As spring kicks into full gear, more and more Australians - especially kids - begin to feel the kick of allergies, asthma, allergic conjunctivitis, hay fever, eczema and so on.
A lot of these problems are attributed to the higher winds, pollen and dust count in the air. If you want to prevent or at least minimise the allergy season, the best way is to restrict your exposure to the triggers.
The most common allergic triggers include dust mites (especially the airborne variety), pollen, mould and pet fur.
Winter typically sees an increase in all of these things and once the windows are opened, and the wind picks up, it all gets tossed about the house. Bedrooms and living areas, because they are usually carpeted, tend to be problem areas.
Here are a few tips on how to reduce the hazard of spring time allergies.
Controlling Air Flow
More and more families are using air conditioning throughout winter. The added condensation and warmth is a haven for mould and mildew.
Keep it clean. If necessary, get a professional air conditioner cleaner in to clean out the filters and ducts. Your air conditioner can help reduce the flow of dust, mildew and mites, but only if it is clean.
Controlling Dust Mites
As dust mites are microscopic, high wind in the spring sees an increase in dust mite allergy.
Mites like a little warm dampness about them. A clean air flow is a good way to keep the moisture down which will help keep the mites at bay.
AllergEnd has a detailed list of things parents can do if they suspect dust mites are disturbing the kids. While people usually expect to see bites and itching, often the problem is more subtle, but can include breathing issues and asthma.
Washing bed linen in hot water (above 54.5°C) and drying them in full sun is also effective in your fight against the mite.
Furniture, Bedding, Carpets and Drapes
Heavy carpets and rugs are one of the most common culprits behind dust and mite allergies. Your vacuum will pick up some of the debris, but a professional dry cleaning carpet clean is ideal.
Electrodry provides this kind of carpet clean which, unlike some other treatments, doesn't leave the carpet damp and the house with an odour.
If you have them, it is a good idea to remove heavy drapes and wall rugs and put them on a cold wash with some tea tree or eucalyptus oil which are both known to kill mites.
Now is also a good time to give the pillows, blankets and the doonas an extra hot wash.