Hot Tips for Cold Weather

While the blizzard of Christmas 2010 may have brought misery to many, it probably brought much-needed relief  to hayfever and outdoor allergy sufferers.

However, winter brings with it a whole new set of allergy and asthma triggers including dust, pet dander and mold. The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) offers tips on how to stay sneeze and sniffle free indoors this winter.

  • Reduce moisture in your home to keep dust mites in check. Maintain humidity below 55%, and don’t use a humidifier or a vaporizer.
  • Filter out dust and other allergens by installing a high efficiency furnace filter with a MERV rating of 11 or 12, and be sure to change it every three months.
  • Banish allergens from the bedroom. Keep pets and their dander out, and encase mattresses and pillows with dust-mite proof covers. Limit curtains – use blinds that can be washed instead.
  • Keep it clean. A clean home is especially important for allergy sufferers, who should wear a NIOSH-rated N95 mask while dusting, a chore that should be done regularly.
  • Wash bedding and stuffed animals in hot water every 14 days and use a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
  • Turn on the fan or open the window to reduce mold growth in bathrooms (while bathing) and kitchens (while cooking). Wear latex-free gloves and clean visible mold with a five-percent bleach solution and detergent.
  • Don’t overlook the garage. Noxious odors or fumes can trigger asthma, so move insecticides, stored gasoline and other irritants to a shed, and don’t start the car and let it run in the garage.
  • Box up books and knick-knacks and limit the number of indoor plants. When you are buying new furniture, like chairs or sofas, opt for leather or other nonporous surfaces to make cleaning easier.

Need more advice on allergies?  Want to get the word out about your allergy brands?  SRxA’s team of world-class allergy advisors can help.

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