Clean Your Fan to Prevent Allergies

Fans with dirty blades can spread dust mites that cause allergic asthma.

Clean Your Fan to Prevent Allergies

Katy Perry (106,000,000+) and Justin Beiber (104,000,000) have the most Twitter fans, more even than President Obama. But when a recent site-cleaning took place, eliminating fake fans from their followers, they lost one to two million apiece!

While they were embarrassed to have their fans cleaned, we suggest 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 & 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 can also 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 Michael Benninger, MD, with the Head and Neck Institute at Dr. Mike’s Cleveland Clinic. And their hum of white noise can help you fall asleep—but, says Dr. 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.

Medically reviewed in March 2020.

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