If you have a tickly nose and frequent sneezes when you're indoors, don't stifle it. One man in England did just that, and according to the report in the journal BMJ Cases, he tore a hole in his windpipe. A better move: Get rid of the offending allergens. They commonly include dust mites, cockroaches, mold and pets, and can lurk in bedding; carpets and rugs; humidifiers and dehumidifiers; cupboards and corners; even kids' stuffed animals. To reduce a winter indoor allergy, using an air filter and a vacuum cleaner with small-particle HEPA filters can help; so can allergy shots (immunotherapy). Then:
Dust mite allergies:
Enclose mattresses, box springs and pillows in allergen-proof covers or zippered plastic covers.
Wash bedding weekly in 130 degrees or warmer water; dry on high heat.
Have washable or dry-cleanable throw rugs.
Dust furniture and clean upholstery regularly.
For pet allergies:
Get immunotherapy and remember dander and saliva trigger cat and dog allergies, but urine from rabbits, hamsters, mice and guinea pigs can also be the culprit — so don't clean the cages yourself.
Repair leaks and drips. Keep humidifiers clean.
Dehumidify damp areas (keep dehumidifier mold-free too!).
5% bleach in water is effective to remove small areas of mold.
Seal cracks and openings around pipes, and repair leaks.
The Natural Resources Defense Council suggests dusting cracks and crevices with boric acid powder. Important: Use tight-fitting goggles, your N95 mask and rubber gloves. Then, wash off before eating anything and never touch your eyes before washing thoroughly.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit sharecare.com.
(c)2021 Michael Roizen, M.D.
and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
King Features Syndicate