Apartment Living May Increase Allergies

Allergies are quite common in areas of the country where seasonal fluctuations occur. For many adults, allergies are often controlled by use of medications and avoiding environments where allergic reactions may be exacerbated. If you are an adult with allergy complications, and you are considering relocation to an apartment, you may want to first consider how apartment living may complicate your allergy condition.

Apartments, no matter what the age, can pose a health risk to adults with allergies. Unless the apartment building is brand new, and never previously occupied, you can be assured that living in an apartment will pose some degree of exacerbation of allergy symptoms. When consider relocation to an apartment, there are some questions you may want to ask the apartment management team before you decide to make the move.

First, find out how often the filter within your apartment will be changed. Typically, most apartment management companies will change out filters every six months. But, with some management companies, accommodations to change air filters more frequently can be made but must be made in writing. If your apartment management team does not offer to change the air filter more frequently than is standard for their complex, ask about the possible opportunity to replace your own air filters and then deduct those expenses from your monthly rental. When this type of question is posed, many apartment complex management teams will opt to accommodate your request and make the changes themselves.

In addition to air filter, if you are considering relocation to a new apartment building, ask the apartment management team to rent a space to you that has never been occupied by a smoker. While the apartment may have been cleaned, if it was once occupied by a smoker, there are greater risks for your allergies to be aggravated as soot and other tobacco related debris is most likely still lingering in the vents of the apartment.

And, finally, when relocating to an apartment, ask the apartment complex about the presence of mold and what mold prevention has been done within the community and, specifically, within your apartment. Because mold is a common aggravator of allergies, it will be important to determine if the apartment is infested with mold and then take necessary steps to remove the mold prior to your move in date.

Allergies of any type can be difficult to control and many adults avoid doing activities in the outdoors so as to avoid the risk for exacerbating allergy symptoms. However, with many families considering the move to rental communities and moving into apartments, the risk for aggravating allergies may lie right in the place you live. To avoid complications with your allergies when moving into an apartment building, ask your apartment management team about filters, prior smokers in the complex, and what mold detection has been done. Once you know what potential risks are in place, you can determine if the apartment location is right for you and your allergy health.

Sources: Journal of Allergy Medicine 2005: 43: 5-11

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