Lifestyle and home remedies

By Mayo Clinic Staff

It's not possible to completely avoid allergens, but you can reduce your symptoms by limiting your exposure to them. If you know what you're allergic to, you can avoid your triggers.

Pollen or molds

  • Close doors and windows during pollen season.
  • Don't hang laundry outside — pollen can stick to sheets and towels.
  • Use air conditioning in your house and car.
  • Use an allergy-grade filter in your home ventilation system and change it regularly.
  • Avoid outdoor activity in the early morning, when pollen counts are highest.
  • Stay indoors on dry, windy days.
  • Use a dehumidifier to reduce indoor humidity.
  • Use a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter in your bedroom and other rooms where you spend a lot of time.
  • Avoid mowing the lawn or raking leaves.
  • Wear a dust mask when cleaning house or gardening.

Dust mites

  • Use allergy-proof covers on mattresses, box springs and pillows.
  • Wash sheets and blankets in water heated to at least 130 F (54 C).
  • Use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to reduce indoor humidity.
  • Vacuum carpets weekly with a vacuum cleaner equipped with a small-particle or HEPA filter.
  • Spray insecticide designed to kill dust mites (acaricides) and approved for indoor use on carpets, furniture and bedding.
  • Consider removing carpeting, especially where you sleep, if you're highly sensitive to dust mites.


  • Block cracks and crevices where roaches can enter.
  • Fix leaky faucets and pipes.
  • Wash dishes and empty garbage daily.
  • Sweep food crumbs from counters and floors.
  • Store food, including pet food, in sealed containers.
  • Consider professional pest extermination.

Pet dander

  • Keep pets out of your home, if possible.
  • Bathe dogs twice a week, if possible. The benefit of bathing cats hasn't been proven.
  • Keep pets out of the bedroom and off furniture.
Oct. 17, 2015