It is winter. The leaves have fallen to the ground, the temperature has descended to below freezing, and the ragweeds have finally died off. So, why are you still sneezing?
The cold wind and heavy snow outside forces many to spend more time indoors, which unfortunately exposes them to common allergens such as dust mites, mold spores, and pet dander. Here are tips to keep your allergies under control this winter.
Clean Your Air Ducts
The air ducts serve an important role in your home and, therefore, need to be properly maintained. Your heating and cooling system pushes air to your entire home through the ducts. If you cannot stop sneezing even if it is winter, then it might be time to check the components from which the air comes from. There are air duct cleaning services in Denver and all over Colorado to clear up any problem.
Dust and mold can accumulate and grow within your air ducts, causing you to breathe them in and trigger your allergies. To slow down the accumulation of allergens inside your air ducts, remember to regularly change air filters around your home.
During winter, many households use humidifiers to add moisture back into the air. The right humidity helps make breathing easier and prevent discomfort caused by dry nasal passages.
Too much moisture, however, will also encourage microbiological growth inside your home. Purchase a humidity meter so you can check the level of humidity inside your home and, if needed, use a dehumidifier. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, keeping humidity below 50% should reduce the chances of mold and dust mites from growing.
Change Your Bedding
Dust mites can live in your pillows and mattresses. There are allergy-proof covers that you can use to minimize your contact with dust mites when you sleep. You should wash beddings in hot water (at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit or 54 degrees Celsius) once a week to get rid of these little critters.
Clean Your Home Thoroughly
Use a vacuum cleaner at least once a week to clean cushions, upholstered furniture, and carpet. A vacuum cleaner with a high-efficiency particulate air, or HEPA, filter can suck and trap dust mites.
Regularly wipe surfaces with a microfiber or a wet cloth to pick up dust instead of spreading them around. Avoid dry dusting which can just expel dust into the air. Moreover, remove objects that collect dust. This include drapes and horizontal blinds that can trap allergens. Instead, switch to washable curtains or roller shades to keep out sunlight.
Bathe Your Pets
Your pet can trigger your allergies. Avoiding dogs and cats is still the best way to prevent an allergic reaction, but if that is not an option, bathing them frequently would help clear your sinuses.
Pets shed dander, which is made up of dead skin cells. Bathing and brushing them may help reduce the shedding. Remember to also wash your hands after petting your furry friend. At least, keep your pet out of the bedroom. Do not let them sleep on your bed with you.
Symptoms of allergies include sneezing, blocked and runny nose, watery and itchy eyes, and wheezing or having troubles breathing. If the symptoms do not disappear after two weeks, it is best to consult your doctor.