When people suffer from allergies, they look toward the usual culprits like food allergies or seasonal allergies. Did you know that other allergens might be hidden in your home, causing an allergy flare-up? Here are some common culprits.
Mold could be lurking in your house. It can be in bathrooms, basements, or soiled items. Areas with poor ventilation, high humidity, or that have had exposure to moisture can also carry mold.
Breathing in airborne mold spores may cause sneezing, coughing, an itchy throat, or eczema. Asthmatics may have problems with wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.
If you smell mold, it’s a sure indicator you most likely have it. Some molds, like black mold, can be a health hazard, so it’s important to test for it. Professional companies will come out and test, or you can purchase mold test kits at hardware stores or online.
Using a dehumidifier in rooms with a high humidity level and washing soiled items right away will help prevent mold. To clean mold, use hot soapy water and Borax (use gloves and a mask). Replace damaged walls or floors as soon as possible to avoid any more growth or worsened symptoms.
You Need to Clean Your AC System
Do you wake up with a stuffy nose, coughing or a dry throat? Whether you realize it or not, your AC system could be causing your allergy flare-ups. According to this source, clean duct work, filters, and HVAC systems help keep dust mites, pollen, and pet dander from building up in the air. Neglecting to clean the AC system regularly can send allergens into the air.
Replace your air filters every 30 to 90 days. If you have pets or an asthmatic in the household, replace filters more often. You can purchase clean filters at hardware stores or online.
Your Carpet May Be to Blame
If you are having issues with sneezing, hives, or a scratchy throat, your carpet may be to blame. Air particles in the air, and those brought in on shoes and by pets, come to rest in the carpet. According to this source, the glue or the material in the carpet itself could also be causing allergic reactions.
Use oral antihistamines, hydrocortisone cream, or an asthma treatment to alleviate flare-ups. Vacuuming once a week using HEPA filters, reducing humidity inside the home, and steam cleaning yearly can help keep allergens at bay. If these methods are not working or if you have someone with asthma, replace the carpet with hardwood floors, tile, or linoleum as these can be cleaned easier and do not hold particles as well.
If you find you are continually having allergy flare-ups, but you don’t know the cause, talk to an allergist. They can do allergy testing to determine the cause of your allergies. A wellness plan can then be developed, which may include avoidance of certain allergens, allergy shots, or medication.