You generally don’t think of the summer months as a time to get sick, but the reality is that allergies and cold viruses can attack at any time. If you’re experiencing summer sickness, this article is for you. If not, you will still find useful information to help treat sickness that more commonly comes in the fall and winter.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reported that approximately 35 million Americans suffer from pollen allergies, or hay fever. These fall allergies have symptoms such as sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose, coughing, an itchy nose and throat, and dark circles under the eyes. Maybe you noticed, but those symptoms are almost identical to the flu and cold symptoms! So how do you know which is which?
How to Differentiate
- Time – Flu and cold symptoms normally come and go over the course of a few days; but allergic reactions occur almost immediately and can stay much longer, even year-round if you are constantly being exposed to the allergen.
- Treatment – With flu and cold viruses, you usually just have to let them run their course, but for allergy symptoms such as postnasal drip and swollen, watery and/or itchy eyes, you can see improvement with the proper treatment.
- Temperature – If you have a fever, you probably have the flu or a cold.
When you are able to identify the source of your symptoms, you are able to treat them much easier. Even better than treating these uncomfortable symptoms is preventing them from ever happening. Most are familiar with precautionary measures for the flu (getting a flu shot), but what can be done to safeguard against hay fever? First you should understand which allergens are the culprits.
Basic Allergens to Understand
- Outdoor Allergens — Ragweed is all over the place in the fall, and can release up to one billion pollen grains per plant. This plant alone is the reason behind 75% of the hay fever reactions. Another outdoor allergen to be aware of is mold, which can easily grow in the piles of leaves on the ground and elsewhere.
- Indoor Allergens — Unfortunately allergens aren’t only outside. A recent study found that indoor air can be up to 10x more polluted than outdoor air. There are many allergens that reside indoors including dust mites and pet dander. Also, the outdoor allergens can find their way into our homes by hitchhiking on clothes, hair, pets, and more.
- Airborne Allergens — Opening windows and doors seems like a good idea in milder temperatures, but that fresh air can also carry airborne allergens, such as ragweed, right into your home, especially on days with high pollen counts. If you need some fresh air in your home, consider checking a website or app such as The Weather Channel, that offers an allergy tracking feature to monitor allergen levels in your area and wait for low level days before leaving your doors and windows open.
Reduce, Remove, Relieve
Although you can limit your exposure to allergens, you won’t be able to completely avoid them all. For maximum relief, you should take action to reduce and remove the allergens in your home. High-efficiency filters and regular deep cleaning can help prevent these allergic reactions by eliminating the bad guys.
- Reduce — Installing a high quality furnace filter with a minimum filtration rating of MERV 8 to attract and capture airborne allergens like pollen, dust and dander, as well as vacuuming your carpets and rugs once or twice a week with a three-stage HEPA filter vacuum will help reduce allergens in your home.
- Remove — To remove allergens and start with a clean slate, call Chem-Dry Four Seasons for a professional carpet cleaning. An independent lab discovered that our Hot Carbonating Extraction process removes 98% of common household allergens from carpet and upholstery. Also, with the addition of a sanitizer, 89% of airborne bacteria is removed. And because our cleaning process uses only a fraction of the water that steam cleaners use, your carpets dry quicker, resulting in a lower chance for mold or mildew to grow like it does with some steam cleaners. A home cleaning from Chem-Dry is the healthiest and safest option for your family.
- Relieve — Even after taking proactive measures, some indoor and outdoor allergens are going to find their way into our lives and our homes. But that doesn’t mean we have to live with them. Whether you suffer from allergies and/or asthma or you just want to provide the healthiest home for your family, a Chem-Dry carpet cleaning can help you remove the allergens and bacteria hiding in your home and improve your indoor air quality.
For more information about creating a healthier and safer home, talk to the experts at Chem-Dry Four Seasons and schedule an appointment today!