Medical Q&As

Sinusitis - role of allergens?

I suffer from sinusitis and wonder if carpets in my home could be contributing to my symptoms?

Carpets can house large quantities of dust no matter how house-proud the occupants are. Domestic carpets can be a very happy breeding ground for the house dust mite, which is a common cause of allergy in the tissues of the upper respiratory tract. However, it is important to retain a sense of proportion about this and not respond in too extreme a fashion to this information. I have known people to remove carpets, drapes and duvets in order to reduce their personal exposure to allergens. Unless a person suffers from extreme symptoms it is probably more reasonable to ensure that the raising of dust is kept to a minimum. In that regard it is preferable to vacuum carpets rather than brushing them. As a general rule it is desirable that people with allergies of the respiratory tract should minimise their level of exposure to dust and aerosols in the home. We use an astonishing variety of chemicals in the modern home from oven cleaners to furniture polish. It might be worth conducting an inventory of all the chemicals you use in your home and reconsider if they are absolutely indispensable.