As many as forty million Americans might be allergic to their own homes.
Whilst this is a shocking statistic, it is not as surprising as it seems, when you think about the masses of bugs, allergens, dust, pet hair and other pollutants that are swirling around in the air. This is even before you start to consider all the potential chemical irritants that the average person has living in their homes.
So, might you be one of those affected?
For most people, symptoms that they are possibly allergic to their own homes are very similar to hay fever. These include;
Itching eyes (62.1%) sneezing (66.9%) and the number one symptom; a runny nose (67.8%).
THE WORST ROOM
For nearly sixty percent of all sufferers, the worst room proves to be their own bedroom.
This is probably because of all the dust mites in the bed – the average bed contains roughly two million!
It is all too easy to mix up the symptoms of an allergy to the home with other ailments, such as a cold or hay fever.
It is possible that between ten to twenty percent of the population has some degree of allergy to something within their home.
In most cases, someone with an allergy will develop it before the age of twenty.
Both genders are equally affected by allergies.
It is believed that the primary cause of home allergies is house dust mites.
These thrive in the moist and warm conditions that are found in the home. Feeding on dead skin cells and human sweat, these are to be found in beds, carpets, upholstery and fabrics of all types.
The prime irritant to humans is in their feces.
After these, the next most common allergens are pets and mold spores.
To combat dust mites you should;
- Wash bedding at 60 degrees Celsius – or above – at least weekly.
- Change your mattress every eight years, at least.
- Change pillows yearly.
- Remove the carpet for twice weekly vacuuming. Also clean and vacuum the floor beneath the carpet. Some allergy sufferers find replacing carpeting for other flooring solutions to be an easier method.
- Also steam clean the carpets and other upholstery.
- Try and keep soft furnishings to a minimum.
- Buy easily washable, lightweight, cotton curtains and wash them frequently.
- Wash all soft toys at sixty degrees Celsius, at least. If they cannot be washed at sixty degrees, place them in a plastic bag and put in the freezer for twenty four hours. Then wash them at the recommended temperature.
- Invest in a dehumidifier and an air purifier. The dehumidifier will help with mold spores and the air purifier can help with dust mites, pet dander and other pollutants that live in your home.
Although it is not guaranteed that you can completely rid yourself of your home allergy, by following the above advice you are doing the best that you can to minimize the symptoms!