How to reduce allergens in your home

December 15, 2022 | by Edward-Elmhurst Health
Categories: Healthy Driven Life

When the temperature drops, we head indoors and shut the windows.

Then the sneezing begins.

You can be allergic to things inside your house just as you can react to outdoor allergens. Mold spores, dust mites and pet dander spread through the air indoors to cause allergic reactions and trigger asthma symptoms.

Sometimes kids are allergic to things but adults in the house have no reaction (and sometimes adults develop allergies they didn’t have as kids).

Some of the primary sources of indoor allergens are:

  • Bedding you can’t wash in hot water
  • Stuffed animals
  • Carpeting
  • Damp areas
  • Pets

When you encounter something you’re allergic to, your immune system overreacts to the allergen and produces antibodies against it that cause the symptoms.

If you’ve got allergens floating around your house, you might react with a stuffy, runny nose, sneezing and an itchy throat or eyes.

Air purifiers can help reduce the allergens indoors but tackling allergens where they linger might work best.

Try these tips to reduce allergens in your home:

  • Run a dehumidifier in damp areas. Mold tends to grow in damp areas like basements and bathrooms, while dust mites thrive in humid conditions like bedding and upholstered furniture.
  • Vacuum weekly. Vacuuming once or twice a week will help keep allergens out of carpeting. Even better: replace wall-to-wall carpet with hard floors or a low-pile rug.
  • Declutter. Keeping areas open and clean will reduce the places allergens can accumulate.
  • Wash bedding weekly. Washing bedding, pillows and stuffed toys in hot water, then drying them in a hot dryer will kill dust mites.
  • Keep pets out of your bedroom. All pets have dander. Some aggravate allergies more than others. Washing your pets’ toys and favorite furniture will help keep allergens at bay.

If you’ve tried to reduce indoor allergens and continue to experience symptoms, an allergist/immunologist can help you figure out what you’re allergic to and how to feel better.

Learn more about allergy services at Edward-Elmhurst Health.

The allergists at Edward-Elmhurst Health have specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of allergies and asthma. Find an allergist.

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