As the weather starts to turn colder and the leaves begin to fall, we start closing up our homes to keep the cold out and the heat in. Many people start to notice allergies flaring up in the fall because of various allergens in the air such as ragweed and mold spores. Often, what feels like a “change of season” cold is actually allergies that present themselves with the same symptoms as the common cold. These symptoms include, but are not limited to, cough, itchy eyes, sore throat, sneezing and just overall yuckiness. In addition to the outside causes of allergies, there are inside culprits as well. The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAA&I) talks about these inside allergens in an article on their website, aaaai.org. Some of these are dust mite droppings, animal dander, mold and cockroach droppings.
Dust mites can be found in bedding, carpeting and upholstery. Keep these areas vacuumed and cleaned regularly. Bedding should be washed and dried often if possible. Consider replacing wall-to-wall carpeting with hard flooring and using rugs that can be washed or cleaned often.
Contrary to popular belief, most people are not allergic to animal hair. It is more often the “dander” or dried skin flakes, saliva and pet urine that cause the trouble. Even the breeds that are thought to be “hypoallergenic” can still create a problem for allergy sufferers. As in the case of dust mites, it is essential for your home to be vacuumed, cleaned and sanitized often to minimize the symptoms of these allergies.
Mold is one of the most common issues when it comes to allergies within your home. We close up the windows to keep things nice and warm and the mold just thrives in a warm, moist environment. Some areas that may be harboring the mold spores are inside bath toys, in washing machine seals, showers and shower door railings, drain pans under the fridge, fridge seals, sponge holders in the sink and so many more places that you may not even think about. These areas should be inspected and cleaned regularly.
Though cockroaches are associated with big cities and dirty areas, they can actually be found anywhere. Make sure floors are cleaned and pet food is not left out. Seal up any cracks and crevices where they may be able to enter. Clean under stoves, refrigerators, toasters, microwaves and toaster ovens where crumbs can accumulate. Clean stove tops, counters, kitchen surfaces and cabinets regularly.
We look forward to the cozy holiday season and enjoy the warm comfort of our homes. It is imperative to our health to make sure that the areas we spend our time in are clean and free of these allergy culprits so that we can enjoy the upcoming season. QCBN
By Lucy Leyva
Lucy Leyva is the owner of Prescott Maid to Order.