young man with goatee about to sneeze

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Although high outdoor pollen and mold counts in the springtime may lead to seasonal allergies, what’s in your home may also be adding to your symptoms. 

Culprits

Common sources of indoor allergens include:

  • Pets
  • Bedding and pillows that cannot be washed
  • Stuffed animals and stuffed toys
  • Mattresses not using allergy covers
  • Carpet (especially wall-to-wall carpet)
  • Soft furniture
  • Indoor plants
  • Areas that are damp

Solutions

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, here are five ways you can reduce allergens in your home.  

  • Keep surfaces uncluttered and clean. Control dust mites by cleaning often and vacuuming at least once or twice a week. Wear a mask when cleaning if you have allergies and invest in a vacuum certified as asthma and allergy friendly. If possible, avoid heavy curtains and opt for tile, laminate and wood floors instead of wall-to-wall carpet.
  • Cover pillows, mattresses and box springs. Use plastic or zippered allergen-resistant covers on mattresses, box springs and pillows to reduce allergy symptoms by controlling your contact with dust mites. Wash bedding, stuffed animals, stuffed toys and uncovered pillows in hot water (over 130 degrees) and dry on a hot cycle once a week.
  • Keep windows and doors closed. This will prevent pollen from getting into your house. Change air filters often to reduce the spread of dust mites.    
  • Take precautions to avoid mold spores. Reduce moisture in your home to prevent the growth of mold spores. Use an air conditioner in warm weather to reduce humidity in the house. You may also benefit from a dehumidifier and humidity monitors. Make sure to keep surfaces clean and dry, and limit the number of indoor plants.
  • Get an allergy test and limit exposure to pet dander if you suspect a pet allergy. Keep pets off furniture and out of your bedroom, and cover vents with a material like cheesecloth to avoid the spread of pet dander. Make sure to wash your pet’s bed and toys frequently, and use a mask if you groom your pet. Brushing and bathing your pets can help reduce allergy symptoms since pets who go outside not only shed their dander, but also bring pollen inside the house on their hair.    

Great Care Anywhere

If you are unable to effectively manage your allergy symptoms, Norman Regional has you covered. Log on to Norman Regional Virtual Care and visit with a provider today from the comfort of your home or office anywhere in Oklahoma. It’s quick, convenient and only costs $55 for each visit.