Author’s backyard cherry tree
Don’t we love the springtime? The flowers, the fresh green appearance to the trees, the birds, the rabbits. Nature is lovely for most of us. For some it creates bothersome allergies. The typical symptoms are stuffy nose, runny nose, watery eyes and cough. It’s enough to make the allergy patient move to the desert.
Most people with allergies are sensitive to multiple allergens. The most common allergens are pollen, either tree or flower based, dust mites and animal dander. There are many more, which an allergy test would identify. Since most of our time is spent in our homes, the home is the place to practice allergy prevention. The bad news is allergy prevention means doing some house cleaning, not what most people want to do. What’s the answer?
Getting organized and having a plan of action will help those with allergies make the home more allergy proof. If you control the allergens in the environment, you can lessen your exposure and the symptoms that go with it. Try the following to keep your home allergy free:
- Bedroom – This is the room we spend the most time in so it deserves special attention. Use allergy covers for the mattress and pillows. Get rid of carpeting if feasible. Carpet is a magnet for dirt, dust, pollen, and dander and not easily cleaned. Run the Roomba or sweep daily (Roomba is easier for sure). Do not allow pets in the bedroom. Keep the door shut. Use a room air filtration machine with HEPA filters
- Floors – Again, no carpeting if you can swing it. Daily Roomba or sweeping. At least weekly damp mopping.
Windows – You love the great outdoors but you must leave the outdoors there. No matter how badly you want the breeze, don’t open the windows. It allows the pollen and dust in. Use roller type shades and wipe down weekly. That’s easier than cleaning blinds, which takes more work and time.
- Pets – Most allergists will tell you to either get rid of your pets or keep them outside. The pet lovers of the world who also have allergies are willing to take the risk. Here are some things that may help, but will not take away all the animal allergens:
Bathe the pet frequently if possible. It helps keep the dander under control.
Always keep them out of the bedroom.
Put them in a cute jacket or sweater. It helps keeps the dander from getting on objects in the house.
- Clutter – Since dusting is the mainstay of allergy control, why not get rid of excess items that need dusting? That collection of Hummels may need to go to storage. Or, you can dust them daily if there is that much love for them. Wipe down furniture at least weekly.
Try not to use medicine as your only weapon against allergies. Allergy medicines work best if the environment is as allergen free as possible. It is never possible to get rid of all the allergens, no matter how much you clean. When you avoid cleaning the environment the medicines have an uphill battle in keeping your symptoms under control.