You’re Sniffy, You’re Sneezy, and it’s Time to Blame your Apartment

With the seasons changing, if you’re feeling aglow with sneezing, scratchy throat, and itchy eyes, you could very well be allergic to pollen. What you might not know, and might not want to know, is that it could also be due to factors within your apartment, especially if you live in a vintage walk-up or the like.

Apparently, a lot of vintage apartments develop types of molds that exist between the walls. And, I love my sniffer—and it loves me—but there are limits to its magic. Crawling into the walls is one of them. The only recourses in the fight against mold in places you can’t clean are to:

1) Choose a newer style of apartment that will be mold-free
2) See an allergist for an apt prescription for you.

The other top offender may surprise you, but they exist in all apartments all over the world. They are…Dust mites. What are dust mites, you ask? Why, they’re microscopic pains in the behind. Seriously, they’re super tiny and (get for to be grossed out) they feed off of your dead skin. What am I and most others allergic to? The poop that they leave behind as little housewarming presents.

Luckily, there are some preventative ways to combat the dust mites. For instance:
1) Buy a mattress cover and pillow cover that enclose both completely as they are instrumental in killing off the mites. Basically, it will suffocate them and separate them from you. One place to find the covers is
2) Wash your sheets, mattress pad, and comforter every two weeks in HOT water. Warm and cold water will not kill dust mites.
3) Try to have wood floors or linoleum as opposed to carpeting.
4) Choose blinds over drapes.
5) Vacuum and dust often.

Everyone has different allergies (would you believe I’m allergic to parakeets, too!), but there are a surprising number of ways to combat environmental offenders. The best tip I can give though, is that if your symptoms started last spring have continued into the summer, something in your living situation is probably antagonizing you: pretending you’re fine is not going to make you feel any better. So, stop putting it off and make an appointment with someone in the know. Best part? The allergist’s only going to give you a scratch test—so there aren’t even any needles!

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Author My First Apartment

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I've lived in apartments in 6 cities (including 2 foreign countries). Does that make me an expert? As of now, my ceiling isn't leaking and I don't have rodents (knock on wood) -- so I'm going to say yes . . . but ask me again tomorrow:) These days, I'm enjoying life Chicago style, but my years in Brooklyn are never far from my mind. P.S. By day I work at, but these opinions are totally, 100% my own.

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