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alt=a woman cleaning house with a dust allergy, wearing protective face and eye gear

Cleaning With a Dust Allergy

Keeping a clean house is a way to keep dust allergies under control. The only problem with that is when you do things like dust and sweep; it can kick dust into the air, which you end up breathing in. The recurring symptoms of my dust allergies include sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, and eczema flares.

Allergy-mitigating cleaning tips

Unfortunately, I don't have the means to pay someone to clean my house for me, so here are some things I do while I'm cleaning the house to minimize my allergy symptoms.

Use personal protective gear

I typically wear a mask or at least cover my mouth with a bandana when cleaning the house. That way, when dust gets kicked into the air, I can mitigate how much I breathe in.

I also tend to wear some eye protection, whether a pair of goggles or sunglasses, to lessen the amount of dust I come in contact with. I also keep everything but my face and neck covered up because my eczema patches get worse when dust touches them, so anywhere my skin is flaring, I take extra care to cover up. Overall, my whole cleaning outfit may look silly, but my comfort is a priority when cleaning, not fashion.

Open a window or turn on an air purifier

If the weather allows, I like to open the windows while cleaning. That way, some of the dust can get pulled outside during the process. I live in an area with cold and harsh winters, so unfortunately, opening them isn't always possible. When I can't open my windows, I turn my air purifier on to the highest setting to filter out some dust in the air.

Take a shower after cleaning

After finishing cleaning, I like to hop into the shower. That way, I can wash off whatever dust particles get stuck to me. Not only does contact with dust irritate my eczema, but my skin is also sensitive to sweat. I don't know about you, but I definitely work up a sweat when thoroughly cleaning my house.

I'm taking care of two things at once by getting in the shower when I'm done! Afterward, I take the clothes I was wearing and throw them in the laundry hamper because I'm not going to wear them again until they are clean.

Moisturizer helps my skin

When it comes to environmental allergens, there are days when they bother me a lot and I days when my symptoms are pretty minor. If the day is a worse allergy day for me (and I won't know until I start cleaning), I'll take extra steps after the shower depending on what's bothering me.

Taking allergy medications are needed sometimes

I might put on a moisturizer that soothes my skin if it's feeling itchy. I might use my steam inhaler if I'm sneezing or dealing with a runny nose. If neither of those things alleviates my symptoms, I sometimes take an antihistamine afterward.

With allergies, it helps to be flexible

One of the biggest lessons I've learned from allergies is adaptability. My version of house cleaning doesn't look like most people's, and that's ok! Sure, I can't eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but there are plenty of things that allergies don't stop me from doing! I might need a few extra steps or a different method.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Allergies.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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