-legged friends if they have been outside with you.
4. Make vacuuming a priority. While it’s another thing to add to your “to-do” list every week, vacuuming can go a long way in keeping allergens to a minimum. In fact, you should consider running the “sweeper” at least once per week – if not twice. If you’re particularly sensitive, wear a dust mask while you’re cleaning.
5. Wear sunglasses outside. When you venture outside to enjoy the crisp temperatures, it is helpful to wear sunglasses – especially on a windy day. This will help keep pollen and spores from getting in your eyes. And since allergy-irritated eyes are more sensitive to bright light, you’ll feel even better on a sunny day.
6. Get rid of humidity. Reducing moisture in prone areas such as bathrooms and kitchens can be really effective in preventing mold spores and other irritants from cropping up. If your air conditioner has such a feature, set your home’s humidifier to around 50 percent. If you’re using an older unit without a built-in humidifier, you can purchase stand-alone dehumidifiers to serve the same purpose. Also be sure to change the air filters on a regular basis as they can quickly lose their effectiveness this time of year if left untreated.
Give yourself a fighting chance against allergies this year. Follow these tips for a more enjoyable fall season, and save them for when springtime rolls around. Keeping allergens out of your house will help you breathe better and sleep better as a result!