People with house dust allergy recognize the symptoms, which range from mile to severe. Dust can cause itchy eyes, stuffy nose, and wheezing. As temperatures turn cold, people spend more time indoors, where they might be exposed to household dust mites, which can cause allergic symptoms. Although it is difficult to dust proof a house, specific housecleaning methods do help to reduce the allergens. You will find below tips on how to reduce dust allergies in your home.
Dust allergies: symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatments
Common dust allergy symptoms include a runny or stuffy nose, itchy eyes, watery eyes, and sneezing. The allergy can aggravate asthma, which is an inflammation of the airways and lungs. According the Mayo Clinic website, symptoms of asthma include wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and tightness of the chest.
See an Allergist
People with allergies should see a doctor to pinpoint the cause of symptoms, and to get professional advice. Once allergy triggers have been identified, the Allergist may recommend avoiding environmental triggers to reduce exposure to the culprits. The doctor may recommend prescription or over the counter medication to control symptoms. An allergist may recommend allergen immunotherapy, which is a treatment that may take several months to be effective.
How common are dust mites?
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, dust mites are the most common cause of allergy from house dust. House dust content may vary from house to house, but the most common triggers in dust include dust mites, cockroaches, mold and animals.
What are dust mites?
Dust mites are microscopic creatures that belong to the family called arachnids, which is a class that also contains spiders, chiggers and ticks. Hardy dust mites multiply easily in warm, humid places with temperatures at, or above, 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Dust mites are not usually found in dry climates.
House Cleaning Tips to Reduce Dust Allergies
ACAAI recommends having the allergic person leave the house while it is being cleaned and for at least two hours after cleaning. If the house is being cleaned by an allergic person, a dust mask should be worn.
Cleaning tips for dust allergies
- Remove carpeting, which can provide a haven for dust mites. Hard surfaces, such as hard wood or tile are easy to clean.
- Damp mop wood or linoleum flooring weekly.
- Encase bedding and pillows in mite proof covering.
- Vacuum regularly with a high performance vacuum with a HEPA filter or a central vacuum. Normal vacuums can throw dust back into the air. Vacuum the floor, furniture, and bedding.
- Clean all surfaces with a damp cloth. Remember to clean tops of doors, picture frames, windowsills and window frames.
- Wear a dust mask while cleaning.
how to reduce dust and allergens in your home
- No smoking. Do not allow smoking anywhere in the house, as it can aggravate allergies.
- Install a high efficiency filter on the furnace and air conditioning unit.
- Change the furnace and air conditioner as recommended. Change the filter a minimum of every three months.
- Leave the furnace or air conditioning fan on to create a whole house air filter that removes particulates.
- Keep the indoor humidity below 55 percent. Do not use vaporizers or humidifiers.
- A dehumidifier may be used to pull the humidity out of the air, reducing dust mites.
Dust allergy is not necessarily a sign of a dirty house. In fact, the act of housekeeping itself can stir up the dust that causes allergic symptoms. Many of the substances in dust cannot be removed by normal cleaning methods. Even a very clean house can contain enough dust to cause symptoms in highly allergic people.