Allergies can be irritating and even maddening. But you don't have to suffer. Take charge of your environment! Here are some steps to control the allergens that trigger your reactions.
- Keep windows closed and use air conditioning.
- Clean air filters frequently and air ducts at least once a year.
- Keep humidity in your house below 50% to prevent mold growth.
- Install dehumidifiers in basements and other damp areas. Avoid moldy areas: basements, garages, crawl spaces, barns, compost heaps.
- Keep pets outside. If you must keep pets indoors, do not allow them in bedrooms; bathe them often.
- Use plastic covers for pillows, mattresses, and box springs. Get rid of overstuffed furniture or down-filled bedding/pillows.
- Wash bedding in hot water every week.
- Wear a mask and gloves when cleaning to limit chemical exposure.
- Install hardwood floors instead of carpeting. Limit number of throw rugs.
- Avoid dust-collecting window blinds and long drapes. Use window shades instead.
- Vacuum twice a week.
- Wash bathroom surfaces and shower curtain with diluted bleach.
- Check the forecast. Stay indoors on hot, dry, windy days when pollen count is high. If mold is a problem, stay inside during rainy or windy days.
- Check the time. Between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m., pollen counts are highest.
- Avoid being around freshly cut grass whenever possible.
- Avoid yard work! Mowing stirs up grass pollen. Flowers are loaded with pollen; so are many trees. Raking leaves stirs up mold spores. Let someone else to do your yard work, so you can avoid these pesky allergens.
- Wear a mask. If you must work in the yard, an inexpensive painter's mask will protect you from grass and flower pollen as well as mold.
- Take a shower. After being outdoors, get rid of allergens that may have collected in your clothes and hair. Take a shower, wash your hair, and change clothes.
- Use the clothes drier. Don't hang clothes and linens outside to dry. Pollen and molds can easily attach to them.
- Vacuum your car. Lots of animal dander is shed from your clothes onto your car's interior.
- Keep car windows closed, and close vents. Use air conditioning.