If you are allergic to pollen, mold, dust mites or pet dander, you can help minimize reactions:
- Filter the air in your home with a high-efficiency air filter. Clean furnace air filters frequently.
- Prevent mold growth by keeping the humidity below 50 percent.
- Avoid having pets that trigger your allergies. If you do, keep them out of your bedroom.
- Use special covers for pillows, mattresses and box springs and avoid down-filled bedding.
- Clean and vacuum often, and wear a face mask and gloves while housecleaning.
- Choose hardwood, vinyl or ceramic flooring rather than carpeting.
Common allergens include animal dander and saliva, dust mites (actually, their airborne fecal matter), insect stings or bites, certain medications, injected anesthetics or dyes used in medical tests, latex, mold and pollen. Allergies to particular foods—most often peanuts, eggs and shellfish—are not unusual. Some individuals react to dairy products, wheat and other foodstuffs, but medical tests are necessary to determine if these are true allergies or simply an intolerance. The good news is that most people can control their symptoms with a combination of lifestyle changes and medications.
By staying alert to the types of allergens that trigger your allergic reactions, you can help avoid most exposure, and minimize or prevent symptoms.