Those without allergies during hay fever season may delight in seeing trees and flowers blooming, yet if you suffer from seasonal allergies and are sensitive to pollens from trees, grasses and airborne molds then spring is rarely a walk in the park.
An estimated 40 to 60 million people suffer each year from seasonal allergies leading to nasal congestion, red eyes, sneezing and coughing, itchy nose, postnasal drip, and fatigue. While you can’t control Mother Nature, you can control how you prepare for allergy season.
“One third of people with allergies ignore their symptoms,” says Dr. Neeta Ogden, an American Board of Allergy and Immunology certified-adult and pediatric allergist, asthma specialist and immunologist. In a recent CBS interview she adds that pretending allergies don’t exist, can have negative repercussions. Dr. Ogden highlights the importance of getting your house “pollen ready” starting with keeping windows closed. Other safety measures include removing shoes at the door and showering once you get home.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), hay fever and asthma, are all affected by allergens and dust so it’s especially important to clean and disinfect carpets, drapes, and blinds in your home. When you’re cleaning indoors, molds can also trigger allergies, so Ogden counsels cleaning with a mask and gloves. Although instead of using harmful chemicals to clean these surfaces, steam can minimize allergy symptoms, and is 100 per cent pure.
The Allergy Consumer Review blog rates steam cleaning as being helpful for allergy sufferers because “...steam penetrates surfaces... [and] destroys mold spores, germs, viruses, dust mites, and bacteria.” The post further states that this is actually more effective than disinfecting chemicals. Using simply water, top-quality steam cleaners heat to 245°F at the steam tip (302-320°F boiler temperature) providing consistent volumes of high-pressure steam.
Yet another important step is to steam clean your mattress and bedding to kill dust mites, which in turn eliminates pathogens associated with related allergies and asthma.
“[Dust mites’] food is human skin scales, so the bed is just heaven for them,” says Ogden. She advocates using a steam cleaner to kill the culprits, and then wrapping the mattress in an anti-allergen mattress protector.
With steam cleaning as your ally, there’s hope that dust mites, pollens—and seasonal allergies, will be kept at bay.