Spring home cleaning reduces allergies
April showers bring May flowers, but those spring blooms also bring misery to those who suffer from allergies. Although there are a myriad of ways to treat allergy symptoms, ranging from nasal congestion and sneezing to watery and itchy eyes, a cure remains elusive.
But there is one way you can help prevent allergies that may surprise you: spring cleaning.
In addition to making your home look and feel better, spring cleaning can also go a long way toward combatting allergy symptoms, according to a news release from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).
Dr. James Sublett, president-elect of the ACAAI said that a thorough cleaning of your home not only helps eliminate allergens, but it also prevents new ones from coming in. This is especially important for those who are sensitive to indoor allergens because, for them, allergy season can last all year round, but worsen when pollen becomes an issue in the spring.
Dr. Sublet said that year-round allergy sufferers need to remove allergens from the home in order to enjoy an active, healthy lifestyle.
Allergies are a major cause of illness in the U.S., with some 50 million Americans suffering allergies, including millions of children, according to the ACAAI. That's approximately one in five Americans who have immune systems that treat whatever they’re allergic to as an intruder, causing their body to release chemicals to defend against the intruding irritant.
This release of chemicals is what causes allergy symptoms, which can range from mild to severe – and even deadly.
To get rid of allergens in your home, while also preventing them from entering in the first place, the ACAAI offers the following tips for effectively and thoroughly cleaning your home:
1. Stay on top of routine household chores that prevent allergies, such as changing air filters every three months and using filters with a MERV rating of 11 or 12. Vacuum regularly to get rid of dust mites, using a vacuum with a HEPA filter or a cyclonic vacuum, and also wash bedding and stuffed animals every week.