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Allergies Health Center

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7 Habits That Can Trigger Your Allergy Symptoms

By Paige Fowler
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Luqman Seidu, MD

You may be great at dodging allergy triggers outdoors, but what happens once you’re inside? From walking in your front door to tucking yourself into bed at night, you’ll want to sidestep these common mistakes and keep your allergy triggers at bay.

Steamy Showers

Regularly allowing your bathroom to get too steamy can encourage mold and dust mites to grow, which may set off your allergy symptoms. “Mold thrives in warm, moist, and humid environments,” says Neeta Ogden, MD, an allergist and spokesperson for the American College of Allergy Asthma and Immunology.

If you have an exhaust fan in your bathroom, use it every time to aerate the area. If you don’t have a fan, keep the bathroom door open to allow some steam to escape.

“Scrubbing your bathroom once a week will help you stay on top of mold growth, too,” Ogden says. “The moment you see something black, it means that the mold has probably been growing for a while and you should get rid of it.”

Use a bleach product to kill mold, and wear a mask and gloves while you scrub.

Wearing Your Shoes Indoors

Keeping your shoes and socks on beyond your front door can track more than dirt throughout your home.

Pollen falls on the ground and sticks to your socks and shoes, which you then spread around your house,” Ogden says.

On high pollen days, slip off your kicks as soon as you cross the threshold.

Ogden also suggests that you go a step further -- shed your clothes and hit the shower. “Especially if you have a bad pollen allergy, removing your clothes will prevent pollen from transferring to other surfaces,” she says. “Taking a warm shower will remove the pollen from your hair, skin, and eyes to reduce irritation.”

Allowing Pets on Your Bed

If you’re allergic to pet dander, you need to keep them out.

“Unless you’re bathing your pet every night, bringing your pet into your bed where you spend 8 to 12 hours of your day is such a concentrated form of exposure,” Ogden says. “You’re allowing dander and pollen that sticks to your pet’s hair to sit there and affect you for a long period of time.”

Ideally, keep your pet out of the bedroom while you sleep, Ogden says.

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