Beware of allergens this winter

New York, Dec 2:

While the onset of freezing temperatures brings an end to seasonal pollen allergies, it doesn’t mean that your environment is free of allergens. shares a list of a few common triggers that can contribute to those unwanted allergens:

* Dust and dust mites

– What: Microscopic, allergy symptom-inducing dust mites lurk in bedding, mattresses, carpets and upholstered furniture.

– Tip: Use dust-proof covers on mattresses, box springs, and pillows to avoid exposure and regularly wash bed linens in hot water to kill dust mites. Vacuum all carpeted areas at least twice a week.

* Mold

– What: Mold grows in damp environments like basements and bathrooms and can be present both indoors and outdoors. Airborne molds can cause asthma symptoms.

– Tip: To combat mold, fix plumbing problems or leaks, increase ventilation in damp areas, and scrub mold off surfaces using water and detergent and dry completely.

* Animal dander

– What: All warm-blooded pets such as cats, dogs and birds, have dead skin cells, also known as animal dander. Colder weather usually means that both people and animals are indoors more often. Increased exposure to animal dander can lead to an increase in allergy symptoms.

– Tip: Pets should be kept out of bedrooms and other highly-used areas in the house to reduce exposure, and they should be bathed once a week.

* Smoke and pollutants

– What: Wood burned in a fireplace can release irritating smoke and other airborne pollutants into the house environment, potentially leading to asthma symptoms.

– Tip: When you bring in any firewood into the house, make sure that it’s been cleaned. In addition, when starting any fire, be sure that the chimney damper is open so that no unwanted smoke comes into the house. (IANS)

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