With summer upon us, allergy season is quickly becoming a nuisance we could do without. But for some of us, allergy symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, and itchy, watery eyes never seems to cease. There’s a reason for this — allergy season never really ends.
There are two allergy “seasons” — indoor and outdoor. The indoor allergy season occurs all-year-round and is caused by pollen, indoor pets such as cats and dogs, house dust mites, and even cockroaches. The outdoor allergy season generally occurs in the spring and summer when plants and grasses release pollen.
Allergy symptoms are the result of your immune system producing antibodies to fight infections. Those antibodies stimulate cells in your nose, lungs, throat and eyes to release histamine, which in turn causes allergy symptoms such as a runny nose and in some cases, asthma attacks.
According to the American Lung Association, there are 50 million Americans who suffer from asthma and allergies, which is about one in every five Americans. And if you have asthma it’s likely you also have allergies. Allergies are also the sixth leading cause of chronic disease in the United States and asthma is the leading cause of chronic illness in teens and children. In 1995, 5.5 million children were diagnosed with asthma and the number of deaths related to asthma in children has nearly tripled in the last 15 years.
According to a 1999 article by the President’s Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children’s, “Asthma and the Environment: A Strategy to Protect Children,” the most common environmental triggers that cause allergies and asthma in children are animal dander, mold, cockroaches and house dust mites, and they can affect adults, too. And, house dust mites are “one of the most powerful biological allergens,” says the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Because we spend about 90 percent of our time indoors and more than half of that time in our homes, it’s important to control our exposure to house dust mites and maintain a high indoor air quality. According to the EPA you can control some of the biological contaminants, like house dust mites, by controlling the relative humidity level in a home. “A relative humidity of 30-50 percent is generally recommended for homes. Standing water, water-damaged materials, or wet surfaces also serve as a breeding ground for molds, mildews, bacteria, and insects. House dust mites, the source of one of the most powerful biological allergens, grow in damp, warm environments.”
Mites are microscopic arachnids related to ticks and spiders, live in house dust, and feed off the scales shed from human skin. All homes have dust mites, but the amount of moisture in a home determines the number of dust mites present — the more moisture in a home, the more dust mites present.
One of the best ways to keep dust mites to a minimum is to keep your home clean. Experts suggest washing all bedding and furry toys in hot water (at least 130 F) weekly and vacuuming the carpets with a High Efficiency filter (HEPA filter). While vacuuming keeps your dust mite problems in control, it does not kill them — only professionally cleaning your carpet removes dust mites from carpets.
If your home is carpeted and properly maintained, you’re in luck. Research indicates that carpets in indoor environments act as a collector for biological allergens, like dust mites, and keeps them out of your breathing zone. When carpets are not professionally cleaned on a regular basis these particles can become airborne. The EPA even recommends having your carpets professionally cleaned a minimum of once every six months.
It has been estimated that nearly half of the carpet in this country has never been professionally cleaned. For most of us, professionally cleaning our carpet is something we do as a last resort — when there’s a tough spot we can’t remove, or if we’re moving. But the best way to maintain a clean carpet is to prevent problems before they occur.
Chem-Dry, a worldwide leader in carpet and upholstery cleaning, has revolutionized the way we clean our carpets with their low-moisture hot carbonation technique and Dust Mite Anti-Allergen, derived from naturally occurring extracts found in plants and trees. Chem-Dry’s patented cleaning technique is non-toxic and uses no soaps, detergents, solvents enzymes, or other harsh chemicals so no residue is left behind, which means carpets stay cleaner longer. And, carpets dry in one to two hours, so it won’t interrupt your household routine.
By professionally cleaning your carpets, you are preventing the airborne allergens from entering your breathing zone, minimizing the risk of asthma attacks and allergy reactions. Keith Gerson, vice president of Chem-Dry, states, “Don’t stop at just treating your symptoms but focus on one of the true known causes of allergic reactions. You can take allergy medication, but you’re still not getting to the root of the problem.”
Studies by doctors and universities demonstrated that when dust mite droppings, the leading cause of allergies and asthma, are treated with the main active ingredient contained in Chem-Dry’s Dust Mite Anti-Allergen, the allergens are physically neutralized, rendering them harmless to people who display allergic symptoms to dust mite allergens. Chem-Dry’s Dust Mite Anti-Allergen also denatures other harmful allergens from cats, birds, insects and household mold by instantly deactivating the allergens.
The Quebec Asthmatic Association (QAA) has recognized Chem-Dry as “the most efficient system among all other systems The distinguishable differences includes its deep cleaning ability, and outstanding stain removal.” And, QAA applauds Chem-Dry for their revolutionary low-moisture hot carbonation technique, which is non-aggravating to the health of asthmatics.
For more information on Chem-Dry please visit their web site.
Courtesy of ARA Content, www.ARAcontent.com