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Indoor Allergies

Updated on August 12, 2009

Indoor Allergies

People that are prone to allergies can often feel like they’re “living in a box”, so to speak, because just the thought of going outside during pollen season can be intimidating. Airborne allergens can be a great source of discomfort, and people who suffer from them can many times believe that they’re safe if they simply stay in their homes, but actually there are indoor allergies that can be just as harmful as the ones found outside the doors. This is an often overlooked aspect of dealing with allergens, because many people consider their homes as the place where they can “escape” from the discomforts of the outside world. Although you may not run into the exact same type of allergens as are found outside, it is still important to recognize the substances that are the source of indoor allergens. The major disadvantage of indoor allergens is that the living space itself “confines” the allergens, so that they are in a sense “sealed” within the house. One of the most common causes of indoor allergies is just plain old house dust. Although dust is (and will always be) a fact of life, there are certain things to be aware of about the type of dust floating around in your house that may help you pinpoint the culprit of your allergic reactions. Dust is comprised of a plethora of small particles which include human and pet dander, soil (possibly from indoor plants or dirt tracked in from the outside), insect carcasses (sounds graphic, I know, but lots of insects die within our houses without us even being aware of it), and also miniscule fibers from carpets, clothing or furniture. Have you ever been in a classroom where they had an old-school movie projector for some type of educational film, and the beam of light coming from the projector highlighted all of the dust floating around in the room? It’s actually astounding how much dust is around us (and that we inhale) on a daily basis. Again, there will never be a time when a house can be 100% dust-free, no matter how clean, new, or well-kept the house is, but it is still a good idea to do as much as you can to keep the house as dust-free as possible.

Image courtesy of Microsoft Office Clip Art
Image courtesy of Microsoft Office Clip Art

Indoor Allergies: More Causes and Symptoms

Dust mites can also be a source of indoor allergens. It’s actually a very creepy thing to see a dust mite that’s been magnified by a microscope…but then again it makes you glad that they’re not as big as small pets or anything either. Dust mites find their home in anything made of any type of cloth or fabric, such as clothing, bedding, carpets, curtains, furniture that has been upholstered, and pretty much anything made of that category of material. They can be a major source of discomfort due to their particles being in the dust that’s floating around in the air we all breathe. This dust-filled air can produce such symptoms as watery or itchy eyes, a stuffed or runny nose, tightness of the chest or difficulty breathing, itchy or scratchy or sore throat, coughing and sneezing. Long story short, it sucks to have to suffer from indoor allergies, and I wanted to make this hub to point out that you not only have to be aware of the allergens that are lurking outside of your doors, but also inside as well.

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