Health Tip: Help Stifle Allergies

(HealthDay News) -- A thorough cleaning of common living areas can help reduce allergens in the home, improving allergy symptoms.

The American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology offers these suggestions:

  • Use dust-proof covers on mattresses, box springs and pillows; wash all linens each week in hot water that is at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Vacuum carpets at least once weekly; make sure your vacuum cleaner has a HEPA or small-particle filter. Your central heat and air systems also should have filters that are changed monthly.

  • Mop hardwood floors and wash any rugs each week; wash curtains each season.

  • Run the air conditioner and keep windows closed when pollen counts are high. Use a diluted bleach solution (wear a mask) to clean mold and condensation from window sills and frames.

  • Use plastic bins in which to store toys, games and stuffed animals.

  • Keep humidity in your home at no more than 50 percent, and keep the temperature no higher than 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Control rodent and insect infestations.

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