Considering millions of Americans are affected by allergies each year, chances are good that you or a loved one are counted among that statistic. Whether it’s asthma or hay fever, allergies can be a serious hurdle to living your best life.
To best fight back against allergies, we have to know our enemy. Allergens come in many shapes, sizes, and types, and each has different causes and different ways to prevent them.
Learning about allergens is the first step to getting rid of allergies. Let’s take a look at some of the most common indoor allergens.
1. Dust Mites
First on our list is the infamous dust mite. Not only are dust mites the most common allergy and asthma trigger, they’re also found just about everywhere in the world.
As the name implies, dust mites are living organisms. They’re microscopic insects that feed on flakes of human skin. Gross.
While they’re far too small to bite, they can cause serious respiratory issues. They thrive in places where the humidity is above 40% and the temperature is above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Unfortunately, that means most of the world for at least part of the year.
To combat them, make sure you’re washing your linens in hot water every 7-10 days. You can also try allergen-proof bedding, pillow casings, etc. And don’t forget to keep up with dusting and vacuuming.
2. Pet Dander
Pets make our lives worth living. They brighten our days and love us unconditionally. Unfortunately, they also often make our eyes really itchy.
Pet dander is made up of super small flakes of skin shed by dogs, cats, and other animals with fur or feathers. Roughly twice as many people are allergic to cats than to dogs. While that’s good news for dog people, there’s no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog breed and millions still struggle with dog allergies.
The best way to control pet dander is through regular cleaning. Vacuum and dust often. Also, consider keeping your pets off of furniture, as dander will cling to upholstery and is difficult to get rid of once it does.
If you think of pollen as just an outdoor allergen, think again. Folks who spend a lot of time outdoors during peak allergy season can bring pollen inside with them on their shoes and clothing. It can also be carried in on pets.
To fight the problem at the source, wipe down your pets before they come in and change your clothes right after you get inside. An air filter with a HEPA filter can also get rid of 80% of pollen in the home.
Last but not least, mold is one of the most common indoor allergens out there. There are various types of mold and they all pose certain health risks.
Mold tends to grow in dark, damp environments like bathtubs and basements. The best way to stay on top of the issue is by keeping problem areas clean. A combination of water, detergent, and 5 percent bleach in tough cases can usually do the trick.
Is Getting Rid of Allergies a DIY Job?
The short answer? Yes! Well, usually. In most instances, getting rid of allergies is as simple as recognizing the root cause, doing what you can to prevent it, and keeping your living space clean.
However, mold, in particular, can be especially toxic and hard to treat if it gets out of control. Think you’ve got a mold outbreak you can’t tackle? Get in touch with professionals who can.