Spring cleaning checklist to reduce allergies – Times of India

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Spring cleaning can worsen allergies due to pollutants like pet dander and pollen. Minimize exposure, vacuum regularly, use an air purifier, and monitor symptom patterns for effective allergy management.With the onset of spring, it is time to deep clean your entire home, room by room and top to bottom, removing dust from all surfaces and decluttering, throwing away things you no longer need. This also includes cleaning areas you do not clean regularly such as beneath carpets and furnishings and on top of bookshelves.

For many, after keeping homes closed during the winter, spring cleaning can be a refreshing restart to embrace the vibrant energy of a new season.However, for those with indoor allergies, the very act of cleaning can trigger a cascade of sniffles, itchy eyes, and wheezing. As carpets are swept and windows are opened to welcome the warmth of the season, allergens such as pet dander, mold, and pollen are stirred up, posing a threat to health.

In cities, where pollution levels tend to be notably elevated, the impact of allergies can escalate, causing even more trouble. The mix of airborne pollutants and allergens like pollen can significantly worsen allergy symptoms, making them even more challenging to manage. Therefore, it becomes crucial for individuals to be well-prepared and know how to deal with allergies.

Combatting spring allergies

While symptoms can be managed medically, understanding your allergy triggers enables you to better anticipate your allergy flare-ups and take precautions when necessary. One might not be able to avoid all the things that bother them, but there are some simple things one can do to feel better, especially during springtime.

Here are some tips to help manage indoor allergies:

1. Minimise Exposure

Spring is beautiful, but for some allergy sufferers, it can be a nightmare. When seasons change, some people may develop cold-like symptoms and attribute that to the sudden change in temperature. However, often, it is an indication of seasonal allergies that people may be unaware of. The key to feeling better is to avoid the things that make allergies act up. The biggest troublemakers are usually pollen, mold, and dust. On days when there’s tons of pollen flying around, try to stay inside with the windows and doors closed. This will help keep those itchy eyes and runny nose at bay. If going out, you may wear a mask as it will act as a barrier to block some particles and allergens from reaching your nose, mouth and mucus lining, thus reducing some exposure.

2. Vacuum regularly

While most people clean their homes regularly, it is important to vacuum beyond just the floors. Allergens and pollen particles float in the air and settle on surfaces like windowsills, curtains, and furniture. These particles tend to linger, exacerbating allergies over time. Therefore, to help manage allergies, prioritise regular vacuuming. Vacuuming different surfaces in the home with a particular focus on upholstery and other neglected spots in the home regularly goes a long way in minimizing your exposure to pollen in the home. Opting for a vacuum with high-power or Boost mode can provide the suction needed to effectively remove mites, skin flakes, and allergens.

3. Do not forget the neglected spots

Neglected spots like mattresses, walls, lamps, bathroom cabinets, and ceilings often go unnoticed during cleaning, yet they harbour dust mites, bacteria, and other particles that can trigger allergies. As children could be more prone to allergies, vacuum their bedroom and other articles, such as stuffed toys, bed, bookshelves, pillows and cushions, regularly. It’s crucial to include these areas in the cleaning routine to effectively eliminate allergens from the home.

4. Use an air purifier!

Indoor air quality plays a crucial role in our overall health, yet it’s often neglected. Allergens like dust, pollen, and pet dander lurk in our indoor spaces, exacerbating allergies and respiratory issues. However, investing in an air purifier equipped with advanced technology can make a significant difference. For instance, air purifier that go beyond mere filtration and captures and eliminates up to 99.95% of airborne allergens, providing relief for allergy sufferers. The purifiers not only cleanse the air but also ensure a cooler and more comfortable indoor environment.

5. Pay Attention to Allergy Symptom Patterns

If one consistently experiences allergy symptoms around the same time each year, it’s essential to pay attention to these patterns. Visiting an allergist can be beneficial if they notice a recurring pattern of symptoms, even if they haven’t been formally diagnosed with allergies.

By: Joanne Kang, Lead Research Scientist in Microbiology at Dyson