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Keep fans clean to minimize allergy risks

  • TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE

    If you’re running fans with dusty, dirty blades, you are spewing dust mites through the air and making anyone with an allergy to them — maybe even yourself — suffer.

Katy Perry (106 million plus) and Justin Bieber (104 million plus) have the most Twitter fans, more than even former President Barack Obama or soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo. But when a recent site-cleaning took place, eliminating fake fans from their followers, they lost 1 to 2 million apiece!

While they were embarrassed to have their fans cleaned out, we suggest you really want your floor, window or ceiling fans to be as clean as possible.

That’s because if you’re running fans with dusty, dirty blades, you are spewing dust mites through the air and making anyone with an allergy to them — maybe even yourself — suffer. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, around 33 million Americans are sensitive to dust mites, and in some areas they play a role in 90 percent of the cases of allergic asthma.

Fans also can cause stiff, sore muscles in the morning if you sleep with a fan pointing directly at you, and the direct breeze can dry your skin.

But there are benefits to sleeping with a fan. Gentle circulation of cool air can help you breathe better (unless it’s super dry), says Dr. Michael Benninger with the Head and Neck Institute at Cleveland Clinic. The hum of white noise can help you fall asleep, but, says Benninger: “I suggest facing the fan away. It will still circulate the air while producing background noise.”

So don’t fan the flames of allergies (or aches and pains) and keep your fan base real — real clean, that is.


Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. Email questions to youdocsdaily@sharecare.com.


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