Ah, spring. Although many people may be thrilled to see everything all in bloom, allergy sufferers may already be stocking up on their preferred medications to alleviate the incessant sneezing. And while staying inside might seem like an important step to provide sinus relief, the reality is that studies have found organic levels may be two to five times higher indoors than outdoors — and when inhaled, these compounds can contribute to many health problems. Ultimately, one of the best ways to safeguard your health during allergy season is to turn your attention to the interior of your home and embrace some spring cleaning. Americans spend an average of six days per year on this task, and for good reason: it can allow you to clear out the clutter and keep you from feeling the effects of seasonal allergies.
Certainly, a deep clean during the spring is a good idea. In fact, if you skip this step, dust and dander will build up in your home and make your allergies worse. But you’ll actually fare a lot better if you make a habit of cleaning more frequently than that. You should vacuum (preferably with a HEPA filter, which traps allergens) and dust your home once a week, including your furnishings and draperies. It’s recommended to have upholstery professionally cleaned at least once a year.
Think your floors aren’t fresh no matter how often you clean them? The U.S. flooring industry reported growth of 3.85% in revenue last year — and since carpets are a no-no for allergy sufferers, you might want to think about replacing them with a low-allergen alternative down the line. Hardwood and tile floors are much easier to keep clean and free of the contaminants that will aggravate your allergies. Even swapping out heavy curtains for blinds may help — as long as you stick to that established cleaning schedule.
Every year, an estimated 37 million people experience sinusitis — a condition that can be brought on by viruses, bacteria, or fungi and can be exacerbated by allergies and even tooth infections. While you can’t always avoid the germs to which you’re exposed, maintaining a clean home can reduce your risk of becoming ill. That said, a home that’s filled with dust, danger, and other allergens might be too much for you to deal with. Some experts advise that it may be well worth the cost of hiring professional cleaning help. That way, you can attain a clean home without making your own allergies worse in the process.
If you think you can handle it yourself, you may also want to take stock of your cleaning products. Take an inventory of the products you already have in your home and eliminate any that contain toxins, VOCs, and other harmful ingredients. In many cases, environmentally friendly cleaning products are also best for allergy sufferers, though you may be able to make your own cleaning products without having to spend a lot at the store. No matter what, be sure to wear gloves and a dust mask when cleaning.
Although these tips might not provide complete relief from a runny nose or watery eyes, devoting some time to cleaning your home this spring can make the season far more bearable for those with respiratory issues. Not only will you be able to breathe more easily, but you’ll probably feel a lot more clear-headed once your home is clean.