Is My Home Making My Allergies Worse?
Since it’s allergy season, we are all looking for ways to minimize the dreaded effects of allergies. It is important to ensure that your home is not contributing to your allergy symptoms. There are a number of things that are currently in your home that increase your allergy symptoms including dust, mold, pets and even plants.
Symptoms - Sneezing, stuffy runny nose, red itchy eyes, tightness of the chest, shortness of breath.
Triggers - Dust mites, cockroaches, pollen, pet hair or fur, upholstery with feathers.
Dust mites are also referred to as bed mites, they live in warm humid places making Florida the perfect breeding ground. They are commonly found in pillows, mattresses, carpeting, and upholstered furniture. Cockroaches give off particles that contribute to dust and allergens. The particles are too small to be removed by the traditional household cleaning procedures
Symptoms - Sneezing, irritated skin, runny nose, trouble breathing, tightness of the chest, chronic drowsiness.
Triggers - Damp environments that are moist or humid.
Mold spores being to grow within 24 to 48 hours of exposure to moisture. The spores float through the air and attach themselves to surfaces such as drywall, upholstery, and practically any surface in your household. If you have a mold allergy you will start to feel symptoms immediately. Mold is common in damp places in your home such as bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. Tiny mold spores float through the air and connect with dust in your home. When this is inhaled it can cause allergic reactions. Prolonged exposure to mold is toxic to inhale and very harmful to your long term health.
Symptoms - Itchy or puffy eyes, congestion, runny nose, skin rash, shortness of breath.
Triggers - Pet dander, facies, urine, saliva.
Household pets contribute to allergy symptoms. Animals give off dander which is essentially skin flakes. They leave traces of their saliva and urine on different surfaces in your home such a carpet or furniture which contribute to allergies. These tiny particles cling to any upholstered or porous surface and attach themselves to existing dust in the space. These partials are not easily eliminated by regular household cleaning methods.
Symptoms - Itchy, watery, or irritated eyes, sneezing runny nose, and congestion.
Triggers - Pollen, mold in the soil of the plants.
Indoor plants produce pollen that increases allergen symptoms. Soil from your household plants can grow mold which also contribute to allergic reactions. There are common flowers to avoid putting in your home such as daises, chamomile, and even bonsai trees. While these all look beautiful, they could be the culprit to your allergies.
How to manage household allergens
You can minimize your allergy symptoms a few different ways, here is how to tackle each allergen:
Wash and wipe porous and hard surfaces weekly. Reduce humidity in the home, air out bathrooms to prevent moisture build up after a warm shower. Use antifungal paints and other antifungal household products to prevent mold form growing. Call a professional mold remediator to inspect areas in your home that you believe has mold. See a doctor if your allergy symptoms persist or you suspect they are worsened by your home.
It is important to regularly wash your animals so minimize the dander that is emitted into the air. If your animals go outside regularly you should wipe their paws with a baby wipe or special animal wipes to eliminate harmful pesticides that they are exposed to outside. It is especially important to clean their paws off after going outside if you have small children that are crawling around your home.
In order to eliminate allergens and pollen from your home, eliminate flowers and go for something more leafy. While flowers look beautiful they may be the cause of your allergies. In order to avoid this choose plants with large leaves. Plants such as bamboo or lady palm are known to clean the air. These will help eliminate harmful particles instead of adding pollen to the air. Palms grow in male and female forms to ensure minimal to no pollen choose a female palm. To prevent mold in your plants soil keep them in a well lit area and do not over water your plants. Soggy soil breeds mold, so keep the soil moist but not soggy.