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Tips to Ease Indoor Allergies at Home

Is your house filled with allergy triggers you cannot see?


Cleaner Crisis: Most vacuums don't pick up tiny allergens. They stir them up instead. Get a vacuum with a HEPA filter. It makes all the difference.

Duct Season: Before turning on heat the first time, get ducts cleaned. Otherwise, you'll get blasted with mold and other allergens.

Moldy Oldies: Mold grows on old bread -- but also on cheese, mushrooms, dried fruits, soy sauce, sour cream, and hot dogs. Got a mold allergy?

Cleaning Crisis: House cleaning is a good thing, but cleaning agents can cause serious airway irritations. Good ventilation is key.

Humidity. Too Much or Too Little: Mold and dust mites thrive in moist environments. Keep the humidity in your house between 40% and 20% to control allergens and still breathe comfortably. 

Awake With Allergies: Stuffy nose, postnasal drip -- these allergy symptoms can wreak havoc on sleep. Could allergies be causing your insomnia?

Got You Covered: Your air vents push allergens into every room. Cover bedroom vents with cheesecloth -- and replace when soiled.

In Hot Water: Check your water heater. Wash sheets and pillowcases in hot water -- at least 130 F -- to kill dust mites.

Got Ragweed Allergy? Then you're likely sensitive to bananas, cucumbers, melons, zucchini, sunflower seeds, and chamomile tea.

Your "Om" Home: Stressed? Try meditation. Stress makes allergy symptoms worse -- and meditation is a fast-acting stress reliever.

Misery Mystery: If seasonal allergies are triggering sinus infections, it's time for allergy treatment. See an allergist.

Stuffed Up? Could it be a sinus infection? Facial pain -- and thick nasal discharge for over 7 days -- are a few symptoms.

Shower Spa: Stuffed up? Take a hot shower. A steamy bathroom helps to open and thin the mucus in your sinuses.

Dry, Itchy Skin? Eczema is common in people with allergies. Cold compresses can help relieve itching. Be sure to use lotions to keep skin moist.

Rip It Up: Carpets and throw rugs collect dust, mites, and mold. Rip up wall-to-wall carpeting. Make sure small rugs are washable.

Sweet Heat: Warm compresses on a child's face can help soothe sinus pressure and pain.

Wrap It Up: In fall, indoor allergens are our biggest pests. To control bedroom dust mites, wrap your pillows, mattress, and box springs in special allergen-proof covers.

Time to Winterize: Fixing leaks around windows and doors helps cut heating bills. It also keeps allergens outside.

Keep It Closed: Keep windows closed, even if temperatures are milder. You'll keep outdoor allergens where they should be -- outdoors.

Arid Home Air: Your home heating system dries indoor air, which can lead to sinus infections. A humidifier bumps humidity to 50%.

Tricked by Treats: Food allergies can cause a serious reaction. If your child is allergic to nuts or other foods, check candy carefully.

Reviewed on July 08, 2008

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