How to create an allergy free home environment
Hay Fever is commonly related to irritants caused by pollen and seeds but there are many pollutants inside your home that can set off an allergic reaction.
Surprisingly our indoor environment is often more polluted than outside but luckily there are a number of simple solutions that can really help reduce the symptoms.
Flowers can cause hay fever so avoid flowers in the home
Dust is one of the main causes of indoor allergies and so it is important to dust bust your home as often as possible. On a dry day, open the doors and windows and give your home a real airing. Dust mites not only lurk in your bedding, they also take cover in carpets, thick drapes and cushions. Spring and summer is the best time to take action and give your carpets a good clean. Shake out any small rugs and mats and leave them outside to air. Dryclean your drapes can be a problem because the products used in this process can be toxic so the best solution is to wash them or take them out side and hang them on a washing line on a windy day.
Change your bedding as often as possible even if it is only the bottom sheet and pillow-cases and air your duvet or comforter regularly. The best way to do this is to fold it back to air while you have breakfast and then make the bed later. In winter open the window or drape your duvet outside over a balcony as they do in Europe as dust mites hate the cold.
Many people are allergic to cat, dog and rabbit hair which can develop into asthma. So if you have a pet make sure that you keep their basket or blanket clean and away from your living room and bedroom. Dogs should be bathed regularly and you can buy a lotion that removes pet allergens from the pet’s coat and is moisturizing and conditioning. Some people believe that they should get rid of their pet when they start a family but contrary to popular belief that exposure to pet hair as a baby can cause allergies it has been found that often exposure to animals when you are young can in fact help protect you later in life.
Another cause of allergies are toxic pollutants contained in many household products. So if you suffer from asthma, skin irritations, sneezing, throat or lung problems then it is wise to use natural products around the home. Always wear gloves and a facemask when using bleach and toilet cleaner as inhalation of these strong smelling products can affect your throat and breathing.
Medical researchers are now considering the possibility that over use of cleaning products in the home is in fact causing the rise in allergies, as we need exposure to a variety of germs in order to build up strong immune systems. This doesn’t mean that you should not keep your home clean, but that you should review the type of cleaning products you use.
Make sure that your soap and washing up liquid is natural as many products contain synthetic colouring and artificial scent that can cause skin problems. These can be a little more expensive but your good health is definitely worth the extra cost. Alternatively you could learn to make your own and you should be able to find a short courses at an Adult Education Centre or ask at your local craft shop.
Suzy Chiazzari - principal of the Holistic Design Institute
To find out more about how to create healthy life-enhancing homes go to our website: www.holisticdesign.co.uk
By Suzy Chiazzari Principal of the Holistic Design Institute
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