All year around, people seek relief for their seasonal allergy symptoms, which are typically caused by ragweed pollen, mold, and/or dust mites. Unfortunately, allergens don’t go into hibernation with the changing of the seasons. But an air purifier can help with allergies by preventing exposure to allergens.
Spring is beautiful, the time of year, with blossoming flowers and a greening landscape. But it's also a key time of year for seasonal allergies. As plants release pollen, millions of people with hay fever start to sniffle and sneeze, as trees, grasses, and weeds release these tiny grains into the air to fertilize other plants. Pollen can travel for hundreds of miles, so it is not the plants in your neighbourhood you feel. Pollen counts are higher on breezy days. Rainy days, on the other hand, wash away the allergens.
When pollen grains are breathed in by someone allergic, they send the body's defences haywire. The immune system mistakenly sees the pollen as a danger and releases antibodies that attack the allergens. That leads to the release of chemicals called histamines into the blood. Histamines trigger the runny nose, itchy eyes, and other symptoms that anyone with allergies is more than familiar with.
Ragweed pollen triggers fall allergies
Although most people think spring is the prime pollen season, for people with ragweed allergy, the fall allergy season starting in late September can be a suffocating. Ragweed is a flower that can cause allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever. Ragweed allergy symptoms affect approximately 23 million people in the U.S alone. About 75% of people who are allergic to spring plants also have reactions to ragweed and its fine-powder pollen. Ragweed doesn’t even have to grow on your home turf – as with other pollens, ragweed pollen can travel for hundreds of miles on the wind.
To reduce pollen allergy symptoms:
- Monitor your local pollen count! Local newspapers and TV news websites often publish daily reports. Stay indoors as much as you can, especially during peak hours (usually mid-morning to early afternoon) and keep your doors and windows closed.
- When you do go outside, wear a mask to filter pollen.
- When driving, keep your windows completely closed, and when you return home, remove your shoes and jacket before going inside. You don’t want to bring any pollen that you’ve picked up outside into your home.
- Vacuum carpets and upholstery regularly, and wash your clothes, linens, and curtains regularly. After you’ve washed your clothes, avoid drying them on a line outdoors.
- Do you have pets? They may not agree with this, but you should bathe them frequently. Especially dogs and cats that spend time outdoors.
Mold is another cause of indoor and outdoor allergy symptoms. Molds are fungi that often grow in damp areas in a house, such as basements or bathrooms. But your garden is also a great place for mold spores, as they thrive in damp leaves and compost.
To reduce mold allergy symptoms:
- Use a dehumidifier in the house, especially in the basement. Air should be between 35 and 50 percent humidity.
- Clean bathrooms and the kitchen regularly, preferably with a non-chemical solution such as vinegar.
- Rake your yard of fallen leaves and remove leaves from gutters. Keep compost and yard-waste piles as far away from the house as possible and wear a protective mask when raking leaves and cleaning compost bins.
Dust mites, another cause of indoor allergies, are microscopic arthropods that feed primarily on flakes of human skin that are shed around the home. And dust mites are a year-round allergy trigger. They may be more common during the humid summer months, but they also get stirred up into the air when you start up your indoor heating in autumn. The best natural remedies center on preventing exposure to the critters, so to reduce dust mite allergy symptoms:
- Before you turn the central heating on for the first time after summer, clean the air vents throughout the house. Allergens can get trapped in the vents and will fill the air as soon as you start the furnace.
- Dust mites love bedrooms! Cover your mattress and pillows in dust-proof covers, and regularly wash all bedding in hot water.
- Dust and vacuum your home regularly. Be sure to wear a filtering mask while cleaning.
- Consider replacing wall-to-wall carpet with hardwood floors.
Do you have dog, cat or other pet allergies? Did you know that most pet allergies are not caused by pet hair, but by the dander your cat, dog, or other pet produces? Pet dander is made up of small flecks of skin shed by cats, dogs, rodents, birds and other animals with fur or feathers. Pet-related allergy triggers or allergens also come from proteins found in the pets’ saliva, urine, and feces. The obvious way to protect your indoor air quality is to not have a pet in your home, of course. But if going petless isn’t an option:
- Keep pets out of the bedroom of the allergy sufferer.
- Keep pets off furniture, especially upholstery.
- Keep pets away from carpeted areas.
- Vacuum carpets and furniture to reduce the amount of dander.
Fortunately, air purifiers do help with allergies, so think about putting air purifiers in key areas of your house – especially your bedrooms. Many allergy sufferers experience attacks in the middle of the night, as the human respiratory system relaxes during sleep, so things you can handle during the day are more challenging at night. And if you keep an air purifier running in your bedroom 24 hours a day with the door closed, the bedroom will have the purest air in your house. This can help relieve allergy symptoms in the daytime too.
Blueair air purifiers meet U.S. and European HEPA standards for air purification. Our unique HEPASilent™ technology delivers especially high performance and efficiency by combining electrostatic and mechanical filtration technologies. This combination, pioneered by Blueair, delivers high Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) with whisper-silent operation and high energy efficiency. In fact, a Blueair air purifier works so quietly that you can not only sleep next to it, you might even have to check to make sure it is switched on. And on its lowest setting, a Blueair air purifier uses less electricity than a small lightbulb, while still achieving a 99.7% filtration efficiency of airborne particles down to 0.1 micron in size.
No other air purifier delivers such high performance on so many parameters, all at the same time.