When Dust Allergies Come Along
Dust allergies are very common among people and almost no one is spared. As dust is present everywhere, including your homes, it seems almost impossible to win that dust war.
However, there are certain things we can do to ease out breathing more, and not to knock ourselves out by sneezing all day long.
The symptoms often get worse during, or immediately after vacuuming, sweeping and dusting.
The process of cleaning is something that can trigger it, as home cleaning can stir up dust particles, making them easier to inhale.
Haven’t you noticed your sneezing becomes worse after cleaning?
Dust Allergies Symptoms
Most common dust allergy symptoms you may experience are:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Red, itchy or teary eyes
- Wheezing, coughing, tightness in the chest and shortness of breath
What Can Trigger Them
Dust allergies can be triggered by:
- Pet hair, fur or feathers
- Dust mites
As already known, pollen comes from trees, grasses, flowers and weeds, and people can be allergic to many different types of pollen.
It really is experienced differently depending to what your immune system reacts.
Pollen is the most common component of household dust, and may be the true cause for you having a dust allergy issues.
Pet Hair, Fur or Feathers
Most often, pets can cause problems for allergic reaction in several ways.
Their dander (skin flakes), saliva and urine can cause an allergic reaction, especially when combined with household dust.
Also, when households have birds, feathers and bird droppings can also become embedded in household dust and cause problems for people who are allergic to them.
Dust mites, often named as bed mites, are the most common cause of allergy from house dust.
They live and multiply easily in warm and humid places. They prefer temperatures at or above 70 degrees Fahrenheit with humidity of 75 to 80 percent. They die when the humidity falls below 50 percent, and can not be found in dry climates.
Dust mite particles are often found in pillows, mattresses, carpeting and upholstered furniture. They float into the air when anyone vacuums, or is walking on a carpet, or when bedding – as they settle once the disturbance is over.
The particles are too tiny to be seen and often cannot be removed using normal cleaning procedures. In fact, a vigorous cleaning can make an allergic reaction even worse.
Cockroaches live in all types of buildings and neighborhoods, and some people can develop allergy symptoms when they are around cockroaches.
Tiny particles from the cockroach are a common component of household dust, and may be the true cause of having a dust allergy symptoms.
Mold is a fungus that makes spores float in the air. When people with a mold allergy inhale the spores – they get allergy symptoms.
There are many different kinds of mold, some kinds are visible – and some are not.
Molds live everywhere and especially in moist places like bathrooms and kitchens. As mold particles and spores are floating in the air, they become usual component of household dust, and that’s why you may have allergic reactions. (For mold illness you can read here).
How To Get Treatment
If you have all these symptoms, and you suspect you have a dust allergy, you must see an allergist, and you may be asked detailed questions about your work and home environments, family medical history, frequency and severity of symptoms and exposure to pets and other possible triggers.
Usually, an allergist will conduct a skin test to determine exactly what is triggering your allergic reactions.
Skin tests involve using a small, sterile probe to prick the skin with extracts from common allergens, such as tree pollen and pet dander, and observing the reaction.
A positive reaction (a raised welt with redness around it) may indicate that you are allergic to that substance. Occasionally, your allergist may order a blood test and a skin test to confirm an allergy.
After a dust allergy is identified, your allergist will recommend one or more of the following treatments:
- Allergy shots
- Changes in your cleaning routines
What Can You Do To Ease The Symptoms
There are so many things you can to to save yourself from this trouble, and this is what you can do:
It is good to go through your closets, organize them and minimize the risk of dust build there. They are full of tiny fibers from clothes, towels and bedding ready to be used.
When opening closet doors, you make a wave of dust coming out directly in your face and you inhale it.
Also note, when you are dusting, try to easy pull off the shelves and wipe clean them.
It is also recommended to keep closet floors always clear and clean. If the floor is cluttered, you can’t reach the dust to be vacuumed, and it will stay there waiting for you to inhale it.
Change Bedding Weekly
This has always been a must-do, and you need to do this every week. No question asked. Your bedding is full of your skin flakes and you feed the dust mites.
Don’t let them feast from your body particles. It’s always better to starve them down, by changing sheets and pillow cases more often.
You can do thorough cleaning, wash or dry-clean them, and whatever you choose – it will do good for your health.
Vacuum Cleaner With Hepa Filter
Use vacuum cleaners that contain HEPA filters, so you can save yourself from inhaling dust while cleaning. They are always the best choice and even though they can be expensive, it is a good long-term health investment to consider.
Beat Up The Rugs
Carpets are dust reservoir, as its fibers absorb all the dust, which become airborne every time you take a step. Vacuuming at least once week (or more for allergy sufferers) can help, but taking the carpets outside for a good beating is necessity.
Put them over a fence or clothesline and beat them with a carpet broom, or in case you don’t have any – you can use an old tennis racket.
Use this method for your cushions as well.
Don’t forget the upholstery fabric which is acting like a sponge when collecting dust.
It absorbs high amounts of dust that settles on, so every time you seat – you raise dust cloud invisible to your eyes – but not your nose.
In case you are sick of dusting your couch, buy a leather one, and wipe it with clean cloth on a regular basis.
- Instead of using wall-to-wall carpets, switch to wood flooring
- Clean your house regularly, using a central vacuum, or a vacuum with a HEPA filter
- Wash all bed linens regularly
- Keep pets out of the allergic person’s bedroom
- If you have a cockroach problem, use roach traps and schedule regular visits by a professional pest control service for their extermination
- Clean regularly the air conditioning filter
- Make it a habit to measure humidity in your home, so you won’t let any mold to live in with you
As you can see, there are ways to protect yourself from dust allergies – you just need to be more persistent in the battle!
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