Rethink your routine to reduce asthma, allergy symptoms

Itchy eyes, sneezing, runny nose — allergy sufferers recognize these symptoms that can make life uncomfortable. An estimated 50 million people suffer from allergies — making it the fifth leading chronic disease in the U.S. among all ages, and the third most common chronic disease among children under 18 years old.1

While there is no cure for allergies, they can be managed with proper prevention and treatment. This includes making simple changes in your home, yard and lifestyle.

Allergy trigger points
The most common indoor/outdoor allergy triggers are tree, grass and weed pollen; mold spores; dust mite and cockroach allergens; and cat, dog and rodent dander, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation (AAF).

If you enjoy opening the windows in the spring or fall, but suffer from seasonal allergies, it may be time to redo your landscaping. Avoid planting heavy pollinating trees, shrubs and plants directly outside your windows and doors. Instead, choose allergy-friendly plants that don’t produce much pollen, like begonia, clematis, daffodil, iris, hosta, impatiens, pansy, rose, verbena and zinnia varieties.

Consult your local garden center or an Extension agent about other possible plant choices. The WebMD website also provides a helpful list of the best and worst plants for people with allergies.

Window screens cannot keep pollen from entering your home, but they can stop seeds, leaves and other pollinators from blowing in. Pella’s Vivid View® screens — featuring Gore Transparent Screen Fabric — allow significantly more light and breeze to flow inside your home, while helping stop airborne seedlings like those from dandelions, milkweeds and other plants from entering your home.

Think inside your home
If you or family members have allergies and/or asthma, consider your indoor air quality. Installing new windows and doors can improve indoor air quality and help reduce symptoms by reducing allergy-aggravating dust. Pella Designer Series® windows and patio doors feature optional between-the-glass blinds or shades that prevent certain indoor airborne allergens from accumulating on the surface area of blinds or shades.

In fact, window blinds and shades often collect dust and allergens that can pollute indoor air when they are raised or lowered. A university study found windows with traditional room-side blinds collected 200 times more of certain indoor airborne allergens than Pella Designer Series products.2

“As a window and door industry leader, Pella strives to provide products that help builders, designers and homeowners create healthier, more energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly homes,” said Marketing Specialist Breanne Patel of Pella’s Heritage Division. “Pella Designer Series windows and doors with between-the-glass window fashions help reduce certain indoor airborne allergens, and can greatly improve the energy efficiency3 of your home.”

In addition, Pella’s exclusive snap-in between-the-glass grilles, blinds or shades can be switched out or added according to your life or décor changes with virtually endless color, fabric and style choices.

And because Designer Series products feature no potentially hazardous roomside cords, the between-the-glass blinds and shades are a natural for homes with children and pets.

Action is the best prevention
Whether you’re a seasonal sufferer or experience chronic allergies, these simple actions — provided by AAF — can help prevent allergy symptoms indoors and outdoors:

  • Dust to control mites. By dusting surfaces and washing bedding often, you can control the amount of dust mites in your home.
  • Vacuum often. Although cleaning can sometimes trigger allergic reactions, vacuuming once or twice a week will reduce the surface dusty mites. Wear a mask when doing housework and consider leaving for a few hours after you clean to help avoid allergens in the air.
  • Reduce pet dander. If you have allergies, avoid pets with feathers or fur, like birds, dogs and cats. Animal saliva and dead skin can cause allergic reactions.
  • Shut out pollen. One easy way to help prevent pollen from entering a home is to keep windows and doors closed. Use an air filter and clean it regularly or run the air conditioner and change the filter often.
  • Avoid mold spores. Mold spores grow in moist areas. If you reduce the moisture in the bathroom and kitchen, you will help reduce the mold in your home. Fix leaks inside and outside your home and clean moldy surfaces. Plants can carry pollen and mold too, so limit the number of houseplants. Dehumidifiers also help reduce mold.

1CDC Fast Facts A-Z, Vital Health Statistics, 2003
2Based on data from research conducted by the Department of Environmental Health at the University of Iowa.
3Pella Designer Series wood windows and patio doors with triple pane glass have superior NFRC U-values and SHGC ratings.

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