Ease Allergies by Improving the Air Quality in Your Home

Ease Allergies by Improving Air QualityWhen you hear the term “air pollution,” you probably think of smog, the brownish haze that hangs in the air over industrial sites and densely populated cities. However, you might be surprised to learn that the air inside your home can also be polluted. In fact, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the air inside a house can be four to 40 times dirtier than the air outside.

Common home air contaminants include dust mites, pollen, bacteria, viruses, mold, pet dander, and volatile organic compounds. Some of these pollutants are tracked in from the outside, while others arrive via household cleaning products, aerosol sprays, paints, carpeting, and even furniture. Modern homes are tightly sealed – which is a plus for energy efficiency – but the downside is that contaminants, once inside, are unable to escape. The presence of airborne impurities can irritate the eyes, noses, and throats of everyone in your household, and also cause and worsen asthma and allergy symptoms.

Here are some things you can do to improve the air quality in your home:

  • Use door mats – Place a large mat in front of every outside door and encourage everyone to wipe their shoes – or, better yet, remove them – before entering your home.
  • Vacuum often – Invest in a vacuum cleaner that has strong suction, rotating brushes, and a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter to ensure that debris won’t blow back out through the exhaust. Wash the filter regularly, and when vacuuming, pay close attention to carpet edges and upholstered furniture.
  • Follow up with a mop – A microfiber mop used with plain water can pick up any dust that your vacuum cleaner leaves behind on bare floors.
  • Maintain a healthy humidity level – An air conditioner or dehumidifier can reduce the amount of moisture in the air, which will help keep allergens under control.
  • Make your home a smoke-free zone – Cigarette smoke pollutes the air with more than 4,000 chemicals. Enough said.
  • Avoid scented products – Most of the synthetic fragrances found in cleaning products and air fresheners are derived from petroleum and emit numerous chemicals into the air.
  • Enjoy nature indoors – Decorate with houseplants, which can act as natural air purifiers, and open windows whenever possible.

If you have questions or would like to consult with a physician about allergies or for any other reason, please feel free to contact or visit South Tampa Immediate Care. At our walk-in clinic, you will be seen by a qualified doctor who has years of experience in identifying and treating many common illnesses and injuries, and no appointment is needed.