Indoor Air Quality
We waited out another winter for this time of year; a little more sunshine, a little warmer temperature and . . . a new allergy season. You may be surprised to find that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency studies have shown that your indoor air quality (IAQ) can be up to 100 times more polluted than outside sir – even in smoggy, urban areas.
Few things are as important as the air you breathe. Air is essential for life. Breathing is so automatic we usually don’t think about what’s lingering in the air – especially at home.
Treating indoor air quality – in your entire home – should be #1 on your list of home improvements. Indoor air quality (IAQ) refers to the condition of the air in your home. Poor IAQ can cause discomfort and health problems for your family as well as damage to your home and belongings.
Even if your allergies are seasonal, their severity could be linked to recent global warming trends. According to U.S.A. Today, scientists believe increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is warming the Earth, causing plants to grow more and release more pollen into the air. Warmer temperatures also mean pollen season is extended, causing symptoms in allergy sufferers for more months of the year.
While climate change is one factor that may be increasing allergy rates, there are others as well. Whatever the causes, allergists agree they are seeing more patients with seasonal sniffles and respiratory issues. The worst times of the year are generally in the spring when the trees bloom, and again in late summer when ragweed pollen takes to the air. Regardless of the allergy, remedies are similar since the actual symptoms are caused by the body’s immune system and not the pollen itself.
Tips For Surviving a Brutal Spring:
When the immune response strikes, some folks suffer from itchy eyes, while others have a runny nose or even skin issues. There are essentially three ways to deal with allergies: avoidance, symptom management, and antihistamines.
Antihistamines: These drugs are available “over the counter” and through a doctor. They suppress chemicals in your body called “histamines”, which cause allergy symptoms like itching, runny noses and watery eyes. While they don’t cure your allergy, they prevent it from causing any symptoms- at least in the short term. Most people find if they skip a pill, their symptoms return quickly. The medicines may also have some mild side-effects, such as drowsiness.
Symptom Management: People who don’t want to use an antihistamine can manage their symptoms in other ways – often with natural remedies. A Neti pot or hot shower, for example, can help clear out nasal congestion. Many supposed “folk remedies” exist for treating or preventing allergies, but it’s best to consult a doctor if you’re serious about managing your symptoms.
Avoidance: People can also work to avoid contact with the triggers that cause their symptoms. However, even indoors, pet dander, pollen and mold spores can wreak havoc on your family’s comfort. One way to avoid allergens in the home is with the use of a high capacity, whole-home air cleaner that traps these tiny particles before they aggravate allergies and asthma.
Aprilaire has been a brand leader in IAQ for more than 60 years. They deliver a wide range of whole home systems that improve comfort, health and energy efficiency.
More info about Aprilaire can be found here: Air Purifiers from Aprilaire.