Does Your Partner Have Allergies?

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar, MD on December 08, 2019

You want to see your partner happy and healthy. Nasal allergies -- such as to pollen, dust, pet dander, or mold -- can leave them sneezing, stuffed up, and worn out.

But there’s a way for you both to get some relief. You can team up to get treatment on track. With a little work around the house, you can get rid of the triggers that bring on your mate’s symptoms.

Allergy-Proof Your Home

This goes beyond vacuuming. It also helps to:

Go minimal. Cut down on knick-knacks (where dust can gather). Check on whether your furniture might be a problem: Overstuffed items often have down feathers in it, and antiques may be stuffed with horsehair or covered in fabric made from it. Curtains, too, could be a place where dust and pollen (if your windows are open) gather.  A fresh new look could help keep allergens at bay.

Show off your floors. It’s easier to keep linoleum, hardwood, or tile dust-free than it is to remove all the dust from carpets.


Cover up. Use zippered cases for your mattress and all pillows. They act as a barrier between dust mites and your partner. Remember, a feather pillow that isn’t covered can trigger your partner’s allergies.

Clean the air. Install a fan-based HEPA air purifier in your most-used living areas to collect dust before it settles. When you look for furnace and air-conditioning filters, chose a MERV (minimum efficiency value rating) of 8-12. Change or wash permanent filters every month.

Use microfiber cloths or an electrostatic duster. They pick up dust and pollen instead of swirling it around the air.

Chill out. In spring, turn on your air conditioner instead of opening windows. That will cut down on the pollen coming inside. Ceiling or standing fans also help cool and move air. Clean the fan blades first: That will get rid of any dust that might have settled on the blades.

Rethink your plants. Do you have too many? Mold can grow in wet soil.

Use good scents-sense. Skip the scented products. People with allergies can react to the cologne, cleaning supplies, potpourri, and beauty products. If perfume or cologne makes your main squeeze sneeze, don’t wear it -- at least at home.

Manage Outdoor Triggers

Your better half will be happier if you don’t bring the great outdoors back inside with you. Try some of these tips:

Post a note by the door asking people who come into your home to leave their shoes in the yard or on the porch so they don’t track pollen inside.

Suggest that your partner use a pollen mask, or a mask that has an “M95 filter,” when they work in the yard. The ones you get from a medical supplier place will filter pollen better that those from the hardware store.

If you don’t have allergies, split up the chores based on whether they can cause an allergy flare-up. You can dust and rake while they cook and wash up, for instance. If they feels like they want do some heavy cleaning or yard work, suggest that they do it on a low pollen-count day and take an antihistamine first to help prevent a flare-up.

Are pets part of your family? Brush and wash them outside. You’ll avoid stirring up dander in the house. And of course, you -- and anyone you live with -- shouldn’t smoke. It’s bad for your whole body and could make your allergies worse.

Visit an Allergist Together

If your partner hasn’t seen an allergist in a while and their allergies bother them a lot, it’s time for a visit.

You could go along to learn more about treatments and other changes you can make around your home.

With teamwork, both of you can breathe easier.

WebMD Medical Reference



Jennifer Derebery, MD, allergist, House Clinic, Los Angeles.

Paul Ratner, MD, allergist; medical director, Sylvana Research, San Antonio.

American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology: “Dust Allergy.”

National Institute of Environmental and Health Sciences: “Cigarette Smoke.”

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