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House Cleaning
Got allergies? Clean your house and feel better
 
by Mary Butler
 
As spring flowers bloom and brown turns to green, so begins the sneezing season for allergy sufferers. After a winter spent with doors shut and windows closed, if you're tempted to just stay inside to avoid the watering eyes and familiar tickle in your nose and throat, think again. What's inside your house might be as culpable for your sneezes as what's outside, according to allergists.
Doctors prescribe regular and thorough housecleaning along with injections and pills to help relieve symptoms for even the worst allergy sufferers. Dr. Christian Nageotte, program director for the Allergy Fellowship, Allergy and Immunology at Henry Ford Hospital, told the Detroit News that a routine of vacuuming twice a week, regular dusting and twice-a-week laundering of bed linens can drastically improve an allergy sufferer's quality of life.
 
Housecleaning Kills Dust Mites
Dust mites, in particular, aggravate allergies, Nagoette said. All they need to live are human skin and humidity, and as a result, live easily among bed clothes (except in high-desert areas such as Denver or Albuquerque, which are higher than 5,000 feet). The best way to kill them is by washing sheets and blankets weekly in 120-degree water.
Consider these housekeeping tips to stay healthy this spring:
  • Use dust mite covers for pillows, mattresses and box springs; wash them at least twice a month in hot water.
  • Rid your home of mold by using a bleach-and-water mixture.
  • Use chemical-free natural products and/or wear goggles, gloves and a protective mask over the nose and eyes, so as not to irritate your allergies while cleaning. A couple days before cleaning, take an antihistamine, use a nasal sprayer or eye drops to prevent a flare up.
  • Attack pet hair with a vengeance. Wash floors and tabletops weekly; vacuum daily if possible.
  • Use a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) air filter in your bedroom.
  • Clean with essential oils such as Tear Tree Oil and Grapefruit Oil, which boost the immune system, open blocked nasal passages and relieve dry itchy eyes and throats.
  • Disinfect by diffusing Eucalyptus and Peppermint oils.
If your schedule is too busy for regular cleaning, consider hiring a maid service.
 
About the Author:
Colorado-based freelancer Mary Butler writes about homes and gardens.
 
Source(s):
Kimberly Hayes Taylor     Spring cleaning can battle allergies     Apr 10, 2009

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