What Is HEPA?
The word “HEPA” has become synonymous with allergy management. HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Arresting. It’s applied to anything that may filter air like air conditioner filters, ventilation fan filters, air filtration units, or vacuum filters. HEPA filters feature extremely fine mesh layers that trap common allergen particles such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and tobacco smoke. To qualify as HEPA, the filter must satisfy certain standards of efficiency such as those set by the US Dept. of Energy which state that an air filter must remove (from the air that passes through it) 99.97% of particles that have a size of 0.3 micrometers or larger.
One of the easiest things you can do to help minimize your allergies is purchase HEPA filtration when available. Most notably, choosing a vacuum cleaner that is designed for HEPA filtration, such as a Miele.
What Else Can I Do To Manage My Allergies?
Perhaps you’re thinking, “I can’t spend that much money on an allergy-friendly vacuum!” Well, ok. Let’s talk about some of the other changes that can make a difference in your allergies. According to American Family Care Clinics, breaking a couple of simple habits will help to keep us sneeze free.
- Don’t make your bed – Dust mite allergies are one of the more common allergies. The microscopic mites love to breed in warm moist conditions. An unmade bed allows the air to circulate, which makes it more difficult for the mites to survive. Maybe it sounds easy but, for many of us, a made bed is the first accomplishment of the day. The thought of leaving an unkempt room day after day is enough to give the tidy crowd an anxiety attack!
- Don’t drink alcohol – Thinking of enjoying a nice red with your meal? Sorry. According to a Danish study, the more wine we drink, the more likely we are to sneeze. In fact, a glass of wine with dinner has been shown to aggravate existing allergies. So, it looks like you’ll have to wind down with a boring cup of water.
- Don’t eat your favorite foods -Like pizza? According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, the proteins found in certain foods such as melons, bananas, and tomatoes can cause existing allergies to flare up. No watermelon salad this summer; no spaghetti with the family. But since you can’t enjoy it with a glass of wine now anyway, maybe it won’t be too missed.
- Don’t wear your contact lenses -Looks like it’s also time to ake a break from your contact lenses. Contacts can actually trap pollen against the surface of the eye, causing extreme discomfort. Time to dig up those old glasses or run out to spend money on a new pair. Just make sure they don’t slide off your face while you’re doing the dishes. Why are you washing dishes, you ask?
- Don’t use the dishwasher – Swedish scientists published a study in the journal ‘Pediatrics’ claiming that children brought up in a home where dishes are washed by hand are far less likely to develop allergies, in comparison to children with families that use a dishwasher. Because, apparently, having allergies isn’t bad enough…you also have to go back in time to the days before modern amenities!
For many of us, these suggestions are far worse than allergy symptoms. So when folks claim they’re not willing to spend money on a quality vacuum designed for respiratory health, it’s wise to put it into perspective. Just what are you willing to do to treat your allergies? Because in light of this list, spending a little extra money on the right vacuum may not seem so crazy after all.