How to Make Your Home Healthier
If you or your family members have allergies, you already know how utterly debilitating they can be when things in your home make them worse. It’s bad enough to have to deal with outdoor and seasonal allergy irritation, but when your home just makes things worse, life becomes excruciatingly inconvenient.
This is especially true for those who can’t even get relief while they sleep. Of course, there are some great ways to make your home more comfy for those who suffer from allergies.
Allergies are basically an overblown offshoot of the natural reaction experienced by the human body when it tries to expel potentially harmful substances. Although immune responses like swollen sinuses and expulsion are great when it comes to dealing with viruses, allergic people experience them without actually being exposed to anything unhealthy. They have serious reactions to various commonplace substances like pollen, latex, certain foods and insect stings. People with allergies experience some of the same symptoms people with asthma do, including swollen breathing passages and fatigue. They also get irritated eyes, feel uncomfortable inner ear pressure, have digestive problems or abdominal pain and develop skin rashes.
Unfortunately, many of the substances that cause allergies are found right at home. Dust, pollen tracked in from outside and mould spores can all cause problems. In the worst cases, sufferers like the elderly and young children may have allergic reactions so severe that they require emergency epinephrine injections or trips to the hospital.
Cleaning up Around the House
It’s not enough to just get a better vacuum or simply wash the couch cushions on a more regular basis, and not all forms of immunotherapy work for everyone. The best thing homeowners can do is make minor changes to their surroundings.
Hypoallergenic substances that are known for not causing allergic autoimmune reactions come in many forms. Some of the best are furniture coverings and cushion materials that don’t release dust or particulate matter into the air. You can find a number of mattress protectors, mattresses, sheets, blankets and other household items that don’t provoke allergic reactions by looking for the Australian National Asthma Council’s Sensitive Choice logo. Common consumable products like dry mouth spray, kitchen cleaning products and laundry detergents are also sold in allergy-free Sensitive Choice varieties.
One major allergen, mould, has an easy time growing anywhere it can find moisture, and it releases its allergenic, reproductive spores in the millions on a regular basis. Although there are many antimicrobial treatments and cleaners designed to eradicate mould, you have to work hard once you have an infestation, because you might not even be able to see it. Replacing your air filters, cleaning up with an HEPA vacuum or steam mop and disinfecting everything you can get your hands on is a start, but even these actions won’t necessarily prevent future problems. For permanent relief, it’s best to focus on the building materials in your home, even after calling a mould removal service.
If you’re building a new home from scratch, for instance, you can get Sensitive Choice approved framing steel which doesn’t support mould growth because it rejects moisture. Also consider the fact that the flooring and walls in your home may hold mould already. Certain paints are better at preventing growth than others, and design flooring that has earned the Sensitive Choice certification is far better than carpets and porous floor treatments that just become repositories for allergens as time goes on.
Remember that although some of these allergy management strategies may seem like a lot of work, they’re worth it in the long run. Homes with anti-allergy fixtures and furnishings are much healthier for the families that live in them, and their rarity makes them more valued in home markets as well.