October 19, 2016

Fall Allergies: Tips to Combat Them at Home

Author: Ashley Johnson

Fall allergies may mean an increase in sore throats, itchy eyes, runny noses, and even chronic illnesses such as sinusitis and bronchitis.Say hello to fall colors, sweaters, hot drinks, and of course, plenty of mold, and dust mites to go around. With the beginning of cooler nights and warm days, fall allergy season is upon us. For many allergy sufferers this may mean an increase in sore throats, itchy eyes, runny noses, and even chronic illnesses such as sinusitis and bronchitis. The tips listed below can help you prepare your home for the worst of fall allergy season.

Wash bedding once a week in water temperature above 130° F to minimize dust mites and other allergens in the bedroom. In addition, cover your bed in allergy control casings to create a barrier to allergens.

Temperature Control
Mold grows best when conditions are warm so try to keep the home between 68 and 72° F. Use HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters in the furnace and be sure to clean at least once a month to minimize airborne allergens.

Humidity Control
Use dehumidifiers throughout the home to try to keep humidity below 50 percent to prevent mold growth.

If you have pets, keep them out of the bedroom, and also bathe them weekly to reduce pet dander in the home.

Use an exhaust fan in the kitchen to minimize moisture and fumes from cooking that could worsen respiratory allergies. Wash dishes every day, and wash out the sink to prevent mold growth. Keep the refrigerator dry and keep food in tightly sealed containers. Be sure to discard any expired food immediately.

When possible, get rid of carpeting and replace with hardwood or linoleum floors and damp mop once a week. Clean your carpeting weekly with a vacuum that has a HEPA filter.

Be sure to replace any shower curtains with mold growth, and dry out the tub after each use. Also scrub any mold growth on plumbing fixtures with bleach. Replace wallpaper when possible with tiles or mold resistant paint.

Fall Leaves
It may seem like a wonderful idea at the time, but refrain from jumping into piles of leaves. This is can stir up mold and pollen into the air leading to worsened allergy symptoms. In addition, if you are raking leaves, be sure to wear a NIOSH rated N95mask which will filter 95 percent of airborne particles. Also, shower when finished raking and keep clothing contained until you can wash it.

Sublingual immunotherapy
Allergen avoidance is the first defense against allergic disease. These at-home tips can be helpful, but many times allergens in our environment cannot be controlled. Sublingual immunotherapy is a safe, effective, and affordable option to treat allergic disease at the source. The treatment can treat the broad nature of allergies including environmental or food allergies, and even allergic conditions such as asthma, so you can enjoy more of what the beautiful autumn season has to offer. Find out if you’re a viable candidate for sublingual immunotherapy.

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