The spring season is here, and for many Americans, asthma and allergy symptoms are at their worst.
A 2011 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that 40 million Americans have been diagnosed with asthma.
Allergy and asthma symptoms can range from mild to severe and are usually triggered by exposure to allergens. Triggers like air pollution and high pollen levels are common, but most allergens are hiding out right in your own home.
Indoor allergens like dust mites, pet dander, mold, and cockroach droppings can trigger symptoms in many asthma and allergy sufferers. A survey from the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found at least six allergens were detectable in about 50 percent of homes. Allergens can be carried in the air and found on furniture, floors, and other surfaces around the home.
Removing indoor allergy triggers from the home can reduce allergy and asthma symptoms. Even though a home cannot be completely allergen-free, cleaning thoroughly with natural cleaning products on a regular basis can help reduce the exposure of allergens in your home.
Getting rid of dust can help control indoor allergens. Dust mites thrive in dust. Since dusting can kick up allergen particles into the air, wear a dust mask when cleaning and clean with a microfiber cloth which collects dust rather than scatters it.
Vacuuming can also help control allergens in your home. Pollen, dust mite, and cockroach byproducts are heavier than pet dander and are more likely to settle onto furniture and other surfaces. Using a vacuum with High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters can trap small particles and prevent them from spreading into the air. Try to vacuum at least twice a week. Also consider using HEPA filters in your air conditioner, especially if you have pets.
Reduce animal dander by vacuuming frequently and washing your pet weekly. Try and keep your pet out of the bedroom and off the furniture as much as possible.
Molds and mildew thrive in damp areas like basements and bathrooms. Mold spores also float in the air and can trigger allergy symptoms. Get rid of mold using a vinegar/water/hydrogen peroxide mixture. Use either a humidifier or a dehumidifier as needed to keep the humidity at about 40 percent.
Dust mites thrive in bedding, pillows, and rugs. To reduce allergens, wash blankets, sheets, and pillowcases in hot water (130 degrees) once a week and dry them in a hot dryer to kill the dust mites. Enclose mattresses and pillows in allergen-proof casing.
To prevent pollen from entering your home, keep windows and doors closed as much as possible. Avoid going outdoors when the pollen count is high, and in the early morning hours (between 5 am and 10 am). Taking a shower and changing your clothes when coming in from outside also helps get rid of any pollen you might have picked up while outdoors. Do not hang laundry out on the clothesline to dry since pollen can collect on them.
Many toxic household cleaners can trigger symptoms in those who have asthma or allergies. Switch to eco-friendly, green cleaners which have natural and plant-based ingredients. Consider making your own natural homemade cleaning products using vinegar, lemons, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide.
Every family needs to understand the importance of a clean environment and how to reduce allergens in the home. By assigning chores to each family member, everyone is able to contribute to a cleaner environment. Remember to assign appropriate tasks to those that suffer from asthma or allergy symptoms. Things like washing dishes, folding laundry, or picking up clutter may have less exposure to triggers than dusting or vacuuming.
Maid Brigade House Cleaning Services cares about the health of you and your family. For more information on healthy green living and green cleaning, please log on to http://greencleancertified.com and http://maidbrigade.com. To learn more about the asthma and allergy triggers in your home, or to learn more about household products and breast cancer, please log on to http://www.greencleancertified.com/greentv.