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Dust Allergies

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How Can I Prevent Symptoms? continued...

If your bedroom is in a basement with a concrete floor, move upstairs if you can. Concrete stays damp and creates the moist, humid environment dust mites love.

Around the House

Clean bare floors often with a damp mop or cloth.

Vacuum carpets once or twice a week. Use a vacuum with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter. If your dust allergy is severe, ask your doctor if replacing wall-to-wall carpeting with hardwood or vinyl floors would help.

Wash throw rugs in hot water.

Vacuum upholstered furniture such as sofas. Wood, leather, plaster, or metal furniture is better for dust allergies.

Replace drapes with roll-up window shades. If you must have curtains, wash them in hot water each season.

Get rid of stuffed animals, soft toys, and other dust collectors.  

Keep Air Clean and Dry

Use an air conditioner or dehumidifier to lower humidity.

Put 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 3 months.

Keep humidity in your home below 55%. Use a hygrometer to measure it. You can get one at hardware and building supply stores.

How Are Dust Allergies Treated?

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

  • Antihistamines relieve itching, sneezing, and watery eyes.
  • Decongestants ease or unclog a stuffy nose.
  • Nasal steroids reduce swelling in your nose so you can breathe better.

You might be able to get allergy shots (immunotherapy). They treat allergies over a longer time. Ask your doctor if they make sense for you.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on September 09, 2014
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