Can spring cleaning help with your allergies?
Spring cleaning in spite of allergies: "cleaning up" without any burden
Anyone suffering from an allergy is penalized twice for spring cleaning. Hay fever-causing pollen from trees, grasses or bushes or even house dust mites cause a constantly runny nose and itchy and watery eyes. In addition to the already harmful allergens, the cleaning action also blows up dust, which can cause discomfort. But it doesn't help: the dust should get out, and the desire for a thorough spring cleaning doesn't stop at allergy sufferers. Especially those affected who have to do this cleaning themselves should pay attention to a few things, advises Dr. Utta Petzold, allergist at BARMER.
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Special vacuum cleaners for allergy sufferers
One gram of dust can contain up to 10,000 house dust mites and their allergy-causing excrement. Spring cleaning is therefore a particularly big challenge for those with house dust mite allergies. A lot of dust is blown up, especially when dusting and vacuuming, which can get into the respiratory tract. “It would of course be best if allergy sufferers could leave the vacuuming to someone else. House dust allergy sufferers shouldn't change the vacuum cleaner bag themselves, ”says Petzold. If that is not possible, you should wear a dust mask that covers your mouth and nose while vacuuming. Choosing the “right” vacuum cleaner is also important. “There are big differences when it comes to vacuum cleaners. They should not only vacuum thoroughly, they should also be able to hold back the fine dust and allergenic particles, ”says the expert. In addition to models with water filters or central vacuum cleaners, in which the exhaust air is directed outside, there are also vacuum cleaners with HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters. Depending on the class, they can hold back a very large proportion of the fine dust particles.
The expert recommends a damp cloth for dusting, as this absorbs pollen, for example, without stirring it up. In particular, window sills, which often have a lot of pollen on them in spring, should be regularly wiped with a damp cloth. For mopping floors, Petzold recommends using cleaning agents that are suitable for the floor. For many floors, even alcohol on a damp microfiber mop cover is enough. Depending on the flooring material, adding vinegar and baking soda to the mopping water and, in general, agents without fragrances are also suitable. "Allergy sufferers should make sure that their airways, which are often already inflamed, are not further irritated by the cleaning agents used," says Petzold.
After cleaning, it makes sense to shower and wash your hair thoroughly to rinse off the dust. You should take off your clothes outside of the freshly cleaned bedroom. A regular nasal douche can also help remove dust, mites and pollen from the nasal mucous membranes.
Tips for allergy sufferers, not just for spring cleaning:
Allergy sufferers should avoid allergen exposure in their own four walls
keep it particularly low. The following are useful:
- For carpets, choose a short pile that is easy to clean.
- If the floor is hard, wipe with a damp cloth two to three times a week.
- Pollen allergy sufferers should ventilate in the city in the morning if possible, in the country better in the evening and put a pollen screen on the window.
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