SAN ANTONIO — For many, it has already been a rough spring allergy season full of sneezing, coughing, watery eyes and runny noses. But there are things you can do right at home to help.
"They are actually pretty severe,” said Deborah Bomba, who is allergic to many things. "(I have) allergies to mold and to the oak pollen, and have been put on quite a bit of medication. I'm actually on two inhalers and I take an allergy pill every day."
The Centers for Disease Control say allergies are the sixth-leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S., affecting 50 million Americans each year with an average cost exceeding $18 billion. And in a report from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, San Antonio was ranked as the fourth-worst cities in the country for allergies.
Deborah's husband, Martin Bomba – president of Window World for San Antonio, New Braunfels, and Corpus Christi – said energy-efficient windows with good weather-stripping helps.
"All the way around the interior and exterior, you have points of weather-stripping that help keep air infiltration out and thus to help keep allergens out," he said.
But if the allergens get in, Bomba recommends trying a 50/50 water vinegar solution when cleaning.
"It's a great cleaner for all types of different things, including the glass in your windows, the area around your windows or window frames."
A glass cleaner works well too, but when you are cleaning your windows you want to make sure you are spraying directly on the cloth; if you spray on the window, all of the particles you are trying to clean up go airborne.
Making sure you have the right air filter is important too.
"You want to look for a pleated filter like I'm showing you right now," Bomba said.
Also: Take note of the MERV or FPR number. The higher the number, the better the filtration.
"A MERV nine is what I'm going to recommend for the best allergen reduction," he said, "but while still allowing your air conditioning system to breathe properly and not be restricted."