It's not possible to completely avoid allergens, but you can reduce your symptoms by taking some steps to limit your exposure to them. It helps to know exactly what you're allergic to so that you can avoid your specific 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 the ventilation system.
- 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.
- Avoid mowing the lawn or raking leaves, which stirs up pollen and molds.
- Wear a dust mask when doing outdoor activities such as gardening.
- 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.
- 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.
July 17, 2012
- Remove pets from the house, if possible.
- Bathe your pets on a weekly basis, if possible. Using wipes designed to reduce dander also may help.
- Keep your pets out of the bedroom.
- Allergic rhinitis (hay fever). American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. http://www.acaai.org/allergist/allergies/types/rhinitis/Pages/default.aspx. Accessed March 30, 2012.
- McPhee SJ, et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2012. 51st ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=2356. Accessed April 1, 2012.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2012:5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05611-3..C2009-0-38601-8--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05611-3&uniqId=291436269-101. Accessed March 31, 2012.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=9136197. Accessed April 1, 2012.
- Fact sheet: Allergic rhinitis (hay fever). American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/allergicRhinitis.cfm. Accessed March 30, 2012.
- Greiner AN, et al. Allergic rhinitis. The Lancet. 2011;378:2112.
- Allergies and hay fever. American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/allergiesHayFever.cfm. Accessed March 30, 2012.
- Rhinitis and sinusitis. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=18&cont=239. Accessed March 30, 2012.
- Montelukast sodium. Micromedex Healthcare Series. http://www.micromedex.com. Accessed April 2, 2012.
- Naegleria FAQs. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/naegleria/faqs.html. Accessed Dec. 30, 2011.
- Man L. Complementary and alternative medicine for allergic rhinitis. Current Opinion in Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery. 2009;17:226.
- Allergic rhinitis (hayfever). Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed April 2, 2012.
- Li JT (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 3, 2012.
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