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    Allergies Health Center

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    Allergy-Proof Your Environment

    Medicines can ease your stuffy nose and itchy eyes once allergies strike, but you can take steps to keep your symptoms from showing up in the first place.

    Allergy-Proof Your Home

    Keep windows closed and use air conditioning if you're allergic to pollen. Don't use fans. They can stir up dust.

    Filter the air. Cover air-conditioning vents with cheesecloth to catch pollen, and use HEPA filters. They take in lots of very small particles that other ones miss. Make sure you clean air filters often.

    Keep the humidity in your house below 50%. That’ll prevent the growth of mold.

    If you have pets, keep them out of the bedroom. Bathe them at least once a week, too.

    Avoid areas where molds may collect, including basements, garages, crawl spaces, barns, and compost heaps. Have someone else clean these areas often.

    Put dehumidifiers in basements and other areas of the house where mold tends to collect. Clean them every week.

    Make sure shoes and clothes are dry before storing.

    Take wet clothes out of the washing machine right away, so mold doesn’t grow.

    Wash shower curtains and bathroom tiles with mold-killing cleaners.

    Don't over-water indoor plants. Wet soil encourages mold growth.

    Use hypoallergenic covers for pillows, mattresses, and box springs. Stay away from overstuffed furniture.

    Wash your bedding every week in hot water.

    Don’t let anyone smoke in your house.

    Wear a mask and gloves when you clean, vacuum, or paint to limit the dust and chemicals you come in contact with.

    Vacuum twice a week.

    Limit throw rugs to reduce dust and mold. Make sure the rugs you have are washable.

    Choose hardwood or vinyl floors instead of carpeting. If you must have carpet, choose low-pile.

    Avoid dust-collecting blinds or long drapes. Use window shades, instead.

    Make sure there’s an exhaust fan over the stove to remove cooking fumes.

    When You're Outdoors

    Check the forecast. Stay indoors as much as possible on hot, dry, windy days, when pollen counts tend to be highest. The worst time to be outside is usually late morning through mid-day.

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