If you suffer from allergies, you might want to breathe a deep, sneeze-free sigh of relief when winter rolls around. Unfortunately, the cold weather that puts pollen-producing trees and grass to sleep can also keep a person cooped up inside – increasing their risk of indoor allergies. Winter may seem like a reprieve for those with outdoor allergies, but it brings its own set of challenges for indoor allergy sufferers. As you spend more time indoors, you may find yourself exposed to common allergens like dust mites, pet dander, cockroaches, and mold.
Millions of people suffer from indoor allergies caused by dust mites, household pets, cockroaches and mold, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) said in a news release.
More than half of U.S. homes have at least six detectable allergens present, including even the cleanest homes, the AAAAI says.
But there are ways to reduce exposure to these allergens, the AAAAI says.
Dust mites thrive in temperatures 70 degrees or higher and humidity levels above 75 percent. Turning down your thermostat and using a dehumidifier can reduce their presence in your home.
The droppings left by dust mites can be reduced by encasing your bed’s mattress, box springs and pillows in special allergen-proof fabric or plastic covers. You also should wash your bedding weekly in hot water and dry it in a hot dryer.
If you are highly allergic to dust mites, consider getting rid of any wall-to-wall carpeting, and cleaning throw rugs regularly, the AAAAI advises.
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People are allergic to certain proteins found in the saliva, dead skin flakes, or urine of furry animals. All dogs and cats carry these proteins, the AAAAI says.
Your best bet is to keep your pet out of the bedroom and other rooms where you spend a lot of time.
You should also should sweep carpets regularly using a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter, and consider getting rid of