Can your carpets trigger allergies?
What causes allergies?
Carpets are magnets for allergens like dust mites, pet dander, mould, bacteria, viruses and many other microorganisms. Allergens are antigens that can trigger allergic reactions like coughing, sneezing and watery eyes. Allergies can be provoked by many things found in your home such as carpets or upholstery which can contain much more allergens than a hard surface.
While some carpet manufacturers would claim that their products actually trap allergens and prevent them from spreading and circulating in the air many people would still have allergy-related complaints relating to their carpets. While carpets and upholstery may actually trap some allergens if you don’t have a tolerant immune system and often suffer from allergies it is more likely for you to suffer the consequences of having microorganisms living in your carpet’s fibres.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America agrees: There are indeed more allergens on surfaces than in the air, but, the slightest movement can disturb them. That means that whenever you sit on that shag carpet, you’re sending all those allergens airborne where they can circulate for several hours [source: Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America].
It is not a secret that children are more vulnerable to allergies as their immune systems are not fully developed. This makes them more sensitive to foreign substances and allergens. In 2 square meters of carpet, you can find an average of 134 grams of dust. While you comfortably walk with your head at a safe distance from most of this dust, your child crawling on the carpet might end up swallowing up to 20 grams of that dust daily.
If you have suffered from allergies in the past you are probably no stranger to dust mites. These microorganisms are the main cause of year-long allergies. According to many Asthma and Allergy Foundations, these buggers are the cause of allergies to millions of people around the globe. In fact, it is not the dust mites that cause unpleasant reactions in your body but their waste. It has been proven that a single dust mite can produce waste to up to 200 times its body mass. They hide in the depth of your carpets, mattresses and other upholstery. Unfortunately, Regular cleaning is no match for them either: 95 per cent may remain even after vacuuming [source: Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America].
Your dog or cat might be provoking allergies in your household as well. Up to 15%-30% of people with allergies suffer allergic reactions due to a pet. The pet’s saliva, urine, faeces and other secretions contain proteins that are also potential allergens. The pet’s fur traps and distributes dust mites, fleas and pollen. These can get transferred to your carpet when the animal is in contact with it.
How to deal with allergies at home?
Beyond thoroughly and frequently vacuuming the carpet, you must also have it professionally washed every six months with steam cleaning. Make sure it dries completely afterwards so that the humidity does not attract mould or mites. The prompt cleaning up of any spills will also help to prevent mould production. Another measure you may take to that carpet allergens is to ask guests entering your home to remove their shoes to prevent foreign substances from coming in. KatCleaning’s seven-point procedure is a sure way to eliminate all of the allergens above and make your life easier.
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