Allergens in your home

Most people think of common allergies as something that happens outside, when they're exposed to pollen and ragweed.

But allergens also lurk in your home -- especially your bedroom. And if you don't change the sheets regularly, you could be giving them a place to set up a home of their own.

And maybe that's why you always wake up congested.

You're hardly alone. A new survey out of Britain finds that 34 percent say their common allergies are worse in the bedroom -- yet the same survey finds that 17 percent change their sheets just once a month.

Hmmm... I guess they've never put two and two together here.

The second most common source of allergens, according to the survey, is the living room.

The bedroom and living room, of course, are where we spend the most time when we're at home. And they also happen to be rooms full of fabric, including bed sheets, cushions, pillows, carpets and rugs.

These are the perfect hiding spots for dust mites and places for other types of dust to settle, including pet hair and dander as well as allergens from the outside that enter through open windows, including pollen and even toxic particles from nearby auto traffic.

The lesson here is simple, easy and obvious: Vacuum regularly, clean the sofa and any coverings on your furniture and change your sheets regularly, including your pillowcase.

And if your pillow is older than some of the members of your family, it's time to replace it altogether.

I've got more tips on fighting common allergies both in and out of the home in this month's edition of my subscription newsletter, Health Revelations.

Subscribers, you should have already received it in the mail. And if you're not a subscriber, it's not too late.

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