Luz Fonacier, MD
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), the annual spring cleaning ritual can help you avoid allergy symptoms by getting rid of both indoor and outdoor allergens.
Following are tips from ACAAI allergists for removing allergens in the home, while avoiding accidentally letting more in.
As tempting as it is to open windows when spring arrives, an open window can lead to unwanted pollen particles entering your home and causing your allergies to act up. When pollen levels spike, use your air conditioning and make sure the furnace and AC filters are clean.
Bathrooms, basements, and tiled areas can be especially prone to mold. Reduce mold by controlling moisture. Use bathroom fans and clean up any standing water immediately. Scrub any visible mold from surfaces with detergent and water, and completely dry. Keep home humidity between 40 and 60 percent, and clean gutters regularly.
Days spent indoors with your pets over the winter means a buildup of fur, saliva, and dander. Remove pet allergens by vacuuming frequently and washing upholstery, including your pet’s bed. Keep pets out of the bedroom to help you sleep symptom-free.
Get a head start on spring allergens by changing your air filters every three months and using filters with a MERV rating of 11 or 12. Also be sure to vacuum regularly to get rid of dust mites. Use a cyclonic vacuum or one with a HEPA filter.
Even when you reduce the number of allergens in your home, allergy symptoms can still appear. If you have persistent allergy symptoms, see a board-certified allergist. Allergists are trained to identify the source of your suffering and develop a treatment plan to eliminate symptoms and help you live your best life.