Approximately 100 million people in the U.S. experience allergies every year. When you think of allergies, you likely picture sneezing and coughing when walking through the park on a high-pollen day or picking out flowers at the grocery store. While there are many allergen sources outside the home, it is essential not to overlook sources inside your home.
If you experience greater allergy symptom severity at night, you may be overlooking common sources of at-home allergens. Let’s take a look at some places allergens may be hiding in your home and how you can prevent them.
1. On Your Clothes or Hair
Pollen, pet dander, and other allergens are often carried into the house on your clothes or hair. Showering when you get home and changing clothes before you go to bed can help prevent allergens from building up in your home.
2. On Your Pets
Your pets may carry more allergens than pet dander. Dogs and outdoor cats can roll in pollen, mold spores, and other allergens that are then carried into the home. Bathing your pets regularly can help reduce allergen buildup and minimize your chance of a reaction.
3. In Your Bedroom
Dust mites gather in your bedding and on your mattress, carpeting, and fan blades. When you settle into your bed or turn on your fan for a little white noise, you may be exposed to more dust mites than you realize. Cleaning your bedding at least once a week, wiping down your fan blades, vacuuming regularly and replacing your mattress every 7 to 10 years can help reduce the number of dust mites in your bedroom. For a little extra allergen protection, consider picking up some hypoallergenic bedding.
4. In Your Kitchen and Basement
The heat and moisture common in kitchens and basements make these areas of your home excellent environments for mold growth. Always remember to run the exhaust fan in your kitchen when cooking and consider purchasing a dehumidifier for your basement to prevent mold growth.
Allergy Management Options
In addition to managing the presence of allergens in your home, an allergy specialist can help minimize the frequency and severity of your reactions. An allergy specialist may recommend medications including antihistamines, nasal corticosteroids, decongestant nasal sprays, and allergy eye drops.
In addition to medications, immunotherapy can help reduce the severity of your allergies. Immunotherapy works by introducing small doses of an allergen to a patient via shots. The doses are increased over time to help decrease sensitivity to the patient’s specific allergens.
For more information about managing your allergies, call the experts at Midwest Allergy & Asthma today.