7 Things You Do at Home That Aggravate Allergies

July 28, 2017

Stuck with some uncomfortable summer allergies? 

Well, here’s some good news: We have some tips to minimize those annoying allergy symptoms.

In this article, we’ll share 7 things you can stop doing right now to alleviate your allergies.

Let’s start with #1….

#1: Using the dishwasher

A 2015 Swedish study found that children who ate from hand-washed dishes had less allergic disease compared to those who ate from machine-washed dishes.

The researchers attributed this difference to higher bacteria counts found on hand-washed dishes. Since machine-washed dishes are too clean, children can’t build allergy immunity as well.

What to do instead: Try washing your dishes by hand.

#2: Wearing contact lenses

The American Optometric Association says that more than 75% of people who wear contact lenses complain of allergen-caused eye pain and irritation. That’s because contact lenses trap pollen, and add irritation to already red, itchy eyes.

What to do instead: Give yourself a new look and switch to glasses. You’ll look smarter AND you’ll be more comfortable.

#3: Making your bed

It’s kind of gross to think about, but we all sweat when we sleep. And according to American Family Care doctors, the moisture from body sweat keeps dust mites and bed bugs alive. The problem is, when you tuck the sheets under your mattress, these little dust mites and bed bugs can’t escape.

On the other hand, airing out your sheets makes it harder for those little contaminants to survive.

What to do instead: Be a rebel and don’t make your bed. That’s right, you heard us. Go against what your parents always told you growing up, and let those sheets lay loosely so those little critters can escape. 

#4: Bathing in the morning

Pollen doesn’t just cling to your clothes—it also sticks to your skin and hair. If you bathe in the morning (but not at night), you breathe that pollen all night, which could be what’s causing your allergy symptoms.

What to do instead: Try bathing before you go to bed to get the pollen out of your hair and off your skin. If you’re used to bathing in the morning, you can also take another shower when you wake up.

#5: Eating certain foods

According to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America, certain foods can worsen ragweed allergies and cause an itchy mouth. Some of these foods include bananas, melons, tomatoes, cucumbers, and honey.

What to do instead: Avoid those kinds of foods. For more information about foods to avoid, read this article about foods that trigger ragweed allergies.

#6: Not changing your air filter (or using the wrong filter)

If your air filter looks like the one on the right, it’s time to replace it.

Simply changing your air filter regularly can help to alleviate allergy symptoms. 

Do you change your filter regularly and you still have allergy problems?

Try upgrading your filters to a higher MERV rating. Filters with a MERV rating above 4 can trap more pollen and other allergens.

What to do instead: Change your air filter every month during the summer, and make sure it’s at least a filter with a MERV rating of 4. If you have pets or someone in your home suffers from severe allergies, you may need a filter with a MERV rating of 8–11.

#7: Not cleaning your ducts (when there’s mold growth and lots of dust)

You don’t need to have your ducts cleaned often, but if you see mold growth near your vents or in your ducts, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends having an HVAC contractor inspect your ductwork for mold.

Additionally, if you see large amounts of dust blowing from your supply registers into your home, that’s another sign you may need your ducts cleaned.

What to do instead: If you see mold or lots of dust in your ducts, or you smell a musty or moldy odor coming from your vents, contact a duct cleaning professional.

Still have allergies? Try a media air cleaner

A media air cleaner is a whole-house air purifier that’s installed in your AC’s air handler. It’s stronger than a normal filter, and it can get rid of pollen and other allergy-inducing particles.

Contact Advanced Air to schedule an appointment with one of our trusted technicians to install a media air cleaner. You’ll start to feel relief from your allergies in no time.

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