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Common Indoor Allergens

Most all of us have allergies. Wikipedia defines an allergen as a ‘type of antigen that produces an abnormally vigorous immune response in which the immune system fights of a perceived threat that would otherwise be harmless to the body.? Allergies can compromise our immune system and do harm to our health. Here are some common indoor allergens and some tips on how to minimize their threat in your home and to your family.


Mold thrives in warm, damp places. Some common indoor molds are cladosporium, penicillium, alternaria and alternaria. Allergies to mold can cause symptoms such as? nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation. Serious allergies to molds may have more severe reactions such as fever and shortness of breath. If you notice you have mold in the home, you can use bleach and water as a simple solution to kill it off. However, mold can be a very trick problem and, most often, you?ll need a professional to get rid of it. Once water damage has occurred, it is necessary to have a professional cleanup.


Our pets are our best friends. They make our lives happier and more joyful. Unfortunately, these bundles of joy can cause us to have allergies. Humans can be allergic to the proteins found on? animals skin cells, saliva, and urine. If absolutely necessary, you?ll need to get rid of your pet. However, if you are not willing to part with your furry friend, you can take measures to minimize your reaction to them. First, you can establish pet-free zones in the home by keeping some rooms off limits. In addition, giving your pet a bath regularly will help minimize the pet dander. Also, vacuuming the home on a regular basis will help pick up the pet dander and fur. Lastly, take advantage of an air purifier. A HEPA filter air purifier can filter out 99.97 of particles that are 0.3 microns in size or larger.

Household Dust

Household dust is a mixture of many things including dried food particles, mold spores, pollen, fabric fibers, animal dander, and insect parts. Once these particles become airborne and inhaled they can cause allergies. Make sure to dust and vacuum your house once a week and keep your home clean and tidy.

Dust Mites

Dust mites are a very potent allergic trigger for some asthmatics. Dust mites feed on dead skin cells from people. When the dust mites excrete feces, the enzymes (that go along with their digestive systems) are then inhaled by people. These enzymes cause allergies. Some common places dust mites thrive are in beds, pillows, carpets and curtains. Just like mold, dust mites love a warm, humid environment. You can take measures to reduce dust mites by reducing the humidity in the home by using an dehumidifier. Also, wash your bedding, curtains, small rugs, etc. on a regular basis with hot water. It’s a good idea to encase your mattress and box-spring in zippered, allergy-proof covers. Removing drapes, curtains and upholstered furniture from the bedroom will help. Lastly, limiting the carpeting in the home will help keep the dust mite numbers at bay. If you can’t limit the carpeting, make sure to vacuum it vigorously at least once a week.

Household Chemicals

Household chemicals should always be stored in a safe place away from children and pets. Chemicals have been linked to symptoms ranging from asthma attacks to cancer. Some other symptoms of allergic reactions are red skin, scaly patches, blisters, burning, itching and swelling of the eyes and face. Our household cleaning products have lots of chemicals in them.? A simple measure to reduce allergic reactions to your cleaning products is to wear hand cloves every time you clean. Also, when you are cleaning, keep the area well ventilated by opening the windows and doors. Make sure you read all labels on cleaning supplies and household products before you buy them. Choose products that do not contain or have reduced amounts of VOCs, fragrances, irritants and flammable ingredients.


Like dust mites, the allergen is not the cockroach itself, but the protein found in the cockroach’s droppings. The first thing you need to do is to cut off their food supply. So, make sure all food is covered and the kitchen is clean with no chance of exposed food or crumbs available for them to eat. Fix leaking pipes or faucets to prevent the cockroaches having access to water. Lastly, hire a professional pest exterminator.

Indoor Plants

Unlike outdoor plants that have pollens that cause allergies, indoor plants are not common for indoor allergies. However, some indoor plant offenders are the weeping fig (Ficus benjamina), which can cause eye allergies, and the flowering maple (Alutilon hybridum), which can cause asthma. Plants kept in damp wicker baskets, plant terrariums, dried flowers and live Christmas trees are common carriers of various molds.