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As many readers here at The Fun Times Guide to Health may know, I suffer from spring allergies.
However, what I’m learning is that I may have been suffering from indoor allergens, too.
Growing up, I lived in one-half of a single-story duplex, and my family and I had many belongings in our small home. Mom used to call it “clean dirt” because, sure, we had a lot of clutter, but everything was kept relatively tidy.
Shelves and furniture were dusted regularly, carpets were vacuumed, and hard surfaces were cleaned frequently, too.
Our home was carpeted, we had a cat, and we had upholstered furnishings, like most anybody else has. A huge oak tree also stood in our front yard and partially covered the roof of our home.
You may be wondering why I am mentioning seemingly random things about my home.
Well, as I am learning, those are just a few of the many factors that can contribute to indoor allergens. They can harbor in some of the most unexpected places, and exacerbate symptoms for those who already suffer from allergies that originate outdoors.
Where You’ll Find Indoor Allergens
Here’s a list of 8 of the most surprising places that indoor allergens reside inside the home:
#1 Around windows – Remember that oak tree I mentioned above? Turns out pollen could have easily infiltrated through the cracks around windows, near the window frame and sash.
- What you can do: Seal your windows with caulking to reduce the amount of pollen entering your house.
#2 On the carpet – I’ve been hearing a lot about carpet harboring indoor allergens. You can track pollen and other allergens into your home on your shoes and then deposit them into the fiber of your carpeting and rugs.
- What you can do: Remove the carpet and/or throw rugs to eliminate those indoor allergens from your home.
#3 In your bed – Some individuals have a hard time sleeping with somebody else. Turns out, I sleep with some 6 million dust mites every night. Ewwwwww! Know what’s even grosser? It’s their waste that is an indoor allergen! Fortunately, it’s pretty simple to evict most of these nasty friends and their disgusting poo from bedding.
- What you can do: Wash your bedding with hot water at least one a week to get rid of dust mites and their fecal matter.
#4 On your pet – Contrary to popular belief, it’s not animal fur, per se, that’s an allergen. Rather, it’s the saliva and proteins that are secreted in sweat glands and turn up in your pet’s dander that people are allergic to.
- What you can do: Give your pet a bath once a week to remove dander and wash your face, hands, and arms after playing with your furry friend to help eliminate these indoor allergens from your home.
#5 On shower curtains – It adds a little pain to the punishment to think that my shower curtain, which surrounds my shower – the very place I go to wash away the indoor allergens – could, in fact, be aggravating my allergies. Well, consider this: your shower stall is a wet place. And guess what likes wet places? Mold! Wet shower curtains are a breeding ground for mold.
- What you can do: Clean all hard surfaces in the bathroom with mold-killing sprays to keep mold from growing in the bathroom.
#6 In the air – Mold just seems to be everywhere. In fact, when it comes to your home, it probably is. Mold isn’t merely a seasonal problem, but rather something that can thrive all year round — especially in areas of the home such as the bathroom.
- What you can do: Open a window or use the exhaust fan when you’re showering. If your bathroom has carpeting, it’s best to remove it since that’s the dampest room in the house; install tile or linoleum flooring instead.
#7 On your shoes – Wet shoes are a prime place to find indoor allergens. Just think about it for a second: wet (mold and mildew) shoes (pollen). Yeah, I think that’s a double whammy against my nose if you ask me. My fiancée’s zoo job entails mucking out animal habitats, too… which means she inadvertently is bringing home pet allergens, too. I’d call that an indoor allergen trifecta!
- What you can do: Dry wet shoes by placing them in front of a fan to dry out.
#8 Underneath furniture – While stale, cracked chips and pocket change are common finds between furniture cushions, dust mites are pretty populous under the furniture. Gross.
- What you can do: Clean underneath your furniture with a vacuum, and wash the surrounding hard surfaces with a lightly dampened rag.
More Ways To Get Rid Of Indoor Allergens
Clearly, the 3 most common indoor allergens — dust mites, indoor mold, and pet dander — are probably lurking around your home right now.
We’ve only covered 8 of the more unusual places that indoor allergens tend to hide. If you have indoor allergies, then you’ll probably want to explore further all of the places they hide, along with the top ways to keep your home allergen-free.
These sites have some of the most helpful tips for removing indoor allergens from your house:
- Dr Oz’s Anti-Allergy Attack Plan For Your House
- Tips To Control Indoor Dust Mites
- Relief From Allergies At Home
- Fighting Allergies From The Inside
- How To Allergy Proof Your Home
- Tips For Managing House Dust Mites
- Pinterest Tips & Tricks For Keeping Your Home Allergen Free
I want everyone to live their best life… for as long as possible. So I often write about the health screenings that we all should be getting — to help catch potential health issues early. (Yes, I get my screenings too.) I also share my knowledge and experience with specific health problems that I am personally familiar with.