The first step is to determine the allergens that would trigger your allergy. Avoid the allergens whenever possible.
Avoiding an allergen may involve discontinuing a drug (medication allergy), avoiding foods and food derivatives (food allergy), keeping a pet out of the house (rhinitis), being selective in using materials, installing high-efficiency air filters. A person with severe seasonal allergies may consider moving to an area that does not have the allergen. A person with an allergy to house dust should remove items that collect dust.
- allergy pollen Stay indoors as much as possible when pollen counts are at their peak, usually during the mid-morning and early evening, and when wind is blowing pollens around.
- Keep windows closed and use air conditioning in your car and home. Air conditioning units should be kept clean. Avoid using window fans that can draw pollens and molds into the house.
- Wear glasses or sunglasses when outdoors to minimize pollen getting into your eyes.
- Avoid rubbing eyes, which will only irritate them or make your condition worse.
- Clean floors with a damp rag or mop rather than dry dusting or sweeping.
- Wash your hands immediately after petting any animals. Remove and wash clothing after visiting friends with pets.
- Keep pets out of the bedroom to limit exposure to pet dander while sleeping.
- Reduce indoor molds caused by high humidity by cleaning bathrooms, kitchens and basements regularly. A dehumidifier can be used to reduce molds, especially in damp, humid places like basements. Make sure the dehumidifier is cleaned often. To clean moldy areas in the home, use a 1-to-10 parts diluted mixture of chlorine bleach and water.
- A filter over bedroom air vents to prevent pet dander, dust, and molds from being blown in from other parts of the house through heating or air-conditioning ducts.
- Use window shades or curtains that can be laundered or cleaned frequently, instead of heavy drapes.
- Don't hang sheets or clothing outdoors to dry, as pollens and molds can collect on them.
- Wash bed linens in hot water (at least 130° Fahrenheit) and use your dryer's hottest setting to kill mites and control animal allergens.
- Enclose pillows, mattresses, and box springs in zippered, air-tight casings to curtail mite activity.
- Do not use a feather- or down-filled pillow.
- Keep dust from accumulating by vacuuming floors and cleaning surfaces weekly.
- Keep small knickknacks, books, and CDs inside cabinets or drawers so that they don't collect dust.
- Replace synthetic pillows every 2 to 3 years.