How to Minimize Allergies

Allergies can be a year-round nuisance for some sufferers, particularly when a combination of indoor and outdoor culprits transcend the typical allergy seasons. There are effective ways to minimize allergies by limiting exposure to common allergens. With cleaning tips and lifestyle changes, you can keep allergens at bay and reduce symptoms of allergies throughout the year.


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    Get rid of dust to minimize dust mites in the home.
    • Dust mites are one of the most common allergies found indoors, so by eliminating the dust within the home, you minimize exposure to dust mites as well. To avoid kicking up additional dust as you clean, wear a mask and use a damp rag or treated cloth that attracts dust rather than spreading it into the air.
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    Clean bedding regularly to avoid sleeping with too many allergens.
    • Dust mites thrive in sheets, blankets and pillows, which can pose a significant allergy risk throughout the night. Wash all bedding in hot water once a week, followed by a hot cycle in the dryer, to kill dust mites. You can also purchase allergen-proof covers for mattresses, pillows and comforters to minimize allergies in the bedroom.
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    Keep your pets outdoors as much as possible.
    • Pet dander is another common allergy that can be minimized by keeping dogs and cats outdoors as much as possible. If you can't let your pet outside for long periods of time, at least make your bedroom off limits to keep allergens away from your bed.
    • Pet dander can be reduced in the home through regular vacuuming and dusting. A weekly bath and daily brushing for your dog or cat will reduce dander and the allergies it causes. Try to brush your pet outdoors, to avoid spreading allergens into the home as you brush.
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    Use HEPA filters in your vacuum and vents.
    • High-efficiency particulate air, also known as HEPA filters, are highly effective at keeping many allergens out of the home to reduce allergies. These filters are included with many vacuum cleaners today. You can also install HEPA filters onto vents if your home has central heat or air conditioning.
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    Use environmentally friendly cleaning products within the home.
    • Cleaning formulas that contain harsh chemicals can aggravate or even trigger many common allergies. Switching to formulas that contain plant-based ingredients, or making your own cleaning supplies from household products like baking soda and vinegar, may minimize allergies in some sufferers.
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    Maintain the proper humidity level within the home.
    • Too much dryness in the air allows dust mites and animal dander to thrive, while too much moisture promotes mold and mildew growth. The best humidity level to minimize allergies is around 40 percent. If your home does not remain at that level, consider the addition of a humidifier or de-humidifier to keep humidity at optimal levels.
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    Avoid the outdoors during high pollen counts.
    • The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology posts daily pollen counts on their website for various regions of the country. On days when the pollen is at its highest, remain indoors with doors and windows shut as much as possible. If you must get outside on these days, wait until evening when pollen counts are lower. Shower and wash your clothing as soon as you come indoors to remove any residual allergens.

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Categories: Allergies and Immunization