Understanding Household Allergens

What are common household allergens?  To adhere to the concept of allergen avoidance, you have to know what can cause an allergic response.  The major household allergens are the dust mite, pet dander, cockroaches, and mold mildew.

The optimal allergy free home environment is one that minimizes these common household allergens.

The dust mite is a microscopic creature which eats dead flaked-off skin cells.  They live in warm humid environments such as bedding, carpeting, and pillows.  Take a look around your house.  You can probably identify pretty quickly the things that are dust collectors.  It is those things that need to be cleaned (on a regular basis) or removed entirely.  Our home is decorated with simplicity in mind and with things that are easily removed for cleaning.

Pet dander is among the  common household allergens.  Pet dander from either cats or dogs can penetrate carpeting and bedding surfaces and is very difficult to remove entirely.  It is recommended that if you have a cat or dog allergy, you should consider having your pet stay outside the home.  I understand how difficult this can be.  I grew up around pets and we always had multiple animals living in our home.  I once even shared my bedroom with my cat!  If you just cannot keep your pet outside the home, then at the very least do not allow your pet into your bedroom.  Try to keep this one area of the home as allergy-free as possible.

Cockroaches are also listed among common household allergens.  The key here is to eliminate them from the home.  Make sure they don’t have a place to hide or access to food.  Since a water source is of primary importance to the cockroach, look for those places first.  Check for leaky faucets and pipes.  Some electrical appliances such as space heaters can encourage them. Be sure to eliminate food sources by sealing up food and removing garbage containers to the outside.

Also on the list of common household allergens are mold and mildew.  Some individuals have mold spore or mildew allergy.  Mold grows in damp environments.  It can be present in basements, shower stalls, humidifiers, and house plants.  A good cleaning routine can help prevent an overgrowth of mold.  A furnace humidifier or a dehumidifier can provide the correct humidity level for your home.  True also if you use other types of space heater.  For allergy relief at home reduce or remove the sources of common household allergens.

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