Allergy to Dust and Pet Allergies are More Common Than You May Think

by GuestPoster on March 3, 2011

Are you one of those people who seem to have itchy eyes and hay fever all year round? You may have an allergy to dust, most specifically an allergy to the fecal material of dust mites. Dust mites are microscopic organisms who live off flaked off dead skin. Most homes are perfect habitats for them.

It is impossible to eliminate dust mites, but you can reduce their presence. Opt for hard wood floors, not carpeting. If you do have carpet, vacuum at least once or twice a week. Avoid materials that trap dust, especially in the bedroom. That means dust ruffles, heavy curtains, stuffed animals and venetian blinds. Be sure to clean ceiling fans frequently. Wash blankets in hot water periodically to remove dead mites and other substances that contribute to the allergy to dust.

Dust mites live best at humidity levels between 75-80. They cannot live at humidity levels less than 50. Dehumidifiers in basements can be helpful. Regularly clean and replace heating and air conditioning filters. These filters will clean the air, but cannot remove mites from bedding or carpeting.

Pet allergies are another source of discomfort for close to 10 of the population. Contrary to what many people think, it is not the pet hair that causes the symptoms. The allergens are most present in skin dander, saliva and urine. Pet hair contains few allergens itself, but is a handy place for the allergens to build up and to be transmitted.

Although cats and dogs are most often thought of as the source of pet allergies, any animal with dander or feathers, whose excrement contains allergens can be a problem. This includes hamsters, pet birds, horses and goats. Fish are probably the best pet option for someone showing allergic symptoms. It is almost impossible to eliminate exposure to allergens if there is a pet in the house or even a pet kept outside.

Keeping the house super clean, avoiding carpeting and filtering the air are ways to start fighting the allergens that produce an allergy to dust and pet allergies symptoms. Frequent brushing and washing of the pet by someone without an allergy can be helpful if the pet must be in the household.

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