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Malaghan Institute of Medical ResearchTarget Allergy Hot Spots

Deep cleaning your home regularly is essential for banishing allergens and reducing your family’s exposure to them. Caroline Wood offers some ideas for targeting allergy hotspots.

Spring is a great time for reviewing your cleaning regime and doing some of the heavy duty cleaning jobs that help keep potential allergens at bay. Lots of allergy nasties lurk in the family home including dust, mould spores and pet dander - the way to control them is to clean thoroughly and often.

Allergens inside the home can trigger eczema, asthma and hay fever, along with general allergy symptoms of coughing, sneezing, itchy skin, watery eyes and runny nose.

“If you have an allergy, avoid triggers, use your allergy treatments and reduce the allergens in your home. Reducing the allergens in your home will help keep your allergy under control,” says Dr Rob Hicks on www.nhs.co.uk.

Keeping on top of house cleaning can be difficult (not to mention boring!) in the busy world we live in. Try creating a schedule of jobs that you will ideally do weekly, monthly, every three months and annually. Then you can get some satisfaction from ticking each one off and knowing you have it all under control.

Not sure how to start?
Check out Allergy UK’s interactive allergy house for the latest advice on how to tackle specific problem areas room by room. See www.allergyuk.org/allergies-in-the-home.

Here are a few deep cleaning ideas to think about:
Vacuum furniture, curtains and damp dust forgotten surfaces
Experts recommend using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, which ensures the dust is trapped, and not released back into the air. HEPA filters need to be replaced or washed about once a year. See www.consumer.co.nz for more information about HEPA filters.
Vacuum soft furnishings and curtains. Pull out beds and heavy furniture for a thorough clean and damp dust the surfaces. Wipe down kitchen cabinets every two to three months.

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Issue: Spring 2013