Spring is around the corner, and though welcome in large parts of North India which went through a harsh and cold winter, it does bring its own problems.
Spring season is typically Allergy Season
- as winter recedes we begin to step out and this exposes us to outdoor allergens
- As flowers bloom and pollen is shed our allergy symptoms rise
It is now generally well known that the air inside our homes is quite often more toxic than the air outside.
HOW TO ALLERGY PROOF OUR HOMES?
1. Furnishings and Carpets
- Avoid thick upholstery (which gathers large amounts of dust and can prove troublesome)
- Get rid of carpets – these are filled with dust particles and other harmful substances like animal dander and soot from traffic pollution etc – wooden or marble flooring is preferable. You may use thin easily washable linoleum sheets etc for flooring if you like. If you cannot do without a carpet, at least avoid wall to wall carpet that is stuck to the floor- use carpets or rugs that can be washed or cleaned easily- preferably outside the room.
- Curtains must be easily washable
2. Cleaning rooms and surfaces
Vacuum cleaning is preferable to dusting – this sheds dust particles all over the room. Wet mopping is preferable to dusting Avoid Clutter in the house – use minimum stuff, avoid articles that are difficult to clean with a wet cloth
3. Avoid Furry animals
This is a difficult one because it pulls on your heartstrings. It is more difficult to convince young children who suffer from asthma and severe allergies that their exposure to the pet is one of the reasons for their worsening of symptoms.
In case unavoidable some rules can be followed-
- pets must be washed frequently
- Never allow them on your bed- keep designated areas for them
- get a hypo-allergic pet- they shed less dander and at predictable times
One of the commonest human allergies is an allergy to mould or fungus. This grows on wet walls and bathroom and kitchen floors. Keep a vigilant eye for seepage in the house and deal with it immediately. Do not let floors and surfaces remain wet for too long.
5. House Dust Mites
The commonest allergen for the Respiratory Tract of humans is House Dust Mites. These are invisible to the human eye, stay and breed on bedclothes and feed on dead human skin and nails, etc. They are therefore always found on bedclothes.
Be very thorough and vigorous with bed linen – wash frequently and thoroughly in boiling hot water and put the sheets etc in the hot sun to dry.
Use non-allergenic linen as far as possible.
6. Shoes Outside
In many states of India as well as in many cultures it is traditional to take off one’s shoes before entering a house. This is a very healthy practice. In case needed disposable shoe covers can be provided.
7. Keep windows closed and use air purifiers when necessary
In case your house is close to greenery or dense traffic opening windows will bring in pollen, dust, and traffic pollutants straight into the house. In such situations keep the windows shut and invest in a good air purifier. (Refer my article on air purifiers).
8. Eat only in designated areas- preferably on the dining table only.
Food particles and crumbs in your room are an invitation for insects etc to feed on them, including cockroaches and mice. Avoid eating in your bedroom.
Stay safe this Allergy Season!!