Now that we are full into Autumn and on the way to winter, it’s time for allergies.
Of course there are the typical outdoor allergies that come in the Fall, such as hay fever. But what about indoor allergies? Most prevalent being dust allergies.
This is a subject I know all too well as I’m asthmatic and dust can really set the asthma off.
What Causes Dust?
Most dust is caused by dust mites (except for the dust caused by deteriorating home materials and paint). Dust from dust mites is actually their poop and their exo-skeletons that shed off at different stages of their life. Gross I know.
Dust mites live less than 6 months and are so tiny you can not see them with the naked eye. Which judging by how ugly they are, that’s a good thing we can’t see them.
All homes have them. You can’t escape them. It’s just something we as humans have to deal with.
What is so Bad About Dust?
In my observation, all of us are at least sensitive to dust. If you don’t believe me, have someone blow some dust in your face and I bet you start sneezing, right?
If you have an allergy to dust, you will also get watery eyes, you won’t be able to stop sneezing and in extreme cases, your throat may start closing up.
In any case, dust is not very healthy to be around. Specially for old people, young children and asthmatics like me.
Also it just looks dirty in your home.
How To Minimize Dust
The following are ways to greatly reduce the dust in your home. A few of them may be a little extreme so just pick the ones that are suitable for you.
- Dust weekly and wear a mask while dusting. You can get them at your local pharmacy or from Amazon here.
- After cleaning a room, stay out of it for half an hour to allow everything to settle.
- Vacuum weekly and use a vacuum with hepa filters. They collect more dust and dirt instead of spitting some of it back out.
- Don’t use drapes or curtains as they collect dust easily. If you really don’t want to get rid of them, vacuum them weekly with a brush attachment if they can’t be washed. If they can be washed, alternate between washing them and vacuuming them weekly.
- Get rid of carpeting and instead have hardwood floors, tile or laminate floors. If you really want to use rugs, use sisal rugs or rugs made from sea grass.
- Use furniture made of leather, plastic or wood. If you must have upholstered furniture, buy slip covers for them so they can be washed and wash them weekly.
- Change your air conditioner/heater filter monthly. I wrote an article about this and you can find it here.
- Consider getting an air purifier for your home. Amazon has some great ones here.
- Wash you bed linens weekly using hot water. Buy mattress pads and pillow covers made for allergy sufferers. I got mine from Amazon. Click here to see their selection.
- Houseplants are great for cleaning the air so have some in every room. The best ones to use are Boston ferns, rubber plants, Palms, and English Ivy.
I’m sure there are things I’m forgetting or inventive ways others have found to solve the problem of dust so if you have anything to add, please leave it in the comments!
Article by Cathy Ratcliffe