Living with allergies of your own isn’t easy, but a spouse or partner who has them can also put a crimp in your plans. He may be stuffed up and tired when you want to play. Or maybe her sneezing and wheezing keeps you up at night.
But there’s a way for you both to get some relief. You just need to look at home allergy treatment as a couples’ activity. With a little work around the house, you can get rid of the triggers that bring on your beloved’s symptoms.
Allergies affect more than 50 million people in the United States -- the poor souls who sniffle, sneeze, and get all clogged up when face to face with the allergen (or allergens) that set them off.
For many, allergies are seasonal and mild, requiring nothing more than getting extra tissue or taking a decongestant occasionally. For others, the allergy is to a known food, and as long as they avoid the food, no problem.
But for legions of others adults, allergies are so severe it interferes with...
This goes beyond vacuuming. Here are some things that can help:
Go minimal. Give furniture and knick-knacks the once-over to make sure they don’t add to your woes. Overstuffed furniture often contains down feathers, and antiques may be stuffed with horsehair or covered in fabric made from it.
Show off your floors. It’s easier to keep linoleum, hardwood, or tile dust-free than it is to remove all the dust from carpets.
Cover up. Encase your mattress and all pillows in zippered covers that create a barrier between dust mites and your partner. Make sure your pillow is zipped up, too: A feather pillow that isn’t covered can trigger your partner’s allergies.
Clean the air. Install a fan-based HEPA air purifier in your most-used living areas to collect dust before it settles. Splurge on well-made furnace and air-conditioning filters instead of cheap fiberglass ones. Look for a MERV (minimum efficiency value rating) of 8-12. Change or wash permanent filters every month.
Use micro-fiber cloths or an electrostatic duster. They pick up dust and pollen instead of swirling it around the air.
Chill out. In spring, turn on your air conditioner instead of opening windows. That will cut down on the pollen coming inside. Ceiling or standing fans also help cool and move air. Clean the fan blades first: That will get rid of any dust that might have settled on the blades.
Go less green. Limit house plants -- mold loves to grow in wet soil.
Use good scents-sense. Skip the scented products. People with allergies can react to the cologne, cleaning supplies, potpourri, and beauty products. If perfume or cologne makes your significant other sneeze, don’t wear it -- at least at home.