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The Secret Places Allergens Are Hiding in Your Home

Thought ragweed was the only allergen to fear this fall? Think again. Houses harbor all sorts of irritating allergens, and even the cleanest of homes are at risk. The first step to managing your allergy woes is identifying the cause. Here are five sneaky substances to look out for.

Vacuum cleaners // It might sound counterintuitive, but the very technology that’s supposed to be sucking up major allergy offenders like dander, dust, and hair, could actually be redepositing the allergens back into the air because they’re so small. To combat this, purchase a vacuum cleaner with optimal airflow and suction, as well as a HEPA filter.

Books // Used bookstore devotees might have a conundrum. An impressive library collection could be harboring dust mites and psocids, also known as booklice, which crop up in humid environments. Be sure to keep your books in a dry area and dust them regularly to avoid these irritants.

Cockroaches // Though certainly annoying, cockroaches aren’t often cited as potential allergens. But because they cause symptoms that resemble asthma, they’re definitely cause for concern if you find yourself wheezing or with a stuffy nose. Cockroaches favor warm, moist areas with food, so take proper precautions in your kitchen. Strategies should include: wiping down counters, making sure you don’t have leaky pipes, and putting food in sealed containers.

Bathtub mats and shower curtains // According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, bathrooms are breeding grounds for mold because they’re often warm and moist. Cleaning and drying the mats and curtains once every two weeks should do the trick. You should also keep bathrooms dry and well-ventilated.

Pets // Sure, most folks know that animal dander taxing for the allergy laden, but you might not know that even pets touted as “hypoallergenic” could be putting you at risk. By acknowledging that your pup, feline or hamster might be the cause of your chronic sniffling, you can take an allergy medication to remedy that malady.

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Sponsor content is created for IBX by Philadelphia magazine as a marketing collaboration with IBX. This material is intended for reference and information only and should not be used in place of advice from a doctor or suitable qualified healthcare professionals.