With people spending more time indoors, maintaining a hygienic home environment is vital in preventing diseases.
While outdoor environmental pollution receives much attention, indoor pollution tends to go unnoticed. Indoor air can often be filled with PM2.5 ultrafine particles, allergens, bacteria, harmful gases, as well as mould and fungi — all of which can compromise our health, giving rise to chronic health conditions such as asthma or allergic rhinitis.
In Singapore, asthma affects 5% of adults and 20% of children. More than 13.1% of the general population also suffers from eczema and allergic rhinitis. This is prevalent in 5.5% of the general adult population and more than 40% of school-going children.
“Exposure to allergens and pollutants is recognised as one of the most important risk factors for worsening asthma in children,” revealed Dr Benjamin Loh, Resident Doctor, DTAP Clinic Group, at the launch of Philips Air Purifier 2000i, 3000i series and Philips SpeedPro Max Aqua 8000 Series. “In modern indoor spaces, allergies, viruses, bacteria and harmful gases may cause respiratory infections. In other cases, these can also result in various allergic symptoms such as sneezing, watery eyes, nasal congestion, and runny nose.”
Inhaling such dusts and fumes may also have a role to play in COVID-19 transmission. Good indoor hygiene can help cut down on allergy symptoms and keep you healthy. Here are some steps that you can take to achieve just that.
MAINTAIN FRESH AIR
Lack of air circulation has been found to worsen asthma and allergic rhinitis, so open your windows from time to time to help promote good ventilation and allow fresh air to move into the house.
INVEST IN AN AIR PURIFIER
This is particularly important if you are allergic to indoor allergens or have pets. Choose one with a small-particle or HEPA filter. HEPA filters strain airborne allergens through a fine mesh filter with many layers, cleaning the air and removing pollutants such as cigarette smoke, pet dander, dust mites, as well as pollen. Some air purifiers can even remove 99% of particles as small as 0.003μm, which is smaller than the smallest known virus!KEEP IT CLEAN
Vacuum at least once or twice a week with a strong vacuum cleaner. Dr Loh recommends one that is equipped with a HEPA filter. Use a damp cloth to clean other surfaces, including the tops of doors, windowsills and window frames. If you have allergies, either wear a mask or get someone who doesn’t have allergies to do this job. Don’t allow smoking anywhere inside your house.
Regularly clean bedding, drapes and other items that tend to attract allergens, especially if you have pets.
REDUCE DUST MITES
Dust mites are one of the most common allergy culprits. They thrive and breed in the carpeting and bedding in your bedroom, as well as the upholstery in your furniture. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) recommends encasing mattresses, box springs and pillows in special allergen-proof dust covers to reduce dust mites in the bedroom. AAAAI advises washing sheets, pillowcases and blankets in water heated to at least 55°C.
Dust and mould particles, along with pollen, are common allergy culprits. When dusting, clean from top to bottom to avoid spreading dust on areas you just cleaned. Also, don’t just brush the dust away with a feather duster or cloth. Damp microfiber cloths will trap the dust instead of just moving it around. Don’t forget to clean ceiling fans and blinds as well.
THE CAR: YOUR SECOND HOME
If you have invested in a car, you would be spending quite some time in it, so you ought to treat it as your second home and keep it equally hygienic. We recommend the Backtakleen Anti-Bacterial Treatment System. This FDA-approved product kills 99.9% of bacteria, mould and fungi, and reduces the risk of you catching bugs that cause colds and flus.
This amazing product is available from our AAShop.
AA Members get a discount, so order now!