Pass the tissues and antihistamine please -- 'tis the season for holiday allergies. Like unwanted gifts, sneezing and congestion arrive, making allergy sufferers miserable and putting a damper on holiday fun.
Fortunately you don't have to be sidelined from the festivities. Whether it's symptoms to food, pets, mold or mildew, allergies during the holidays can be beat -- with lifestyle changes, medication, and a few simple tips.
One study found that some vacuum cleaners throw fine dust and germs back into the air, where they can trigger allergies and spread infections.
But don’t stop vacuuming forever! Most good vacuums suck up more dust, dirt, and allergens than they spit out.
The vacuums that seem to cause the most problems are older, cheaper models. Newer ones that cost more generally do a better job of containing allergens. If your vacuum cleaner is aging and dirty, it’s time for a new one.
Some experts say you should get a vacuum cleaner with a high-efficiency HEPA filter. Others say the best vacuums are central units. With these, the motor and filter are outside your house, so dust and dirt are filtered away. One drawback is the cost -- central vacuums are more expensive because you have the installation cost.
Other ways to keep the air clean in your home:
Wash throw rugs every week in hot water to kill dust mites and other allergens.
Use a microfiber or electrostatic cloth for dusting. They don't stir up dust or allergens.
Replace carpeting, if you can, with tile or hardwood floors.