Lifestyle and home remedies

By Mayo Clinic Staff

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.

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.
  • Consider removing carpeting, especially where you sleep, if you're highly sensitive to dust mites.

Cockroaches

  • 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

  • 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.
Jul. 17, 2012