The Complete Guide to Common Indoor Allergy Triggers (+Tips to Avoid Them)
Your home should be your sanctuary. However, if you struggle with allergies, you might see your safe spaces interrupted by sneezing and coughing fits. Understanding what common allergens exist in your home can help you decide what items you want and don’t want inside your house.
If anyone in your family has an allergy to dust, that means they’re allergic to the dust mites that populate the house. Dust mites are microscopic insects that eat the skin that flakes off human bodies. These tiny bugs like warm and humid homes, especially where they can nest in upholstered furniture and mattresses.
To keep dust mites from moving into bedding, allergists recommend enclosing mattresses and pillows with allergy-friendly casings. Experts also highly recommend purchasing organic mattresses from providers like Essentia with elements that prevent dust mite accumulation.
Dust mites also like living on plush animals, curtains, and carpets. Allergists recommend removing all plush toys from homes where children have allergies. Doctors also recommend removing curtains and using a future-forward vacuum with HEPA filters to remove more dust mites.
Dogs, cats, and other pets with fur
Another common household allergy trigger is the household pet. Dogs, cats, and other animals with fur have dander that sheds and causes allergic reactions. The best choice is to keep furry pets out of homes where the inhabitants have allergies. However, that isn’t always possible for families with a deep love for four-legged companions.
Even though many breeders advertise their dogs as hypoallergenic, all dogs shed dander. Some breeds shed less than others, so they tend to be more allergy-friendly.
Before bringing a dog into a home with allergic people, let your allergic family members spend time with someone else’s dog. The allergic person’s reaction will tell you if you can welcome a pet into your family or if a dog or cat will cause too much discomfort.
Mold and mildew
Mold is a natural growth that occurs when conditions are damp and dark. People with mold allergies tend to struggle in the late fall and early spring when mold grows under wet leaves on the ground. These people can also struggle when mold grows in their basements, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.
An easy solution for mold allergies is avoiding carpets in potentially wet areas, like basements and kitchens. If the carpet is damp, mold and mildew can grow underneath it and remain unseen for years. People with mold allergies should not set up their bedrooms in a basement, either.
If you discover mold in your home, clean it with a mixture that contains water, soap, and bleach. Homes with more than ten square feet of mold will need help from a mold remediation specialist.
People with allergies are often surprised to find how allergic they are to cockroaches. The allergy isn’t to the roaches themselves but their saliva and droppings. Sadly, if you see one roach in your home, you probably already have an infestation. Cockroach allergies can trigger severe asthma attacks, especially in children who live in big cities where bugs thrive.
If you rent and see roaches in your building, ask your landlord to have the entire building treated. A professional pest control expert can treat your home. Don’t try to do DIY extermination because roaches have become exceptionally resilient. Experienced exterminators know how to remove cockroaches without using dangerous chemicals for humans and pets.
To prevent roaches from returning, keep your home clean. Do not leave crumbs on your countertops, clean under appliances, and tidy up after your pets. Your exterminator can give you other tips to keep roaches outside where they belong.
While most people don’t have direct pollen sources in their homes, the allergen still makes its way into many homes. During the warm months, pollen enters through open windows, despite screens. Your pets bring in pollen every time they go outside in warm weather. Your shoes and clothing can also bring pollen into your home.
Homeowners should wipe down their pets, clean their shoes, and wash their clothes after every outdoor excursion to remove the chances of pollen getting throughout the house. You can ask your family and guests to remove their shoes once they enter your home, so pollen stays near the door.
You can also install an air purifier with a HEPA filter to keep most pollen away from the people in your home. On windy summer days, leave the windows closed and use your air conditioning unit to prevent pollen from entering.
Your home should be your refuge from the challenges of the outside world. You should relax and not worry about sneezing and wheezing from allergens like pollen, dust mites, and cockroaches. With a few simple steps and wise decisions, your home can be allergen-free and comfortable all year long.