Staying indoors to temper your seasonal-allergy symptoms is a realistic way to feel better throughout spring and early summer — just as long as the inside of your home is allergen-free, too.
If you're feeling unwavering congestion, sinus pressure, and headaches while inside, Dr. Purvi Parikh, MD, an allergist with Allergy & Asthma Network, wants you to know of three common triggers that could be present in your home.
And while her advice could have you one step closer to feeling better, she urges you to see a board-certified allergist, too, in order to help further decrease the severity of your symptoms.
Dust mites — although too small to see without a microscope — are part of the tick and spider family and thrive in warm, humid environments, Mayo Clinic reports.
Despite their size, they could be the reason you're experiencing allergy-like symptoms such as hay fever, headaches, sneezing, runny nose, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.
That's why Dr. Parikh suggests frequently vacuuming, removing carpets and rugs, and covering your mattress and box spring with dust-mite covers, as these are where dust mites are most commonly found in homes.
"If you have water damage or leaks in your home and are allergic to mold, this could be a potential trigger," Dr. Parikh admits.
She recommends installing a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter in your home and removing any mold damage that could have accumulated over time.
Having a dehumidifier, changing the filters in your furnace, removing carpets from bathrooms and basements, recycling old books and newspapers, and keeping organic plant containers clean and dry can help prevent coughing, itchy eyes, and enhanced asthma symptoms, too.
As much as pet lovers hate to admit it, cats and dogs are known to trigger allergies, as well.
An animal's urine, saliva, and sweat (that includes rodents and rabbits, too) can all spark allergy symptoms, but dander (also known as skin cells shed by animals) is particularly a problem because it remains airborne for long periods and collects in upholstered furniture and clothing. This can all lead to sneezing, a runny nose, itchy eyes, nasal congestion, postnasal drip, facial pressure, coughing, swollen eyes, and frequent awakening.
Keeping your furry friends out of the bedroom as much as possible and using an air purifier could help you lessen allergy symptoms, Dr. Parikh says.