How to Protect your Family from Allergies

Posted on Jan 12, 2016


The most common allergens (dust mites, pollen, pet dander and mold) can trigger mild to severe allergies. By reducing the amount of these allergens, you can relieve your symptoms.
There is a special measure for each type of allergen.

Mites

Dust mites are microscopic animals which feed on human dead skin cells and continuously hydrate with ambient humidity. If the environment is very humid, they grow and multiply very quickly.

Measures:
  • Decrease the overall amount of dust on the surfaces of your home.
    Use a mop or a wet cloth to avoid spreading the dust in the air. Reduce the amounts of mites on your surfaces with disinfectant wipes.
  • Install a dehumidifier
    Check the moisture from your apartment. A simple, inexpensive air dehumidifier can be extremely useful here. The moisture content of your apartment should be between 40 and 50%.
  • Wash your sheets every week.
    Washing your sheets, duvets, pillow cases and blankets in hot water helps eliminate dust mites and allergens.

Pollen

Trees or grass release their pollen in the air so that it is carried by the wind. This causes the allergy which is called seasonal allergic rhinitis or ‘hay fever’.
Plants release their pollen at certain periods of the year, so pollen allergies are usually seasonal.

Measures:
  • Clean your house
    Regularly clean your surfaces to remove pollen that could be accumulated on them. Keep your windows closed to prevent pollen from entering your apartment.
  • Avoid morning walks
    Do not go out in the morning, especially if there is a sunny or windy day. The pollen concentration is generally strong in Summer and Spring.
  • Avoid contact with irritating substances
    Stay away from dust, cigarette smoke, air pollutants, insecticides sprays or fresh paint. This could make your symptoms worse.

Allergens from pets

Most allergies are triggered by cats, dogs or rodents (hamsters or guinea pigs). The allergens found in animals are dead skin cells, saliva, hair, skin, etc.
Horses, cattle, birds, as well as leather products, can also trigger allergic symptoms.

Measures:
  • Bathe your pet every week.
    Ask a family member or a non-allergic friend to bathe your pet every week. This also applies to cats. Start when your cat is still small so that it gets used to frequent baths. It may be helpful to give him treats as a reward.
  • Replace carpets
    Wherever possible, replace carpets with tile, wood, linoleum or vinyl materials. Also replace other items such as your upholstered furniture, curtains or your horizontal blinds. Use washable cushions and vertical blinds. Make sure all surfaces are washable.
  • Clean your pet’s litter
    The basket or the litter of your pet should be cleaned regularly to reduce the occurrence of allergens.
  • Use an air purifier.
    You can reduce the amount of allergens transported by air. Try to use a vacuum cleaner bag with a filter and install an air purifier system in your bedroom.
  • Leave your pet outside
    If you live in a warm climate zone you can safely leave your pet outside. Therefore, you will reduce the amount of allergens in your apartment.

Mold and mildew

Mold and mildew are microscopic species of fungal. Mold and mildew release tiny seeds, “spores”, which are transported by air. If these spores are inspired, they can trigger allergies.

Measures:
  • Wear a dust mask when going outside
    If it’s a case of high concentration of mold, do not go outside. If you must go out, wear a dust mask.
  • Maintain a low humidity level indoors
    Do not use a humidifier device unless it is absolutely necessary. It could further enhance the development of mold and increase mold spores carried by air.
  • Use an air purifier.
    Buy an air purifier with a HEPA filter( High efficiency particulate arrestor) to reduce the amount of spores transported by air.
  • Dry your shoes before putting them away.
    This will prevent mold from growing in your wardrobe.
  • In the basement:
    If your basement is wet, use a basement dehumidifier. Empty and clean the dehumidifier regularly. Increasing the temperature can also help reduce the humidity.

As you can see, it can be rather complicated to avoid allergens outdoors. However, indoors, things are easier to manage, especially if you invest in a good air purifier. Nevertheless, be careful with these devices as some of them can be quite harmful.