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Dust Allergies

(continued)

Keep Household Air Clean and Dry

  • Use a HEPA filter with a MERV rating of 11 or 12 in your heating and air-conditioning unit. You can find the rating listed on the packaging. Change the filter every three months.
  • Use a hygrometer to measure humidity in your home and keep it below 55%. You can get one at hardware and building supply stores.
  • Use an air conditioner or dehumidifier to lower humidity.

If your dust allergy is severe, ask your doctor if it would help to replace wall-to-wall carpeting with hardwood or vinyl floors.

How Are Dust Allergies Treated?

Over-the-counter or prescription allergy drugs can help control symptoms.

  • Antihistamines relieve itching, sneezing, and watery eyes.
  • Decongestants help with nasal congestion.
  • Nasal steroids reduce swelling in your nose so you can breathe better.

Allergy shots (immunotherapy) may also be an option. They treat allergies over a long period of time. Ask your doctor if they make sense for you.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD on October 19, 2012
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