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.
- 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.
Oct. 17, 2015
- 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.
- Rhinitis overview. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/allergies/rhinitis.aspx. Accessed April 19, 2015.
- de Shazo RD, et al. Allergic rhinitis: Clinical manifestations, epidemiology and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 19, 2015.
- Allergies and hay fever. American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. http://www.entnet.org/node/1347. Accessed April 19, 2015.
- AAAAI Allergy and asthma drug guide. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/treatments/drug-guide.aspx. Accessed April 19, 2015.
- de Shazo RD, et al. Pharmacotherapy of allergic rhinitis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 19, 2015.
- Norman PS. Subcutaneous immunotherapy for allergic disease: Indications and efficacy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 20, 2015.
- de Shazo RD, et al. Overview of immunological treatments of allergic rhinitis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 20, 2015.
- Pet dander. American Lung Association. http://www.lung.org/healthy-air/home/resources/pet-dander-1.html. Accessed April 19, 2015.
- Seidman MD, et al. Clinical practice guideline: Allergic rhinitis. Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. 2015;152:S1.
- Cockroach allergy. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. http://acaai.org/allergies/types/cockroach-allergies. Accessed April 20, 2015.