Allergy-Free Home Renovations: Creating an Allergen-Resistant Living Space

Allergy sufferers know that dealing with allergies can range from annoying symptoms to more serious problems. You can come into contact with allergens anywhere, including your own home. While you can take steps to control allergy symptoms through treatments such as medication and allergy shots, making your home allergy-freecan make you feel better.

Improve Air Quality

Many people with allergies and asthma suffer from poor air qualityfrom environmental factorsand seasonal allergies.Allergens may be presentwithin your house, which can exacerbate symptoms. Some common indoor allergens include cockroaches, dust mites(though not usually a problem in Las Vegas), and pet dander. If your allergist determines that you’re reacting toone or more of those allergens in your house, there are steps you can take to create an allergy-proof home.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency,three stepsyou can take to improve indoor air quality include:
Using air cleaners to filter the air (usually not recommended in Las Vegas except for helping with cat allergy and smoke irritants)
Ventilating indoor areas
Minimize contact with airborne allergens
If you think your home is free of allergens, think again! The number of common allergens likely circulating in indoor spaces is high. Within their homes, approximately 80% of Americans are exposed to dust mites, and 60% are exposed to animal dander from dog or cat fur. Cockroaches tend to be more prevalent in cities and the southern regions of the U.S.

Can You See Allergens?

Some allergens are visible, such as cockroaches and pet fur. But others, including dust mites, are not. Along with circulating through the air in your home,allergens can land on surfaces and accumulate without you even noticing, which can also make your symptoms worse.

Controlling Indoor Allergies

The good news for allergy sufferers is that it is possible to create an allergen-free living space. That requires extra cleaning and possibly adjustments to your lifestyle, such as keeping animals with dander out of your bedroom. Along with pets, indoor allergies can occur from other sources like furniture, carpeting, bedding, mattresses that don’t have allergy-free covers, and pillows and blankets. Allergens can cling to stuffed animals and thrive in damp environments. Even indoor plants can collect allergens.
Allergies can exist in many places within your home, which means you’ll need to spend some time carefully cleaning places where allergens may linger. It’s a good idea to vacuum the floors and mattresses in your home at least once each week. Your hair can collect allergens, so washing or covering your hair before you go to sleep can help reduce allergy symptoms.
The bathroom is another area in your house where indoor allergens may thrive. Mold and mildew,though mold is not usually a significant problem in Las Vegas unless flooding occurs or persists,can grow on damp and wet surfaces such as the sinks, shower, and tub. Those surfaces should be cleaned regularly to prevent mold from growing. If you have a ventilation system in your bathroom, run the fan for at least 15-20 minutes after you take a shower.Make sure to fix any leaks as they can create damp or wet environments where mold and mildew can thrive.

Use an Air Cleaner

Along with cleaning your house thoroughly to remove indoor allergens, youcan getan air cleaner to help remove airborne pathogens.Try reduce the amount of outdoor air flowing into your home, especially if you have environmental allergens or the air quality is poor in your area. Running an air conditioner limits the number of outdoor allergens entering your home and reduce humidity levels. Keeping doors and windows closed as much as possible will also mitigate indoor allergies.

Target Certain Allergens

If you know that you are allergic to a particular indoor allergen, there are steps you can take to reduce exposure to those substances specifically. Vacuuming the floor will help, but wear a mask when you vacuum or do other housework.
If you’re considering getting a pet, look for one that you can be exposed to and doesn’t cause allergy symptoms. If you do have an animal, keeping your pet out of the bedroom and closing the door when you’re not home may reduce your symptoms. Covering vents with dense material and washing your pet’s toys and any furniture your cat or dog uses can lower the amount of pet dander in your house. Bathing and brushing your pet regularly can reduce symptoms, but wear a mask when you groom your pet.
Pets can carry pollenand other outdoor allergens on their fur, so if you have a seasonal allergy, you may want to bathe your pet more frequently andbe diligentabout keeping pet fur and dander at a minimum.
Cockroaches are another allergy that you can have some control over in your home. Cockroaches tend to get into food and garbage, so avoid leaving garbage cans open and keep food refrigerated or closed if it’s in cabinets or on the counters. There are products available to kill cockroaches as well, including boric acid, traps, and poison bait. Youcan get chemicalsprays to get rid of cockroaches, but those sprays can irritate your sinuses and respiratory tract, which can make your allergy and asthma symptoms worse.

Allergy Symptoms

Indoor allergens can produce symptoms, including:
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Nasal congestion
  • Skin rash
  • Headache
You might also have asthma either as a standalone problem or in addition to allergies. Asthma symptoms are more respiratory in nature, and they can include a cough, wheezing, and shortness of breath.

Get Tested for Allergies

If you are suffering from allergy symptoms when you spend time indoors, make an appointment with an allergist so you can identify the source of your allergies if you have them. Once you are diagnosed with a particular allergen, your doctor can help you create a plan for managing your symptoms and provide more specific information about controlling allergy exposure.
Contact us at Tottori Allergy and Asthma by calling (702) 240-4233 or by scheduling an appointment online.