Indoor Allergy Season is Here

March 30, 2004--Posted at 6:25 p.m. CST

JONESBORO--  If sniffling and sneezing have become a part of your everyday life, it could be what's inside your house that's causing your headaches.

Allergy season is here again.
The coughing,sneezing, and sniffling that comes with the onset of spring; however, you might be surprised to hear that it's what's on the inside of your house could be the culprit.

"If you live in an older home that has a dirt crawl space in it generally speaking there will be mold growing in the ground underneath that unless there has been some sort of vapor barrier put down," says Jonesboro Physician David Lewis.

Mark Crain, of Crain Electric Heat and Air, gives us a few things to remember about allergy season. First of all indoor air is ten times more polluted than outdoor air because our energy efficient homes are air tight. Second, about half of all illnesses are caused by aggravated indoor polluted air. Third, bacteria, viruses, mold, and fungi can breed and find nourishment in an inadequately filtered air circulation system. Fourth, most air born particles are so tiny that ninety percent will pass right through a standard throw away filter.

Dr. Lewis says before you get treated make sure you have differentiated between seasonal allergies and the common cold. Lewis says the common cold will end in less than two weeks; however, allergies may linger on.

"It will sort of wax in and weigh out on a daily basis, one day you may be a little better one day you may be a little worse," says Dr. Lewis.

You might be surprised to learn that what is causing your illness may be lurking in your very own bedroom. Dr. Lewis says, "they may have a pet for example, a cat that likes to crawl up on their pillow or a dog. Small dogs like to do that and it may mean that they're allergic to their pet, but it may not mean that as well."

Mark Crane suggests changing your filter once every six weeks, but once every four weeks during a season change, he adds that you can get filter replacements at your local heat and air maintenance shop.