Allergy sufferers have a variety of treatment options available. Medication and immunotherapy are two common approaches, but many people choose to simply avoid allergens before they have a chance to attack.
Here are several common areas where allergens can be found, with tips on how to avoid allergies in these areas.
- • Keep your windows closed and run the air conditioner if you’re allergic to pollen. Avoid fans, which stir up dust.
- • Filter the air using HEPA air filters and cheesecloth covers for AC vents. At least once a year, have someone clean out your air ducts.
- • Keep humidity in your home under 50 percent to prevent mold growth.
- • For pet owners: Consider keeping pets outside, or ask someone else to care for them if allergies become severe. If pets do live inside, don’t let them in the bedroom and bathe them often.
- • Avoid areas like basements, garages, crawl spaces, barns and compost heaps where mold might collect.
- • Install dehumidifiers in the basement to reduce mold growth, and buy a mold-testing kit.
- • Air out damp clothes and shoes inside before storing.
- • Remove laundry right away to prevent mold in the washer.
- • Wash shower curtains and bathroom tiles with mold-killing solutions.
- • Don’t collect too many indoor plants.
- • Store firewood outdoors.
- • Use plastic covers for pillows, mattresses and box springs.
- • Wash bedding in hot water every week.
- • Don’t allow smoke in the home.
- • Wear a mask and gloves for any cleaning, vacuuming or painting. Vacuum once or twice a week.
- • Avoid throw rugs to reduce dust and mold.
- • Choose hardwood floors when possible, or low-pile opting if you must choose carpet.
- • Avoid dust-collecting blinds or drapes.
- • Install an exhaust fan over the stove to remove cooking fumes.
- • Keep windows closed, and if you’re allergic to pollen, always use the recirculated air setting when the AC is on.
- • Don’t let anyone smoke in the car.
- • Take fewer walks in wooded areas or gardens.
- • Stay inside during hot, dry, windy days when pollen counts are up.
- • Avoid extreme temperature changes that might trigger asthma.
- • Wear a mask when you mow if you’re allergic to grass pollen or mold, and at all times in the garden. Mow often, or have someone else mow often.
- • Don’t rake leaves or work with hay or mulch if you’re allergic to mold.
- • Take a shower, wash your hair and change your clothes after coming inside.
- • Wear shoes, long pants and sleeves to protect yourself from insect bites if you’re allergic. Don’t use scented deodorants, perfumes, shampoos or hair products.
- • If you’ve been prescribed an epinephrine injector kit for severe allergies, carry it at all times.
- • Don’t hang clothes or linens out to dry.
- • Take your vacation in the peak of pollen season—but in a place where plants you’re allergic to don’t grow.
- • Pack medicines in your carry-on luggage.
- • Bring an extra supply of meds in case they’re needed.
- • Ask for a nonsmoking room.
- • Remove feather pillows and ask for synthetic pillows that are nonallergenic. Or, if you wish, bring your own pillows from home.
- • Keep the vent on the room’s air conditioner shut if possible.
- • Choose smoke-free restaurants only.
- • Avoid any ingredients that trigger food allergies—read the menu carefully, and ask your server if you have any questions. Make sure you have an epinephrine kit with you if you’ve been prescribed one.
At Your Child’s School
- • Discuss any of your child’s allergies with staff. If there are food allergies, inform the front office, teachers and lunchroom staff.
- • Teach your child about allergies early, to make them less likely to eat something that will trigger them.
- • Leave one or two epinephrine kits at school if they’ve been prescribed. Make sure the staff knows how to use them (and that your child does as well when they’ve reached the proper age).
- • Tell staff about any medications your child is taking, and make sure they have doses on hand.
- • Encourage your child to play sports, but inform coaches if they need to take medicine before beginning play.
Visit one of Revere Health’s Allergy and Immunology offices today to speak with a specialist!
“How to Allergy-Proof Your World.” WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/allergies/allergy-proof-your-environment#1
“Allergies: Avoiding Outdoor Triggers.” WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/allergies/how-to-avoid-exposure-to-outdoor-allergens