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Breathe easy: Ways to limit dust allergies

Pollen isn’t the only danger to fill the air as allergy season rolls around. It’s spring cleaning time and as you begin to ruffle through all your old belongings dust stirs into the air and as you cough and wheeze you wonder if you’re allergic to everything. You are not alone though as dust is one of the most common indoor allergies.

Why dust?

Often it is not the dust itself which sends you into an allergenic fit but the dust mites which feed off it. These microscopic organisms can set off people’s allergic rhinitis, asthma and even flares of eczema. Dust can accumulate over long periods of time and you never quite know what particles are within especially for those with pets and children. When stirred up most commonly via cleaning

Symptoms of dust allergies include but are not limited to:

- Red, itchy and/or watery eyes

- Runny, itchy and/or stuffy nose

- Sneezing

- Wheezing, coughing and/or a tight chest

- Itching

Treating your allergies can be a difficult process as the exact culprit of the allergy must be determined. A medical interview will investigate your common environment often determining whether the issue is say, pet hair or pollen. If it cannot be determined it is likely you will undertake a skin test where the body is pricked with the likely determent and if swelling entails, the culprit has been found. Allergies will then likely be treated with medications including antihistamines, decongestants and nasal steroids or via allergy shots where possible.

Protecting yourself from dust allergies:

While there are treatments for your allergies, one of the best protective measures you can take is to manage your surrounding environment to help yourself avoid being subject to aerial allergens. Our top tips to protecting yourself from dust allergens include:

1. Clean your house regularly to avoid dust build up.

2. Vacuum with a dust mask on. Dust is often stirred up into the air while cleaning.

3. Wash your linen in hot water regularly.

4. Keep the air in your house clean and dry. Invest in a HEPA (High efficiency particulate air) filter to place in your heating and air conditioning unit as well as a hygrometer to keep the humidity in your house below 55%

5. Avoid kapok or feather pillows and seal in a plastic cover where possible.

6. Avoid letting pets on furniture or in bedrooms.

Opt for wood floors instead of carpet where possible.

You may also be interested in the following:

Asthma: How to take extra care during spring

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