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Creating an allergy-friendly home with style - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Creating an allergy-friendly home with style

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(ARA) - Each spring, for the more than 40 million allergy sufferers in America, "spring cleaning" takes on a whole new meaning. It can be challenging to keep allergy symptoms at bay when indoor and outdoor allergens, such as dust and pollen, seem to be everywhere.

Long-time allergy sufferer and design expert Sabrina Soto says there are some simple solutions to enjoy spring at home and in the garden, including finding the right non-drowsy allergy treatment.

"As a designer for HGTV, I visit all types of homes and gardens where I'm surrounded by allergy triggers like dust, pet dander and pollen," says Soto. "I can't be at my best if I'm sneezing and rubbing my itchy, watery eyes, which is why I use Claritin. It helps me focus on creating a design space that I'm proud of and that my clients will love."

Allergy-friendly home and garden tips
Creating an allergy-friendly space doesn't have to mean eliminating allergen-prone decor like flowers or rugs entirely. Soto offers these tips for balancing style with function:

* Replace knit curtains with vibrant hypoallergenic fabrics and have them dry cleaned every couple of months.

* Use washable throw rugs on top of wood, linoleum or tiled floors to reduce dust.

* Clean regularly with a HEPA filter vacuum to help capture the allergy-inducing particles that collect in upholstery and carpets.

* To achieve balance, center your bed on the largest or furthest wall in your bedroom. Just be sure it's not covering an air or heating vent where dust particles can get trapped.

* Be sure to wash bedding at more than 140 degrees to avoid dust mites.

* Reduce clutter by designating places for books, magazines and mail - and encourage your family to put items away sooner rather than later.

* Peak pollen production happens early in the morning so plan to do your gardening later in the day to minimize exposure to allergens.

* Plant low-pollen flowers like roses or gladiolas for a splash of color outdoors.

* Help prevent mold and mildew with weather-resistant patio furniture.

For more allergy-friendly suggestions from HGTV and Soto, including advice for cleaning, designing and decluttering around the home, visit www.facebook.com/claritin.

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