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7 Common Indoor Allergens Lurking in Your Home

Allergies are some of the peskiest problems you may experience. They may cause itchiness, wheezing, swollen eyes, and runny nose. Apart from these, allergies may result in more severe symptoms, such as chest tightness and shortness of breath.

If you or your loved one has a history of allergies, you’re likely to suffer from them when exposed to allergens. Because of this, you may need to be careful about what to touch and be exposed to as you may get close to your triggers. In fact, many of these allergy triggers can be found inside your home, which you may or may not be aware of.  

Fret not. Here’s an article to help you know more about common indoor allergens inside your home. 

1. Dust

When you think about indoor allergens, dust usually tops the list. They’re found in upholstered seats, carpets, comforters, and clothes, countertops, among others. The longer these items are kept and remain uncleaned, the more dust particles settle in them. You may inhale these allergens leading to your symptoms.

To prevent dust particles from accumulating, you need to clean your seats, couches, and beds regularly. You may use a vacuum cleaner to reduce contact with dust while doing so. As an added precautionary measure, you may also spray eco-friendly disinfectants to high-touch points and areas of your home to ensure that they are germ-free. Eco-friendly disinfectants use less harsh or toxic ingredients, thus reducing your exposure to other potential allergens. 

2. Dust Mites

Dust mites are parasites that live within dust particles. They consume people’s skin cells and thrive with the humidity of the space they live in. Dust mites excrete fecal matter, eggs, and other residues that trigger allergies.

Prolonged exposure to dust mites results in sinus infections and asthma. You can prevent dust mites from thriving indoors by cleaning regularly and adequately. The lesser the dirt and dust buildup is, the lesser the chance of its population growth.

3. Mold Spores

When cleaning your house, especially the basement and crawl space, you may encounter molds that release spores. When mold spores are inhaled, you have a high chance of sneezing and developing fever-like symptoms. If your immune system is weak, it may even cause adverse reactions. 

For this reason, you need to use a facemask when removing mold. You should also avoid touching and smelling them. Wear rubber gloves when directly scraping molds to minimize exposure. Remember that mold growth is fast, especially when humidity indoors is high. If you see signs of mold in many areas of the home, consider seeking help from professionals for effective removal and long-term treatment. 

4. Pollen

Pollen is found in flower-bearing houseplants. They’re blown away and mixed with dust. If you love using flowers as centerpieces, you can inhale the pollen, which easily triggers an allergic reaction. Apart from allergic rhinitis, exposure to pollen may cause allergic conjunctivitis, which can make your eyes red, swollen, and itchy. 

To prevent pollen inhalation, refrain from keeping flower-bearing plants indoors. Best to read up on allergy-friendly plants if you want to add some to your interiors. If you are going outside, you can wear a mask. 

5. Fabrics 

Most fabrics underwent processes that included the use of toxic chemicals. Because of this, it may result in headaches and skin irritation such as contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis causes you to have an itchy, red rash when your skin comes in direct contact with a substance used to treat the fabric. Your skin may have developed these symptoms as an allergic reaction. 

To avoid this, you need to identify the fabric your clothes are made from. You may also stay away from clothes made with materials that are prone to produce fluff when washed or kept for a long time. Cotton and lined are good options. In addition, you may need to avoid the following fabrics as they are usually heavily dyed:

  • acetate
  • acrylic
  • nylon
  • rayon

6. Cockroach

For those people living in urban areas, cockroach allergies are typical. These pests contain a particular type of protein that is considered an allergen. Most people exposed to them end with asthma attacks and could experience more severe effects if left untreated. Besides allergies, cockroaches are also known carriers of diarrhea, dysentery, and typhoid fever.

To avoid these, you may schedule regular cleaning and maintenance. Keep under-the-sink spaces and similar areas uncluttered and disinfected. If your budget permits, you may also invest in pest-control services once or twice a year. 

7. Pet Dander

Cats and dogs occasionally release dandruff-like materials called dander. Pet dander sticks to upholstered furniture, clothing, and carpets. When inhaled, humans can develop allergy symptoms, such as runny nose, cough, and even facial pressure and pain.

Since pet dander can stay indoors for long periods, cleaning your furniture, clothes, carpets, and other areas that they frequent should be thorough and proper. On top of this, keep your pets clean. Take them to the pet groomers once in a while, or give them a bath weekly to reduce dander. 

Wrapping Up

As the adage says, prevention is better than cure. Although medications, such as antihistamines and natural remedies, are available for allergies, reducing the number of possible allergens at home is still the best way to reduce the chances of triggering allergies. 

Referring to this article could be a good start in keeping your home safe, protected, and allergen-free for you and your family’s better health.

Photo by Brandon Nickerson from Pexels

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