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Each year, millions of Americans suffer from nasal allergies. That stuffy, runny nose and postnasal drip keep allergy sufferers indoors. People often forget, however, that those same allergens making their time outdoors unbearable are lurking around their homes as well. Read below to learn some simple ways to reduce the allergen population in your home.
Dust, mold, pesticides and other allergy-provoking irritants may be brought into your home through your shoes. Place a washable mat at the entrance and remove all shoes before entering. Wash the mat regularly to keep allergens out.
A HEPA filter can remove pet dander, pollen and other allergens from the air, as long as its clean air delivery rate (CADR) is within at least ⅔ of the square footage of the room in which it will be placed. For a cheaper alternative, consider an electrostatic filter or a pleated paper filter; either of those will be nearly as effective as a HEPA filter. Make sure that filters are replaced or cleaned every few months.
Costing roughly $10 at most drugstores, a neti pot irrigates your nasal passages to mitigate allergies. After filling the neti pot with a combination of saline and warm water, you tilt your head over the sink, pour the solution into one nostril and watch it pour out the other.
Decongestants, nasal sprays and other over-the-counter medications may relieve sneezing, stuffy nose, and congestion. If you are using nasal spray, make sure it is specifically for allergies and not congestion, as prolonged use of decongestant sprays can actually worsen nasal congestion.
Dust mites occur in high humidity, while excessively dry air may cause nasal allergies to worsen. keep the humidity level in your home at 30%-50% with the help of a humidifier or dehumidifier, which can be purchased at the drugstore.
To keep dust mites away from your bed, always make your bed and choose hypoallergenic bedding. Allergen-proof covers may further discourage dust mites from settling into your pillows, box springs and mattress.
If you currently dust using an old T-shirt or a cotton towel, you are just stirring the allergens through the air. A microfiber cloth uses electrostatic charge to actually collect dust and is machine washable. in addition to microfiber cloths, microfiber mitts and wipes can also be purchased.
Cleaning and yard work bring you uncomfortably close to allergens. By wearing gloves and a safety mask, you can keep these allergens away from your nose, mouth and hands.
Vacuum your home (including upholstered furniture) at least once a week to remove allergens from your floors. Make sure your vacuum cleaner either uses a double bag or a HEPA filter to prevent spreading dust through the air.
Steam cleaning is especially effective for clearing dust mites from upholstery and carpeting. Vacuuming should be done after steam cleaning to remove dead dust mites.
Acknowledgement: This text was re-written from WebMD’s “Nasal Allergy Relief Products” slideshow