allergiesIt’s allergy seasons again and, from ragweed to mold, most people suffer from annoying, allergy symptoms. Here are some helpful tips on how to make your living space more enjoyable.  

Timing is Everything:

For those who suffer from seasonal allergies, timing is everything. The highest concentration of ragweed is between the times of 10-4pm. Be sure to plan outdoor activities like hanging out in the quad, sunbathing, or exercises before 10 am or after 4pm.

The Hotter the Better:

Your bedding holds the highest concentration of dust mites, dead skin cells, and other allergens –Yikes! So opt for one of the hottest settings on the washer to ensure you’re washing out all the bacteria and germs from your clothes and sheets. Don’t forget to keep that washer door open for some time to allow it to dry to prevent mold from growing.

Ditch the Shoes:

Leave your shoes at the door! This prevents tracking in dirt, pollen, and other outdoor elements into your living space.

Say Good-bye to Bedroom Clutter:

  • Get rid of extra pillows and, if you still have them, your stuffed animals because they are huge dust collectors.
  • Replace down-filled comforters or pillows with alternative down. Down-filled bedding is allergies sufferers’ worst nightmares. They lock in the dust mites that live within the down. They also are difficult to clean.  While some down-filled materials don’t necessarily have feathers in them, they do have the undercoating that can still trigger allergies.
  • Consider buying mattress pad covers for your bed and pillows too. Your Swiffer On:

Dusting and cleaning your dorm or apartment is the key to managing dust, animal dander, and pollen build-up.

  • Vacuum rugs twice a week to get rid of surface dust mites (if you suffer from asthma or allergies wear a mask or ask a roomie to help).
  • Wipe down windows and screens to remove pollen.
  • Clean air vents by wiping down vents and fan blades before ever turning on AC/ heat.

Vent It Out:

  • Everyone loves some fresh air but opening windows mid-day can be a trigger. Try using AC units during the day, especially when it’s humid, rather than opening windows.
  • Be sure to check filter dates on window units, or request a work order to change filters in dorm room.

Holiday Decorations:

You may be surprised to think that your beloved pumpkin spiced candles, corn husk wreaths, and other holiday festive decorations could be a serious factor in contributing to your allergies. It’s true! So, be careful with decorations and strong fragrances like plug-in air fresheners, strong scented candles, and other items that may cause more irritation.

Avoid Mold:

Since bathrooms and kitchens are places of high moisture content, they are the perfect breeding ground for mold. Check for leaks in showers or sinks to reduce the chances of mold growing.

Written by Erica Vasquez, Peer Educator