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 remove 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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Avoid extreme temperature changes. They're triggers for some people with asthma.

Wear a mask (like a low-cost painter's mask) when mowing the lawn if you're allergic to grass pollen or mold. Better yet, have someone else mow for you.

Wear a mask when gardening if pollen bothers you.

Avoid raking leaves or working with hay or mulch if you're allergic to mold.

After being outdoors, take a shower, wash your hair, and change your clothes to remove pollen.

To protect yourself from insect stings , wear shoes, long pants, and sleeves. Don't wear scented deodorants, perfumes, shampoos, or hair products.

Don't hang clothes or linens outdoors to dry. Pollen and molds can collect in them and make your allergies worse.

Allergy-Proof When You're Traveling

Pack your allergy meds in your carry-on bag. Saline nasal spray can be especially helpful on planes and in hotel rooms where the air is dry.

Bring an extra supply of medication in case you need them.

Ask for a non- smoking room.

Ask for non-allergenic pillows. Or bring your own hypoallergenic pillow cover from home.

If possible, keep the vent on the room air conditioner shut.

Eat in smoke-free restaurants.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Sabrina Felson, MD on March 21, 2018

Sources

SOURCE:

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

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