Controlling dust mites, mold spores, house dust, animal dander, and exposure to pollen can help relieve and prevent allergy symptoms. Refer to the following list for ideas on how to control your environment and for better management of rhinitis (nasal - "hay fever") symptoms.
In the home
- Regularly air out tight, closed spaces like bathrooms and closets.
- Use a damp, not dry, cloth to dust rooms weekly.
- Reduce the number of indoor plants in your home - they are a breeding ground for mildew.
- Reduce or discard items that are likely to collect dust (e.g., dried flowers and stuffed animals).
- Use a dehumidifier or air conditioner.
- Remember to change air filters regularly in heating and air conditioning systems.
- Keep windows and doors closed during heavy pollination seasons.
- If possible, replace wall-to-wall carpeting with wood or linoleum floors.
- Use dust masks when cleaning.
- To relieve nasal congestion, try tilting the head of the bed upwards.
- Use allergen-impermeable covers on mattresses and pillows.
- Wash linens in hot water to kill dust mites.
- Use hypoallergenic bedding, pillows, and blankets.
- Avoid the outdoors during early morning hours - this is when pollen levels are highest.
- Try to limit outdoor work - leaves, grass, peat, and mulch are common allergens.
- If you must mow the lawn yourself, remember to use a mask.
- Keep the grass cut short.
- Keep pets that produce dander (cats and dogs) outside.
- If pets must stay indoors, do not allow them into sleeping areas or rooms with upholstered furniture.
- If you have a young child who is clearly allergic to your pet, you should probably get rid of the pet (we are assuming you would prefer to keep the child), although some physicians may recommend low-dose nasal corticosteroids for the child.