"Allergens" refer to substances that trigger an allergic reaction. These reactions can come in many forms, like asthma, or skin rashes, or sneezing.
Your home, unfortunately, is a site of several common allergens. Learn the three most common allergens found in the home and how you can avoid or manage them.
Dust mites are microscopic insects that feed on dust, which is made up of dead skin cells and other detritus. Mites thrive in warm and humid conditions, and they like to burrow in beddings, carpets, and other material that often collect dust. To lessen incidence of dust mites, it follows that one must clean the house regularly, ticking off chores such as washing bedsheets and couch covers as needed, vacuuming your carpets and rugs, and wiping and sweeping surfaces in general.
Mold likes to grow in cracks and crevices in dark and moist rooms. This means that the bathroom and the basement are highly susceptible. The kitchen, especially the sink, is a frequent victim as well. Common manifestations of a mold allergy include sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, nasal congestion, and itchiness on the nose, mouth or lips. To save yourself from these unnecessary discomforts, take measures to dehumidify susceptible areas by using a dehumidifier or letting in as much fresh air and sunlight as possible. Regular cleaning is key, too. To get rid of mold, scrub the affected area with a mixture of water and an acidic substance like white vinegar or lime juice. Wear a cloth mask or handkerchief around your nose and mouth area to protect yourself.
Dogs and cats – or, more specifically, their hair, their dander, or their saliva – are allergens to a good fraction of the population. Before committing to the responsibility of a pet, make sure that no member of the household has a history of allergies to the type of pet or its breed, as in the case of a dog or a cat. Look into breeds that produce less dander. Keep your pets clean and well-groomed, and set off-limits areas of the house, such as bedrooms, the kitchen, and the dining room. Keep them off of the couch and vacuum regularly.