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Allergies: Avoiding Indoor Triggers

Introduction

Allergic rhinitis causes symptoms like sneezing, congestion, and a runny nose. But you can control these symptoms with medicine and by avoiding the things that cause them (allergens). If you are allergic to indoor allergens, such as dust mites, animal dander, and mold, you can take some simple steps to get them out of your house.

By doing these things, you may have fewer symptoms or less severe symptoms.

How can I control allergens in my home?

First, work with your doctor to find out what you're allergic to. When you know what triggers your allergies, you can take steps to control those allergens in your home.

To reduce allergens inside your home, you can:

  • Remove items where allergens build up, such as stuffed animals or rugs.
  • Use regular cleaning and housekeeping to prevent allergens from building up.
  • Control dust and dust mites, such as dusting regularly and washing bed linens in hot water. Dust contains most of the allergens in your home.
  • Control animal dander and other pet allergens, which includes keeping pets only in certain areas of your home.
  • Control molds, which includes cleaning bathtubs and showers monthly.

Adults spend one-third of their time and children spend half of their time in their bedrooms, so it is important to take steps to prevent allergens in this room.

Other things you can do

Polluted air does not cause allergies, but it can irritate the nose and lungs. This may make it more likely that you will have symptoms.

  • Avoid tobacco smoke, smoke from wood-burning stoves, and fumes from kerosene heaters.
  • If you have a wood-burning stove, try to use one that is airtight and does not leak smoke into your home.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerRohit K. Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology

Current as ofOctober 6, 2017


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