Don't let allergies get you down
SUMMARY: Spring is one of the worst seasons for allergy sufferers, but keeping allergens and dust in the home at bay can prevent against uncomfortable issues.
Posted: May 15, 2013
May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, so now might be the perfect time to rid your home of allergens that may trigger other ailments such as post nasal drip. As the winter temperatures remained above normal for most of the country and Spring rainfall peaked in many areas, experts are saying that allergies this year may be particularly unpleasant for many. Allergies and asthma affect approximately 25 million people in the United States, many of whom have likely suffered this month. However, there are several ways to keep your home clean and prevent yourself and others from experiencing the issues that go along with allergies.
Side effects of allergies and asthma
Allergies can cause post nasal drip because of the increased amount of histamine that is produced in the body. Because of this, you may experience a tickle in your throat, a constant need to clear your throat, sore throat or raspy speech. In addition, post nasal drip can cause bad breath because of an excess amount of mucus in the throat.
You can also experience asthma from allergies. Symptoms of asthma include coughing, wheezing, tightness of the chest, gasping for breath and difficultly talking. Allergies often trigger asthma, which can range in severity and cause an extreme amount of stress for someone who is not properly prepared for an attack.
How to rid your home of allergens
Although many allergens linger outdoors, there isn't much you can do to get rid of pollen, mold and other major triggers.
One of the most important parts of the home to keep clean is the bedroom, as you spend a significant portion of your time here. Regularly vacuuming and dusting the room will help against allergy triggers that may cause post nasal drip symptoms during sleep and in the morning.
"You go out into the sun on a daily basis, but if you sit in it for six hours you'll get a sunburn. It's the same with sleeping on a toxic mattress," Robin Wilson, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America ambassador told Metro. "If you spend a third of your life sleeping, you're spending a third of your life absorbing toxins. Cheap mattresses are sprayed with boric acid: That's roach killer! Buy the most expensive mattress you can. Dust mites collect in your mattress and pillow. Change pillows every three years, wash them once a year and choose synthetic pillows, not down-feather ones: Feathers trigger allergies."
De?-cluttering your entire home can protect against the accumulation of allergens, because having a bogged down space makes it easier for dust mites to collect on furniture and in nooks and crannies. For many people, spring is one of the best times to deep clean the home, so you might want to take this opportunity to move furniture around, clear off shelving units and give your house a good scrub! Your nose will thank you.
If you have a pet, now is the prime time for them to start shedding, leaving behind traces of fur on your clothes, furniture and carpet. During spring, dogs can be regularly bathed, while feline friends may be more willing to get brushed.
Those who tend to experience post nasal drip, allergies or asthma at night, showering before bed can be very beneficial. This can rinse away allergens that have accumulated on your clothes, hair and skin throughout the day. In addition, jumping in the shower before bed will keep your mattress, sheets and pillows free of allergy triggers. A steamy shower can also loosen up mucus and remedy post nasal drip.