Your home is your refuge except when you’re allergic to it. Many people who suffer from allergies prefer to stay indoors to keep them safe from allergens in the outdoor air. What most do not know is that there are allergy triggers that could be lurking indoors.
Indoor allergies are seldom life-threatening, but they have a huge impact on your ability to live a comfortable and productive life. For example, allergic rhinitis causes sneezing, congestion, and a runny nose.
Here are four allergens that you need to watch out for inside your very home.
Dust mites are the most common indoor allergy trigger. They are insect-like pests that are typically too small to be visible to the human eye, but they thrive on dead human skin cells found in dust. As creepy as it may sound, the American Lung Association says that hundreds of thousands of dust mites could be lurking in your beddings, carpets, curtains, or any upholstered furniture. However, dust mites don't bite, sting, or find a way to get into our bodies. The allergens they create actually come from their fecal pellets and body fragments.
Some people simply cannot be around pets, such as dogs, cats, birds or any animal with fur or feathers. They often develop symptoms such as sneezing, itchy eyes, and even asthma. Contrary to popular belief, it is not animal hair that typically causes these allergic reactions.
Pet dander is dead skin flakes that either become crusted on the animal’s hair (think: dandruff) or skin from urination or the animal licking or scratching itself. Once the skin flakes dry up and gets released into the air, they join the other components of allergy-inducing house dust. The American Lung Association also identifies animal saliva, urine, and feces as potential allergy triggers.
Molds are another common indoor allergen as they grow on damp and moist environments. You’ve probably seen its mildew growing in the shower, but molds are not always visible. It can be lurking in unseen areas of the house, such as under the floor or behind the walls where there is excess humidity.
Exposure to molds triggers allergies and asthma in sufferers, but anyone — with or without allergies or asthma — may experience itchy eyes, skin irritations, stuffy nose, etc. when exposed to mold particles.
Cockroaches are not only unsightly and unpleasant, they also produce harmful allergens. When cockroaches die, their bodies dry and break apart. Though hidden in plain sight, their body parts and dried waste contaminate the air inside the home.
Cockroaches like moist areas such as sinks in the kitchen. Although the kitchen is their favorite room as food populates the room, cockroaches can be found about anywhere in the house.
The first step towards fighting allergies is becoming aware of these allergens that could be causing you and your family discomfort and even harm. While it may be impossible to completely keep your home free of allergens, the best way to keep allergens out is to keep the house clean and dry.